The most striking characteristic of the sin of lust is simply that lust never satisfies. Lust promises excitement, relief, and distraction, but it never delivers. As Ephesians 4:19 says, it only fuels a thirst for passions that will never be quenched. Here is the key to understanding lust: it is fueled by anticipation. When the desires that are anticipated and driven by lust are finally enacted, there is never relief–only bitterness, disgust and emptiness. The result is always a period of profound regret, remorse, and emptiness. The act, whether is it viewing pornography, indulging in masturbation, or other inappropriate sexual behavior, never satisfies. It leaves only bitterness, which is soon followed by the desire to commit this act again. The emptiness and disgust begin to be replaced by the fires of anticipation, that build until they are once again acted upon.
Lust is a cruel master. It is a vicious cycle. If your teenager is caught in a web of lust, simply telling him that it is wrong and that he must stop will not help. He already knows that. No one who looks at pornography day after day will tell you it is good thing and is pleasing to God. Rather, by listening to the call of lust, people become entrapped. They attempt to get out in their own strength. It does not work.
Paul urges believers not to live as the world does. Notice again what he says in Ephesians 4:17-19:
Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity.
To get the most from this series, please look at II Samuel 13 and see how lust enslaved and eventually destroyed Amnon. Please take some time and carefully think about this passage in light of these verses in Ephesians 4. This is important material. If you are going to help your children and others close to you defeat this sin only the power of the gospel will do. This is what Paul says in Ephesians 4:20:
But that is not the way you learned Christ!
Please continue to pray that God will use this series to help rescue those trapped by the sinful power of their own lusts.I am going slowly because this is not something that can be accomplished by mere mental assent to change. Nothing less than Christ’s power will do.