Think about this: the godliest man in the world had a need to address the potential for lust through what he saw. I am speaking of one whom God himself recommended as blameless. That man is Job, and in the book that bears his name in the Bible, he said in Job 31:1, “I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a young woman” (NIV).
What does it mean to make a covenant with your eyes?
The Bible is clear that what we see affects our thought life and what we think about the most, we eventually act on. One’s eyes are the windows to his soul.
- Give yourself permission to make an admission. Like Job, admit that lust could be a problem for you. If a man cannot admit lust is a possibility, he is deceiving himself. Bill Perkins has wisely said: “If you think you can’t fall into sexual sin, then you are godlier than David, stronger than Samson, and wiser than Solomon.” Admit that you could give into lust, that sexual sin is only a choice away. Humility can admit sin is possible; it is pride that denies it (Proverbs 16:18).
- You have to train your brain. What you see you think about, and what you do with that thought determines your actions. You have to choose to take every sinful thought captive to the obedience of Jesus Christ: “We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:4-5).You must discipline yourself so that when a sinful thought hits your mind, you will immediately not only confess it, but also replace it with God’s Word. That’s where the daily Scriptures in the Join 1 Million Men app will greatly assist you. Take a passage of Scripture each day, read it, reflect upon it, pray it, and listen for the voice of the Holy Spirit.
- Let your eyes rise to look in her eyes. Lust begins with an eye—or “I”—problem. Satan has specific images he wants you to be exposed to that will battle with your mind for a response. Pornography is designed to catch your eye and lead you further until you act on something attractive, appealing, and alluring. Intentionally make yourself look into the eyes of another woman. Train your eyes to look away from images or women who could lead you to sexually sinful thoughts. That communicates your desire for purity and allows you to communicate to her your intention. Women know when a man is checking them out. That simply does not happen when you are only looking a woman in the eyes. That leaves no room for doubt and helps you stay pure.
- Fight what comes into your sight. Once you see an image, you have to go into battle mode immediately. Really, you need to be in battle mode even before the image. Much of what you see that creates lust can be addressed long before you are exposed. That means you train yourself to avoid exposing yourself to sexually explicit material.When you see that image, that television program, that advertisement, or other media, take immediate action by placing the lustful thought under the blood of Jesus Christ and submitting it to him as a prisoner.Psalms 119:37 says, “Turn away my eyes from looking at vanity, And revive me in Your ways” (NASB).
- Recognize Satan’s lies. Satan’s lies are powerful, especially when it comes to sexual issues, specifically pornography. His lies encourage curiosity and experimenting. He is the “Father of Lies” and will tell you anything to get you hooked:”You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44).Satan will lie to you and tell you that you are the only one struggling with pornography, and that secret will keep you in shame and guilt. The enemy will lie and tell you that God doesn’t love you anymore, and you are not worthy of God’s forgiveness. Lies lead to bondage; God’s truth sets you free when you apply it.
Lies lead to bondage; God’s truth sets you free when you apply it.
- Put out the fire of wrong desire. The moment a sinful, lustful thought enters your mind you must aggressively and violently take captive that thought and surrender it to the authority of Jesus Christ. Lust is a poisonous scorpion. Desires outside the boundaries of God’s will are a fire that will burn you and have the capability of destroying everything you hold dear.
- Remember, feelings follow appealing. When your eyes see something that is sexually explicit, it definitely affects your feelings. Men are hardwired to be affected emotionally by what they see. Pornography is designed to bring an excitement and curiosity that is never satisfied. Enough is never enough; more is always required of pornography. Whatever you keep looking at will never have a neutral effect.In Psalms 119:37, we are told to fix our eyes on God’s Word and on things that are true: ”Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways.”
- Choose what you view. Making a covenant with your eyes includes choosing carefully what you allow your eyes to see. You choose what you see on your computer screen. You choose what you watch on television. You choose what you see on your smartphone. You choose the second look.
- Don’t trust when it comes to lust. Lust is deceptive. You cannot trust your feelings. A lustful thought cannot be held in your mind for one second. Kent Hughes shared the following: “Dietrich Bonhoeffer made the observation that when lust takes control, ‘at this moment God . . . loses all reality . . . Satan does not fill us with hatred of God, but with forgetfulness of God.’ What a world of wisdom there is in this statement! When we are in the grip of lust, the reality of God fades. This is what lust does! It has done it millions of times. God disappears to lust-glazed eyes.”
- Believe that you will receive. You have to believe that as you commit your eyes to God, he will empower you to live in purity, including your thoughts. God is ready to bring his resurrection power into your daily thoughts.
God always does his part; you and I must do ours. The patriarch Job did, and so must you! God wants you to live in freedom from lustful looks and thoughts. You have to be intentional every day and everywhere you go. It begins by having an agreement with your eyes to not go “there.”
Like Job, make a covenant with your eyes today and tomorrow and the next day and the next . . .
Copyright © 2016 Dr. Jay Dennis, Used with permission.