How to flee from youthful lusts?

Some time ago I was asked by a Christian teenager how to act properly according to the Holy Scriptures. Here is her problem:

I am a teenager and I face inexorable pressure from some situations. I am very often in love with a guy, then with another one, and then with another one and I am enticed by each of them. I know that the Bible says that it is not good for me and I know that it is not time to marry now, and none of these guys suits me, because almost none of them loves God and has the character of the man I want to marry. I also know that God doesn’t want me face such kind of situations. What can I do to be delivered from this emotional pressure?

I decided to answer to this question in an article, because many girls and boys, teenagers and young people face this pressure and situation. Let us see what God teaches us from His Word to pass beyond these situations.

All people are tempted by sin

You don’t have to think that only you face such situations. Usually people don’t talk about their temptations, and because they do not know what the Word of God says in this regard, young men and women think that only they face these situations and this is something different and abnormal. Beloved, I want you to know that all people passed or pass through these states and here is what Paul says about his inner feelings:

For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good. For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? (Romans 7:18–24)(NASB)

Do you see anything similar between the situation related by Apostle Paul and the situations told by this young woman? The Apostle was in this state when he knew the Scriptures well, when he had a desire to serve God, but he hadn’t yet believed in Jesus Christ and he did not have the Holy Spirit in his life. This was the solution for him and this is the solution for each of us, that are in the same condition as Paul was. Have you believed in Jesus Christ with all your heart? Have you entered the covenant with Him to obey Him for your whole life? If you haven’t done this, you can not have the Holy Spirit and you can not overcome sin.

The presence of the Holy Spirit assures victory when we are tempted by sin

As soon as he describes the feelings he has one faced, Paul writes:

Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!…

Then, he continues the next chapter:

Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. (Romans 8:1–5)(NASB)

No one is able to stop the things of the flesh as long as he/she doesn’t have the Holy Spirit. The presence of the Holy Spirit in our person and life gives us power to choose. Every Christian chooses what to follow. Sinful nature, that is present in every Christian’s person as long as his body will be transformed, urges us to a holy life. Our duty as Christians is to listen to the Holy Spirit every time and everywhere we are tempted. The obedience to the Holy Spirit is a Christian discipline that can be taught, and people who do not want to learn discipline in other things, can not learn this important part of a Christian’s life. Are you a man or a woman who learnt discipline and show it in all aspects of your life? Have you learnt not to follow earthly things, but to be obedient to the Holy Spirit? These things are essential and you have to understand and apply them, if you want to overcome the temptations and to have peace in your heart, that is described by Jesus Christ in the Holy Scriptures.

Avoid people who exert bad influence on your living with God

Apostle Paul wrote the second Epistle to Timothy, his beloved disciple, before his death. Here is what Paul warned Timothy:

But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these. (2 Timothy 3:1–5)(NASB)

I want to draw your attention to two things that describe these people. The first one says that they are “lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God”. They pretend they love God, but they love pleasure rather than Him, so they are people who do not live according to the Holy Spirit, but according to the things of flesh. The second thing that describes them is that they “hold to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power”, that is the Word of God. They want to show they are believers, they behave as they are believers, come to church, maybe they sing in choir, do things that are done by all Christians in the church, they even speak as believers, but they are not really changed by being born again and they do not have love for the Word of God, because they do not want to live according to it. Apostle Paul says about these people something else:

For among them are those who enter into households and captivate weak women weighed down with sins, led on by various impulses (2 Timothy 3:6)(NASB)

Here is one more proof that these people are guided by the pleasure of their earthly nature, and they don’t live according to the Spirit, because they don’t even realize what means the Spirit of God and how it is to be born again. Do you know such people? Avoid them before they captivate you, as they managed to captivate “weak women weighed down with sins and led on by various impulses.”

Flee from the things that stimulate youthful lusts

Sexual desire is a part of every man or woman’s life and this will bring fulfilment in the sexual relations they will have in marriage. To that moment, boys, as well as girls, have to learn to have a holy living. Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy:

Now flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. (2 Timothy 2:22)(NASB)

Avoid things, images, discussions, movies, books, people who provoke you to think about sex or amorous relations that are against the Word of God. The Lord Jesus said than when your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. If you want to live a holy life and have peace in you heart in this perverse world, you have to pay a price and abstain from many things. What movies do you watch? What kind of books do you read? What do your friends talk about and what do these discussions motivate you to? What sites do you visit on Internet? What are the things that stimulate your sexual desire and that you have to flee from?

There is one more important thing: it is not sufficient to flee from these things, but you have to look for things that are precious before God. The Word of God says: “pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart”.  Analyse your priorities and relations. Look at who your friends are and if there is someone God says to avoid.

Check your life according to these four important truths, that will bring you peace, fulfilment and victory over sin when you understand and apply them in your life.

Translated by Felicia Djugostran