Of all the Old Testament heroes I would someday like to meet, none has any more fascination for me than does David, the shepherd boy who became king. Though he was a warrior, this man had heart and compassion. Of all the thousands of individuals who are mentioned in Scripture, David stands alone with the distinction that he was a man after God’s own heart (see Acts 13:22). He was a great man, and yet—and here we turn the corner—David had his dark moments.
Though he had everything power and position bring, he took what he had no right to—another man’s wife, and until the day he died, he paid a high price for not curbing his desire. His problem was the same as that which confronts the male today, who stumbles across a porn site on the web, then goes back repeatedly until he is hooked. It’s the same problem as the one that an ordinary male has with the girl who works in his office, the one who wears the altogether-too-tight blouse and the mini-skirt. This strong emotion that leads to moral baseness has been around from the beginning. It’s called lust. It’s a man’s problem, right? Often, but not necessarily. When anyone desires what he or she is not entitled to have, the demon of lust pushes rational thought aside and produces a blindness that ignores morality.
What’s the solution? It’s fourfold, involving your brain, your eyes, your heart, and your feet.
First, your thought life.
The reality is that your thought life controls every aspect of your being. What you think about long enough, you eventually act out. So when your thought life becomes a fantasy that puts your back to God, what do you do? Paul gave us a first-step solution. He instructed that we are to bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5). What does that mean? It means you say, “Lord, what I’ve been thinking is wrong. It makes me ashamed. It is a mockery of my marriage vows and is a sin in your eyes. I give it to you. Take this thought and cleanse it.”
Rid yourselves of all the offenses you have committed, and get a new heart and a new spirit. Ezekiel 18:31
Step number two involves your eyes.
The book of Job is one of the oldest of all human dramas, perhaps taking place in the days of the patriarchs. Even Job struggled with this, so he made a commitment. He said, “I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a girl” (Job 31:1). You can do the same thing. A covenant with whom? With God. There’s a connection between what you think and what you look at. Rarely do I ever talk with a male who has a problem with lust who doesn’t feed that by reading the wrong stuff or viewing the wrong websites.
Step number three involves your heart.
Jesus said that the issues of life, including the wrongs that we sometimes do, flow from the heart. But it is also your heart that God will cleanse when you ask Him to. “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh” (Ezekiel 36:26) was the promise God gave through Ezekiel. He will do the same thing for you when you ask Him to forgive you and help you.
There’s one more segment of this formula that is tremendously important. It’s your feet.
Obviously, you can’t always help what you see—David couldn’t. You can’t always control the thought that pops into your mind, but you can always, without fail, control the direction your feet are headed. And making them go the opposite direction can save you from sin and help you preserve your integrity.
Resource reading: Proverbs 15