Is life without lust possible?
The short answer is, "Yes, but not likely." :) This is because God sees the Christian as he is in Christ, in all the fullness of what Christ is. For Christ did not sin, and He is in the Christian! "Christ in you, the hope of glory." For this reason in 1st John we are told, "Whosoever is born of God does not commit sin; for his seed remains in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God" (3:9) So, if a person thinks it is hard to "live the Christian life", he is right, IF he tries to live it; because it can only be lived by Christ in you! And until He is allowed to live His life fully through you, you will experience the discrepancy between what you are in Christ, and how you behave in the flesh.
Can I Be Freed?
We need to be assured that it is possible, to the fullest extent that you let Christ live His life in you. Until this mortal puts on immortality, and this corruptible puts on incorruptibility, you will practically come short of never sinning, but you can experience the sanctifying path of constant improvement until this vile body is redeemed by the purchased possession of a new body in the resurrection.
The Bible says:
- First we are told that we have died with Christ, and are therefore dead to sin (Romans 6). What dead man lusts? What dead man commits sin? We need to know this by Divine revelation (6:6), and then enter into it by the Holy Spirit's work in our lives. This is described in Romans 8 as "the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus which has delivered us from the law of sin and death." We can describe it as the difference between the law of aerodynamics and the law of gravity. If we are in a plane flying forward, then the air flow over our wings provides the "lift" that keeps us in the air - this is the law of aerodynamics. But the law of gravity is always pulling us down, and if our engine cuts out, we will start loosing our "lift" and fall to the ground. So as long as we walk in the Spirit we can overcome sin and lust in our lives.
- We are told to "mortify the deeds of the flesh" and "make no provision for the flesh," etc. This is the practical side of human responsibility. God's Spirit tells us not to lust (for He confirms what the Scriptures say), and then empowers us to make the necessary changes, so that lust will be diminished, reduced, and eliminated from our lives. We will stop looking at pornography, we will stop with coarse language and jokes (Eph. 5), we will avert our eyes, confess our failures and make new resolves by God's strength. We will avoid compromising situations, be accountable to others, and be responsible for our thoughts, words, actions, motives, and attitudes. We will take the practical steps necessary to "kill" lust and its power in our lives. God will confirm, and strengthen these actions, and Christ will live His Holy life in us, as we learn not to grieve Him, and how not to quench Him, as He directs us in the steps that we have to take.
Take These Steps
To make this very practical, here are steps that we should take:
- Get saved if we are not yet saved.
- Be sure that we are saved, if we think that we are.
- Give ourselves unreservedly to God to use as He sees fit. (Romans 12:1-3)
- Pray that He might give us insight and revelation to how we died with Christ on the Cross. (Romans 6)
- Make no provision for the flesh, so that we might sin. i.e. Make changes in habits, activities, associations, pleasures, recreations, etc. that are necessary so that sin has less influence in our lives.
- Seek the fellowship of other Christians that want to be holy also, so that they might encourage you to do right, rebuke you when you do wrong, and pray for you when you are weak.
- Pray without ceasing so that you might not be deceived by Satan's devices and tricks - even ascetics fulfill the lust of the flesh (and of the mind), but think (in their deception) that they are not!