It happened…again. Then again. And again. This will be the last time! I promised myself. I was tired of wrestling with sexual sin and wanted to be free from this particular struggle. I was convinced that I just needed to try harder — that I would find freedom if I just focused more on pursuing purity. I tossed up a half-hearted prayer and asked God to give me victory. This is the last time. I reassured myself confidently.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t the last time. My battle with lust raged on.
It wasn’t until a few years later that I actually found lasting victory from that particular sin.
If you’re wrestling with a particular sexual sin right now (lust, masturbation, an impure relationship, pornography, sexting, etc.), you might be feeling discouraged like I was. Maybe you’ve told yourself again and again that this will be the last time! But just like me, you find yourself in that same place of defeat.
Looking back on that season of struggle for me, I can now see some blind spots in the way I was trying to fight my sexual sin. Without even realizing it, I had fallen prey to some lies that were actually keeping me from finding victory. If you’re currently struggling to find victory, maybe you’re falling prey to these subtle lies as well.
1. I can handle this myself.
When I was struggling with lust and masturbation, I was convinced that keeping my struggles a secret would be better than telling anyone. For years, I kept my mouth silent. I never asked for prayer. I never asked for help. I never asked for anything.
Proverbs 28:13 says, “Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.”
Keeping my struggles a secret didn’t help me move towards victory. I wasn’t prospering as this verse in Proverbs points out. It wasn’t until I humbled myself before God and prayed for mercy and strength to be open that I found the courage to speak up. Sharing my struggles with a godly person was a huge step in my journey toward freedom.
Don’t believe the lie that you can handle your sin alone. God has given us the body of Christ and fellow believers to help us in our weaknesses (Gal. 6:2).
2. I just need to try harder.
For a while, I was convinced that my biggest downfall was due to a lack of effort. I just need to try harder. I just need to give a little more effort and then I’ll find lasting freedom. This idea sounds good, but the problem is that it leaves out the most important component for conquering sin — Jesus. Instead of relying on Christ for victory, I believed the lie that the answer was found within me. However, prideful self-reliance never leads anywhere good.
Instead of looking to ourselves to be strong enough, God wants us to humble ourselves and admit that we’re not strong enough. We can’t conquer sin on our own. We don’t have what it takes within ourselves.
Galatians 2:20 reminds us, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
As believers, we have the power of Christ within us. As we fight our battles against sin, we need to ask Him to help us every moment! We need Jesus to transform our hearts to love Him more than anything else.
3. God can’t help me overcome my sin.
Even though I was praying and asking God for help, I still had seeds of doubt in my heart. God won’t really help me. God doesn’t care about my struggles. God isn’t enough to help me conquer sin. Deep in my heart, I was believing the lie that God wasn’t enough. I needed something more.
Thankfully, I came face to face with this truth: “But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness” (Rom. 6:17-18).
As a Christian, my old self (my sinful flesh) no longer has the greater power in my life. Christ died and conquered the power of sin on my behalf. The only way to find lasting victory is by Christ enabling me to walk in righteousness. I encourage you to take some time today to read all of Romans 6. It’s an amazing chapter for understanding how Christ helps us walk in victory.
I hope you’ve found these 3 lies to be insightful and helpful.
For me, rejecting these lies and pursuing God’s truth helped me move forward in my fight against sexual sin. I pray that they will help you too! God is for us and wants to help us fight sin in our lives. He wants to help us love Him more than anyone or anything else in this world because that is where real life is found!
To learn more about how to conquer sexual sin in your life, you might also find chapter 9 in my book, Sex, Purity, and the Longings of a Girl’s Heart really helpful. It’s called “Battling Temptation” and breaks down the specific steps that take place each time we give into sin.
Now, I want to hear from you!
- Of the three lies mentioned above, which one do you find yourself most tempted to buy into?
- What biblical truths have you found personally helpful in your fight against sexual sin?