YOUTHFUL LUSTS - THE TARGET OF SATAN
John 10:10 – The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
2 Peter 4:8-9 – Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.
Christians have an enemy whose objective is to steal the righteous life that God has given us through our faith in Jesus Christ. Satan’s goal is to destroy our faith and our godly way of living and thus destroy our testimony of
God’s grace that we have received.
Christian teens are particularly targeted since youthful exuberance for the Lord is such a powerful force and influence on non-believers. So how are teens targeted by the enemy and what are the wiles he uses? Since young teens are greatly affected physically by the natural increase of maturing hormones in their body, Satan capitalizes on the effects and influences of these sexually developing hormones. He entices young teens to achieve various forms physical sensually stimulating gratification. He does this through appeal to these newly developed fleshly sensual lusts.
There are three forms of lusts that all people have, and these lusts must be controlled and held in check, otherwise the fulfilling of any of those lusts will lead to sin.
1 John 2:16 – For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.
James 1:14-15 – But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.
The bible makes reference to the enticements that the devil uses and refers to them as lasciviousness and concupiscence. Lasciviousness means filthy vices; conduct and character of immoral behavior in self-gratification of fleshly lusts; wantonness, lewdness and lustfulness; and there is licentious behavior which means to be unrestrained by rules of moral correctness. Concupiscence means given to sexual lust.
Galatians 5:19 – Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness,
Ephesians 4:19 – who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.
1 Thessalonians 4:4-5 – that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God.
It is important to recognize that having fleshly lusts is not sin; but it becomes sin when these desires are wrongly yielded to and gratified. How does the devil appeal to these fleshly desires? He is like a fisherman who selects the right bait that he thinks will appeal to the person targeted. If one type of bait does not work, he changes baits. He throws the bait out toward you and hopes you will nibble on it. You nibble and then decide you like the taste or sensation and then take a bite. If you swallow the bait that the devil has offered you, then he sets the hook.
You are now captured in his snare; you are hooked. He then has control over that area of your life that you swallowed. You have opened the door of your soul for Satan to exercise control of that area of your flesh. From then on he is able to compel such activity at his will. This is when an unclean spirit as entered your soul to affect that lustful activity of your flesh; you will no longer be able to exercise self-control of that behavior.
Now it will take supernatural action to get that area of your life released from the enemies control; it’s called “deliverance” and requires the casting out of that unclean spirit. Note that an evil spirit cannot inhabit the spirit of a Christian because that is where the Lord’s Spirit dwells. The unclean spirit moves and inhabits your soul or mind (intent of the heart or will), also known as the “flesh”, and nullifies your decision making ability regarding that particular behavior. An unclean evil spirit needs a fleshly body in order to fulfil its desire and purpose. Your mind is capable of thinking all manner of thoughts and imaginations. This is where the devil attacks; it’s called the fiery darts of the enemy (Ephesians 4:16) that are thrown at you as temptations.
With the enemy in control of that portion of your soul/mind he is able to cause you great harm, emotional, physical, mental, social and even criminal. The enemy takes a terrible toll on the one whose lust has been snared and taken captive.
Here is the warning: when you entertain that lustful tempting thought or imagination, you will likely end up yielding to that behavior. Yielding to that behavior is actually yielding to that unclean spirit from the enemy that is motivating that thought or imagination. When you yield yourself the lustful behavior is when that spirit enters because it found a place of accommodation and acceptance. From that time on you will not be able to resist its lustful desire when it manifests, that unclean spirit is now in control, and even though you struggle to resist against it, it will win because you have been hooked by the devil.
Teens are subject to this spiritual warfare but they do not realize what it actually is that they are dealing with. They think it is simply their own growing new desire. This is natural to everyone; however the danger is in not recognizing the bait that the enemy throws out to catch you and destroy your Christian life and testimony.
Romans 6:16 - Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
So how to you deal with the enemy. First you need to recognize that you have an enemy that wants to take you captive and destroy what God has given you. Then recognize that your normal youthful lusts are the target of the enemy, and it is your responsibility to guard your mind, thoughts and imaginations by rejecting wrong ones. Prayer and fellowship with God and knowledge of His Word equips you with the spiritual armor needed to resist the devil and his efforts against you.
James 4:7-8 – Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
2 Corinthians 10:3-5 – For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,
Ephesians 6:10-17 – Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God;
How you live and what you do is a matter of the choices you make. Therefore think about what it is that has enticed you and what the consequences would be if you yield to a sexual stimulation, or any enticement of a lustful thought. Think before you act and….