FOR MEN ONLY: AT WAR WITH LUST

FOR MEN ONLY: AT WAR WITH LUST

“What do you have to say about the devil?” I heard a commentator on Radio 316 once ask a pastor.
“Well, I admire his persistence.” The group at the studio roared in laughter. And when the dust settled, everyone sobered up at the veracity in the pastor’s reply.

As ambitious as Lucifer, the saying goes. A friend of mine says that if God has a plan for you, you best be sure the devil has a plan for you too. Now the thing with the devil is this. He has an advantage. Our flesh. He has an inside man for his job to be done. That inside man is your body. Can you believe it? You’re the mole! And once the inside man is powerful; he doesn’t even need to attack. The human-being will self-destruct by feeding all that he/she lusts for. There is a group of human beings that has an even greater advantage against such attacks. It’s the follower of Jesus Christ. They have two inside men to deal with the mole; The Holy Spirit and The Son of God. These two are soooo powerful the flesh doesn’t  even stand a chance. However, when their combat moves are dependent on human decision, the flesh can tend to gain an upper hand and win a battle. And that's what happens.

SINGLE

My heart was beating so hard I could have sworn it scared the birds on the roof. The year was 2009. I lived in a hostel, five minutes from school. The first unusual thing I noticed about this hostel is that it was neither a sorority nor a fraternity. Both sexes were allowed to dwell in the premises. The second unusual thing that I noticed was that I was the only guy in the premises! The neighbours- all of them girls. Clearly by the way they dressed and walked around the hostel, they had accepted me as one of the “girls”. This was bad. I had anticipated problems. The problems in mind had to do with little cash, personal hygiene and water rationing. But not this! I did not see this coming. It hit me hard and was demanding my submission. It was strong! It was powerful! It was luring! It was an woman in a towel holding a conversation with me in my room. Alone.
 
How in high heaven's name did it get into this? I wasn’t dating yet and girls were this much trouble already! She didn’t want anything. She just came to say hi. She had missed me the whole weekend and wanted to check up on me. I had no problem with any of her stated motives. I just had a problem with the amount of skin that was before me. It didn’t help that the girl was nastily gorgeous! She smiled and it got my engines revving! Why was she here again?

“Ye-ah…um, okay…so…”
“Plus I wanted you to come fix my shower,” she added. She was being genuine.
“You wha..”
“My shower Ernest. It’s broken.”
And suddenly I saw the whole picture. A single guy and a single lady all alone in a girl’s bathroom. She’s covered with nothing but a towel standing next to him under a leaking pipe. The lady slips and she holds onto the guy. Or the guy slips and he pulls the towel to avoid falling down. The two are wet. It was dangerous. Or was I thinking too far?

“I’m no good with showers. You wouldn’t want me,” I said, my eyes continually dropping to her thighs where her towel ended; not too far down. I almost felt as if she knew I loved what I saw. My hormones were doing the Macarena and my body was trying to deny it. Did she know that I hated the conflict in my soul?

I asked her to stay in my room as I dashed to hers to exercise my plumbing powers. I saw the broken tap and I knew I was no plumber. These kind of situations made me war with myself. I reasoned that if I could only get a girlfriend, then all these temptations would cease. Solution one. My mind and heart would be hers and hers alone. To cut the story short, she showered at my place as I found “something” to do. It didn’t help that I discovered her undergarments in my sink when I used the shower after her later that morning. I also reasoned that if I wasn’t living in a hostel where I was the only dude, it might assist the problem. Solution two. I vowed to switch hostels the next semester. I didn’t. Lust kept me unpacked.

THEN THE GIRLFRIEND CAME

Apart from sponsored corporate dinners in expensive restaurants, I never did go out on Thursday nights whilst in campus. I would enjoy folding origami or enjoy a decent movie while sipping hot cocoa. In my alma mater, it’s easy to be spotted on Thursday if you’re the odd one out. Everyone’s dressed up and you’re in your PJs.

The year was 2011. I was dating. Solution one up and running. It was JET. I had four men who joined the hostel so trouble was at bay. Solution two up and running too. Systems online! I was about to start the movie when someone rapped at my door. Nobody knocked past 10pm on my door unless they needed sugar, salt or some cutlery of theirs I hadn’t returned. It was neighborly not to ignore, so I didn’t. I opened the door and there she was. Six-inch high heels, low cut fitting top and a skirt that was too short for any calibrated device to measure. Everyone in the hostel had gone out for Thursday night raving. It was she and I left alone. She made her way in. She had been bored all by herself in her room, so she came over when she saw my lights on.  She had been waiting for a taxi.

“Hey Ernest. Why aren’t you going out?”

I had set myself up. Sure, I had resisted temptation before, but this! This was a nightmare! She was horribly cute and her dressing was to kill. I was the kill. Homicide in door number 4 would be the case. I looked at the calendar. I wanted to note the date that I fell. I didn’t care. Here she was, on my bed; legs crossed, lips luscious, voice tender with open cleaves! I was done for! I said my last prayer to Jesus! This was the fall of Ernesto Wamboye Wakhusama. I had to give in! I had to give in!

Wait, did I? Did I have to give in?

No. I had to resist, the spirit said. That's the first inside man that the believer has. He watches out for you when your sirens are screaming! If I fell I would at least say I tried. Deep down my sensual nature (The devil's inside man) wished I would fail. It would be a pleasurable fail. The flesh is a nasty thing beloved. I couldn’t understand. I had solution one and two as my best anti-viruses but somehow they went offline in my mind. The situation revealed that my heart did not earnestly desire the things of God. It desired the world and its pleasures. I thought hard. Wait, she had a boyfriend; a very big and built boyfriend. The thought sobered me for a split second and in the split second I heard the voice.

You are at war beloved! Fight!

My second inside man, J. No, Ernest, don’t do anything stupid! She has a boyfriend! She has a boyfriend! She has a… she has a… She has such a nice body! Did it matter? Did she care? Did I care? She was here. What did she want anyway?

“Oh, I just wanted to hang out before the taxi comes. We’re going to the club with friends of mine.”

I lacked the moral tenacity to kick her out. I lacked the spiritual vitality to hang onto the words of Jesus; “Not even a hint of sexual immorality.” (Ephesians 5:3). Judging by her dressing, the hint was gone. This was a full-fledged gesture. I resumed my seat and turned to face her. My eyes crawled all over her. I knew it was wrong to have her here but I didn’t care. I questioned my boundaries. I didn’t allow Turi (my girlfriend, now wife)  in my room. Even during the day. So why would I allow her? What made me put myself in my room with a girl I hardly knew? The awkward moment came and we began to look for something to do. I was done pretending. I had held my desire for her body for too long. It was the eve of destruction! The brink of bliss with this luscious female body sprawled on my bed. Surely, God had seen how hard I had worked to keep my body pursuing purity for 21 years. I was an item to  be archived! Who in this generation waits till marriage? My time was nigh! I was about to open a Pandora’s box when my noisy neighbor came calling my name. He was God-sent. I suddenly sobered up. What was I doing? Why was this girl here?

I got up and made 73 excuses to go check on the taxi in the Thursday night cold. I would have given up at 74 but Jesus was gracious. The taxi came. She left my room at 11pm. She left me a frightened man.  My urge to resist had weakened. One more similar encounter with a girl and I would destroy my relationship. My conviction ate me. Deep down I knew I didn’t make it out of my strength. It was Jesus all along sustaining me and my un-confessed lust made it hard to agree.

Sure, nothing happened (at least, physically) but in my mind I knew what had happened. In my mind I had done all sorts of vile things with her body. My flesh replayed the lust and I knew I was not a worthy vessel of Christ. The fact that I allowed temptation to draw so close was enough evidence. He helped me overcome the temptation but he showed my true self; selfish, lustful and not to forget foolish. I wasn’t foolish enough to say that if only I got married then things would be better. If it didn't work with the girlfriend, it wouldn't work with the wife.

My walls broke and I let Jesus in. He wanted to have his way with my desire for a woman; one woman. He wanted me to see that a woman's body is to be waited for as a gift to be touched in the marital context. He showed me that there was a problem with pursuing curves, hips and lips. It was not Christ's design for it to be "normal" for a man to lust. He also revealed to me the beauty of Turi, the beauty that I was about to trade for ashes. The beauty that I had been too lustful to see. She was a jewel, a workmanship of Jesus, inside out-physically attractive, as a soul mate appealing and in her spirit fulfilling. He showed me that He wanted me to return to his way of love and desire.He showed me that it was possible even in the 21st Century. I cried that night at the simple thought of what I would have to say to Turi had I messed up and broken our union. I cried too because of another reason. The Holy Spirit was convicting me! My return to the first love began. I made a vow!  Each day I fought the fight and I resisted the evil one. I drew sharp boundaries with girls and it felt good to see Turi happy.

Months later, I discovered that all my lust had welcomed a demonic force and only a deliverance prayer and fast could undo. You may laugh at it but I assure you, the fight is more serious than flesh and blood. We wage war against principalities and powers unseen. And we have a hero.He came to set the captives free beloved. Believe me when I say we need to fight without making assumptions. A girlfriend won’t take away your lust. A marriage won’t. Even a burly built boyfriend who can pummel you if he found you with his girl won’t. Any fight of lust in man’s life should not be taken casually. It should be resisted with a group of godly dedicated men around it. It should be fought with scripture and with no tolerance on cute faces. And ultimately it should be fought with the Holy Spirit. Listen to Him!  It is a war out there. I was lucky to escape. Not all make it through.

If you are  a believer, listen to these words.

2Peter 2:3-4

His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

You have all you need to escape lust! And if the fight is too strong young man and you can’t handle it, you may want to ask Jesus in your heart to fight for you.