When I was unpacking in a hotel room once, I flipped on the television, and it automatically came on to the adult movie channel. I switched immediately, and later when I turned it off, I left it on the news channel I had been watching. I thought, 'Okay, I have this thing figured out. The next time the TV comes on, it will come on to the news channel.' Wrong. That TV was programmed to always come on to the sleazy channel!
1 Peter 2:9-11 says, "You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God. ... Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul."
The message is clear. Stay away from sinful desires if you are one of the people of God. This is not easy to do in our world. Wherever you go these days, our world seems tuned to the bad channel. The temptation to think sinfully about the opposite sex is everywhere. There it is on a billboard. There it is in an ad for a bad show in the middle of a good show. There it is in a catchy song or in a sexual scene in a movie that is otherwise pretty decent. It's on a magazine cover or the covers of videos at the video store. Sometimes, maybe you don't find it so accidentally. Maybe sometimes you choose the lust channel, intentionally looking at the wrong things or listening to things that are dirty. Face it, the lust channel is on all day long, whenever provocatively dressed women parade by. Men tend to struggle more with lust, but it can go either way.
Jesus hasn't changed His mind about it. He said in Matthew 5:28, "Anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart." Aren't you tired of losing to lust? Haven't you had enough cheap thrills followed by the feelings of shame, guilt, and defeat? That is why Peter says, "Abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul."
Are you ready to win? You have to play defense and offense if you want to win this one. Defense says, don't get anywhere near it. Abstain and realize that every time you allow yourself to take another lust look, you delay victory at least one more day. The look doesn't take long, but the impression in your soul lasts much longer. Every lust look feeds a monster you're trying to kill and it wars in your soul.
You cannot afford to give any more ammunition to the enemy that has defeated you so many times, so you need to print in bold letters on your heart, "It's just not worth it." A lust look takes you farther from God and makes you less satisfied with the one you're married to and more ashamed of yourself. Train your eyes to look away instantly, keep your eyes only in righteous places, and switch your mental TV to another channel. That's playing offense.
Psalm 119:11 says, "I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you." Memorize verses from God's Word, and when you think sin, immediately switch channels and hear that verse. Every day we walk into a room where the channel is already on the sinful stuff. Before we ever turn on the screen, we have to make the deliberate choice that it is our TV, and we will not keep it on a channel that leads to darkness. The lust channel isn't worth it. Learn to develop the fastest switching hand in the west, and turn quickly from the lust channel to the Lord channel. That's no-regrets viewing!