God makes it clear in His word that sin separates us from Him. Having lustful thoughts and acting on them is sinful. The good news is that Jesus came, died, and rose from the dead for our sins. He did this so that we could be blameless before God and have a relationship with Him. We as Christians still struggle with sin, and it can be challenging to get rid of lustful thoughts.
How do you kill lustful thoughts? The Bible shows us 10 practical ways Christians can kill lustful thoughts:
- Deal with the root cause
- Replace lustful thoughts with scripture
- Ask for help
- Set boundaries
- Worship God
- Serve others
- Walk by the Spirit
- Fight the good fight.
We must implement each of these into our lives in order to kill lustful thoughts and not allow them to consume us.
Fighting and killing lustful thoughts is a battleground. If you’re here, you know it’s hard. The Bible does not sugarcoat the seriousness of lustful thoughts or sin. But God is with us, God is for us, God has unending mercy and grace that he wants to lavish on us.
10 Ways To Kill Lustful Thoughts
This is God’s battle too. He will fight for you and with you, and his grace is enough for you. His power is perfected in weakness. That’s where we begin, admitting that we need God’s power because we are weak.
We are able to repent from our sinful ways, knowing that He is faithful and just to forgive us of our every sin, including our lustful thoughts.
It is through the Holy Spirit living within us that allows to step away from lust. Though it is through God that we are able to kill lust, we still have to take steps to kill it.
These 10 steps invite God into your temptation and will help you kill your lustful thoughts.
Repenting can be hard and uncomfortable, but it is the starting line for running the race God has set before us.
Therefore repent and turn back, so that your sins may be wiped out.Acts 3:`9 CSB
Repentance is not feeling sorry for yourself, it’s not beating yourself up. It’s feeling godly remorse for something wrong you’ve done.
It’s the first step towards freedom because when we admit we have sinned to God, we allow Him to forgive us and wipe our sins away.
Once God has forgiven us of our sins through Jesus’ blood, we are clean and righteous before Him. We don’t have to feel guilty or shameful, instead, we can be revived through repentance.
If you’re unwilling to repent of your lustful thoughts you need to evaluate your heart. It means you’re unwilling to accept God’s grace and love or unwilling to admit that you are struggling with this sin.
Refraining from repenting means that you’re living in pride, thinking that your power to dig yourself out of sin is more powerful than God’s grace. It can also mean that you do not want to admit that there is a sin issue in your life due to shame or ignorance.
Your power alone is not enough. You don’t need to be stuck in sin and your sin does not have to define you.
God is willing to forgive you, accept you, and meet you where you’re at right now. He doesn’t want you to clean yourself up. He wants to wash away your sins for you, and He wants your heart. That’s good news.
The sacrifice pleasing to God is a broken spirit. You will not despise a broken and humbled heart, God.Psalm 51:17 CSB
If you don’t know what to say or how to repent for your lustful thoughts before God, a good place to start is Psalm 51. It’s a great place to be honest with God and accept the forgiveness He has for you.
Know that you can go to Him with anything and He will not greet you with shame or judgement. Instead He will bring you truth and forgiveness.
We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,2 Corinthians 10:5 ESV
Prayer is a big part of the Christian life. It’s how we have conversations with God, listen to Him, and hear from Him. It’s also how we obey Him by giving Him our every thought, even the lustful ones.
When we’re hearing from God and expressing all our praises and requests to Him, we get His perspective on us. Not our own.
This is helpful when we’re thinking lustful thoughts because it allows us to focus on what God is saying to us instead of what the enemy is saying to us.
Prayer is so important because when we pray in Jesus’ name, it is the most powerful thing we can do.
Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.John 14:13-14 ESV
Jesus makes a promise to us that He will answer us. It may not be instantaneously, but Jesus will accomplish anything you ask in His name that glorifies the Father.
The Bible also says that the demons flee at the sound of Jesus’ name. He is powerful and He is the Lord of Armies, on your side and ready to fight your lustful thoughts with you.
If you’re still struggling to keep your mind on Him, then don’t be afraid to ask people to pray for you. This can encourage you and remind you to trust in Jesus.
When you’re focused on Him in prayer, Jesus will keep your thoughts in perfect peace.
You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.Isaiah 26:3 ESV
3. Deal With The Root Cause
Oftentimes, we don’t realize that our lustful thoughts could have deep roots in other causes. These causes could simply be our own sinful desires, or they could be stress, anxiety, depression, even idleness.
Also know that the thoughts and temptations you are going through are not caused by God.
Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.James 1:13-14 ESV
Though God does not cause your lustful thoughts, He uses them for good. He’s letting you experience them so that you can lean into Him, repent, and heal from the root causes that are hurting you.
God is not distancing Himself from you, but rather He’s willing to deal with those root causes with you. Whatever they may be.
First, ask the Holy Spirit to guide you and lead you in this. He will not give up on you, and He’ll help you replace your lustful thoughts and the hurtful causes of those with scripture.
To start going through what the root causes could be, asked a trusted Christian friend, counselor, or pastor to help you uncover them.
Root causes can also be more than emotions. We can encounter feelings of lust through conversations and even the material we consume.
Maybe you need to evaluate the movies or shows you’re watching. Or you need to unfollow a certain social media account.
Allowing these things into your life can cause to begin to struggle with lustful thoughts. They can also feed the thoughts you’re already having.
4. Replace Lustful Thoughts With Scripture
I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.Psalm 119:11 ESV
One of the ways you can kill lustful thoughts is by replacing them with scripture. God’s word is powerful and active and can loosen the effect sin has on you.
Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.Romans 12:2
God’s word transforms our minds, and the Holy Spirit will bring it up in our hearts when we’re struggling with sinful thoughts if we memorize it.
If you don’t know where to start, I suggest memorizing Philippians 4:8. It’s such a great reminder that through His Spirit, God does give us the ability to think about good things.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.Philippians 4:8 ESV
5. Ask For Help
Even though this is the 5th step on the list, asking for help is one of the most important things you can do.
Start with finding one person, someone who knows Jesus well and who you can trust. Send them a text, give them a call, or tell them in person that you’re struggling with something and need someone to talk to.
If they’re following Jesus, they’ll be glad to listen to you and walk through overcoming your struggles with you.
It can be terrifying at first to admit that you’re struggling and need help, but when you do this, your community can come around you to encourage you, pray for you, and hold you accountable to God’s word.
The body of Christ is here to build each other up, so when you reach out and up, someone will be on the other side to help you and remind you of how God sees you.
A great resource to use is covenant eye. It is a resource that restricts potentially tempting material to pop up on your phone. It also reports when you search items that will feed your lustful thoughts to a friend.
To check out covenant eyes click here.
6. Set Boundaries
If you’ve repented from your lustful thoughts, that means you’ve turned away from them and you have no intention of going back.
To ensure that you won’t stumble back to your sinful thoughts, set boundaries that keep you from getting to that mental space.
If there’s a certain area that triggers you, avoid it. If you need to block certain sites on your phone or put your phone away at specific times, do it.
Give a friend or family member the permission to keep you accountable for these boundaries and check in with you on them.
Remember too what the root cause of your lustful thoughts is. If you tend to think about lustful things more when you’re stressed, practice different methods to distress. Whether that’s taking a walk, drinking water, or making a list of what you’re grateful for.
With Jesus’ help, you can do this. You can set the boundaries you need to work past your lustful thoughts and give God the glory for every single victory along the way.
7. Worship God
This one seems out of place, I have to admit. But, when we worship God, we’re admitting that He’s bigger than us. He’s worth the fight for purity, and He will have the last say over sin and our lustful thoughts. No matter how much the devil tries to drag us down.
Worship is our weapon as believers. If you remember the story of Jehoshaphat in 2 Chronicles 20, you’ll remember he was facing an army he couldn’t conquer, but when he worshipped God, God saved him and his people.
You can also know that there are many ways to worship God. You can worship God corporately in church, through listening to praise music on your own, or even making a list of things you’re grateful for.
Gratitude changes our hearts and causes us to focus on God, not ourselves.
If you start to name a few things you’re grateful for before you go to bed and when you wake up, you’ll begin to find that there’s less and less room for your lustful thoughts and more and more room for worshipping Jesus.
8. Serve Others
Serving others is another thing that seems out of place. How can you serve others when you’re having sinful thoughts?
Well, when we have first repented from our lustful thoughts and accept God’s freedom, the best way to walk in that freedom and reject lustful thoughts is by serving.
For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.Galatians 5:13 ESV
Serving others is a way that we can get out of our own heads and think about God and other people before ourselves.
When you serve, it’s a slap in the face to the devil who was trying to get you isolated in your sin. Now, instead of being overcome by your sin, you are helping others who could be working through the same sin as well. In that, you are walking in the redemption that Jesus has for you through His Spirit.
9. Walk By The Spirit
But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the desire of the flesh is against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, in order to keep you from doing whatever you want.Galatians 5:16-17 NASB
Walking by the Spirit can seem vague, but what it really is is asking the Holy Spirit to lead you and choosing to live by His word instead of your own desires.
If you’re a believer who’s starting to carry out these steps that the Bible gives us to kill lustful thoughts, you’re already walking by the Spirit.
Continue to study His word to learn more about how you can trust Him and follow Him into freedom.
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.2 Corinthians 3:17 ESV
10. Fight The Good Fight
But you, man of God, flee from these things, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, and gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of eternal life to which you were called and about which you have made a good confession in the presence of many witnesses.1 Timothy 6:11-12 CSB
All of these things on this list are part of fighting the good fight. Flip back to Philippians 4:8. Pursue and think about all those good things.
Runaway from sin and grab hold of the hope we have in Jesus Christ. He will help you fight this fight and kill lustful thoughts.
Even the fact that you’re here means that you’re fighting for purity. You’re not alone. Jesus loves you. God is with you and cares about you and your thoughts.
God Cares About You & Your Thoughts
If we repent and ask God to forgive us, He is faithful and just to do that. He loves us, He wants us to come to Him even with our darkest thoughts so that He can shine His loving light on us.
There is eternal hope for you. There are multitudes of men and women who have been freed by God from their lustful thoughts and sinful actions, including myself.
The enemy likes to make us think that we are alone, but beloved that is not the case. Find others who have conquered this same struggle and go to them. Know that there are people who will understand your struggle, instead of judging you.
This doesn’t mean it won’t be hard. No adventure isn’t filled with obstacles, but Jesus will be with you to cleanse you and help you.
He will help you on this journey with Him if you ask, so fight the good fight, because there is freedom from lustful thoughts in the name of Jesus.