When you fight against sin you rely on your own strength. When we rely on our own strength we turn away from Christ. Instead we should focus on turning towards Christ. Basically when you fight sin you focus on the sin instead of Christ. This explains why the more you fight it, the stronger it gets.
Instead focus on what you want. Man cannot serve two masters. We sin in our lives when we are not focused on Christ and His teachings. It is typically harder to sin while humming a hymn or reciting scripture.
More good comes from the study of Christ than the study of sin. It is logical if you think about it, but it is not our first impulse.
The process is as follows:
- Find scriptures or hymns that mean a lot to you in your quest to turn away from sin and memorize them (or parts of them).
- When you feel yourself turning away from Christ then recite those scriptures and hymns.
- Look for more opportunities to study Christ and His Teachings. Learn more of Him. (I think this site is a good way to do that too!) In learning more of Christ, try to be like Him.
- Pray for help and guidance. Pray for strength when you feel weak, pray for humility when you feel strong.
- Find a trusted adviser, friend, pastor, etc. you can talk with. When they are not present call them. When you cannot call them, imagine what they would say.
Not trying to say you don't already do the above, but I would suggest that you make that your focus. Instead of counting the days since your last lustful desires, instead count how many days you have made prayerful scripture study a daily habit. When you find yourself overcome with lustful desires look at how you can improve your relationship with Christ, and how that improvement has made your life better.
My dad always said "When you wrestle with a pig, you both get dirty, but the pig likes it." The same is true of wrestling with sin - when we engage in direct battle with sin we get dirty.
You might also consider studying 12 step support groups. The 12 Steps from Alcoholics Anonymous can be adapted to any sin:
- We admitted we were powerless over lustful desires—that our lives had become unmanageable.
- Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
- Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
- Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
- Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
- Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
- Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
- Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
- Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
- Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
- Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
- Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
A few scriptures to back up what I am saying:
KJV Bible - Ezekiel 33:19 But if the wicked turn from his wickedness, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall live thereby.
It doesn't say "stop being wicked" but says turn form it, and do that which is lawful.
KJV Bible - 2nd Chronicles 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
Be humble: acknowledge you cannot do it alone.
KJV Bible Matthew 19:26 But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this
is impossible; but with God all things are possible.
Wasn't specifically referring to lust, but the meaning is the same.
Book of Mormon - Ether 12:27 And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.
We all have weaknesses so we will turn to Christ. All he asks is that we are humble and come to Him.
KJV Bible - Matthew 5:6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
If you are filled with righteousness then you will not be hungry for sin.