If you can resist porn, how do you ignore the lust that still remains?
The short answer: There is no formula or plan, or set of tactics you can use to resist porn, or to resist temptation 100%. It could very well be a lifetime struggle. You are best served by seeking accountability, by distracting yourself from the flesh with thoughts of the Spirit, and by weaning yourself off of lust's addictive hold. The longer you can last without it, the weaker its hold upon you.
Our longer answer will be broken down into certain parts.
One: Scriptural references to the subject, and the lessons and analogies we can take away from that Scripture.
Two: The words of those experienced in this issue.
The Scripture that most directly deals with lust and desire, and paints an analogy of these things as a temptress can be found in Proverbs 5. Solomon gives advice to his son and basically warns him that the 'lips of an adultress drip honey and that smoother than oil is her speech.'
In a case such as that painted by Solomon, lust (in the form of a harlot or adultress, for the imagery) is basically a sycophant. The definition of sycophant is: a person who uses flattery to win favor from individuals wielding influence, or a 'self-seeking, servile, flatterer'…Basically, one who will tell you exactly what you want to hear only because they want something of you.
So, your very first question when trying to resist temptation might be: "Who is your master?" If the sin is your master, you have some changes to make…If God is your Master, then you find your focus on Him, and resist. You see…this serpent has NO power at all over Jesus, quite the opposite, in fact…but you, you're the weaker link. Will you call on the name of Jesus to resist, or will you believe that one small moment of pleasure is worth dying over?
Because: Make no mistake…Sins can come about due to a 'momentary lapse of reason' and take your very life. It only takes a moment to murder, or lie, steal or covet. It only takes a moment of lust to inflame a man's baser instincts.
Another analogy of this snake-like charm is the snake character from The Jungle Book. Kaa, in Rudyard Kipling's books, was actually a good character and friend to Mowgli, but in all the Disney titles, Kaa tries to use his/(or her) eyes and sinuous grace to hypnotize Mowgli so he can be eaten. Lust uses the same tactics…distraction and illusion, the promises of suggestion, without mentioning the reality of the consequences.
Another reason the snake archetype seems to come up so much in reference to lust is because, once a man is 'bitten' by the venom of lust and desire, it seethes in him for some while before it wears off. It works through his system like a poison, and like Satan himself, "seeks what it may devour"…
Good News: Jesus and His Word are the antidote! Christ can relieve us of this false promise, and bear us through the temptation. Always keep in mind that Scripture states, quite boldly, in 1 Corinthians 10:13: "No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it."
You may ask yourself, if this is true, why does God allow temptation in the first place? Well…honestly, it's all about that free will thing. You know…don't eat that apple….(Eats the apple.) BLAM, out of the garden… So, we brought temptation to ourselves through disobedience, God didn't throw it on us arbitrarily.
God knows we can't always look away from evil, it's part of our sin nature now, so He has given us the Grace of His Son to allow us a way back into righteousness. If that Sacrifice covers murder, lying, and coveting, it can certainly cover lust and desire as well.
2 Timothy 2 gives us quite a few ideas about how we can be "good soldiers of Christ Jesus" or "Workers approved by God".
It says things like: "You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus," And "Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed,"
And finally, hasten to these words from 2 Timothy 2:20-22 "Now in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for honorable use, some for dishonorable. Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work. So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart."
Our second part is the words of an anonymous person who has come before you, in experience, who shared these words in reference to your question:
If you can resist porn, how do you ignore the lust that still remains?
Anonymous says: "You suffer.
If there is any kind of addiction component, there is definitely a period of withdrawal. There isn't much you can really "do" about it except pray, distract yourself and get through it. After that there will be momentary urges which will become less and less frequent.
The sin of Lust is about action, according to the Sermon on the Mount. When you look at a woman TO lust. So in actuality, it's seeking an outlet, as you put it, that's the problem, not feeling the urge itself.
That's what my experience and my reading has to say on the matter anyway."
A Staff Member says (in direct response to your question):
"Lust is an especially big tool for the enemy to use to get into our heads and convince us to make "compromises" (i.e. making vows or believing lies) which in turn gives him more play, and so on and so forth down the slippery slope.
I would, first, congratulate him on finding the courage to say no. That's huge! But the enemy will not simply stop and back off, haha. "When you've done everything you can to stand, stand" (paraphrasing Eph 6:13). Never back down. Never compromise. Always remember that if you compromise the struggle won't get "easier"; instead of an outside force nagging him to come back it'll be an inside conviction calling him to repent again, and that the only way he will find (true) peace is if he keeps fighting the good fight.
I'd also remind him that it's not about how many times we fall down, but simply that we keep getting up. There is grace... but in our weakness He is strong, no?"
I'd like to mention that there are specific tools designed to help with this issue, but I don't think they really work.
If you'd like to explore the means of "brotherly accountability" to defeat a porn addiction, there's a program called X3 Watch. This program monitors all of your devices and sends an 'accountability partner' of your choice an alert if you start surfing towards the wrong sorts of sites. I believe this used to be free, but it now costs about $25 a year for this service.
There a other services which also cost some money.
These programs are a sound idea at a basic level, but they don't really address things properly. You should be honest and open with whomever you choose for accountability, you shouldn't need a software package to 'tattle on you'. Also, almost all of these services and programs can be circumvented if you want to badly enough, so you defeat their very purpose, and still haven't addressed the underlying sin issues.
Accountability software doesn't really help as long as one's heart doesn't change. All it does is give them a way to 'cover' what they are really doing with a person who is supposed to be helping them defeat the addiction.
Let me be very clear: It's almost impossible to defeat an addiction for someone else's reasons. You can really only defeat an addiction for your own reasons. Ask Christ for help, He will NOT forsake you.
If serving is below you, leadership is beyond you. - Anonymous