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<< Discover the Book, with Dr. John Barnett

Discover the Book - June 17, 2007

  • 2007 Jun 17

“Overcoming Life’s Unending Struggles”

In Unguarded Moments—God is THERE

1st Corinthians 10:12-13

Part 3 Continued from June 16th





David Fixated his heart on physical desires (II Sam 11:2)


David started thinking about his sexual desire and that’s all he thought about. In the ancient world the king always built on a hill because then the enemies were at a disadvantage. So here David is in the biggest house and the highest house in the whole city of Jerusalem, and he’s wandering around at night on the roof of his house looking down around the barriers that others would have in their way. David could see over walls, fences, and screens—he sees past all of that because of his position in the highest house. But, he didn’t look away from the temptation, rather he engaged in watching, this became lust-filled staring.


In this period of restlessness, with time on his hands moment of listless, boredom and wandering the palace he uses the highest spot in the city to take an innocent peek at his neighbors wife. And from the roof he saw a woman bathing, and the woman was very beautiful to behold.


And so as he takes a quick peek over the wall at his neighbor’s wife. Jerusalem at this time was not that big and so it wouldn’t be he didn’t know who lived down there. The king knew his subjects. That was one of his mightiest warrior’s homes--- he knew whose house that was, he knew whose wife lived there, he knew who she was.


But what I want to underline for you is there is no such thing as an innocent peek at another man’s wife; there is no such thing as an innocent peek at an off-color TV show; there is no such thing as an innocent peek at pornographic materials.


There is no innocent trying out of intoxicating alcohol, There is no innocent trying out of enslaving cigarettes, There is no innocent trying out of debilitating drugs. There is no innocent trying out of premarital sexual relations.


These are steps to life-crippling habits that can destroy your testimony and usefulness for Christ! There’s no innocent peak at lust! David fixed his heart on his physical desires so immediately his mind starts clicking.


Temptations around us all abound. Because temptation to sin is so powerful, we need help. This morning the best, and the only real help is Christ--the Refuge for the tempted.


Now before any of us check out because this message isn’t for us, open with me to James 1.13-14.


James 1:13-15 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. 14 But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. 15 Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death. NKJV


James 1:13-15 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone.14 But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust.15 Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death. NAS


Note that James, the very first New Testament pastor, of the first New Testament church, the first leader of the Church of Jerusalem, and our Lord’s earthly brother—doesn’t say ‘if’ but he says ‘when’.


God's Word says temptation is inevitable, temptation is inescapable, temptation is going to follow us all through our earthly lives.


Temptation is inevitable. So listen up, this message is for ALL of us. But this message hinges on one word—lust.


Lust (epithumia ‘super desires’) is dreadful, dangerous, and deadly. Lust is surrounding us and in various forms, planted within us—and is either pursued for pleasure or fled from for righteousness. Listen carefully to Paul—


2 Timothy 2:22 Flee [P A Impv. ‘I command you to always flee’] also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. NKJV


Note he doesn’t merely say when you are a youth to flee. No, he says ‘youthful lusts’ the lusts that we nurture and feed as young people--are going to chase us through life. So we must all decide to flee lust, no matter what our age.


However large we grow those ravenous wolves of lust in our youth—that is how large they will be as they chase us through life. Why should we flee these lusts that tempt us to sin against God? Because they cost us far more than we could ever imagine. And that is what we will see in David’s life.

Our God is jealous this morning.


He loved us, bought us, found us, drew us, cleaned us and now lives within us by His Holy Spirit. Have you thought deeply about what it means to have a Jealous God living in you? Have you thought about what would offend someone who loved us so much that He wants us to be utterly loyal to Him?


The Lust of the Flesh is to chase pleasures or the Cravings of the Body

The Lust of the Eyes to chase Stuff or the Lustings of the Eyes

The Pride of Life is to chase status or the Boastings of the Mouth


1. David Desensitized his conscience by incomplete obedience II Sam 5:13

2. David Relaxed his grip on personal purity II Sam 11:1

3. David Fixated his heart on physical desires v. 2

4. David Rationalized his mind about wrong decisions v. 3

5. David Plunged his life into lustful sin v. 4

6. David Destroyed his testimony by the sin of a moment of stolen pleasure. Death, deceit, murder, immorality and spiritual oppression, poverty and famine of the soul are only a few offspring of this act of momentary pleasure.


David Rationalized his mind about wrong decisions v. 3 he started saying—well it’s not that bad—only once--- nobody will know. We have infinite capacity for rationalization.


David learned what a horrible thing sin is. It deceives with all those glittering promises. It destroys with the precision of a surgeon.


Over the years countless men who have descended into sexual sins have been asked the same question--"What could have been done to prevent this?" Most answer nearly the same thing with haunting pain and precision, "If only I had really known, really thought through and weighed what it would cost me and my family and my Lord, I honestly believe I would never have done it."


I keep in the back of my Bible[1] (the one that is always with me at work, at home, and whenever I travel) a very pointed reminder of the consequences of sexual sin. I use this list as an encouragement to refocus on the Lord and take any steps of wisdom and purity necessary at the moment temptation, in any form strikes! We must always remember to put the focus where Scripture does--on the love of God and the fear of God, both of which should act in concert to motivate us to holy obedience.


My Personalized List of

Anticipated Consequences of Immorality


Towards My God—


  • Grieving my Lord; displeasing the One whose opinion most matters.
  • Dragging Christ's sacred reputation into the mud.
  • Losing my reward and commendation from God.
  • Dreading the day that I will have to look Jesus in the face at His judgment seat and give an account of why I did it.
  • Forcing God’s chastening upon my life in various ways.
  • Prompting laughter, rejoicing and blasphemous smugness by those who disrespect God and the church (2 Samuel 12:14).
  • Bringing great pleasure to Satan, the Enemy of God.


Towards My Wife and Family—


  • Heaping untold hurt on Bonnie, my best friend and loyal wife.
  • Forfeiting Bonnie’s respect and trust.
  • Giving up my credibility with my beloved sons and daughters, John II, Estelle, James, Julia-Grace, Joseph, Jeremiah, Elisha, and Elisabeth. ("Why listen to a man who betrayed Mom and us?")
  • Realizing that if my blindness should continue or my family be unable to forgive, I could lose my wife and my children forever.
  • Bringing years of shame to my family. ("Why isn't Daddy a pastor anymore?" Plus all the cruel comments of others who would invariably find out.)
  • Plaguing memories and flashbacks that could taint future intimacy with my wife.


Towards My Church and Ministry—


  • Bringing years of shame to my church families I have served all these years.
  • Bringing years of shame and hurt to my fellow pastors and elders. Royce, Steve, Gerry, Elmer, Tim, Stan, Jim, Ted, Allen, Travis,
  • Bringing years of shame and hurt to my friends, and especially those I've led to Christ and discipled. List of names: Paul, Douglas, Kurt,
  • Realizing that guilt is awfully hard to shake-even though God would forgive me, would I forgive myself?
  • Following in the shameful footsteps of men I know of whose immorality forfeited their ministry and caused me to shudder. List of these names: Roy, David , etc.
  • Causing innocent people to suffer around me when they get hit by my shrapnel (a la Achan).


Towards Myself—


  • Disqualifying myself after having preached to others.
  • Giving up the things I am called to and love to do-teach and preach and write and minister to others. Forfeiting forever certain opportunities to serve God. Years of training and experience in ministry wasted for a long period of time, maybe permanently.
  • Being haunted by my sin as I look in the eyes of others, and having it all dredged up again wherever I go and whatever I do.
  • Undermining the hard work and prayers of others by saying to our community "this is a hypocrite-who can take seriously anything he and his church have said and done?"
  • Heaping judgment and endless problems on the person I would have committed adultery with.
  • Catching possible diseases: gonorrhea, syphilis, chlamydia, herpes, and AIDS (pain, constant reminder to me and my wife, possible infection of Nanci, or in the case of AIDS, even causing her death, as well as mine.)
  • Causing possible pregnancy, with its personal and financial implications, including a lifelong reminder of sin to me and my family.
  • Loss of self-respect, discrediting my own name, and invoking shame and lifelong embarrassment upon myself.






















[1] This list was adapted for my use from Randy Alcorn’s message called: “Deterring Immorality by Counting Its Cost--The exorbitant price of sexual sin” found at this website:


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