“Overcoming Life’s Unending Struggles”
In Unguarded Moments—God is THERE
1st Corinthians 10:12-13
Part 2 Continued from June 15th
Jesus, the radical
“Why does Jesus paint this shocking picture? I believe He wants us to take radical steps, to do whatever is necessary to deal with sexual temptation.
Now, the hand and eye are not the causes of sin. A blind man can still lust and a man without a hand can still steal. But the eye is a means of access for both godly and ungodly input. And the hand is a means of performing righteous or sinful acts. We must therefore govern what the eye looks at and the hand does.
If we take Jesus seriously, we need to think far more radically about sexual purity.
The battle is too intense, and the stakes are too high to approach purity casually or gradually.
Some men fall into mental adultery through lingerie ads, billboards, women joggers in tight pants, women with low cut blouses or short skirts, cheerleaders or dancers, movies, TV shows, and commercials of the beer-and-bikini variety. Some men’s weakness is the Sunday newspaper’s ad inserts or nearly any magazine.
So, stop looking. And then stop putting yourself in the position to look!
If you have to get rid of your TV to guard your purity, do it.
If it means you can’t go to games because of how dancers or cheerleaders dress and perform, so be it. If it means you have to lower your head and close your eyes, so be it. If you’re embarrassed to do that, stay home.
Tell your wife about your struggles. Or if you’re single, tell a godly friend. If you need to drop the newspaper because of those ads, fine. If you need your wife to go through it first and pull out the offending inserts, ask her.
Romans 13:14 instructs us to “make no provision for the flesh” (NASB).
It’s a sin to deliberately put ourselves in a position where we’ll likely commit sin. Whether it’s the lingerie department, the swimming pool, or the workout room at an athletic club--if it trips you up, stay away from it.
Proverbs describes the loose woman meeting up with the foolish man after dark (see Proverbs 7:8-9). We must stay away from people, places, and contexts that make sin more likely.
If it’s certain bookstores or hangouts, stay away from them. If cable or satellite TV or network TV, old friends from high school, the Internet, or computers are your problem, get rid of them.
Just say no to whatever is pulling you away from Jesus. Remember, if you want a different outcome, you must make different choices.
If you can’t be around women wearing swimsuits without looking and lusting, then don’t go on vacation where women wear swimsuits. If that means not going water-skiing or to a favorite resort, fine. If it means being unable to go on a church-sponsored retreat, don’t go.
Sound drastic? Compare it to gouging out an eye or cutting off a hand!
But there are hardly any decent TV shows anymore. Then stop watching TV. Read books. Have conversations.
But all the newer novels have sex scenes. Then read the old novels. Read fiction from Christian publishers.
But I’ve subscribed to Sports Illustrated for thirty years, back before they had the swimsuit issue. They have it now. So drop your subscription. And tell them why.
But it’s almost impossible to rent a movie without sex and offensive language. There are Christian movie review sites that can help you make good selections for family viewing. There are also services which offer edited movies, television adaptors which edit profanity, and DVD software that cuts offensive scenes from movies.
But suppose there were no decent movies – what then? I enjoy good movies, but the Bible never commands us, “Watch movies.” It does command us, “Guard your heart.”
It’s a battle--battles get bloody. Do whatever it takes to walk in purity!
A friend wrote a daily contract that asks these questions:
“Are you willing to do whatever’s necessary to protect your sexual sobriety? Ask God for help? Call on others? Go to meetings? Read literature? Set boundaries and not cross them? Be brutally honest?”
But you’re talking about withdrawing from the culture. What you’re saying is too radical.
No, what I’m saying is nothing. Jesus said, “If it would keep you from sexual temptation, you’d be better off poking out your eye and cutting off your hand.” Now that’s radical.
Many claim they’re serious about purity, but then they say, “No way; I’m not going to give up cable TV,” or “I’m not going to have my wife hold the computer password.”
Followers of Jesus have endured torture and given their lives in obedience to Him. And we’re whining about giving up cable?
When Jesus called us to take up our crosses and follow Him (see Matthew 10:38), didn’t that imply sacrifices greater than forgoing Internet access?
How sold out are you to the battle for purity?
How desperate are you to have victory over sin?
How radical are you willing to get for your Lord?
How much do you want the joy and peace that can be found only in Him?”
Purity comes only to those who truly want it. For David that desire came too late; will it come to late for you also?
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.
This sermon concludes on June 17th.
For more from Discover the Book Ministries, please visit discoverthebook.org.