6. Succumbing to sexual sin.
It is so obviously wrong and horribly harmful – yet it is so incredibly common. Outright adultery is painfully common in ministry leadership, and pornography is even more pervasive. Do not succumb to it! Remember the biblical fall of King David, which began with idleness, roving eyes, and a lustful heart, then descended to adultery and murder. Stop the downfall when it’s a spark, not a flame – and certainly before it’s a wildfire.
In other words, don’t resist temptation, ‘flee it’. Sometimes we mix up biblical principles in life decisions. For instance, we exalt ourselves and then pray for humility when the Bible says ‘humble yourselves and He will exalt you at the right time’.
Another one is that we ‘flee Satan’ and resist temptation but actually the Bible says, ‘resist Satan and he will flee from you’ and ‘flee temptation’. Do not trust in your own strength to resist. Instead, flee temptation and fill your heart with a love for Christ and your spouse.
When a heart is filled with Godly love there is no room for the obsessions of sexual idolatry. Ask the Lord to give you a revulsion to even the thought of sexual immorality and an obsession with the joy of the marriage bed, which is holy. Then find friends of the same gender who will love you enough to pray for you and hold you accountable while encouraging you to ‘fix your eyes on Jesus’.
Remember that a saved sinner is still a sinner, and never put yourself in harm’s way. Never. And never rely on your own strength: ‘Put no confidence in the flesh’ (Phil. 3:3), while always depending wholly upon the grace of God in Christ.
This book excerpt was adapted from 3D Leadership by Harry L. Reeder III, with permission from Christian Focus Publications. You can learn further about the aids to spiritual formation as well in his book.
Dr. Reeder has served for almost 20 years as senior pastor of the 4,000+ member Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Birmingham, Alabama, birthplace of the PCA denomination. His radio ministry, In Perspective, is broadcast on stations nationally. Through Briarwood’s Embers to a Flame ministry, Reeder and the ministry leadership team teach, coach, and mentor church leaders across the country and around the world. Pastor Reeder and his wife, Cindy, live in Birmingham, Alabama.
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