A Cry for Sexual Purity.
Answer to a brief message from a young man struggling for sexual purity against pornography.
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Thank you for writing. I am encouraged by your desire for purity. The Lord desires it for you too. There is a lot that could be said but I hope with the Lord’s help to point you in the right direction. Please read Romans 7 and 8. Then read chapter 6. Ask the Lord to give you understanding. Paul talks about two different ways people go about serving the Lord. One – described in detail in Romans 7 – is to try with natural human strength to obey God’s laws. That doesn’t work. We all have a sin principle in our flesh that is too strong for us. All of us!
But there is another way. God’s plan is for Christ to literally come to live within us by the Spirit. Then we overcome, not by trying hard, but by in faith yielding to Christ within. Then in his strength we can rule over our bodies and serve him. Has Christ come in? Have you ever truly given everything to him and surrendered to him as Lord? That is the only starting point. Then it is a matter of learning and growing in faith.
One of the key battlegrounds for all of us is our minds. What do we think about? Satan will attack our weak areas by constantly injecting thoughts that lead in the wrong direction. It is only through Christ that we can take control of our minds. We don’t have to just yield our minds to any thought that comes along. One of the keys is to think about positive, profitable things. If we just let our minds “drift” along then the battle becomes trying NOT to think about bad things. Instead we need to consciously think about good things, particularly the things of God. He wants to be close to you and for you to learn to live in His presence. If you are occupied with talking with Him about everything and listening to Him and thinking about the Word of God and His wonderful promises your mind will be too busy to dwell on sinful things.
Many times our sinful actions involve activities: things we do and places we go. Think about the patterns, the habits that precede sinful actions. Sin doesn’t just happen. It is like a seed that is planted and then springs up. It is also like an animal being enticed into a trap. Something appeals to him and when he gets too close the trap springs shut and he is caught. For example suppose an alcoholic habitually goes to a certain bar to drink with friends. Wouldn’t it make sense for him to stay away even from the neighborhood where that bar is? Why even go near it if he truly wants to be free? Satan is very clever to get us into a weak place where he knows we habitually fail. He gets us to presumptuously trust in our own strength to resist as in, “I can walk past that bar and I’ll be just fine.” Don’t flirt with sin. Be honest about personal weaknesses. You’re not that strong. No one is. That’s why we need a Savior.
1 Thess. 4:3-5 says, “It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God.” NIV. It wouldn’t make sense for God to declare something to be His will for us knowing we couldn’t do it – and not make a way for us! The answer is Christ, not just for forgiveness, but also as One sent to live his life within us and change us from the inside out. Galatians 2:20.
Seek God from your heart for understanding in these things and ask Him to teach you His way of living and overcoming. Like it is when you turn a ship around everything may not happen at once but there still is a change of direction. God will help you if you truly want to be helped. Remember 1 Thess. 5:23-24.