Have you faced lack of interest in reading or studying the Bible after giving in to sexual temptation?
I have. Either I couldn’t “find time”, or my “quiet time” would become two minute-long “The Fast and the Frustrated” affairs.
Even when I could find time, it would be as dry as sandpaper: there used to be tons of guilt over my sexual uncleanness- God used to feel distant and there was no motivation to know more about my dear Saviour Jesus.
Has this been your exprience? Ever wondered why all this happens?
1. Feast on God’s Word
We are beings who live by finding our satisfaction in things or people. Our spirits need spiritual food.
We were designed to find our soul’s joy only in the person of God our Father and our deepest sexual fulfillment in His designs (marriage or undefiled singleness).
Lust, sexually impure images or adultery, is spiritual poison for us. We will always choose between the feast of God and the feast of the Devil.
Which is why the Bible exhorts Christians to help ourselves to the great feast (Matt 4:4) offered within it! And to battle sexual impurity,
STEP #3: Starting now, remind yourself of the Good News by which you have been given new life, the very life of Christ.
Last week, I had mentioned that it took me years to understand that sexual purity is a result of not just escaping temptation, but actively reminding myself of gospel-truths.
What are gospel-truths?
Portions of the Bible that remind me of my loving rescue by Jesus, and of the new identity I have received, and of the commands I am called to fulfill- to glorify God.
Where are these gospel-truths?
Letters or epistles of the New Testament are popular in churches today, mostly for instructions on Christian living. Yet, have you taken a second look at how the majority of these letters, inspired by the Holy Spirit , for our instruction (2 Tim 3:16-17) have been structured?
Here is a singularly curious fact – most letters, look at Romans, Ephesians, 1st Peter or Philippians, start with not the commands but- guess what? Gospel- truths. Those who become children of God through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ :
– were once dead in their sins, but made alive by God (Eph 2:1-5)
– have new life through Christ’s Resurrection (1Pet 1:3),
– have been transferred from darkness to the kingdom of Jesus (Col 1:13).
To the Christian battling porn-addiction, this is incredibly good news!
We can say no to porn, because these letters first reminded those Christians and now, us, that we are slaves of God, that we have been released from our old master- sin!
We can run – we don’t have to respond to the calls of temptation! God, thank you!!
We can counter-attack – Remind ourselves, using relevant verses on sticky notes, phone reminders, audio files, Christian lyrics and what not- of how powerful our deliverer Jesus is, and how radically He has changed us!
The commands make sense because God HAS made us clean, brand new and able to obey! This is why we must remember the gospel, and pray against unbelief about God’s Word!
2. Fight using God’s Word
Am I saying only the Epistles remind us of Jesus and His salvation? No way(Luke 24:26-27)! The Bible is the one weapon in our armoury that is priceless and without doubt, our only hope of victory against sin. ‘Do or Die’ should be our attitude when it comes to spending solid time getting the spiritual nourishment we need.
Have an urgent work meeting at 7am? Study your Bible tonight!
No space in the local train to open your Study Bible? Use e-Sword on your device!
Have 15 minutes in the auto to spare? Listen to Ephesians on your audio Bible!
Tempted whenever you sit for quiet-time? Call up a brother from church and have your quiet time when they have their’s!
It’s a Death-Race for our purity and the Devil and our sinful desires will be in the race till we breathe our last.
Go out firing all your guns! Know that Your defender is Jesus (Rom 8:31).
3. Bible-reading plans can’t set you free
Have you missed today’s Bible reading?
Did you start with a five-chapters-a-day plan but now you realise you can do just one chapter a day?
Ended up masturbating, yet again?
Do not be discouraged! God punished Christ for your heinous sin and gave you His Son’s record of righteousness and promises to make you like Jesus. Let’s be grateful and –
Do that one chapter!
Study those 3 verses on sexual purity!
Run back to Jesus who loves you and wants you to repent!
The Devil will try to make you give up your Bible reading just because your progress was not flawless. But we were so flawed anyway, that God sent His Son to die for us!
Your Bible reading plan or your pastor can’t set you free- these are instruments and people Jesus chooses to use.
Jesus alone can set you free and me free and keep us walking in daily purity (Luke 4:18).
As the Marg Sexual Purity series concludes, my hope is that you and I will walk in daily sexual purity, like our Lord did. Remember to use this Step #3 with the other two steps! We might face humbling failure, but there’s no situation He cannot change for His glory. I have experienced painful discipline when I continued in sin, yet it is His kindness that has brought me light!
I would rejoice to hear of your battles and progress. Questions and suggestions are always welcome!
Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you – unless you believed in vain. (1 Cor 15:1-2)
1. A book I highly recommend to turbo-charge your gospel-reminder efforts.
2. A powerful 60-day online course with daily Bible studies to overcome sexual addiction.
3. Are you a worship-leader struggling with sexual sin? You might want to consider this– helpful for your battle and for your church!
4. Not sure how to study the Bible? There are many good methods! I love this simple one – the Sword method.
5. Looking for long-term Bible reading plans? My current favourite, which Marg is actively doing together, is Community Bible Reading. ESV offers a slew of plans, and here is one for the four Gospels.