WINNING THE BATTLE

October 15, 2021

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The strategy for temptation targeting our spirit is to cultivate a deep, intimate, personal relationship with our Father God through Jesus Christ by the Holy Spirit. We must also learn to hate (i.e., completely separate from) sin even as God hates it (Psalms 97:10.Proverbs 8:13.Hebrews 1:9). Then when temptation comes, we will realize;

This temptation threatens everything I hold dear! (Romans 6:23)

Jesus died a bloody death on the cross to purchase all of me! (1 Corinthians 6:20)

I have no right or authority to even consider this sin! (Ephesians 5:3)

We must “reckon” ourselves dead to sin (Romans 6:11,12). We must live our Christian life based on the fact that sinful nature’s power was broken for us by Jesus at Calvary. Consequently, we are under no obligation to obey its orders (1 Corinthians 9:27). We have been set free from sin, and the proper response is to read God’s emancipation proclamation to the insistent demands of the Adamic nature!

We must realize we are responsible for all sins that we commit after salvation. The believer must know that before salvation, we could not help but sin. After salvation, we sin as a free choice (similar to Adam in the Garden of Eden) (Romans 6:14).

We must count on the fact of our possession of the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4). This will free us from depending upon our own strength to live sinless (1). We will then recognize the necessity of being moment by moment filled (i.e., lead) by the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18). The Holy Spirit will then do two things for us:

  • He will suppress the activities of the evil nature (Galatians 5:16).

  • He will produce in the believer a Christlike life (2 Corinthians 3:18).

There are just two things that the believer must do to be moment by moment lead by the Holy Spirit (John 7:37-39):

  • Sincerely desire His leading demonstrated by living an obedient life (Acts 5:32).

  • Ask the Lord Jesus for that leading and believe that He will do it (Luke 11:13).

Three Tough Questions:

  • How long will you live as if you are free to do your will and not God’s?

  • How long will you fellowship with a sin that crucified our Lord?

  • How long will you continue to sin against our Holy God?

We can start today to win the victory over this sin in your life by praying the following:

Heavenly Father, I rebelled against You by committing the sin of ________.  I now see that You were right in forbidding it – this sin is destroying my life. I deeply regret this act of rebellion against you, my Holy and Loving Father. Please forgive me of my sin and cleanse me now from this defilement.  I ask for Jesus’ victory over this sin to be displayed in my life that you might be glorified. Thank you, Heavenly Father, for the presence of the Holy Spirit in my heart.  Lord Jesus, may those seeing and hearing me see You – be glorified in and through my life today!  Holy Spirit, please reveal the thoughts, words, actions, and attitude of the Lord Jesus in and through my life today.  Let the world see in me the one they so desperately need – the Lord Jesus Christ!  Thank you for continually leading me in life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen

(Please read in addition Proverbs 28:13.1 John 1:9.2 Corinthians 7:9,10)

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Questions, comments, prayer requests, just want to say hello, please feel free to email us, blessings.

Prayer is a surprising strategy for changing the world. Sometimes our prayers feels weak. We feel awkward trying. So we neglect prayer.

if we feel inept at prayer, it is because of our relationship to God. If we have been distant and negligent in our prayers, then they will feel the same way. We may need to have an individual revival in order to draw nearer to God. The best way to do this is to get a bible promise book and start reading all the promises God has made to us. He made those promises because He loves us and desires nothing more than to be close to us.

The second thing we need to do is discover a lost art in prayer. I can not remember a living preacher broaching this subject. Waiting on God in prayer. If you prayed 5 minutes than you should be silent and wait on God for Him to answer. Imagine talking to a loved one on the phone and asking a bunch of questions and then hanging up before they could ever answer.

Third, we need to plan, execute, evaluate, adjust, get better at it, and keep going in our prayer life. Like lifting weights. You will not gain strength or muscle if you do not increase the weight and intensity. We should do the same in prayer. We should also pray before, during, and after everything else we do. I am always amazed at the resistance I get in my prayer seminars from Christians who refuse to believe or put into practice praying about everything we do. The example I always give is, “do you pray before you go grocery shopping, that you do not over spend and the things you buy are actually good for you.” When I mention idea I hear “that is utter nonense.” But yet the bible says we are to bring all things to Gd in prayer. People who resist this idea are the same ones that have a boxed in God, He is allowed into some parts of our lives but not all.

Why so much prayer? For two reasons.

First, we’re picking a fight with demons: “We do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness” (Eph. 6:12). What would you think of soldiers who go up against enemy tanks with squirt guns? That’s us—without prayer. We’re not just fighting websites. We’re fighting the unseen forces that put their dazzling, blinding powers on the surface of porn’s hideous evils.

In a way, I find the Bible’s teaching about Satan comforting. It means that we human beings aren’t responsible for all the evil in this world. But it’s also sobering. It’s why Jesus taught us to pray, “Deliver us from evil” (Matt. 6:13). Washington can’t do that for us. But God can. Only God can.

Which gives us a second reason for saturating every effort with prayer: we’re fighting our battles by God’s strategies. “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds” (2 Cor. 10:4 NIV). We don’t have to get mean. We have prayer. The early Christians understood that, and it’s why they kept winning—against the odds. For example, the apostle Paul wrote, “Strive together with me in your prayers to God on my behalf” (Rom. 15:30). And this “striving” language means fighting, struggling. It’s how we call on God to send in the reinforcements only he commands against powers only he can defeat.

Think of your King this way, and you’ll pray more confidently.

The Lord Jesus Christ reigns today. He is in the control room of the universe. All the sins of man and machinations of Satan ultimately have to enhance the glory and kingdom of our Savior. We have become too enemy-conscious. We need to be more God-conscious, knowing that we have power over all the power of the enemy (Luke 10:19). He has already lost control because of Calvary, where the Lamb was slain.

So let’s pray not just against the allure of porn but also for the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus said, “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (Luke 11:13). We think, The better the gift, the less God is willing to give it. But the truth is the opposite. “How much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit . . .” We don’t have to deserve the Holy Spirit, but we do have to ask: “. . . to those who ask him!” God is calling us into a lifestyle prayer so that we experience lifelong power. Real kingdom advance isn’t mechanical or automatic, like an assembly line with us pushing buttons and in control.

Real kingdom advance is personal—our King himself drawing near to you and your brothers, sensitive to you, listening to you. It’s you guys asking him for his power again and again. What he’s after is not just a whole new world of nobility but a whole new world of nobility so obviously miraculous that you’re blown away by what only he can do. Prayer is where that miracle keeps happening.

You can start each day with a simple prayer for yourself. Like this: “Lord, I needed you yesterday. I need you again today. You’ve given me a task that’s beyond me. So please increase my faith both right now and that it will grow, however you see my need. Thank you. In your holy name. Amen.” It isn’t complicated. It’s just the Lord’s Prayer—“Your kingdom come”—in your own words. It will work, not because you’re twisting God’s arm but precisely because you don’t have to twist his arm. Not because your words are convincing but because your Father is willing.

You can pray also for worldwide awakening. Wouldn’t it be amazing to see the next historic revival starting deep inside the porn industry? I have no time for “revival” if all it means is some nice suburban church improving its comfortable lifestyle while easing into heaven on cruise control. The revival I’m praying for is the risen King coming down into the lowest hell of porn and gently forgiving the bosses, the investors, the videographers, the performers, the website managers, the advertisers, the users, and everyone driving that engine of oppression. Our King can pour out upon anyone a joy they’ve never known. And I will never stop praying for that. Will you join me?

If we ask for that mighty blessing, I’ll be shocked if Jesus says no.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Questions, comments, prayer requests, testimonies, just want to say hello, I’m always excited to get pictures of where you live or pictures of how you mark your bible.

Do you actually believe you are changing?

You have to believe in change, you have to believe that God can change you. You have to delete unbelief from your life.

Now, you believe in change, you can see it, measure it. It may be small victories at first but they are still victories.

Along the way, how are you changing? Where were you before, and where are you now? That story deserves to be told.

Why not compose a simple narrative of your before-and-after—not how Jesus saved you in the past but how Jesus is helping you in the present. Be ready to share it with anyone at any time. Your story—the more vulnerable, the better—might earn you a longer conversation at another time.

Your experience will give hope to men who are drifting. They feel stuck. They want out. But they can’t see an exit sign anywhere in their world. That’s where you come in. Tell them how you’re breaking free. Many men will join you and your brothers. It starts with small talk—which is a big deal. How about sitting down at your laptop and thinking it through? Your goal is “a good story well told.” So make your words modest, few, and from the heart. When a friend does you the honor of listening, just tell him, in a forthright, gentle way, how Jesus is surprising you. It is very loving to open a new door for someone else, whether or not he decides to walk through it.

And humor helps. Laughter can’t be pompous. And surely your story has some hilarity built into it. Capitalize on that. Who expects a Christian story to include laughing at ourselves? But it should. I speak at a lot of men’s meetings and conventions. I always dress down a little bit and make my speech a little rough or course, no swearing, just honest, guys in the garage talking. No church speak. It is amazing how many men come up and say; “if you are a pastor,, then how come our pastor never talks to us this candidly?”

Doesn’t everyone need a hope bigger than their own idiot moments? And how can the porn industry thrive in a world where more and more men are talking Jesus up—and enjoying it—rather than dragging women down?

When I do group therapy for violent sex offenders in prison, I record the conversations. They all know it will not be used in court; I give them a contract which I sign declaring my confidentiality. Then I play it back and make one comment, “when you were seven, would you ever describe your mom like this?” It is like hitting a guy upside the head with a hammer, they realize they have devalued women.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Betty C. her son who is mentally ill, was shot and killed by the police today because he did not understand their commands to put the gun down.

Remember J.C. Hickman in prayer, fellow biker, battling cancer.

Pray for Lauren, salvation and the most self destructive person I have ever met. She is on the edge and does not realize it.

Keep Steve H in prayer, vim and vigor, guidance at a new phase in his life or we should say assurance and encouragement. Pam his wife needs healing of her knees.

Linda, salvation, and very simple, if she does not stop drinking she will die and soon.

YOUR BATTLE AGAINST PORN

September 25, 2021

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I became a licensed sexual addiction counselor in 1991. Since then I’ve seen hundreds of men gain victory over pornography. I believe the battle against porn is tougher than the battle against heroin or any other drug addiction. And please do not think I am just some Ivy League theorist, I have conquered both wars through my relationship with Christ. It is a winnable war. But it is a war that you must wage forever, and it means a complete change in lifestyle to win.

Here’s your biggest contribution to God’s new world. Just be a man of growing integrity. Who you are deep in your heart empowers what you do out in the public eye.

Your personal goal is nothing less than to be “a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work” (2 Tim. 2:21). As your Master shapes you into that vessel for honorable use, the devil’s world of oppression loses ground, more than you can see. The crucial battle is won deep within you. Then you’ll be ready for whatever public impact he plans to give you.

Not that it’s easy. This old poem tells us, in blunt language, how the Lord hammers on us for his royal purposes:

When God wants to drill a man

And thrill a man

And skill a man

When God wants to mold a man

To play the noblest part

When He yearns with all His heart

To create so great and bold a man

That all the world shall be amazed,

Watch His methods, watch His ways!

How He ruthlessly perfects

Whom He royally elects!

How He hammers him and hurts him

And with mighty blows converts him

into shapes and forms of clay

Which only God can understand!

How He bends but never breaks

When his good He undertakes

How He uses whom He chooses

And with mighty power infuses him

With every act induces him

To try His splendor out!

God knows what He’s about.

Stay there on his anvil, Son, however his hammer falls. It’s a hard place. But it won’t make you hard. It’s where God reshapes you for the gentle authority that moves history.

The men who chip away at the porn industry will be the men who’ve had their own rough edges knocked off.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

markedup-bible

My conviction is, the more the Bible is studied, the more there is found in it to be studied. Fresh light, assurance, power, joy, help, grace, and blessing, break out from it. It is like the dawn, ever new in its light; like the air, ever fresh in its vitality; like the food, ever nourishing in its feed; like the flowers, ever beautiful in their variety; like the body, ever unifying in its organism; like the blood, ever pulsating in its energy; and like the electric current, ever powerful in its movement.

This is why Satan does all that he can to keep us from even a cursory reading, let alone a constant deep perusing and study of scripture. As I have often opined, how amazed I am that after 45 years of daily bible study, bible college, seminary, doctrinal work, pastor, being a student of the bible, every day I am surprised at what new light is discovered.

I look at my preaching bible that I have had from the beginning, the tabs, the highlighting, the underlining, pages glued in, post it notes taped in, and yet I will read one of these heavily marked passages and something new jumps out.

The bible is alive, powerful, a discerner of spirits and two edged sword it is life it is vitality. The highest compliment ever given to me was by a pastor from South Africa who introduced me once at a bible conference as a man who if pricked with a needle would bleed bible.

“I adore the plenitude of the Scriptures, in which every letter is a word, and every word is a verse, and every verse is a chapter, and every chapter is a book, and every book is a Bible; in which every twig is a branch, and every branch is a tree, and every tree a forest, in which every drop is a rivulet, and every rivulet is a river, and every river a bay, and every bay an ocean, and every ocean all waters.” Tertulien.

We believe in the plenary inspiration of Scripture. The word “inspiration” is equivalent to “inbreathed” There is a quality there which is found to the same extent and in the same manner nowhere else, and it is self-evident.

“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable” (2 Tim. 3:16).

The heart of Scripture is “the Word of God.” As our Lord became incarnate in human flesh, with the weakness and needs of human nature, though not its sins, so He is—so to speak—incarnate in Scripture. There is a sense, therefore, in which we may say that in the Holy Scripture, the Word has become flesh and tabernacles among us.

The late Hudson Taylor (read any and all biographies on him and you will be both challenged and blessed) used to kindle his little lamp, and spend two hours at night reading his Bible, while the Chinese who shared the inn with him lay around asleep. He said that it was only by the written Word that he could feed on Him who is the Spirit and Life of Scripture. “The connection between the written Word and the Incarnate Word is so close and intimate that you can no more separate them than you can separate body and soul, or soul and spirit.”

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Remember August 8th, 2021 a day of fasting and prayer for Revival in America.

I would ask that you pray for me, I live daily in worsening, crippling chronic pain. I will be at the VA hospital all day tomorrow getting more xrays, tests, prodding and poking as they try to figure out a new regimen of medicines, acupuncture, massage therapy, water therapy. Anything and everything. This is one reason I ask my friends to send me as many jokes as possible. Besides being lost in the spirit, laughing is really the best medicine.

bad girl

Since we consider the Bible to relevant, and God’s inspired word, than we consider the instructions and principles to be applied to how we live today.

Consider what Paul said to Timothy, a young single pastor in Ephesus:

Do not rebuke an older man harshly, but exhort him as if he were your father. Treat younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity.

1 Timothy 5:1-2

Essentially, Paul says that outside of marriage, one’s interactions with the opposite sex should look like a natural brother and sister relationship. In fact, he says it should be identified by “absolute purity.”

Again, most Christian dating relationships follow the pattern of the world. When I was a student, they called it first-base, second-base, third-base, and home. Couples went from holding hands, to kissing, to heavy petting, to sex. Now days it sex on the first date.

However, Scripture presents a very different picture—a familial one. A dating relationship, in many ways, should resemble a sibling relationship. We have forgotten a great principle, dating should be like being with a family person. Friendship, companionship, nothing crossing a boundary.

Once the boundaries of Scripture have been eclipsed, it is often like a slippery slope. First it’s OK to hold hands, then it’s OK to kiss, then it’s OK to cuddle and touch one another, then it’s OK to have sex because eventually you’re going to get married anyway—one reasons. This is a pathway to destruction.

I always encourage couples to declare their boundaries when initially considering dating someone. If that person is not willing to keep those boundaries, then move on. It is a lot harder to pull somebody up, than to pull somebody down. In dating and courtship, it’s important to be equally yoked, especially when it comes to purity.

A Warning about Clothing

In guarding your brother or sister, one of the things that must be considered is clothing. This is especially true for a woman since her body is more alluring than a man’s. That is why in many cultures, it is socially acceptable for a man to have his shirt off and not a woman. It seems that God made the woman’s body that way—it is the more delicate vessel (1 Peter 3:7). Also, this is especially important for women because men are typically more visually stimulated, while women are more emotionally stimulated.

In 1 Timothy 2:9-10, Paul said,

I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God.

This means that a Christian woman should avoid extremes in her clothing. She should not be known for dressing haggardly nor with expensive clothing, as is so common amongst the world. Peter, similarly, said this:

Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.

1 Peter 3:3-4

However, this modesty, especially, applies to provocative dress, which can cause others to stumble. It will be very hard for a woman to avoid provocative clothing, as Satan is the ruler of this world (John 12:31), which includes the fashion industry. Sex drives the fashion industry. Shorts and skirts continue to get shorter, tops reveal more cleavage, and pants are tighter. For a woman to dress modestly, she will have to go against the flow and be very strategic and particular in her purchases.

Dressing modestly is important to maintain purity and to protect a dating relationship. As a female, you don’t want to open the door for the enemy into your courtship. Also, you don’t want a man who is primarily attracted to you because of your figure. Solomon’s mother said “charm” or “form” is deceitful, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised (Prov 31:30). You should want a man who is primarily attracted to you because of your love and obedience to the Lord, which includes modesty. Be careful of your clothing, as it can be a stumbling block to your brothers, and it will make it harder to stay pure in a courting relationship.

With that said, this is also true for men. Men need to consider their clothing in order to not be a stumbling block to their sisters. Men should be careful of wearing t-shirts that are 3X too small and pants or shirts that are also to tight.

How is your clothing? Could it potentially be a stumbling block to others?

If you are going to win the battle for purity, you must guard members of the opposite sex by treating them as brothers and sisters with all purity and being modest in your dress.

Reflection

What are the common sexual practices of the world in regards to dating/courting? And do yof

u know the difference between dating and courting?

What type of Christian instruction did you receive in regards to one’s conduct in dating/courtship relationships? What did that instruction include?

How would you apply Paul’s exhortation to treat younger members of the opposite sex as siblings with absolute purity to dating/courting relationships (1 Tim 5:2)?

Do you feel as though Christian brothers and sisters often model the clothing standards of the world in regards to immodesty? How can we better hold one another accountable in regards to dress?

What other questions or thoughts do you have about this section?

In what ways can you pray in response? Take a second to pray as the Lord leads.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

clock b4 midnight

The next strategy is guarding our free time. One of the major reasons people engage in sexual sins, such as pornography and masturbation, is simply boredom—not having anything else productive to do. The Bible seems to provide evidence of this. Unwise stewardship of time probably contributed to David’s adulterous affair with Bathsheba. Consider the narrative:

In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war, David sent Joab out with the king’s men and the whole Israelite army. They destroyed the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained in Jerusalem. One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of the palace. From the roof he saw a woman bathing. The woman was very beautiful, and David sent someone to find out about her. The man said, “Isn’t this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite?” Then David sent messengers to get her. She came to him, and he slept with her. (She had purified herself from her uncleanness.) Then she went back home.

2 Samuel 11:1-4

In this story, the events occurred in the spring when kings typically went off to war; however, instead of going to battle, David sent the entire Israelite army while he stayed home. Next, David had a sleepless night and then decided to walk on the roof of his palace. While walking, he noticed a beautiful woman bathing. He saw, he lusted, and then he committed adultery with her.

Temptation, Time, opportunity, wherewithal (money, booze, drugs, etc.)it’s at that moment you have to be on guard. The fact is that if you haven’t had a spiritual controlled response to the temptation, you’ve already failed.

Many men and women have had similar experiences. They were up late with nothing productive to do. They found themselves watching a show they shouldn’t be watching, in a chatroom they shouldn’t be in, on a website they shouldn’t be on, or having a conversation they shouldn’t be having. Like David, many are led into lust by not guarding their time.

There is more biblical evidence of the temptations associated with boredom. First Timothy 5:13 says this about widows and idleness: “Besides, they get into the habit of being idle and going about from house to house. And not only do they become idlers, but also gossips and busybodies, saying things they ought not to.” Not having a husband leads the widows to idleness, and in turn, the widows become gossips and busybodies. There is a lot of truth to the saying, “An idle mind is the devil’s workshop.” When we have free time, it is often then that our enemy attacks. Loneliness, boredom, and procrastination are times when we are especially prone to lust, depression, addiction, and other temptations.

In addition, Paul says this in Ephesians 5:15-17: “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.”

Why should we be careful to use our time wisely? Paul says because the days are evil—meaning that if we make poor choices with our time, there is a tendency to fall into the evil of the day. There is a tendency to fall into sin.

This is not only true about lust but any sin. When do people typically get drunk? In their free time. When do people typically struggle with pornography? In their free time. When do people indulge in addictions? In their free time. Satan realizes that our free time is prime real estate for temptation. Therefore, we must make the best use of our time.

In fact, “making the best use of the time” can be translated “redeeming the time” or “buying back the time.” The word redeeming “was used of buying a slave in order to set him free.”i We must redeem our time from the slavery of evil and instead use it for God.

How do we redeem our time and make “the best” use of it? Paul said that we must know and do God’s will (v. 17).

For example, in the story of David’s fall into adultery, he probably should have been at war instead of at home. As the king of Israel, he was called to fight the battles of Israel and to, specifically, conquer all of Canaan, as it was promised by God to Abraham’s descendants. Therefore, during David’s temptation, he was not using his time to do God’s will—he was missing God’s will. This is true for many Christians. Instead of using their time to get involved in church, small group, or youth group, instead of using their summer to grow in the Lord or do missions, they waste it and open doors to fall into the evil of the day. If we are going to walk in victory over lust (and any other sin for that matter), we must redeem the time and use it to know and do God’s will.

How are you using your time? Are you redeeming it for God and his purposes? Or are you falling into the evil of the day?

Reflection

How have you found yourself more prone to lust and other temptations in your free time?

How can you better redeem your time and use it to do God’s will?

What other questions or thoughts do you have about this section?

In what ways can you pray in response? Take a second to pray as the Lord leads.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Remember our prayer list both for salvation and other prayers.

Please pray for my wife Sharon, she has spinal surgery tomorrow (Friday) at 9am CST USA.

black steel helmet near black and gray handle sword

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Consider what Paul said in 2 Corinthians 10:4-5:

The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

Like Matthew 5:29-30, this passage uses warfare terminology for our battle against sin. In order to be holy and pure, both in heart and body, we must fight. War isn’t easy. Our enemy is relentless in trying to conquer his prey, and lust is one of his most commonly used weapons. In this battle for our mind, Paul says we must “take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”

Satan always targets the mind—it is our primary battlefield. He bombards every believer’s mind with sexual images and thoughts. He does this through the world system which he rules and his myriads of demons. He understands that if he can control the mind, he can control the body. So, if we are going to “learn to control our bodies in a way that is pure and honorable,” (1 Thess 4:4) we must fight to control our mind.

Satan’s attack on our mind overlaps with his attacks on our eyes and ears. It is through the eyes and ears that input is given to the mind. Therefore, by guarding the first two, we guard the latter. However, that is not the only way we guard our mind.

How else should we guard our mind?

  1. In order to guard our mind, we must recognize ungodly thoughts and ideas by testing them against God’s Word.

David said this in Psalm 19:7: “The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple.”

The Hebrew word for “simple” has the meaning of “open-minded.” “The ancient Jews described it as someone whose mind was like an open door: everything went in and everything went out.” This person is gullible and will believe anything. His mind is open even to thoughts and images that should be rejected. However, David says that by filling the mind with God’s Word, one becomes wise to discern what is not of God (cf. Heb 5:14). Wisdom in Scripture primarily refers to knowledge of God and obedience to him (cf. Prov 9:10). That is why Scripture describes the “fool” as one who says there is no God (Psalm 14:1).

A person who does not know the Word of God will have difficulty testing what is not good and therefore have difficulty protecting himself. His mind will continually be saturated by ungodly thoughts, sexual images, and lusts meant to control and destroy him. He will lack the power and discernment to close the door on sexual thoughts and many times will not only accept them but also cultivate them.

If we are going to protect our mind, we must recognize what is not godly. When watching TV shows, listening to music, or engaging in risqué conversations that cultivate and stir lust, the simple accepts what pollutes his soul, while the wise recognizes what would dishonor God’s temple (1 Cor 6:19).

With all that said, guarding our mind does not stop at recognizing what is ungodly by testing it against God’s Word.

  1. In order to guard our mind, we must reject the ungodly by using God’s Word.

While the simple opens the door, the wise closes the door. Again, this is done first by recognizing what is wrong and then using Truth to combat what is false and sinful. When Christ was tempted by Satan in the wilderness, he quoted Scripture to reject Satan and his lies. We should do the same. Arm yourself by memorizing Bible verses related to lust and purity such as:

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

Matthew 5:27-28 (ESV)

Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

1 Corinthians 6:18-20 (ESV)

For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God; that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you. For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.

1 Thessalonians 4:2-8 (ESV)

Personally, when attacked by lust, I quote relevant Scriptures, confess wrong thoughts, lusts, and images before the Lord, and ask him to take them away. In our war for our mind, we must “take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”

  1. In order to guard our mind, we may at times need to command the devil to leave in Jesus name.

Again, when Jesus was tempted in the wilderness, he initially responded to the temptation with quoting Scripture, but ultimately he commanded the devil to leave. Matthew 4:10-11 describes this:

Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.’” Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to him.

Similarly, at times you may need to do this. When battles with lust, pornography, and illicit sex are especially difficult, we can be sure that the enemy has set up camp in these areas, and we may need to pray in authority over these demonic strongholds to be broken in the name of Jesus.

Some struggle with this idea of demonic involvment, arguing that authority over the demonic was exclusively for Christ and his apostles. However, I believe there are many evidences that demonstrate this is for every believer. For instance:

Christ is our perfect model for everything in life, including spiritual warfare (cf. Phil 2:5-11, Heb 12:2-4. 1 Peter 2:21-24).

We should model his life as the perfect example of humanity. His example in defeating the devil in the wilderness is not only descriptive but prescriptive.

Other believers commanded demons to leave throughout the New Testament.

In Acts 16:18, Paul commanded a spirit of divination to leave a slave girl in the name of Jesus. And in Acts 8:6-7, Philip, who was possibly one of the early deacons, also cast out demons. Yes, Paul was an apostle but Philip was not. This was practiced by the early church.

First, don’t be quick to blame in on a demon. We are our own worst enemy.

Second, don’t be lax, and think there can’t be possible demonic involvement. I want to say it takes great spiritual maturity to know when something like that is actually occurring.

Third, it will depend on the church you go to, Pentecostals see demons everywhere and never take personal responsibility. Liberals churches scoff at the idea of demons, or even the devil and everyone is going to heaven. Even some Evangelical churches reject the idea.

Fourth, demonic strongholds if they exist does not imply demonic possession. Christians cannot be possessed of a demon, or cursed, or have a bloodline curse.

This is was covered in our spiritual warfare series. If you have questions about it email me.

Finally, Scripture indicates that Christ has given us his authority based on our union with him.

Ephesians 1:20-22 describes his position of authority at the right hand of the Father seated above powers and principalities (the demonic) in the heavenly realm. And then Ephesians 2:6 describes how believers are seated with him. Again, this seating is not primarily a location but a position of authority which believers have in Christ. In fact, one day we will judge fallen angels with him because of this position (1 Cor 6:3). We have authority over the demonic just as the apostles and the early church, and we are called to conquer them with the spiritual weapons God has given us (cf. Eph 6:10-19).

Unfortunately, many believers neglect this authority not only to their own detriment but also to the detriment of others. When Christ sent believers into the world to proclaim the gospel, he sent them in all the authority given to him (Matt 28:18-20). We need this authority not just to spread the gospel but also for spiritual warfare.

Christ’s authority is important in battling lust because some strongholds and temptations are not just of the flesh, they are demonic. Like Christ in the wilderness, Paul, at times, recognized certain obstacles and temptations were not just of the flesh and of the world, but of the devil. Paul said this in 1 Thessalonians 2:18: “we wanted to come to you—I, Paul, again and again—but Satan hindered us” (ESV). We need to discern this as well and resist the devil.

James says this: “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (4:7). As we submit to God through his Word, prayer, and the ministry of other saints, we can resist the devil, and he will flee from us. However, at times, resistance may include commanding the demonic to leave in the name of Jesus as demonstrated by Christ and the early church.

It is not God’s will for us to live bound to lust and sexual immorality, and God has given us all the resources to walk in freedom, including his Word and his authority. Thank you, Lord, for giving us everything needed for life and godliness (cf. 2 Peter 1:3). Thank you, Lord, for your grace. Thank you, Lord, that you are creating a pure and blameless Bride for your pleasure (cf. Eph 5:25-27).

Are you guarding your mind? Are you taking every thought captive and making it obedient to Christ? Are you filling your mind with God’s Word? Are you resisting the devil’s attacks so that he flees?

Reflection

Why is the mind so important in our battle for purity?

In what ways does the enemy bombard our mind with sexual images and thoughts?

How can a person tell when certain strongholds, especially sexual ones, are also demonic?

How should we resist the devil so he flees? In what ways is God calling you to better guard your mind?

What other questions or thoughts do you have about this section?

In what ways can you pray in response? Take a second to pray as the Lord leads.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Questions, comments, feel free to email us.

Pray for Caliste Burt, brain surgery 14 hours, two tumors in September.

Bill Warneke, chronic pain and depression.

The Perales family, they need salvation and a good church.

Keep my wife Sharon in prayer, spinal surgery on Friday at 10am. She is in great pain.

Remember Steve H in prayer, vim and vigor, guidance for the church and him as they look for a pastor. God has the perfect man for them. Pray for Pam his wife, chronic knee pain.

I do not know if I mentioned this before, but Mona who was on our salvation list has accepted Jesus. I think I mentioned this before but I do not remember is I mentioned it.

Lauren is s car on fire, if she does not get saved then I see her life ending in tragedy.

32ec6-raisins

Words are tremendously powerful. In fact, Proverbs 18:21 says, “The power of life and death is in the tongue.”

Words spoken over a person’s life has the ability to direct him—drawing him into a good and wise direction or an evil direction. It can build a person up or destroy him. If one sits under godly parents who faithfully teach God’s Word and attend a good church that teaches the Truth, the “power of the tongue” will help direct him into what is good. But if one sits under ungodly teaching and ungodly conversations, it will affect his life negatively. This is especially true when it comes to sexual immorality.

Adrian Rogers had a quote that fits right in, he was quoting a famous football legend that is a great Christian who does a lot of prison ministry. The quote was made while in a prison speaking to about 100 men. “How many of you did your father say you would probably end up in jail.” The majority of the men raised their hands.

No doubt, one of Satan’s greatest tactics is to influence people sexually through the music industry. Much of today’s songs are full of sexual overtones and graphic language. Some of it is essentially lyrical pornography—meant to control and guide people away from God and into sexual strongholds.

Sadly, many Christians fall prey to this tactic of the devil. They listen to ungodly, sexually charged music all day, then wonder why they can’t control their lust and don’t desire to read the Bible. The tongue is directing their lives—leading them away from God into lusts.

Psalm 1:1 says this: “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers” (ESV). Some have called this the pathway of depravity. A person starts off listening to the “counsel” of the wicked, then he is standing in the way of sinners—practicing the same thing sinners do, and then they are in the seat of scoffers. Biblically, “scoffer” or “fool” is used of those who mock holy things. Psalm 14:1 says the fool says in his heart that there is no God. First, these people were just listening. Maybe like some Christians who listen to ungodly music, they say, “I only like it because of the beat; I don’t even listen to the lyrics.” The next thing you know, they are practicing sin, and one day they are mocking God and the practice of holiness. Satan led these poor souls astray by simply getting a hold of their ears.

In the same way, many raised in Christian homes with godly morals, such as waiting to have sex until marriage, are now sexually promiscuous just like the world. And it all started with the wrong counsel—sexually charged musical lyrics, sexual dialogue from movies, and sexually flirtatious conversations. Now, instead of following God, they mock what is holy and practice the sexual ethics of the world.

Who is speaking into your ears, and what are they saying? Are your conversations with friends full of sexual jokes and innuendo? Are your TV shows and movies promoting casual sex? If so, you won’t be able to remain pure.

Paul said this in Ephesians 5:3: “But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people.”

He said that there should not even be a “hint” of sexual immorality in our lives. Many desire to be pure but their mouths and the mouths of those they listen to are full of sexual hints that eventually bear fruit in their lives.

Are you guarding your ears? Satan keeps many Christians in bondage to lust by flooding their ears with sexual garbage.

Lord, help us to take out the garbage so we can be clean.

Reflection

In what ways does the enemy flood sexual temptation into our ears?

How have you seen or experienced the power of words, especially sexual words, in guiding one’s life?

How is God calling you to better guard your ears?

What other questions or thoughts do you have about this section?

In what ways can you pray in response? Take a second to pray as the Lord leads.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Remember our prayer list.

Caliste Burt, brain surgery in September

Continue please to keep my wife in prayer, her spinal surgery is this Friday and she is in great pain. Surgery time has been moved up to 10am.

Bill Warneke, chronic pain and depression

Steve H, encouragement, strength, vitality, guidance in finding a new church pastor. Keep his wife Pam in prayer, chronic knee pain.

SEXUAL PURITY PART 4

June 7, 2021

eyeballThe next strategy in our battle for purity is guarding our eyes. Jesus said this, “The lamp of the body is the eye. If your eye is good your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness” (Matthew 6:22-23).

What did Christ mean by the whole body being filled with light or darkness based on one’s eye? In Scripture, light typically refers to what is righteous, good, and true, and darkness refers to what is evil, bad, and perverse (cf. Ephesians 5:9). To have a good eye means for a person to continually view what is godly, and therefore, a bad eye refers to continually viewing what is ungodly. Though the context of this passage is riches, it can refer to being filled with anything that is good or bad.

The eyes are a doorway to the mind and whatever one’s mind continually thinks upon, a person will eventually do. If a person is going to be pure, he must be intentional about guarding his eyes. This will affect the types of movies watched, books read, and Internet sites visited. It will also affect how one looks at the opposite sex. For many, when they view the opposite sex, it is hard to not view them from a sexual standpoint. Their eyes continually trigger lustful thoughts and intentions, and if not combated, these eventually trigger lustful actions.

When a person views what is good or evil, it begins to “fill” them. To be filled means to be controlled by. In Ephesians 5:18, believers are called to be filled with the Spirit—controlled by it. When one is full of darkness, it means they are controlled by evil. In reference to lust, a person’s lust can become out of control, even leading to tragic acts such as sexual harassment, rape, molestation, etc.

Sexual abuse statistics are frightening! One out of three American women will be sexually abused during their lifetime. One out of four women and one out of six men will be sexually assaulted by the age of eighteen.i Four out of five sexual assaults are committed by someone known to the victim.ii Why is sexual abuse so pervasive and overwhelming? No doubt, it in part has to do with the increased access to erotic material in books, on TV, and on the Internet. The result of people viewing these materials is that eventually they can’t control themselves—they are filled and controlled by the darkness their eyes continually engage in.

Conversely, a person whose eyes are continually engaging with the Word of God and godly things will be controlled by them. Fruits of the Spirit will be born in their lives—love, joy, peace, and self-control.

What are you filled with? Are you filling yourself with light which creates righteousness or darkness which creates uncontrollable, evil urges?

how can we practically guard our eyes?

Bouncing Our Eyes

Let’s consider what Job said about disciplining his eyes. In Job 31:1, he said, “I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a girl.” In order to remain pure, Job guarded his eyes from looking at a woman lustfully. This was his continual discipline.

Some have called this “bouncing” one’s eyes. When seeing an attractive female, instead of cultivating lustful thoughts and intentions, a man quickly bounces his eyes to something else. When seeing seductive images on the TV or the Internet, instead of taking a second look, one bounces his eyes by turning the channel or closing the webpage. I had a professor in seminary who used to say; “the first look is free, the second look is sin, so make the first look fast.”

I remember one time in seminary seeing a young lady who was very attractive. I closed my eyes and prayed to God: “Lord, that woman is sooooo attractive—she will never get a second look from these eyes.” This was the type of discipline Job implemented, and it is the type of discipline we must implement as well if we are going be pure. Remember Paul encouraged the Thessalonians to “learn” how to control their bodies in a way that is holy and honorable (1 Thess 4:4). No doubt, “bouncing” their eyes in a sexually charged culture was one of those disciplines.

How else can we guard our eyes?

Praying Over Our Eyes

Another discipline we should practice is prayer. David, a man who struggled with lust and pornography, often prayed over his eyes. In Psalm 119:37, he prayed this: “Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word.”

He prayed for God to turn his eyes from the darkness of what is worthless to the light of God’s Word. Whatever we practice becomes a habit. If we’ve practiced sizing up members of the opposite sex and looking at alluring images, then we will need even more grace to break those habits. Prayer is one of the ways that God changes our eyes from being dark to light.

Lord, turn our eyes from what is worthless to what is good.

Reflection

Why is it so hard to guard our eyes in this culture?

How is your struggle with your eyes? In what ways is God calling you to better guard them?

What other questions or thoughts do you have about this section?

In what ways can you pray in response? Take a second to pray as the Lord leads.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Gwen, we were praying for a financial blessing and she got one, 52k a month for the rest of her life. Not the lottery, a great trust.

Pray for Caliste Burt, upcoming brain surgery, anxiety is weighing heavy on the family

Pray of Bill Warneke, depression and chronic pain

Pray for Paul K, depression

Remember Steve H, health and strength, guidance in finding a new pastor and healing for his wife Pam’s knees.

Remember my wife Sharon, spinal surgery this Friday at 830am, she is in tremendous pain right now.