“Fighting Sin on Changing Turf”
PERSEVERE in the new life and identity to which God has called me.
“I can see God’s faithfulness over the last [time since beginning this material]. As I have experienced victory, my temptation has changed [describe] and my ability to focus on God in non-crisis times has been stretched [examples]. I have come to realize that ‘healthy’ means more than the absence of lust. God has an entirely different agenda for my life [explain] than what I knew. I am learning to enjoy it and be comfortable in it.”
Memorize: 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5, 8 (ESV), “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… Therefore, whoever disregards this, disregards not man, but God, who gives the Holy Spirit to you.” As you memorize this passage reflect upon these key points:
- “The will of God” – You can know for certain that the changes you have and are making were God’s will for you.
- “Know how to control his own body” – This is something that every person is charged by God to learn.
- “In holiness and honor” – Sexual purity protects your relationship with God (holiness) and others (honor).
- “Not man, but God” – If you relax your efforts at persevering in purity you are primarily disregarding God.
- “Gives the Holy Spirit to you” – Do not forget the source of your strength to persevere is the Holy Spirit, not self.
“One of the things we must realize is that if God were to instantly set us free, it would then be much easier for us to return to old habits (p. 122).” Steve Gallagher in At the Altar of Sexual Idolatry
“Porn is easy. It’s trouble-free and its pleasures are instant. Marriage is hard work. It involves two sinners being thrown together in close proximity (p. 127)!… Marriage is a gift for service, and sex is gloriously given to cement that partnership. But don’t let sex become the goal of your marriage—otherwise porn may seem like a good supplement (p. 129).” Tim Chester in Closing the Window
“But I’ve found that many men can stop habitual masturbation more readily than they imagine. Once they’re persuaded that life without masturbation is better than life with masturbation (p. 93)… Every time we worship God we’re reminding ourselves that he is bigger and better than anything porn can offer (p. 99).” Tim Chester in Closing the Window
“In other words, to rightly embrace our sexuality we must bring it under the dominion of the One who created it. When we do so, we’re not fighting against our sexuality; we’re fighting for it. We’re rescuing our sexuality from being ruined by lust (p. 43).” Joshua Harris in Sex Is Not the Problem (Lust Is)
“You can’t ‘just say no’ to an evil imagination. You have to appeal in a more profound way to your imagination by working to replace the evil, dark, and wicked in your mind with the good, light, and pure (p. 22)… [God] wants you to have a vision of something so much better than living within your dark, self-centered imagination. God wants to give you a vision of life as it is meant to be, filled with real, true, and intimate relationship with him and authentic, loving relationships with others (p. 23).” David Powlison in Sexual Addiction
“[Referencing Genesis 2:23] Do not neglect the words ‘at last.’ It was through that period of searching, that period of sinless waiting on God, that Adam learned to appreciate what God ultimately provided (p. 48).” Tim Challies in Sexual Detox