Freedom From Porn Addiction Devotional Series


 

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Video #26 - Exercise: It Does A Heart Good!

Your physical heart is a muscle; therefore – just like your other muscles - it gets stronger and healthier when you exercise.  People who don’t exercise are almost twice as likely to get heart disease as people who are active. 

The same principle applies to your spiritual heart as well.  In 1 Timothy 4:7-8, Paul acknowledges the benefits of physical exercise, but then quickly points out that spiritual exercise - training ourselves to be godly - is of far greater value.  Here’s what he says:  “Train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way.” 

The fact is, this battle against sexual impurity isn’t a one-n-done kinda deal, nor is it only for a brief season.  We are engaged in this spiritual warfare our entire life.  Therefore, we need the endurance of an athlete if we are going to last for the duration and avoid a full enemy takedown.

How then do we exercise toward the goal of being godly?  Just like an athlete exercises their muscles through the stress and strain of lifting weights, so we exercise our faith by putting our trust in God through the stress and strain of life.  God has commanded us to “be strong and courageous.  Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed” rather, we need to trust in the fact that “the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (Josh. 1:9).

As men, we will never be completely free from the pull of porn and the lure of lust.  It’s all around us.  Just turn on your TV, boot up your computer or tablet, open up your phone, drive down the road, walk into the grocery store - even walk into church.  Temptation is all around us.  But in the middle of all those temptations we can exercise our faith in God to help us through the battle.  

David writes in Psalm 9:10 that “Those who know (God’s) name will trust in (him), for (the) Lord (has) never forsaken those who seek (Him)”.  Guys - It is only as you “trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways (acknowledging) him … he will make your paths straight” (Prov. 3:5-6).

If you’re anything like me, I’d rather God simply removed the pull of porn and the lure of lust right along with all the other desires I battle with for sinful sexual pleasures.  Wouldn’t it be nice to never have to struggle with lust ever again?  However, if God did do that, I would be more like a weak, sickly couch potato than a trained, strong spiritual athlete.  How can I learn to trust in Him fully if I never faced another temptation?  How can I rely completely upon Him and say, “You are my God” (Psa. 31:14) if I never pick up my sword and charge into the fray?  Exercising myself toward godliness means not trusting in what  -   I  -   can do to get out of the mess I’m in (Prov. 28:26), but rather, trusting “in the name of the Lord (my) God” (Psa. 20:7).

Think about this, an athlete doesn’t become strong overnight.  He exercises for weeks and months on end.  In the same way, we must understand that the only way to build our faith in God and our ability to resist temptation in the midst of the battle is to have our faith exercised.  It is “with the temptation” that God “will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it” (1 Cor. 10:13).  God doesn’t want you to avoid the temptation - He wants you to fight your way through it and come out on the other side victorious!

Did you ever stop to consider that even the best athletes don’t want to exercise?  They have days when they’re tempted to get off that diet, not do that particular exercise, ignore the alarm and sleep in just this once.  They have to discipline themselves to do those things in spite of how they “feel.”  They make a choice, a commitment to keeping at it - staying the course - no matter what.

Are you godly?  As people look at you - do they see you, or do they see God?  Are you an imitator of God (Eph. 5:1)?  Do you want to be like God?  To become godly, to realize victory in your life over sexual impurity takes training.  It takes exercise, building spiritual strength and discipline into your life.  It requires the ability, determination and know-how to just say no to temptation.

Guys - If you want to be godly, you must faithfully trust in God; you must be a lifetime student of the Bible.  You must at all times guard your heart (Prov. 4:23) by watching and reading and listening to things that will promote godliness in your life.  You must have quiet time alone with God every day.  One day you will see God face to face - will He be able to say to you, “Well done, good and faithful servant" (Matt. 5:21)?

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About Steve Etner
Steve Etner is a National Men’s Speaker, Author and Purity Coach (www.thepuritycoach.com). He has authored three books, “Extreme Mind Makeover: How to Transform Sinful Habits into God-Pleasing Patterns of Life”; “The Pure Man’s Devotional Guide: A Biblical Toolbox for Purity”; and “Are You A Super Man? Becoming God’s Man of Steel.” 

Steve’s conferences, seminars and retreats focus on what God has to say about the way we think and the impact it has on our behavior. By teaching men how to live in moral purity by equipping them with Biblical answers, Steve’s goal is for men to have a re-ignited passion for Jesus and learn how to prepare their minds to successfully overcome their temptations and thus live pure lives for Christ.

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