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leading to lasting victory over sexual addiction through a growing, vibrant, powerful relationship with Christ.
If you’re joining us for the first time, or you are a regular listener – welcome to this weekly study filled to the brim with all the tools from Scripture you will ever need to build a lasting life of Biblical purity.
My name is Steve Etner, Author, National Speaker, and Purity Coach for The Pure Man Ministry. Welcome to Episode #102 of The Point of Purity Podcast. In This week’s episode we take a look at Psalm 25:1 which says, “To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.” What does David mean? Why is he doing this? How does this apply to me? So, let’s dive right in and discover the “Soul Significance”
“To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul.” (Psalm 25:1)
This is almost so simple of a phrase that we tend to skip over it, looking for something else that has more depth, more “meat” to it. But I want us to park here for a few moments and consider what it is that David is saying.
First, consider this: What is David doing in this verse? If your answer is “he’s praying” you would definitely be correct but take it a step further. Go a little deeper. What is he doing in this prayer? In other words, there is more going on here than just talking with God. What is the action he is taking? What is the position he is assuming?
Listen to the verse again. “To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul.” (Psalm 25:1) If your answer is something like, “well, I guess he’s lifting up his soul to God” you would be spot-on. But what do you think that means? Why is he doing this “soul-lifting” thing? What’s his purpose, his goal? What should we be learning from all this?
Here’s my point: David is choosing to surrender his life to God. It’s important here that you understand this was a deliberate choice he was making. This wasn’t being forced upon him. No one was holding a knife to his throat saying, “do this, or else!” He is willfully choosing to surrender his life over to God. He recognized that who he was is only because of who God is. He owed God everything. “To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul.”
What about you? Are you making that same choice? Notice what I did not ask. I didn’t ask “have you made” or “will you make,” as if it’s a one-and-done kind of thing. No. This is a daily, moment-by-moment decision that you must continuously make. Are you daily making the willful choice to lift your soul up to God? Have you made that choice yet today? Will you make it?
We must daily, repeatedly, consistently choose to lift up our soul – the core of who we are, all of our life, every part of it – to the Almighty, Most Holy, Sovereign Creator and God of the Universe. You are who you are (a child of God) because God is who He is (the Savior of your soul) and you owe God everything.
Think with me for a moment about the word “soul.” David prays, “To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul.” What is your “soul,” and why is it so important to lift that up to God? In Genesis 2:7 we see that “The LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” (Genesis 2:7 KJV)
Your “soul” is the real you. It’s your personhood. It is the seat of your will, emotions, and passions. It’s the core of all you are. Your soul is what will go either to Heaven or Hell for eternity when your body dies. Based upon your choice to put your faith in God for your salvation or not.
On the flip side, your body is just the “car” that God has given you to travel through life with. A car, by the way, that is permanently out of alignment. Your soul is the driver behind the wheel of that car. Jesus said (Matthew 10:28) “Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” Then, in Matthew 16:26 He says, “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?”
Now let’s take a moment here to notice the command of Matthew 22:37. “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” When God says “all,” what does He mean? How much of your heart, soul, and mind is to be totally surrendered to God? When is ALL of your heart, soul, and mind to be totally surrendered to God?
Ok. I have a question for you here. It’s so simple of a question that you might just wonder why bother asking it at all. But I’m going to ask it. And I want you to answer honestly. Here it is: When you are choosing to lust, when you choose to look at porn and masturbate; when you are choosing to be sexually impure – at that moment – are you walking in obedience to Christ’s command of Matthew 22:37? Are you loving God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind? Before you answer, consider this: Either you are all in or not in at all – there is no in-between.
“To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul.” (Psalm 25:1) Understanding that your “soul” refers to the real you, “lifting up your soul” to God means you are totally and completely surrendering everything you are and everything you have over to God. Everything. That includes your sexual passions and desires. We need to “lift up” – totally and completely surrender even our lust and our sexual desires over to God.
OK. Now understand this: Totally surrendering your sexual purity over to God is not as hard as the enemy wants you to think it is.
Victory over Lust, Porn, and Masturbation typically begins long before the actual temptation to sin. The victory starts the moment you choose to “search after (God) with all your heart and with all your soul” (Deuteronomy 4:29) and you’re doing so hours, even days before the temptation hits.
When King Me is on the throne of your heart, you will choose – always choose – to seek out what will make you happy, happy, happy. King Me will never voluntarily decide to step off the throne in favor of God’s reign and rule of your life. Why? King Me is convinced God’s way will be less than fulfilling. God’s way is boring. God’s way won’t truly satisfy. So, the King says no way to God’s way. For more on this be sure to read my book “Removing the ‘I’ from LIFE: The Dethroning of King Me,” available on Amazon.com.
Listen to what Deuteronomy 4:29 says. “But from there you will seek the LORD your God and you will find him, if you search after him with all your heart and with all your soul.” Now, according to this text what percentage of your day can be about seeking your own desires, passions, and pleasures 10%? 40%? Maybe 70% or even 80%?
Why did you answer with the percentage that you did? I mean, after all - What’s wrong with seeking out a little forbidden sexual pleasure from time to time (especially if I’m not committing adultery or hurting anyone)?
It’s all about the motivation of your heart – “why are you seeking your own desires?” I guarantee you it has nothing to do with honoring God but everything to do with pleasing King Me. Oh, and by the way, as we will see in a future episode, when you lust and look at porn you are committing adultery and you are hurting others (Matthew 5:28). More on that later.
OK. It’s time for an honest assessment of your life. What percentage of your day is typically about seeking your own desires, passions, and pleasures vs. God’s? Do you remember what Deuteronomy 4:29 says? Deuteronomy 4:29 says. “But from there you will seek the LORD your God and you will find him, if you search after him with all your heart and with all your soul.” Now, according to Deuteronomy 4:29, the result of only half-heartedly searching for God while King Me is sitting on the throne of your heart is this: You will not find him. He will not respond to you. You will continue in your sin and experience the ramifications of your choices.
(Isaiah 59:2) “Your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear.” Isaiah is giving us a solemn warning that our “iniquities,” our sinful King Me choices, have separated us from God. When you are worshipping King Me, you have automatically chosen to turn your back on God in favor of your own sinful passions and desires. As a result, until you confess and forsake that sinful choice, you “will cry to the LORD, but he will not answer; he will hide his face at that time, because (you) have made (your) deeds evil.” (Micah 3:4)
I also want you to notice in Deuteronomy 4:29 the words “from there you will seek the LORD.” OK. Great! From where? From right where you are. In other words, you don’t have to get your act together before you can seek the Lord. You don’t have to stop lusting, stop looking at porn, stop fantasizing, and stop masturbating before reaching out to God. Come to Him just as you are – sinful, dirty, wretched, and worn. Just come. (John 7:37) “Jesus stood up and cried out, ‘If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink.”
Let’s face it, you are thirsty my friend. The problem is that you have been running to the wrong well to be satisfied. “Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst’.” (John 6:35) “The LORD will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places.” (Isaiah 58:11a) “For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things.” (Psalm 107:9)
Listen to God’s call. Do you hear it? God is bidding you to come to Him just as you are. No fluff. No pretense. Just you. Your soul. Lift it up to Him. Surrender your heart to Him. “Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become wool.” (Isaiah 1:18) Lift up your soul right now to God my friend. Even though your sins are many, even though you have been impure – just come and let Him cleanse you. Let Him fill you. Let Him truly satisfy you.
Jesus said in Matthew 11:28-30, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
Jesus is inviting you to come to Him just as you are. Come to Him with your heavy burdens, your pressing problems, your recurring sinful habits. Let Him give you the rest you are seeking. You don’t have to change anything before crying out to Him. Just come as you are.
(Hebrews 4:16) “With confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” You can have confidence that He will hear you. You can go throughout each day with confidence that “the LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.” (Psalm 145:18). 1 John 5:14-15 says, “This is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.”
Let’s not lose sight of our main point here. In Psalm 25:1, David is choosing to lift up his soul to God. He is choosing to yield, to fully surrender every aspect, every moment of every day, to the Lordship and leadership of God in his life. From this we are discovering the necessity of daily making this same choice – lifting up our soul, fully and completely surrendering everything we are and have over to God. This is often perceived as being a terrifying thing, but it doesn’t have to be. What choice are you making?
OK, we’re going to hit the pause button here until next week’s episode as we look forward to continuing this study.
If you would like to learn more about today’s study, or if you’re interested in learning more about our ministry, be sure to visit our website to see the multitude of resources we’ve made available to you – you can find our website at ThePurityCoach.com
One of these powerful resources we are making available to you is my book called “Overcoming Temptation: 4 Steps to Spiritual Victory.” You see, saying “No” to temptation and choosing to live an upright and godly life is a daily decision you must make. Every time you are faced with a temptation, you are also faced with a decision: Do I give in, or do I stand firm in my faith and fight it? Do I yield to the leading of the Holy Spirit and live to glorify God, or do I focus on King Me and give in to my fleshly desires?
This book ““Overcoming Temptation: 4 Steps to Spiritual Victory” presents, in a very clear and practical way, how to live a life that is holy and pure, how to say no to sin and live by the Spirit in a way that glorifies your creator, your Savior, your Heavenly Father. Again, the title of this book is ““Overcoming Temptation: 4 Steps to Spiritual Victory.” You can find it on Amazon.com or on my website (ThePurityCoach.com ) in our Resources section.
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So, until next time this is Author, Speaker, and Purity Coach Steve Etner reminding you that if you are going to glorify God in your everyday living, He must first be glorified in your every moment thinking.