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Let’s face it, it’s hard to fully surrender your soul, every moment of every day, totally and completely over to God. This is why David cries out in Psalm 25:1 “O my God, in you I trust; let me not be put to shame.”
Do you struggle with feelings of guilt and shame over your sinful choices? Would you like to live a life that is “Shame-Free”? Well, welcome to The Point of Purity Podcast. A weekly study filled to the brim with the all the tools from Scripture you will ever need to build a lasting life of Biblical purity. Each episode is designed to help you discover how to skillfully handle the word of God as you choose to live in freedom!
I’m your host Steve Etner, Author, National Speaker, and Purity Coach for The Pure Man Ministry. This is Episode #107, and in this week’s episode we learn from Scripture how to live “Shame-Free”!
Daily choosing to trust God fully, completely, and unreservedly with everything is a central, vital, essential, and critical part of the Christian life. Psalm 37:5 commands us to “Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him.” I’m sure you’re probably familiar with the words of Proverbs 3:5-6 which says “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” And in Isaiah 26:4 we read, “Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD God is an everlasting rock.”
Do you want God’s richest blessing in your life? Do you want to live in spiritual victory and lasting freedom over the beast of sexual impurity? Yes? Then choose daily to lift up your soul to God and trust fully and completely in Him to take care of you. All of you, all the time. Jeremiah 17:7 declares, “Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD.”
Scripture is clear, we are to trust God. However, trusting God is far more than just believing in Him for your salvation. In the Scriptures, to “Trust” refers to having a bold confidence resulting in a sense of total security, surety, and peace. It’s “placing all your eggs into one basket,” a basket that someone else is holding. It’s “putting all your weight” upon God with the firm conviction and assurance that He will not ever fail you.
With that definition and understanding of trust, would you say that you are trusting God with your sexuality? In Psalm 118:8 David says, “It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man.” Why? “The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is safe.” (Proverbs 29:25) Do you want to be safe from the beast of sexual temptation? Do you want to be safe from the sinful cravings of the flesh and the roaring lion who wants to devour you? Trust in God!
We saw a moment ago in Psalm 37:5 that we are to “Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act.” We are to “Trust in the LORD, and do good.” (Psalm 37:3) It is vital to our Christian walk and sexual purity that we “Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us.” (Psalm 62:8) “Those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek you.” (Psalm 9:10)
“The LORD is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped;” (Psalm 28:7) Think about what the Psalmist is saying here. You can’t do it alone. You cannot fight lust, porn, masturbation, sexual temptation of any kind on your own and win. Let’s be honest here: you’ve tried too many times and failed, so have I.
But God! He is your strength. He is the one – the only One – who enables you to stand firm and say “no!” to your temptations. God alone is “a shield about (you), (your) glory and the lifter of (your) head.” (Psalm 3:3). Only God can protect you from the relentless attacks of the enemy upon your heart and mind. In Him your soul (the real you) must always trust. All of you, every part of you, every fiber of your being, and ounce of your will must rest confidently and securely on God’s omnipotent and unfathomable ability to help you overcome.
Truth-be-told, the thought of giving up all of your sexual desires to God can be frightening. I know it used to terrify me. But let me ask you this: Why? Why does the thought of giving all of your sexual desires, all of the time over to God frighten you? What is it you truly fear? What are your fears revealing about the condition of your heart?
For many of us the fear goes something like this: “If I surrender my sexual desires and ‘needs’ over to God, He will take them away and leave me with either nothing in return–or He will give me something of lesser value, little pleasure, and no enjoyment.”
“When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.” (Psalm 56:3)
Let me re-read that verse. “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.” (Psalm 56:3) Are you comprehending what David is saying here? Do you understand how it applies to your struggle with surrendering this over completely to God and trusting Him with the outcome? Instead of giving in to the fear that God’s not going to meet your needs, He won’t satisfy your desires, He is going to withhold from you the pleasures you deserve and need – when you are afraid, put your trust in the only One who is totally, thoroughly, and completely trustworthy. Put your trust in God!
OK. But again, I ask Why? Why should I put all my trust in God? Because “when you pass through the waters, (God) will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through the fire you shall not be burned, the flame shall not consume you.” (Isaiah 43:2)
Remember, you are daily engaged in spiritual warfare. Fighting the three-headed beast of Lust, Porn, and Masturbation is never easy. That is why God uses the word “when” and not “if.” When you pass through the waters; when you pass through the rivers; and when you walk through the fire. When you encounter temptation.
However, notice that God also uses the word “through.” Yes, you will encounter the waters and the rivers of sexual temptation that will try to wash you away in its undercurrent. They most assuredly will make their presence and power known. They will tug and pull at you; but they will never suck you under. God won’t let them. You won’t drown in the battle. You will pass through. That’s God’s promise to those who trust in Him.
Yes, you will encounter the heat of the trial. Yes, as you pursue purity it will be a struggle, possibly even painful at times. However, the flames won’t consume you. God will not allow you to be burned by your struggle, or your failures. You may feel the heat, but God’s Word assures us that you will pass through. That is God's promise.
For that to happen, you must choose to “submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7) In other words, when you lift up your soul to God, when you choose daily to fully yield and totally surrender every part of your heart to your Creator and Savior – including your sexual desires –He won’t leave you to fight the beast on your own. He won’t let the temptation take you down. “But will with the temptation make a way of escape so that you can bear it” (1 Corinthians 10:13).
“Many are the sorrows of the wicked, but steadfast love surrounds the one who trusts in the LORD.” (Psalm 32:10)
“Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.” (Psalm 73:25)
Can you say with all truthfulness and honesty that there is nothing on earth that you desire besides God? If not, why not? What are you going to do about it?
OK. So, once again I pose the question “Why?” Why do you struggle with trusting God? Consider this: to trust someone, you must first get to know them. I submit that you struggle with trusting God in large part because you do not truly know God. To know God is to trust God.
Illustration: A College-age couple go out on their first date. As they enjoy a slice of pizza together, she looks into his eyes, smiles, and then demands that if they are to continue pursuing this relationship, if he wants to go out with her on any subsequent dates, before the end of their first date he must give her a copy of the keys to his car, to his apartment, and to his safety deposit box ... and on top of that, she must know all his passwords (computer, phone, tablet, bank account, everything).
How do you think he would respond? How would you respond? Of course, he won’t do that! Why? Because he doesn’t trust her. Why doesn’t he trust her? He doesn’t know her yet. So, how does he get to know her? By investing time with her daily.
Application: God wants you to surrender everything over to Him, every nook and cranny of your life. He wants you to lift up your soul to Him–including your sexual passions, longings, and desires. Everything.
Yet you hold back. You are hesitant to give him “everything.” Why? Because you’re not sure you can trust Him. You’re not confident He has your best interests at heart. You struggle trusting Him simply because you don’t know Him. How do you get to know Him? By investing time with Him daily, talking with Him and listening to Him talk with you.
Listen closely. Watch this now. You can trust God because He IS trustworthy. That’s not just something He occasionally does when the mood suits Him. It’s part of His character. It’s who He is. If you could remove trustworthiness from God (which you cannot), He would instantly cease to be God (which He cannot).
God “remains faithful – for he cannot deny himself.” (2 Timothy 2:13) This means you can lift up your soul to God, surrendering everything you are and everything you have to His Lordship and leadership because He IS trustworthy. David exclaims in Psalm 9:10 that “Those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek you.”
Oh, my friend, do you know Him? Do you truly know your Heavenly Father, the Creator of the Universe, the designer, lover, and sustainer of your soul, the Almighty God Himself? When you do, you will put all of your trust in Him for He has never forsaken (He has never turned His back upon) those who have put Him on the throne of their heart. “Those who know your name put their trust in you.” (Psalm 9:10)
In the Bible a name is far more than what it is today. It’s more than just an identifier (such as “Hi, my name is Steve Etner!”). In Scripture, a name tells you something about that person’s character. This is why knowing the names of God is vitally important.
The names of God reveal something about who He is and shows us the ways in which He is there to help us in our times of need. To know the names of God is to begin to know the God whom those names describe. The One in whom you can always trust!
“The name of the God of Jacob protects you.” (Psalm 20:1b)
“Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows my name.” (Psalm 91:14)
“There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)
“For all the peoples walk each in the name of its god, but we will walk in the name of the LORD our God forever and ever.” (Micah 4:5)
Here is a powerful truth for you to sink your spiritual teeth into and chew on. “This God –
his way is perfect; the word of the LORD proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.” (Psalm 18:30) Don’t miss this: “His way is perfect.”
“His way” refers to the journey or path He has chosen for you. That “way,” that path includes your sexual purity. The way of Yahweh (God’s way) is perfect! Do you believe that? You should. Why? Because God Himself is perfect, therefore His way must of necessity also be perfect. Let that sink in. Watch this now. Because God Himself is perfect, therefore His way must of necessity also be perfect.
His way is made clear in 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 “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.”
(1 Corinthians 6:18) “Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.”
The path to sexual purity that God wants you to walk is “perfect.” It is completely full, spotless, without blemish, and undefiled. In other words, walk that path and you will want for nothing (Psalm 23:1). You can always trust God to deliver on His promises.
OK. Once again, we are faced with the question “Why?” Why is that so hard to believe? The answer, in part, is because up to this point, you have been focused on what the flesh wants versus what your soul needs. You have placed your emphasis on the desires of that which is dead, that which has no eternal significance (I’m referring to your sinful flesh). You tend to think – thus believe– that the desires of the flesh are what must be satisfied. You are under the deceptive false impression and evil delusion that sexual satisfaction is what will make you (your body that is dead in sin – Romans 8:10) feel alive. So, you mis-interpret your “need” as being sexual satisfaction and fulfillment as opposed to spiritual growth and enlightenment. With that faulty, finite understanding is it any wonder you worry God won’t keep His end of the bargain?
“O my God, in you I trust.” (Psalm 25:2)
You can trust God – even with your sexual desires – because “God is faithful.” (1 Corinthians 1:9; 10:13 and 2 Corinthians 1:18)
“Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments.” (Deuteronomy 7:9)
“The Rock, his work is perfect, for all his ways are justice. A God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and upright is he.” (Deuteronomy 32:4)
“He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.” (1 Thessalonians 5:24)
Oh, my friend, choose right now to lift up your soul to God! You can and you must trust in Him completely! “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6) When you choose to lift up your soul to God and put all of your trust in Him, what is the promise God gives you here in this text? How does that apply to your purity?
“The LORD is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him.” (Psalm 28:7) “Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act.” (Psalm 37:5)
Hear the words of God as he speaks to Joshua. “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9) When you choose to lift up your soul to God and put all of your trust in Him, what is the promise God gives you here in this text? How does that apply to your purity?
Look at this promise in Isaiah 26:3. “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” When you choose to lift up your soul to God and put all of your trust in Him, what is the promise God gives you here in this text? How does that apply to your purity?
Here is truth my friend, “Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose trust is the LORD. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.” (Jeremiah 17:7-8)
We need to pray, as the Psalmist did, “I trust in you, O LORD; I say, ‘You are my God.’ My times are in your hand; rescue me from the hand of my enemies and from my persecutors.” (Psalm 31:14-15)
David goes on to say, “let me not be put to shame.” (Psalm 25:2) Have you ever felt that shame? Have you ever experienced that painful awareness that you’ve dishonored God because you’ve chosen to disobey him with improper, sinful behavior – allowing King Me to reign in your heart – giving in to your lust, looking at porn and then giving up to the desire to masturbate? Have you ever, in your shame, tried to hide your sin?
Think with me for a moment about the word “Shame.” Even the sound of the word leaves a feeling of heaviness. “Shame” is the negative, agonizingly painful feeling arising from an awareness of having done something illegal, dishonorable, disgraceful, immoral, improper, and sinful. In other words, shame is what you feel after you’ve done wrong.
In your shame have you ever begged God to not punish you, not to be angry with you, not to hold it against you but to be forgiving and merciful to you? Have you promised Him that if He’ll let you off the hook this time, you’ll never do it again? Be honest! I know I have.
Then, when it does happen – again (because you and I both know without God’s help it will), the feeling of shame rushes back in and floods your soul, drowning your heart in agony and misery – again. You go through this cycle over and over. Been there? You know what I’m talking about.
Furthermore, when you are feeling that shame, you tend to hide; to create walls of protection behind which you hunker down and hope that no one will see the real you. Think about this: that response to shame, that desire to hide yourself, to protect yourself, that hope that no one ever finds out what you really did goes all the way back to the Garden of Eden.
Genesis 3:7-8 tells us that at the moment Adam and Eve willfully chose to disobey God, at the moment they chose to worship themselves instead of God, at the moment they sinned, “their eyes were opened” and Adam and Eve suddenly felt a horrible, gut-wrenching, fear-inducing shame at their nakedness. So, what did they do? How did they choose to deal with their shame? How did they respond? “They sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves ... and they (tried to hide) from the Lord God among the trees.”
“Shame.” Even the sound of the word leaves us destitute and without hope. Typically, along with the shame comes the fear that your true self will be seen and known by others, by those who are the closest to you, by those whom you care so deeply about, by those whose opinion you value and treasure the greatest. And being terrified that once they know what you have done, what you have become, what you are – they will reject you. So, you choose to stay hunkered down, to stay in the shadows of your sin, to put on a mask of holiness and an air of “I’ve got my act together and all is well” around those crucial people in your life so you can continue to hide your sin, your misery, your fear, your shame.
“Shame.” A powerful weapon in the arsenal of Satan.
“Shame.” It can be a powerful tool in the hands of our loving, forgiving, kind and merciful God. A tool God wants to use in your life – not to condemn you, but to rescue you. Not to hurt you, but to heal you.
So, what do you do with your shame? How do YOU handle it? How do you typically respond to it? Often (admittedly way too often) instead of facing the guilt of our sin head-on, instead of turning to God, claiming the forgiveness and mercy that He has already promised to give us when we confess our sin to Him – instead, we try to hide, and we put on a false face, a fake front, a farce.
Shame comes when we turn away from the One and Only God to worship a false god. Shame comes when we choose to disobey God's commands, going against his will in favor of the whims and wishes of King Me.
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
Let me take this closing moment here to wish all of you a very Happy New Year! And if you have not yet subscribed to this Point of Purity Podcast, let me encourage you to do so today so you won’t miss any of our upcoming episodes!
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.