The Point of Purity Podcast

Episode #121 - Are You Holding On or Being Held?

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Episode #121 - "Are You Holding On or Being Held?"  


Can you take refuge in your sinful habits? Will they act as your fortress, protecting you from the enemy? Of course not! God IS your protection and strength as you stand and face the beast of temptation. Though it shakes you, though it rattles you, though it roars for attention and foams at the mouth, gnashing its hungry teeth at you, though it swells up and appears larger than life–you can resist it because God is your fortress, your deliverer, your rock in whom you take refuge. He is your shield. He is your stronghold.

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.

I’m your host, Steve Etner author, National speaker, and Purity Coach for the Pure Man Ministry ... and this is episode #121 entitled “Are You ‘Holding On’ or Are You Being Held?”

In Psalm 27:1 David writes, “The LORD (Jehovah, the Almighty, all-powerful, most holy, sovereign, Creator of the universe who cares about me) is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”

Before we go any further, let me remind you of the critical importance of that little, two-letter, present tense word “is.” The Lord – Jehovah IS the stronghold of my life. He IS my stronghold, right now. Right now. Right now. Present tense. Never ending. Never quitting. Never ceasing. Never failing to be my stronghold. Never. He IS the stronghold of my life.

So, grounded upon that statement of fact, based upon that declaration of truth I submit that we can safely say that when you are not in the safety and refuge of that stronghold, it is not because God has somehow failed you. It is not because, for some odd reason, God – at that very moment – suddenly ceased to be a stronghold for you. He always IS the stronghold. That never changes. The problem is not with God.

Not only does this define for us the character of God – He IS my stronghold – but it also describes my position with God. When I state with confidence that the Lord IS my stronghold, I am boldly declaring that the enemy cannot touch me because I am (right here and right now) totally safe and completely secure within the protection of that stronghold.

I also want you to notice that David says Jehovah is THE stronghold of my life. Don’t let the importance of that emphasis slip past you. The Lord is THE stronghold of my life, not “A” stronghold (as if He’s but one of many – not “A” stronghold) but “The” stronghold. The only one. There is no other.

Why is this truth (that Jehovah IS THE stronghold of your life) so significant to you in this battle for purity? It’s important here that we develop a working definition of a stronghold. You see, a stronghold is a fortified place of safety and refuge, a strong and impenetrable fortress that the enemy cannot infiltrate. That’s what God, that’s what the LORD, that’s what Jehovah is to you.

“The Lord has become my stronghold, and my God the rock of my refuge.” (Psalm 94:22)

“The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” (Psalm 18:2)

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah” (Psalm 46:1-3)

“The LORD is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.” (Psalm 9:9)

Think about the Scripture that I just shared with you. Here’s a fact: You can take refuge in your relationship with God because He IS your stronghold. Great! But what exactly does that mean? Let me remind you what a stronghold is. A stronghold is a place of safety and refuge, a strong and impenetrable fortress. That’s what God is to you. Let’s dig into this for a moment. Let’s unpack this and learn a couple of things. First, as I just said, as our stronghold, the Lord is our place of safety, He is our refuge.

“This I declare about the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him” (Psalm 91:2 NLT)

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” (Psalm 46:1 NIV’84)

“The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms. He will drive out your enemies before you.” (Deuteronomy 33:27 NIV’84)

OK. Second, God is our strong and impenetrable fortress. The prophet Samuel writes, “The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer.” (2 Samuel 22:2) The Psalmist writes that “He is my loving God and my fortress” (Psalm 144:2 NIV’84). And we read in Nahum 1:7 that “the Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him.” (NIV’84)

So I have a critical question for you here: Can you take refuge in lust, porn, or masturbation? Will they act as your fortress, protecting you from the enemy? Of course not! God IS your protection and strength as you stand and face the beast of your sexual impurity. Though it shakes you, though it rattles you, though it roars for attention and foams at the mouth, gnashing its hungry teeth at you, though it swells up and appears larger than life–you can resist it because God is your fortress, your deliverer, your rock in whom you take refuge. He is your shield. He is your stronghold.

You can (Psalm 91:2) “say to the LORD, ‘My refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust.” Why? (Psalm 27:5) “He will hide (you) in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal (you) under the cover of his tent; he will lift (you) high upon a rock.” This is what The Lord, this is what Jehovah, this is what the Almighty, all-powerful, most holy, sovereign, Creator of the universe–the God who cares about you–this is what He does because this is who He is!

Psalm 59 says “Deliver me from my enemies, O God; be my fortress against those who are attacking me. Deliver me from evildoers and save me from those who are after my blood. See how they lie in wait for me! ... They return at evening, snarling like dogs, and prowl about the city. See what they spew from their mouths – the words from their lips are sharp as swords, and they think ‘Who can hear us?’ But you laugh at them, Lord; ... You are my strength, I watch for you; you, God, are my fortress, my God on whom I can rely. God will go before me .... I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble. You are my strength, I sing praise to you; you, God, are my fortress, my God on whom I can rely.” (Psalm 59:1-3, 6-10, 16-17 NLT).

That’s a powerful text of Scripture. Now I would like to apply that text specifically to your battle for purity. I have taken that prayer in Psalm 59 and have personalized it to my own battle with the beast. I challenge you to make this (or something similar) your prayer as well.

“Father, deliver me from the beast of sexual temptation. O my God; protect me from the fleshly desires that rise up against me. Deliver me from lust, porn, and masturbation. For that three-headed dragon lies in wait for my heart; fierce to consume my passions and pleasures – turning them toward evil and wicked desires. Every day it comes back, howling like dogs, prowling about in my mind. Bellowing with their mouth – whispering deceit into my heart with swords in their lips. “God doesn’t care about you,” they whisper. “He won’t answer your prayers,” they say. But you, O LORD, laugh at that beast; you hold it as nothing. O God my Strength, I will watch for you – I will place all of my focus upon you, for you, O God, are my fortress. I am convinced that my God in his steadfast love will meet me right here, right where I am at. I know God will let me look in triumph upon lust, porn and masturbation. O God, for the deception and lies that this beast utters daily to my heart, consume it in your wrath; consume the dragon until it is no more, that everyone may know that God rules over my heart – that the Lord IS my stronghold. Yes, every day my lust comes back, yes it howls like dogs and prowls about my heart and mind. It wanders about for food and growls loudly if I don’t feed it. But I will sing aloud of your steadfast love in the morning. For you have been to me a fortress and a refuge in the day of my temptation. O my Strength, I will sing praises to you, for you, O God, are my fortress, the God who shows me steadfast love.”

“The LORD is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; he knows those who take refuge in him.” (Nahum 1:7)

Let’s pause here for a moment and let’s be honest. Some of you are listening to this thinking “yeah, right. That’s not been my experience. I cry out to God for help, I ask Him to be my strength, I try to trust in Him to help me defeat the beast; what good has it done me? I still give in. The beast still wins. Sure, those verses may be true for most guys, but not for me.” Can you relate?

I hear you loud and clear because I used to think and feel the same way. For now, let me just say that it all starts with this: You must daily lift up your soul to God (Psalm 25:1). You must daily, moment-by-moment surrender every aspect of your heart and life to God. You must choose to trust Him with everything (Psalm 25:2). You must continuously reject King Me, turning your back on the darkness and choosing instead to walk, every moment of every day, in His pure and perfect light (1 John 1:7 and Ephesians 5:8).

As you learn to live this surrendered life, as you develop the mindset of living to the glory of God instead of the sinful pleasures of King Me, you will discover that God and God alone “is my steadfast love and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield and he in whom I take refuge.” (Psalm 144:2) You will be able to say, “The LORD IS (not will be, but IS) my rock and my fortress and my deliverer” (2 Samuel 22:2 addition mine). And as you stay consistent, at the end of your life you will also be able to say, “you HAVE BEEN my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy.” (Psalm 61:3)

OK, we’re going to hit the pause button here until next week’s episode as we look forward to continuing this study holding on or being held.

If you would like to learn more about today’s study, or if you’re interested in learning more about The Pure Man Ministry, and more specifically how we can help you live in freedom from sexual sin, be sure to visit our website to see the multitude of resources we’ve made available to you – you can find our website at

Now before I close out this episode, I WANT TO (once again) REMIND YOU OF SOME VERY, VERY EXCITING NEWS I shared with you in the last three episodes! And I make no apologies for the repetition. Why? Because I truly believe with all my heart that this is an extremely powerful tool that can help you and those you care about not only be pure – but live pure!

I am excited to announce the release of “The Point of Purity” Workbook! Available now on Amazon. This workbook is the accumulation and culmination of 11 years of coaching, mentoring, and counseling men in the area of sexual addiction and purity.

“The Point of Purity” Workbook is a 12-week accountability study of God’s Word focused on equipping and training men and women on how to overcome an addiction to lust, porn and masturbation. Throughout this workbook you and your accountability partner or small group walk through Scripture together, sharing from God’s Word how you can be free. Each week you are equipped with powerful tools from Scripture that will help you not only BE free, but LIVE free. You will learn how to effectively change your thought process when faced with temptation (not just sexual temptation, but actually any and all temptation). You will discover how to submit yourself to God, standing firmly against the temptation and successfully resist it every time.

“The Point of Purity” Workbook is a twelve-week journey through Scripture to help you discover the point of purity. Why should I be pure? What's wrong with a little "forbidden pleasure" from time to time? You will also learn how to get to the point of purity - living daily in freedom and victory over temptation.

You see, the real problem we struggle with is not sexual temptation. The real problem is a worship disorder. Who is sitting on the throne of your heart? Whom are you worshiping and why? “The Point of Purity” Workbook is a deep dive into Scripture to help answer this all-important question and discover how to dethrone King Me, allowing God to be Lord and leader of every part of your life.

So be sure to visit today and get your copy of “The Point of Purity!”

And if you have not yet subscribed to this 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, National 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.

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Please understand that your involvement in this program does not provide any guarantee on the part of Steve Etner, The Purity Coach or The Pure Man Ministry. In other words, we are coming alongside of you for the purpose of coaching you toward accountability and purity. I am not a professional counselor and I cannot guarantee you specified results. I am, however, a man who has been where you are and has seen God work in my life in a mighty way. This program is what changed me. And God has used this program to impact the hearts of countless men across the globe!

I'm here to encourage you, to challenge you, to pray with you, and to share with you what God has taught me. I look forward to coming alongside of you in this journey!