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Your enemy, your spiritual foe isn’t just out to trip you up. His goal isn’t to simply play around with you and get you to occasionally mess up. He wants to devour you. He wants to consume every part of your life with selfishness, King Me worship, and darkness. This is serious stuff. This is why you must be firm in your faith, resolved to daily deny and die to self. This is why you must be committed to living every moment of every day only for God. You must resist the enemy every inch of the way. This is war!
Welcome to today’s episode of 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. This is episode #26. You are invited to come on in and join us as we continue our deep dive into Psalm 27. In today’s episode we discover that “Heaven’s Army is On My Side!”
In our text for this episode, Psalm 27:2-3, David writes: “When evildoers assail me to eat up my flesh, my adversaries and foes, it is they who stumble and fall. Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war arise against me, yet I will be confident.”
Before you’re too quick to dismiss these two verses as not very applicable to you because there are no evildoers attempting to eat your flesh; nor are you currently surrounded by adversaries, foes or armies who want nothing more than to see you dead, I challenge you to think twice.
You are engaged every day – every moment of your life – in spiritual warfare. Never forget that in this war you “are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12)
Paul reminds us (2 Corinthians 10:3-4) that “though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.”
Jesus said that your spiritual foe (“the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience” Ephesians 2:2), the one who lives in “the domain of darkness” (Colossians 1:13), your spiritual enemy “comes only to steal and kill and destroy.” (John 10:10) That’s his ultimate goal. That’s what he wants to do with you. You see, “He was a murderer from the beginning, and (he) does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him ... he is a liar and the father of lies.” (John 8:44)
This is who is after you, my friend. Oh, he cannot touch your soul, but that won’t keep him from attacking your spirit. The Apostle Paul said, in 2 Corinthians 11:3, “I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.” Make no mistake about it, as a child of God, as a born-again believer, as one who has been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, your adversary and foe – the devil – wants to eat up your flesh!
The fact is, “your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8) This is why you are to “watch over your heart with all diligence.” (Proverbs 4:23) You are to “be on your guard; stand(ing) firm in the faith; be men (and women) of courage; be strong.” (1 Corinthians 16:13)
Your adversary is sly, he is coy, he is smart which makes him spiritual enemy #1 – armed and extremely dangerous: call for backup! “And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.” (2 Corinthians 11:14) This is why it is so vital, extremely critical, absolutely necessary that you daily “submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7)
Let me quote to you once again Psalm 27:2. “When evildoers assail me to eat up my flesh, my adversaries and foes, it is they who stumble and fall.” I want you to notice that the Psalmist says “when.” “When evildoers assail me.” Not “if” as though it were a mere possibility, but “when” as it is an assured probability. When the evildoer assails, when the adversary and foe attacks.
The enemy will attack you, of that you can be certain. This is why it is so critical that every day you choose to “put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.” (Ephesians 6:11) Don’t just put it on – keep it on! Why? Because “evildoers (will) assail me to eat up my flesh.” (Psalm 27:2)
The term David uses for an evildoer refers to one who hurts another in a mischievous or playful way, yet with wicked intent. Can you see the 3-headed dragon here? Can you see how lust, porn, masturbation, and sexual impurity has mischievously played around with you? Can you see how it has hurt you? Do you understand the wicked intent of your enemy to do you harm? Oh, how dangerous this beast is!
The goal of the enemy is to draw you into darkness; to pull you away from God’s light. One of the weapons in his arsenal is sexual impurity. He is using it to “assail you and eat up your flesh.” Remember, he cannot touch your soul, but he sure can mess around with your flesh.
The word “assail” (Psalm 27:2) refers to the enemy coming near, approaching you, determined to do you as much harm as possible. Solomon describes it this way (Proverbs 7:6-27):
“While I was at the window of my house, looking through the curtain, I saw some naive young men, and one in particular who lacked common sense. He was crossing the street near the house of an immoral woman, strolling down the path by her house. It was at twilight, in the evening, as deep darkness fell. The woman approached him, seductively dressed and sly of heart. She was the brash, rebellious type, never content to stay at home. She is often in the streets and markets, soliciting at every corner. She threw her arms around him and kissed him, and with a brazen look she said, ‘I’ve just made my peace offerings and fulfilled my vows. You’re the one I was looking for! I came out to find you, and here you are! My bed is spread with beautiful blankets, with colored sheets of Egyptian linen. I’ve perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon. Come, let’s drink our fill of love until morning. Let’s enjoy each other’s caresses, for my husband is not home. He’s away on a long trip. He has taken a wallet full of money with him and won’t return until later this month.’ So she seduced him with her pretty speech and enticed him with her flattery. He followed her at once, like an ox going to the slaughter. He was like a stag caught in a trap, awaiting the arrow that would pierce its heart. He was like a bird flying into a snare, little knowing it would cost him his life. So listen to me, my sons, and pay attention to my words. Don’t let your hearts stray away toward her. Don’t wander down her wayward path. For she has been the ruin of many; many men have been her victims. Her house is the road to the grave. Her bedroom is the den of death.” (Proverbs 7:6-27)
We will discuss Proverbs 7 in greater depth in an upcoming episode, but for now I want you to understand that this “immoral woman,” this “adulteress” isn’t just referring to a prostitute. It can also refer to the 3-headed dragon of Lust, Porn, and Masturbation. Can you see it in the text? Let’s read it again, this time let’s assume that it’s talking about lust, porn, and masturbation – sexually acting out.
“I saw a man who lacked Spirit-led common sense choosing to go to the internet to peruse social media. He strolled through YouTube videos and Instagram posts. He visited the pages of his friends’ Facebook accounts and looked through their suggestive pictures. As the evening progressed, he began playing around with the idea of quickly glancing at some more suggestive material. Going nearer and nearer the door that opened up to let the 3-headed dragon freely enter. The images he saw were seductive, sly, and solicitous. As he began looking at porn, the rush of hormones felt like the warm and loving embrace of an old friend; kissing, welcoming, inviting. The women (or men) on the screen seemed to invite him to “come in, stay for a while, enjoy our company and our loving caresses.” The beast seduced him and enticed him. He followed her, like an ox stepping into the slaughterhouse, like a bird flying into a snare. He was totally unaware of the ultimate cost his sinful, selfish, sexual choices would demand of him. Oh, my friend, don’t let your heart stray away toward the beast. Don’t wander into its lair. It has already consumed the hearts and destroyed the lives of so many. Run, run, run away!"
As you already know, all too well from your own past experiences, this dragon, this beast, is an evildoer assailing you to eat up your flesh. It seductively sucks you in to its web and consumes you with the desire to sexually act out, to self-gratify your flesh, so you can get that pop, that rush, that ahhhh feeling. I ask you to please listen closely as I read to you Psalm 37:1-10.
“Fret not yourself because of evildoers (because of lust, porn, and masturbation if you will); be not envious of wrongdoers (in other words, don’t be envious of the porn stars and their producers)! For they will soon fade like the grass and wither like the green herb. Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness. (in other words, apply everything you are learning in this podcast and live by it. Keep God on the throne of your heart and walk daily in obedience to Him. The Psalm goes on to say:) Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. (I love that! Delight in God and He will place within your heart the right desires, those that honor and glorify Him. David goes on to write:) Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday. (in other words, when you focus all of your heart, all of your mind, all of your will upon God alone, He will honor and bless your pursuit of godliness and sexual purity as you radiate His glory. Let’s read on:) Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices (over the man who is giving in to the beast and seems to be getting away without any ramifications in his life – if you will. The Psalm continues:)! ... Fret not yourself (don’t worry about what will happen if you give up the beast); it tends only to evil. For the evildoers (the 3-headed dragon if you will) shall be cut off, but those who wait for the Lord shall inherit the land. In just a little while, the wicked (the beast, lust-porn-masturbation) will be no more; though you look carefully at his place, he will not be there.” (Psalm 37:1-10)
OK, let’s look again at our base text of Psalm 27:2 “When evildoers assail me to eat up my flesh, my adversaries and foes, it is they who stumble and fall.”
I want to focus your attention for a moment upon the word “adversaries.” Your “adversary” here, is an enemy who wants to cause you nothing but trouble. Your “adversary” is an opponent who wants to bind you, trap you, subject you to restraints and restrictions. Your “adversary” is an assailant who wants to place a heavy burden upon you, weighing you down, slowing you down, effectively keeping you from living a life that constantly and consistently glorifies God. The very definition of the word in the Hebrew carries with it the idea of walking around with a pebble in your shoe. An annoying irritant that inflicts minimal pain with maximum impact. That’s your adversary. That’s lust, porn, and masturbation.
Furthermore, David says this foe, this adversary wants to eat up his flesh. Just to be clear, we’re not talking about cannibalism here. The phrase refers to consuming and devouring like a hungry predator would another animal. Pursuing, pouncing, dominating, gobbling up. David is saying that he feels like a helpless prey being stalked by hungry predators.
Your adversary wants you to be consumed with your pain, your frustrations, your stresses, your loneliness, your boredom. It wants you to be consumed with your passions and overwhelmed by your lust. It wants to devour every thought, every attitude, every action. It wants all of you.
Once again, I ask, can you see lust, porn, and masturbation in that description? Do you understand how your sexual behavior has been an annoying irritant, an adversary, a sexual burden keeping you in sexual bondage? Do you understand that it restrains you, restricts you, pursues you, pounces upon you, dominates your thoughts, consumes and devours every part of your life? It is not just an evildoer; it is an adversary and foe straight from the pit of hell.
We are warned in 1 Peter 5:8-9 to “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him firm in your faith.”
At this point in our podcast, there are a couple of very powerful, very thought-provoking questions I’d like to ask you here. Questions that I challenge you NOT to skip over. Think about them. Pray about them. Talk with your accountability partner or your pastor about them. Here’s my first question:
Why is lust, porn, and masturbation so powerful? Why is it so irresistible? Why is it so destructive when it feels so wonderful, beautiful, and pleasurable? What’s wrong with just a little lust, a little porn, a little masturbation?
And then here’s my final question: up to this point, how has your battle with lust, porn and masturbation – in what ways has your adversary and foe placed restraints, restrictions, and a heavy burden upon you? How has it consumed you and devoured every aspect of your life?
Let me remind you here that “Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.” (2 Corinthians 11:14) If your adversary were ugly, terrifying, and hideous we would want nothing to do with it. Porn has an appeal. Sexual lust has its charm. Masturbation feels good. That’s the attractiveness of the deadly hook.
However, Scripture is crystal clear that Satan is “a murderer from the beginning, and (he) does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” (John 8:44) As your adversary, as your foe, when the dragon attacks you, his greatest lie is that lust, porn, masturbation, sexual impurity is your friend. God’s truth says otherwise. God’s Word declares that the 3-headed dragon is your foe. He is not for you but against you.
Here’s the good news: (Psalm 118:6) “The LORD is on my side; I will not fear.” And Hebrews 13:6 assures us that as a born-again believer you “can confidently say, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not fear.” In Psalm 66:3 the Psalmist writes, “Say to God, ‘How awesome are your deeds! So great is your power that your enemies cringe before you.’” Paul writes in Romans 8:31, “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?”
Let’s take yet another look at our primary text for this episode. Psalm 27:2-3 says, “When evildoers assail me to eat up my flesh, my adversaries and foes, it is they who stumble and fall. Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war arise against me, yet I will be confident.”
Are you catching this? With God as your light, with God as your salvation and your stronghold, you aren’t the one who will stumble and fall – it’s your adversary and foe. To “stumble” here means to totter, to waver, to falter and thus lose the strength, the momentum and consequently the advantage.
Think about that for a moment. Who gives lust, porn and masturbation its powerful grip on you? Truth is you do! What gives the three-headed dragon such an advantage over you? It is your thoughts that feed the beast. The more you let your mind linger over the temptation, the weaker you become and the stronger becomes the dragon. However, when your focus is completely upon the One who IS your light, your salvation and your stronghold – the enemy loses all of its power over you. It’s strength to defeat you has been drained and any momentum it gained, any advantage it had over you is gone.
Not only will your adversary stumble, but he will also fall. To “fall” refers to coming up short of the goal. It is utter and total failure due to inferiority against a superior opponent. You see, lust, porn and masturbation has no power, no authority over you but what you choose to give it. Hands down, God and God alone is the superior opponent to the beast. We can effectively and truthfully say that God IS the beast master! (1 John 4:4) “He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world!” This is God’s promise to you.
Yes, when God is your light, your salvation, your stronghold, the enemy “will stumble ... they will fall and be broken; they will be snared and caught.” (Isaiah 8:15) So, (Romans 8:31) “what shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?”
In other words, when lust comes near and whispers in my ear, when porn and masturbation try to hold me tight in its grip, because God is my light, my salvation and my stronghold, I am not the one who will stumble and fall into sin. No, it is the beast who will stumble, the beast who will fall, the beast who will fail, and YOU who will stand victorious on the battlefield!
Even though you are surrounded by sexual temptation, to the point that you’re feeling its pricks and pokes and prods all day long; even though it feels like that 3-headed dragon is waging an all-out war against you, because God is your light and your salvation you can stand firm in the faith, resisting the enemy and have full confidence that the beast must flee from you! Why? Because (Romans 8:37) “in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”
In Psalm 3:7 David prays, “Arise, LORD! Deliver me, my God! Strike all my enemies on the jaw; break the teeth of the wicked.” He then writes in Psalm 118:12, “They swarmed around me like bees; they blazed against me like a crackling fire. But I destroyed them all with the authority of the LORD.” And in Psalm 18:38-42 he writes, “I struck them down so they could not get up; they fell beneath my feet. You (God) have armed me with strength for the battle; you have subdued my enemies under my feet. You placed my foot on their necks. I have destroyed all who hated me. They called for help, but no one came to their rescue. They even cried to the Lord, but he refused to answer. I ground them as fine as dust in the wind. I swept them into the gutter like dirt.”
David goes on to say (in our base text of Psalm 27:3), “Though an army encamp against me.” Pause for a moment here. This is no longer a singular event, singular attack, singular moment in time. This is not a single adversary or particular foe. This has now become an army that is encamped against you. The enemy has surrounded you, pitched their tents, built little campfires, set up their catapults, and entrenched themselves against you. They have parked in your life and, claiming squatters’ rights, refuse to leave even when you give them an eviction notice.
If you recall my personal testimony, this described my life for over 30 years. The 3-headed dragon of lust, porn and masturbation had set up camp and relentlessly bombarded me with missiles of temptation day in and day out. Many of you have experienced (or even now are experiencing) the same thing. However, because the LORD IS your light, because He IS your salvation, and because He IS your stronghold you can say with confidence (right along with David in Psalm 3:6) “I am not afraid of ten thousand enemies who surround me on every side.”
I will not quake in my boots. The beast has no power over my heart, my thoughts, my emotions, my life. God’s unlimited power is far superior to the weak, feeble, ineffective attempts of the enemy’s control over my soul.
In Psalm 23:4 King David declares, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff they comfort me.” And in Psalm 55:18 he writes, “(God) will redeem my soul in peace from the battle which is against me.”
David declares in Psalm 27:3 that even though the enemy and his entourage (his army) lay siege upon me, my heart will not fear. Why? Remember verse one? Because “The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” So, go ahead lust, go ahead porn and masturbation, go ahead and surround me. Go ahead and lob your worthless missiles of temptation at me. Go ahead and try to take me down. My heart is not afraid of you!
We read an amazing account of God’s protection in 2 Kings 6:15-17. Listen to this: “When the servant of the man of God got up early the next morning and went outside, there were troops, horses, and chariots (the enemy was) everywhere. ‘Oh, sir, what will we do now?’ the young man cried to Elisha. ‘Don’t be afraid!’ Elisha told him. ‘For there are more on our side than on theirs!’ Then Elisha prayed, ‘O LORD, open his eyes and let him see!’ The LORD opened the young man’s eyes, and when he looked up, he saw that the hillside around Elisha was filled with horses and chariots of fire.” (2 Kings 6:15-17)
You see, (Psalm 46:7) “The LORD of Heaven’s Armies is here among us; the God of Israel is our fortress.” This is why we can say, (Psalm 118:6) “The Lord is on my side; I will not fear.” (Psalm 56:11) “In God I trust; I shall not be afraid.” This is why we can say of God, “You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.” (Psalm 32:7)
This is also why Moses could say to the people, (Exodus 14:13) “Do not fear! Stand by and see the salvation of the LORD, which He will perform for you today; for the (enemy) whom you have seen today, you will never see them again, ever.”
I love the words of Jeremiah 10:11 which say, “The LORD stands beside me like a great warrior. Before him my persecutors will stumble. They cannot defeat me. They will fail and be thoroughly humiliated. Their dishonor will never be forgotten.”
Well, we then see David saying in our base text of Psalm 27:3 “though war arise against me, yet I will be confident.” Here’s what I want you to think about – a battle is typically a single event. It is serious, it is significant, it is a hard and dangerous moment. But it is a singular event that usually has a beginning and an end. However, a war is a different story. A war is usually made up of multiple battles, ofttimes waged on multiple fronts.
I have personally found that when the enemy attacks me, when the beast engages in spiritual warfare against me, he doesn’t just tempt me with lust, porn, and masturbation. I’m also hit with anger, fear, anxiety, pride, worry, frustration, loneliness and so on. Yes, war can and will break out against you, but (Isaiah 54:17) “no weapon that is fashioned against you shall succeed, and you shall refute every tongue that rises against you in judgment.”
Here’s my point and my summary of today’s podcast: You can have extreme confidence in the protection of the Almighty. As a born-again believer, you are in the hand of God. Jesus Himself promises, (John 10:28-30) “I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and my Father are one” Are you catching this? The enemy, the adversary, the three-headed dragon, the beast cannot have you. God won’t let him. Oh, he can touch you, he can tease you, he can tempt you, he can test you, but he can never, ever triumph over you!
The LORD IS your light, your salvation, your stronghold. In Isaiah 41:10-13 the Lord says to you, in crystal clear, undeniably divinely inspired words, “Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand. See, all your angry enemies lie there, confused and humiliated. Anyone who opposes you will die and come to nothing. You will look in vain for those who tried to conquer you. Those who attack you will come to nothing. For I hold you by your right hand – I, the Lord your God. And I say to you, ‘Don’t be afraid. I am here to help you.’” (Isaiah 41:10-13)
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 (repeat)
Thank you so much for listening to today’s podcast. If this has ministered to you, if this has blessed you, challenged you, or encouraged you I ask you to do two things. First of all – would you please let your friends know about The Point of Purity Podcast. Help us help men and women across the globe win their war for sexual purity and live in freedom.
Then second, and this is so important, please take a few seconds right now to go over to your favorite Podcast Player and rate our program and this episode – why? because every time you do, your rating lets them know this podcast is important, it is valuable, and your ratings helps us get this program and this ministry into the ears and hearts of people just like you. 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.