Helping men and women find hope, help, healing, restoration and redemption
leading to lasting victory over sexual addiction through a growing, vibrant, powerful relationship with Christ.
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. In this episode we talk about the fact that we can’t fight this battle for purity on our own. We will discover that to win this war, we must be in God’s Word every day studying it, memorizing it, meditating on it, and obeying it. Only through Him, only through His might can we stop, once-and-for-all, the rampaging beast of sexual immorality that is running amok in our heart.
So, c’mon in, grab your Bible and follow along as in this episode we seek the answer to the question: Who’s really in charge?
You wouldn’t believe (…well, actually you probably would) how many times I have tried to climb the mountain of victory over lust, porn, masturbation, and all other forms of sexual impurity—reaching almost to the flag at the top of the mountain—only to find myself sliding back down the slippery slope of selfishness because of one stupid decision in a moment of weakness. Are you with me? Can you relate?
Afterward, I would become so discouraged and defeated that I was tempted, on more than one occasion, to just throw in the towel and quit. I would mentally and verbally beat myself up, calling myself an idiot, a fool, and other things that are probably not wise to mention here. I would be sure to ask God to forgive me, then I’d try to pull myself up by my own proverbial bootstraps and start climbing the hill again for the umpteenth time—because that’s what a good-Christian-guy is supposed to do.
And through those difficult, challenging, often defeating years, God lovingly and patiently taught me that is not how I will know victory. I just cannot do it on my own. God didn’t design me that way. And He didn’t design you that way either. God commanded Joshua to “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).
As we dive into God’s Word today, I urge you to ask the Holy Spirit to show you where you have tried in your own strength to be free of this beast. Ask Him to help you understand that self-reformation does not work. It can’t, simply because it leaves God out of the equation. That’s why Paul said in Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who gives me the strength!”
This is why David writes in Psalm 44:1-7, “O God, we have heard with our ears, our fathers have told us the work that You did in their days, in the days of old. You with Your own hand drove out the nations; then You planted them; You afflicted the peoples, then You spread them abroad. For by their own sword they did not possess the land, and their own arm did not save them, but Your right hand and Your arm and the light of Your presence, for You favored them. You are my King, O God; command victories for (us). Through You we will push back our adversaries; through Your name we will trample down those who rise up against us. For I will not trust in my bow, nor will my sword save me. But You have saved us from our adversaries, and You have put to shame those who hate us. (Psalm 44:1-7)
Every week as I put this podcast together; every week as I study Scripture, write out my thoughts, and record each episode; every week as this podcast is produced, edited, and broadcast, I pray. I pray specifically for you. This prayer time is so important to me. I share this with you because I want you to also pray. I beg of you to take a moment before you listen to each episode and ask God to reveal Himself to you in a mighty way, not just through this podcast, but also through your daily worship of Him. Ask Him to soften your heart to receive what He wants to tell you, and to give you the strength to apply it to your life.
In fact, let’s take a moment right here and right now to pray together.
“Father, please reveal to all of us where each of us have tried to win this war in our own strength. Fill us with the knowledge of Your will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that we will understand what it means to walk in a manner worthy of You, pleasing You in all respects, bearing fruit for You in everything we do, and increasing in our knowledge of You. May we, through this episode, not just be informed by the Word of God, but transformed by the Spirit of God! In Christ’s precious and holy name, I pray, Amen!”
In Psalm 118:24 the Psalmist declares, “This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”
Today is a day meant to focus all of our attention on God—a day of worship. For most of you listening to this, today is probably not Sunday. Therefore, for some of you my declaration that today is a day of worship might confuse you. That’s because, especially here in America, many of us think of Sunday as a day of worship. Monday through Friday are workdays, and Saturday is a day off.
On Sunday’s, many of us will go to church, greet each other with a smile, sing worship songs as a congregation, open our Bible and listen to the preacher deliver his sermon, then shake his hand on the way out the door. But did we really worship? Did we truly honor God from our hearts, or did we simply play “church”? Are you a one-day, only-on-Sunday Christian?
Unfortunately, many of tend to sit in the pew on Sunday, going through the motions of “worship” while feeling numb and empty inside. The fact is, we cannot truly worship as long as we have unresolved issues and unconfessed sin residing in an unrepentant heart. There is a prodigal in the pew.
You cannot fight this battle for purity on your own my friend. You just can’t. In order to win this war, you must be in God’s Word every day studying it, memorizing it, meditating on it, and obeying it. In Exodus 15:2 we read, “The Lord is my strength and my song; he has given me victory. This is my God, and I will praise him!”
Oh, please don’t miss this. The Lord is your strength. He alone is your source of power—today, tomorrow, Sunday through Saturday—and repeat. And oh, what power He has! 1 Chronicles 29:11 declares, “Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all.”
Only through Him, only through God’s might can you stop, once-and-for-all, the rampaging beast of sexual immorality that is running amok in your heart. “The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent” (Exodus 14:14). As you worship God today, just be still and know that He is God (Psalm 46:10). Let it sink in, deep into your chest that He alone is your strength, your shield, and when you fully trust in him, you are victorious (Psalm 28:7).
You may recall that in Episode 24, as we sought an answer to the question “Does God really care for me?” we discovered in Psalm 27:1 that “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?”
When you are in that dark place, and you are battling with temptation, shout out this truth—the Lord is my light! Claim God’s promise that He will show you the way out. God alone is your salvation—He will rescue you if you let him. You don’t need to fear giving in to sexual impurity because the rock upon which you are building your life IS your stronghold, He IS your fortress, and He IS your refuge.
Psalm 59:17 says, “O my Strength, I will sing praises to you, for you, O God, are my fortress, the God who shows me steadfast love.” Today, my friend - today you can genuinely worship your Heavenly Father from the bottom of your heart because the God who loves you deeply and unconditionally has given you the strength to fight the beast and win!
Okay, I have a moment of confession to share with you. I’m a bit of a sci-fi fan. Ok, there you have it. I admit it. The truth is now out for the world to hear. I like science fiction. In 1999 a film came out that was a parody of one of my most favorite shows as I was growing up - Star Trek. The movie was about a group of washed-up stars of a fictional TV series called Galaxy Quest. In the movie an alien race (called the Thermians), who had no concept of fiction, followed the broadcast of that TV show, thinking it was a “historical document,” and so they modeled every aspect of their society after the show. The actors end up joining the Thermians in an attempt to stop a master villain who is threatening to destroy the aliens. Fictional Captain Jason Nesmith (played by actor Tim Allen) had a tagline that stuck with me—“Never Give Up, Never Surrender!”
Here’s why I took that brief, albeit fun, stroll down memory lane. If you’re like me, the battle against lust and porn and all forms of sexual impurity can be downright exhausting, even defeating at times. So much so that you find yourself wanting to just give up and give in. To raise the white flag to the enemy and cry out “I surrender!”
Do you ever just get tired of it all? Have you ever found yourself saying, “I quit! I just can’t do this anymore! It’s useless to try to fight this beast!”? Oh, my friend, do not grow weary of doing good (Galatians 6:9). Never give up! Never surrender!
When the apostle Paul wrote about his personal struggles with temptation, he said (Romans 7:15), “I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.” Can you relate to that? You want to glorify God with your life, you want to be a godly person, and you want to live victorious over lust and the persistent pull of sexual desire. Instead, you find yourself looking - lusting after others, staring at pornographic images, and masturbating while you fantasize—the very things we hate to do, we do!
Paul then goes on to say, “I delight in the law of God in my inner being, but I see in my (body) another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my (body). Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me …?” (Romans 7:22-24). Again, can you relate?
Never give up! Never surrender! When you feel weary, when you are tired of trying and think you’re about to give in—don’t. Remember the truth of Jeremiah 29:11. God has a plan for you—a plan to bless you, not to harm you. He hasn’t forsaken you and He is here with you right now, even though it may not seem like it.
But don’t take my word for it. In Deuteronomy 31:6 God says, “Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread (of the enemy), for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” In Joshua 1:9 He says, “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.” And don’t forget what God says in Isaiah 41:10. “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
“But” – some of you may argue – “those verses are in the Old Testament. In those verses God is speaking to Israel, not to me.” Ok, I hear your argument, and I understand where you’re coming from. However, let me remind you of Hebrews 13:8 which says that God “is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Let me remind you that “The steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him.” (Psalm 103:17) In other words, those promises God gave to Israel, He is also giving to you!
When we give up, when we surrender, we are in essence saying we believe God is a liar. We are convinced that God has failed us. We are declaring by our actions that we don’t trust God to do as He promised. When we abandon the battle, when we toss up the white flag and give in to the enemy, we are saying that we believe God’s timetable and God’s way of doing things don’t line up with our desires, our plans, our way of handling life – and we think we can do better.
The bottom line is this: we can’t do it on our own because we can’t do better than God. Our failures in the past prove that point loud and clear. The answer is not to just give up and give in. Remember, you can do all things through Christ, because He gives you the strength (Philippians 4:13)!
When you feel the weight of the battle, when your mind is telling you to just toss in the towel and stop fighting it, quote Scripture and then call your accountability partner. Remind yourself that as you are fighting for purity, as you are crawling up that hill inch by painful inch toward the victory flag, you are doing what God has commanded (and enabled) you to do. So “be steadfast, immovable … knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:58).
In Ecclesiastes 1:14 Solomon says, “I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind.” A little bit later he states, “Then I considered all that my hands had done and the toil I had expended in doing it, and behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 2:11).
In our battle against lust, porn, and sexual impurity in our life, sometimes (nah, let’s be honest—most of the time) we can relate with Solomon. We look at all the effort we’ve expended in trying to be a pure man, we consider the agony of the battle as we white-knuckle our way through the rough spots and we can become easily discouraged. We feel defeated because - after all that - we still gave in during a weak moment. All that effort, and what was gained? Nothing!
At that instant, as we are engaged in hand-to-hand combat with our enemy, he is whispering his lies into our mind—remember, Jesus warns us in John 8:44 that Satan is a master liar. “God doesn’t love you” he whispers. “God doesn’t care about your struggles; God won’t help you; what kind of a God is He anyway that He would let you suffer like this. Why try; why fight it; why not just quit right here and right now? Just give up and give in. You’ll feel a whole lot better when you do!”
Consider this: God never expects you to fight this battle on your own. He simply wants you to focus all your attention and energy on two things: keeping His commands and fearing Him. Solomon, the wisest man to have ever walked planet Earth, came to that conclusion. In Ecclesiastes 12:13 he writes, “Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.” Don’t miss this. Fear God and keep His commandments. Those two things comprise the “whole duty of man.” When you make your life all about Him, God will help you with everything else. In Matthew 6:33 Jesus promises that when you seek first God’s Kingdom in your heart and God’s righteousness in your life, everything else will fall into place. God just wants you to stand firm in your faith in Him; He will give you the tools and the strength to just say, “NO!”
The reason we experience defeat and discouragement is simply because we’ve been trying to win this war for purity on our own. Oh, we may memorize Scripture, meet regularly with our accountability partners, and read our Bible, but what is the motivation of our heart behind all those things? If it’s so that you can be victorious over the beast of sexual impurity that’s dominating your life, if it’s just so you can be free from this sin that hounds you and have your friends and family respect you again, if it’s so you can save your marriage or keep your job, then you have a wrong motive and God is not in the battle. You will not win.
Here’s a question for you: Do you get mad at yourself for repeating the same sin over and over again? Have you ever said to yourself, “I can’t believe I just did that”? I know I’m guilty as charged!
Do you realize that is a form of pride? What we are really saying is, “I can’t believe that a wonderful person like me would do such a sinful thing!”
Think about it. How pompous, how pious, how prideful to believe that YOU can deal with this sin on your own! Let me remind you of Philippians 4:13. “I can do everything through Christ, who give me his strength!” It is only through Christ that we can win this war. God says in Isaiah 41:10 “I am your God; I will strengthen you.” 2 Peter 1:3 reminds us that only God possesses the divine power to provide you with everything you need to be victorious and live a life that consistently glorifies Him. When you and I try to fight this on our own, we are denying the amazing power God has provided and claiming that ours is greater. Is it any wonder that we mess up?
Job asked the question, “Who can bring what is pure from the impure?” He then answers, “No one!” (Job 14:4). In and of ourselves, we are incapable of living sexually pure lives. The only way we can be (and stay) on the victory side is when God Himself, who has that power, lives His life – His holiness, His purity - through us. And that happens only when we consistently yield ourselves completely to Him. This is why David declared (Psalm 119:9) that the only way to keep your heart pure is to live your life in complete obedience to God’s Word.
Peter assures us in 2 Peter 1:3 that God’s divine power has already given you everything you need to be a sexually pure, godly person. Did you catch that? You already have exactly what you need to win the battle! You don’t have to manufacture it or go searching for it. It’s already within you in the person of the Holy Spirit.
Don’t lose sight of the fact that this power to be godly comes as we grow in our knowledge of the Lord—as we focus our mind on Him (Colossians 3:2). When your focus is off of self and on God, your actions will no longer be about self but about God. Let me repeat that: When your focus is off of self and on God, your actions will no longer be about self but about God.
We are to always “be on (our) guard so that (we) are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men … but (we are to) grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Pet. 3:18). The way out of the impurity trap is to know God deeply and personally. There is no other path to true change. Oh, don’t get me wrong, other changes we do on our own might make life a little easier for the moment, but we are still ensnared in the same dark kingdom where self is sitting high on the throne.
Your goal: Know God in such a way that you will find Him far greater and more important to you than whatever else you love.
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.