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.
God is calling each and every one of us to put all of our attention upon Him. He knows what’s best for your heart. He knows what will make you spiritually healthy and help you grow, and He has prepared a special meal just for you! We need to open our Bible every day for the rest of our lives and feed upon every word that comes from God’s mouth
I’m your host, Steve Etner, Author, National Speaker, and Purity Coach for The Pure Man Ministry. In this episode we conclude last week’s study on how to prevent a Spiritual Heart Attack by looking at how to be spiritually heart healthy and heart wise!
In the fight against heart disease, a healthy diet and a healthy lifestyle are your best weapons. So, although, for example, eating things high in sodium won’t instantly kill you, it’s probably not very wise to consume them in great quantities. Doctors tell us to eat more fish, limit our red meat and our dairy intake, count our cholesterol, fill up on fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and go easy on the caffeine. Why? Because the things you take into your body can directly impact the health of your heart.
In the same way, we need to watch what we “eat” spiritually. In Isaiah 55:2-3 God asks a powerful question. He says, “Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food. Incline your ear, and come to me; hear, that your soul may live.”
Why do you spend your time, energy, and all else that God has blessed you with on that which cannot truly feed you? Why waste it on that which does not satisfy you and meet your needs? Let’s face it, lust, porn, and masturbation (and all other forms of sexual impurity) definitely fit into this category. We spend our time trying to satisfy King Me, only to come away empty, unfulfilled, and wanting more.
God is calling each of us to put all of our attention upon Him all of the time. Why? He knows what’s best for your heart. He knows what will make you spiritually healthy and help you grow, and He’s prepared a special “meal” (if you will) just for you! You need to open your Bible every day for the rest of your life and feed on every word that comes from God’s mouth (Matthew 4:4).
Now, unlike most “heart healthy” foods that can leave a lot to be desired in the taste department, the food that God has prepared for you is “rich.” Psalm 19:10 says God’s Word is “sweeter than honey and (the) drippings of the honeycomb.” Job 23:12 declares, “I have not departed from the commandment of his lips; I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my portion of food.” In Psalm 119:103 David writes, “How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” And Jeremiah said, “Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart.” (Jeremiah 15:16).
God’s Word promises that as you feed daily upon Scripture, it delights your heart. In other words, it’s good for you! Now consider this: The opposite is equally as true—if you do not feed daily upon God’s Word, your spiritual heart will become weak and sick.
So, here’s a question for you: Are you eating healthy? Keep in mind that if you are not daily feeding upon the Word of God, you are daily feeding on something. We need to starve the sinful flesh. Stop looking at porn! Stop letting your mind drift away on the waves of fantasy! You need to feed on the Word of God and let God be the strength of your heart and your portion forever (Psalm 73:26).
I’m sure most of you can probably quote Psalm 23 from memory. Our Shepherd makes sure we have the finest pastures to graze in. Did you know that sheep only lie down when they are full? God’s Word fills us, it guides us, it restores us, it protects us, and it comforts us. Why on earth would you want to go anywhere else to eat when He has prepared the best table possible for you! He has laid out a feast of the greatest fare imaginable.
If you want victory in your life over the beast of sexual impurity, you must build up your strength by eating right, feeding upon Scripture daily. Being fed from the pulpit on Sunday is great, but it must never be enough. Being read to has its place, but we need to read Scripture ourselves if we’re going to grow. The value of a meal is not in being handed the menu.
If you want lasting change, you must take it even further though. You need to be like the saints in Berea that “examined the Scriptures every day.” (Acts 17:11) Study God’s Word each and every day, my friend. Examine it. Dig into it. Make the time to search for the hidden treasures God has for you. Don’t be content with reading the little devotional that has two verses of Scripture, three paragraphs of commentary, and a cute little poem at the end. Remember that the only difference between reading the Bible and studying it is a pen and paper. Yet what a difference digging into God’s Word can make in your life.
And then, memorize and meditate on what you’ve studied. Now I can almost hear a collective groan rising in the throats of most of you listening to this. Memorize? Seriously? Why do I have to memorize Scripture?
Consider this: in John 14:26 Jesus tells us that the Holy Spirit’s primary ministry today is to remind you of the things God has said to you. Now think about that for a moment. His job is to “remind” you of what God says to you in Scripture. Question: can you remember something you do not know? Of course not! I’m fairly certain you tried it in High School and college, right? It didn’t work then, and it certainly won’t work now, either. So, suck it up cupcake—memorize God’s Word! Purposely give the Holy Spirit the tools He needs to remind you of God’s truth in the moment of temptation.
You also need to mediate on God’s Word. OK, why meditate? Meditating on Scripture, mulling it over in your mind, thinking about what God is saying and how it applies to you personally, will enable you to then walk in obedience. God promises that when you do, when you choose daily to meditate on Scripture, you will prosper and be successful (Joshua 1:8).
Not only should you study God’s Word, meditate on God’s Word, and memorize God’s Word – most importantly you should obey it. Never forget that God is “watching to see that (His) word is fulfilled” (Jeremiah 1:12).
1 Timothy 4:7b-8a says, “Train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way.”
Your physical heart is a muscle. Therefore—just like all your other muscles—it gets stronger and healthier when you exercise. People who don’t exercise are almost twice as likely to get heart disease as people who are active.
The same principle applies to your spiritual heart as well. In 1 Timothy 4:7-8, Paul acknowledges the benefits of physical exercise, but then quickly points out that spiritual exercise—training ourselves to be godly—is of far greater value.
The fact is, this battle against sexual impurity isn’t a one-time deal, nor is it only for a brief season. We are engaged in this spiritual warfare our entire life. Therefore, we need the endurance of an athlete if we are going to last for the duration and avoid a full enemy takedown.
How then do we “exercise” toward the goal of being godly? Just like an athlete exercises their muscles through the stress and strain of lifting weights, so we exercise our faith by putting our trust in God through the stress and strain of life. God has commanded us (Joshua 1:9) to “be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed,” rather, we need to trust in the fact that “the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
The fact is, we cannot avoid the lure of lust, the pull of porn and the magnet of masturbation. It’s all around us. But in the midst of those temptations, we can exercise our faith in God to help us through. Psalm 9:10 says, “Those who know (God’s) name will trust in (him), for (the) Lord (has) never forsaken those who seek (Him).” It is only as you (Proverbs 3:5-6) “trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; (and) in all your ways (acknowledging) him … (that is when) he will make your paths straight”.
If you’re anything like me, I’d rather that God simply removed the lust and the desires for sinful sexual pleasures. Just get it out of me once and for all! Wouldn’t it be nice to never have to struggle with lust ever again? However – I submit - if God did do that, I would be more like a weak, sickly couch potato than a trained, strong spiritual athlete. After all, how can I learn to trust in Him fully if I never faced another temptation? How can I rely completely upon Him and say, “You are my God” (Psalm 31:14), if I never pick up my sword and charge into the fray? Exercising myself toward godliness means not trusting in what I can do to get myself out of the mess I’m in (Proverbs 28:26). Rather it requires trusting “in the name of the Lord (my) God.” (Psalm 20:7)
An athlete exercises and trains for the purpose of building up their strength so that they can endure without faltering. In the same way, we need to learn to “rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope” (Romans 5:3-4).
Think about this, an athlete doesn’t become strong overnight. He exercises for weeks and months on end. In the same way, we must understand that the only way to build our faith in God and our ability to resist temptation in the midst of the battle is to have our faith exercised. It is “with the temptation” that God “will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it” (1 Corinthians 10:13).
Did you ever stop to consider that even the best of athletes doesn’t want to exercise? They have days when the thought of getting off that diet, not doing this particular exercise, ignoring the alarm and sleeping in just this once weighs heavily on their mind. They have to discipline themselves to exercise. They make a choice and commit to keeping at it no matter what.
Are you godly? By that I mean this: Do you look like God? Do you act like God? Do you want to be like God? Understand, I’m not asking if you are God or want to be a god. I’m asking this: as others see you, as those around you know you, watch you and learn from you, are you drawing their attention always to God? To become godly and to realize victory in your life over sexual impurity takes training. It takes exercise, building, and discipline. It requires the ability, determination, and know-how to just say “no” to temptation (Titus 2:12), and “yes” to God. Quit dabbling in sin. Quit toying around with your temptations. Purify your inner life. Quit playing the field. Stop hanging around the door of her house (Proverbs 5:8).
If you want to be godly you must daily, fully and faithfully trust in God; you must be a lifetime student of the Bible. You must at all times guard your heart (Proverbs 4:23). You do that, in part, by watching and reading and listening to things that will promote godliness in your life. You must have quiet time alone with God every day. One day in the near future you will see God face to face. And the question I want you to ask yourself right now is this: When I appear before Him, will He say, “Well done, good and faithful servant" (Matthew 25:21)?
In Matthew 11:28-30 Jesus says, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."
This spiritual battle we are engaged in often leaves us feeling weary, worn, and wiped out. Agreed? Lamentations 5:5 describes it this way: “Our pursuers are at our necks; we are weary; we are given no rest.” Have you ever felt that way? I can remember so many times over the years when the 3-headed dragon of Lust, Porn and Masturbation was relentlessly breathing down my neck. I was exhausted, weak, and ready to quit. I felt I couldn’t take another step on the battlefield without dropping in utter defeat. I desperately wanted rest but didn’t know how to get it.
It is only in Christ that we will find our much-needed rest. Rest for a Christian comes when we invest consistent time alone with God ... when we are still and know that He alone is God (Psalm 46:10). The more time we are with our Heavenly Father, the more our spirit is revived. You see, God alone: “Gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:29-31)
I know it can feel this way but let me assure you that you are NOT fighting this battle all-alone. Cling tightly to God’s promise in Exodus 33:14 where He says, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” Stop trying to figure it out on your own. Stop relying on King Me, or on self-help methods, or the unbiblical advice of others. You’ve tried those avenues countless times before and they never work. So, what makes you believe this time is the magic bullet? You need to learn to “be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him” (Psalm 37:7) because only He is your “place of quiet retreat” (Psalm 119:114).
How, then, do we find this rest? Isaiah said that God keeps in perfect peace the man whose mind is steadfast—completely focused upon Him (Isaiah 26:3). The rest you and I need is found only in God and is realized only when we place all of our trust and confidence in the God who “gives strength to the weary” (Isaiah 40:29). Only as you lean fully on the One who “will satisfy the weary soul” will you experience a perfect (complete) peace.
As you daily come to Christ for your strength and help, it is important that you understand, “The LORD is (your) shepherd, (you) shall not be in want. He makes (you) lie down in green pastures, he leads (you) beside quiet waters, he restores (your) soul. He guides (you) in paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Even though (you) walk through the valley of the shadow of death, (you) will fear no evil, for (God is) with (you); (His) rod and (His) staff, they comfort (you). (God) prepares a table before (you) in the presence of (your) enemies. (God) anoints (your) head with oil; (your) cup overflows. Surely goodness and love will follow (you) all the days of (your) life, and (you) will dwell in the house of the LORD forever” (Psalm 23).
So, the next time you are faced with temptation, the next time you battle with the desire to lust, the next time you struggle with the urge for self-gratification, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).
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.
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