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.
Proverbs 2:6 says, “For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.” The way you are assured to experience permanent victory versus temporary success is through the daily study and application of God’s word. I don’t want you to miss this. It is only “from his mouth” that you will receive wisdom, knowledge and understanding. Only “from his mouth” will you discover how to combat and defeat the beast of sexual temptation.
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. This is Episode #97 entitled “The Need to Read!”
As we begin this week’s episode, let’s take a moment here and begin with prayer.
“Father, we come before you right now and humbly acknowledge the fact that you and you alone are God. Forgive us for trying to usurp your throne. Help us as we endeavor to oust King Me and choose instead to allow you to be the Lord and Leader of every aspect of our life. So, we come to you right now asking in Jesus glorious name that you fill us with wisdom, equip us with your divine power, and lead us into a deeper understanding of your Word, your will, and
If you have followed this podcast for any length of time, then you know that I strongly encourage you to read God’s Word daily. You see, “Man shall not live by bread alone.” (Matthew 4:4) In other words, you will not be free of your struggle with sexual temptation, you will not daily live in victory based upon man’s counsel and your own personal efforts alone. Believe me, I know. I tried to change my behavior without changing my heart. It doesn’t work. Oh sure, behavior modification can bring about a temporary “change” (and I couch that with air quotes) but without the Holy Spirit fully engaged in changing your heart, you are bound to eventually fail ... and fall.
I am not saying all of man’s counsel is bad and your personal efforts are worthless. Please don’t misunderstand me. Here’s what I am saying: I am saying that freedom, victory, and lasting purity is found through “every word that comes from the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4) It is God’s Word that has the cleansing, restorative, and reenergizing power you need to be free from the beast. It is only as you daily fill your mind with His Truth that you will be able to then daily live out that truth.
The key here is that “when you receive the word of God ... you accept it not as the word of men, but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you.” (1 Thessalonians 2:13 emphasis added) There is tremendous value in listening to what God has to say to you through the Bible. Consider this: according to 2 Timothy 3:16-17,
The result of being in God’s Word daily is that you become a person of God who is completely equipped to be godly – a man or woman of integrity and purity. This is why I strongly encourage you to read your Bible every day of the week. Not just occasionally. Daily.
Here’s why. “The word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)
Throughout many of these episodes I talk a lot about your heart. Why? We do what we do because in our heart we want what we want. So, if you want victory over sexual temptation (or any temptation for that matter), you must first do battle – not with the beast but with your heart. This is because “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9)
It is “from within, out of the hearts of people, come the evil thoughts, acts of sexual immorality, thefts, murders, acts of adultery, deeds of greed, wickedness, deceit, indecent behavior, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness.” (Mark 7:21-22 NASB) This is why it is so critical to your purity that you, “above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” (Proverbs 4:23 NIV’84) The fact is, “As (a man) thinketh in his heart, so is he.” (Proverbs 23:7 KJV) “As a face is reflected in water, so the heart reflects the real person.” (Proverbs 27:19 NLT)
The primary purpose of this podcast is NOT to talk with you about the struggle against lust, porn, and masturbation, because that is not the primary problem. My emphasis is not on how to stop feeding the beast. Rather, I am zeroing in on nourishing the new nature that resides within your heart. Why? To change your behavior, you must first change your heart.
Hebrews 4:12 is telling us that the word of God gets past all the fluff and junk in your life and gets right to the thoughts and intentions of your heart. This is why investing time in God’s Word daily is such a key element in living a life of victory and freedom.
Psalm 119:9 asks the question “How can a young man keep his way pure?” The verse goes on to answer, “By guarding it according to your word.” Did you catch that? Your purity is directly connected to God’s Word. You will be and stay pure only as you guard your purity with Scripture!
Imagine with me for a moment that you are inside a fortified castle, protected on all sides by an impenetrable wall. No matter what the enemy outside is throwing at you, no matter how he tries to breach the fortress, he cannot touch you. Those walls are solid, reinforced, and unyielding. How does that make you feel? Consider the amazing freedom you have within those walls of protection! Inside that fortress you have nothing and no one to fear. Through Christ you can experience just that!
Psalm 18:2 declares, “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 62:6 says of God, “He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken.”
Psalm 46:1-3 tells us that “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.” In Psalm 144:2 we read, “(God) is my steadfast love and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield and he in whom I take refuge” And Nahum 1:7 declares that “The LORD is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; He knows those who take refuge in him.”
Here's my point: God IS your fortress, your stronghold and absolutely nothing and no one can ever (or will ever) penetrate His protection of your soul. Furthermore, think of God’s Word as being the mortar between the rock-solid stone (of Jesus Christ) reinforcing that impenetrable wall. All the arrows of the enemy, every lie he throws at you, every deception he sends your way, every attempt at misdirection and subterfuge bounces harmlessly off those fortress walls.
This is why I will always press you hard to be in God’s Word every day for the rest of your life. This is why I want you to see Scripture as your oxygen tank. You cannot live, you cannot function without it.
Here’s a fact: your soul needs to be fed, and it knows that. It will always feed upon something. This is why it’s so vital that you develop the discipline of feeding it the Word of God. Jesus said (Matthew 4:4) “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” Job declared, “I have not departed from the commandment of his lips; I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my portion of food.” (Job 23:12) 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, for I am called by your name, O LORD, God of hosts.” (Jeremiah 15:16)
How often do you eat? Although that answer may vary to some degree from person to person, I think I’m safe in assuming that you eat on a regular basis. It should be the same with feeding your soul upon Scripture. In Matthew 6:11 Jesus encourages us to pray “Give us this day our daily bread.” David says that the blessed man whose “delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates (chews on it) day and night.” (Psalm 1:2) He then exclaims “Oh how I love your law! It is my meditation (in other words, I feed upon it) all the day.” (Psalm 119:97)
Now let’s face it, although our soul desperately needs solid spiritual food, sometimes life happens and you “skip a meal or two.” You allow yourself a few days of grace, arguing “I’ll get back into the Word tomorrow. I’ll even double-up on my Bible reading.” I’ve been there. All too quickly those days turn into weeks, and before you know it your faith has become weak because you’re spiritually famished.
Consider this: If you’re not feeding your soul with the Word of God, you’re feeding it on something else. So, what are you feeding upon? Seriously. Stop and think about that. What are you actually feeding your soul every day?
(Joshua 1:8) “This Book of the Law (God’s Word) shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.”
As you read God’s Word daily, feeding upon His Truth, and as you meditate on it throughout the day, chewing on what He has revealed to you, you will gain not only a greater understanding of who God is, but you will also begin to see the path He wants you to walk through life. This is because “(God’s) word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” (Psalm 119:10) “The unfolding of (God’s) words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple.” (Psalm 119:130)
Let me add one more thing here as it relates to being in Scripture daily. Reading God’s word is vital. But it is also worthless if you do nothing about it. Think about being outside in the dead of night under a cloudy, moonless, starless sky. There are no streetlamps; no external source of light except the flashlight you are holding in your hand. In order to navigate your way safely; in order to ensure you don’t injure yourself, you are going to turn the flashlight on. Right?
Once that light is turned on, once the path ahead of you is illuminated, you are then able to move forward with confidence. However, you must choose to take the first step. Then the next one, and the next one, and so on.
Consider this: When you read your Bible you turn on the powerful light of God’s Word. What is the result? After you’re done with your devotions, and you close your Bible what was accomplished? What message did the Holy Spirit speak into your heart? What lesson(s) is He wanting you to learn? What fruit is growing and developing in your life as a result? What steps are you taking to do what you’ve discovered?
Another way to put it is this: What are you currently doing about what you’ve read in Scripture?
God says in Leviticus 18:4-5 “You shall follow my rules and keep my statutes and walk in them. I am the LORD your God. You shall therefore keep my statutes and my rules; if a person does them, he shall live by them: I am the LORD.” Then, in Leviticus 19:37 God says, “And you shall observe all my statutes and all my rules and do them: I am the LORD.” “So you shall keep my commandments and do them: I am the LORD.” (Leviticus 22:31) Jesus said, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!” (Luke 11:28) And in John 13:17 he said, “If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.”
Do you get the idea that God expects more from us than just reading His word for five minutes a day? James commands us to “Receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your soul. But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” (James 1:21b-22) Romans 2:13 tells us “it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified.”
You see, man’s counsel, man’s advice, man’s way of dealing with the struggle is worthless if God is not in the center of it. No matter if it’s 12 Sensible Steps, 8 Powerful Promises, or 5 Practical Principles of Purity, if God’s Word is not central to the “counsel” being given it is empty, hollow, and insignificant advice.
“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) “Like newborn infants, (you are to) long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation.” (1 Peter 2:2)
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.
One of the resources I would like to draw your attention to is what is called our “Point of Purity Program.” This is a 12-week study of God’s Word focused on equipping and training men and women how to overcome lust, porn addiction and masturbation. We are excited to announce to you that there are now two ways you can participate in the “Point of Purity Program.”
First is our 1-on-1 weekly sessions. I will meet with you personally for an hour each week for 12 weeks. This is not a small group or support group setting – this is just you and me sitting down together, walking 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. If you would like to learn more, simply go to our website (ThePurityCoach.com) and click on “Point of Purity.”
The second way you can participate in this “Point of Purity Program” is to go to Amazon.com and purchase our brand new “Point of Purity” workbook. This workbook is a 12-week study designed to be done in connection with either an accountability partner or small group. The content in this workbook is the same material that we go over in our 1-on-1 sessions, the only real difference is that with this option you don’t have the benefit of having me walk through it with you.
Either way, let me encourage you to give serious consideration to our “Point of Purity Program.” For more information on this powerful 12-week program, just go to our website (ThePurityCoach.com) and click on “Point of Purity” or go to the Contact section of our website and give me a call.
Well, thank you so much for listening to this episode and 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.