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.
“If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.” (Genesis 4:7)
Building a life of sexual purity doesn’t happen overnight, and like any building project – you must daily choose to use the right tools for the task.
There’s an old adage that says, “you can choose your actions, but you cannot choose the consequences.” Today in Episode 9 we are going to challenge that old adage. You see, You can choose the consequences by choosing your actions.
We are going to talk about your choices and the consequences that follow. Specifically, how to make the right choices. Choices that will not only glorify God – but lead you to living in freedom and victory over the 3-headed dragon of lust, porn and masturbation.
We live in a sex-saturated society. Is it any wonder that many of us struggle with lust? We desire to be free, but we don’t know how to stop. Building a life of sexual purity doesn’t happen overnight, and like any building project – you must daily choose to use the right tools for the task.
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. Today in Episode 9 we are going to talk about your choices and the consequences that follow. Specifically, how to make the right choices. Choices that will not only glorify God – but lead you to living in freedom and victory over the 3-headed dragon of lust, porn and masturbation.
There’s an old adage that says, “you can choose your actions, but you cannot choose the consequences.” Have you ever heard that one before? You can choose your actions, but you cannot choose the consequences.
For example, I am free to choose the action of putting my hand underneath a running lawnmower. I’m sure you would agree that it’s not a very wise choice, but I have the freedom to make that choice. However, I cannot choose whether those spinning blades will chop off my fingers or not. I can choose my actions, but I cannot choose the consequences.
I’m going to challenge that old adage. I submit that you CAN choose the consequences – by choosing your actions! You can choose the consequences by choosing your actions. For example, I can choose the consequences of NOT losing my fingers simply by choosing the action of not putting my hand under a running lawnmower. Choice – consequences.
That’s the point of Genesis 4:7. As we saw in last week’s podcast, in Genesis 4:7 God is speaking to Cain just before he kills his brother Able. And God says - If you choose to do what is right, if you choose to worship God instead of King Me something wonderful will happen – you will be blessed. Choice – consequence. However, If you choose to do what is wrong, if you choose to let King Me sit on the throne of your heart so that you worship yourself over God, something dangerously destructive will happen – sin will consume you. Choice – consequence.
Think about this as it relates to your sexual purity. If you want the consequences of your actions to be a sexual purity that honors and glorifies God; if you want to experience God’s blessing on your life, if you want to enjoy the perfect peace and joy that only God can give - what actions must you choose right now in order to get those consequences later?
Consider this: To live in victory and freedom over the 3-headed dragon, the action you must choose right now, the action you must choose every moment of every day is far more than just stopping your lust and putting a cease-and-desist order on looking at porn and giving in to masturbation. It goes beyond all of that. Yes, you need to stop completely, and stop right now. That is a necessity. However, the action you must take goes much deeper.
In fact, the action you must choose right now is far more than getting a good software program that blocks your access to porn. Again, yes, you should get something that both blocks your access AND reports your activities to an accountability partner (and as a quick sidenote, I very highly recommend Covenant Eyes – to learn more, go to CovenantEyes.com. Yes, accountability software is a very good thing. However, the action you must take goes even deeper than this.
And, the action you must choose to take is even more than getting an accountability partner and meeting with him weekly. I am definitely not saying having an accountability partner isn’t necessary. Quite the contrary, it is vital to your ongoing purity that you have an accountability partner that cares enough about you to ask you the hard questions and keeps you responsible (and we will talk more about that in future sessions). However, the action you must take is even greater than all of this.
Listen closely here: The actions you must choose to do right now (from this point forward) of necessity includes daily reading God’s Word, daily talking with God (prayer), daily working on Scripture memorization, and daily worshiping God. Oh, and by the way, in case you missed it the first time – each of these must be done daily !
Let me repeat Genesis 4:7 “If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.”
It is vitally important you begin to understand that your choice to lust, to look at porn, to masturbate – your choice to worship King Me – results in you being consumed by sin. You see, when you choose to give in to sexual temptation, King Me ends up sitting on the throne in EVERY aspect of your life. Not God, you!
Up till now, how successful have you been at governing your life? I’m willing to wager your honest answer would have to be at best “not very successful” and at worst, “not successful at all” – either way, you have struggled and failed many times over. Am I right.
Let me read Joshua 1:7-8 to you. “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law ... do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Do not let this Book of the Law (God’s Word) depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.”
Now here’s my question: According to the verses I just read, how prosperous and how successful would you be if you let God have complete reign over every part of your life all the time? The answer? Totally Successful!
Let me remind you ... your choice to lust, your choice to look at porn, your choice to self-gratify, your choice to give in to your sinful sexual desires – your choice to do what is wrong – has resulted in you being consumed by sin. Not just sexual sin. You have focused your life around King Me. You have chosen to worship a false god, which is idolatry and that has infiltrated every part of your life.
As a result, you have made all kinds of sinful decisions based upon what you believe will make King Me happy, feel good, satisfied and fulfilled. Not only was sin crouching at the door of your heart, but it has pounced and has begun to devour every aspect of your life.
I challenge you to seriously think about this next point. When King Me is sitting on the throne of your heart, three things happen simultaneously, all at the same time, every time; guaranteed.
First of all, when King Me is sitting on the throne of your heart, you will worship King Me. That’s a given. Everything you think, everything you say, and everything you do will be naturally bent toward making King Me happy, happy, happy. That’s strike one.
Second, when King Me is sitting on the throne of your heart, not only are you worshiping King Me, but you will expect everything (e.g., technology, weather, etc.) and everyone else (e.g., spouse, family members, neighbors, church, etc.) to worship the king as well. That’s strike two.
Now let me pose some thought-provoking questions to you here. How has living for King Me affected Your “free time”? Your marriage? Your family? Your job? Your driving? (Yes, even in your driving) How has it impacted your use of technology? Even your worship experience at church?
Then third, when King Me is sitting on the throne of your heart, not only are you worshiping the king and expecting everyone and everything around you to worship the king, you will expect God to worship King Me as well. Ouch!
Here is often how that looks. “God, I have been faithfully serving you. I am reading my Bible daily. I am taking captive my thoughts. I am treating my wife well. I haven’t raised my voice at the kids, and I’ve kept a good attitude at work. I go to church every Sunday, I put my tithe in the offering plate, I serve on the board at church, I teach a Bible Study class, I sing in the choir – I’ve been good ... you owe me!”
Although we may never directly say those things to God, sometimes we think it and occasionally we feel it. Especially when things aren’t going well or going our way. We may pray something like this: “God, why are you punishing me? What have I done that you are choosing not to bless me? What more do you want from me?” And that’s strike three.
With every choice we make in life, there are consequences. Both seen and unseen. Both now and in the future. So, we need to learn how to choose the good consequences, by choosing the right actions.
In the past you have trusted in sexual impurity to bring a warped sense of “satisfaction.” In the past you’ve trusted in your own ability to achieve some form of fulfillment. Bottom line? You’ve been going the wrong way down a one-way street.
I realize I cannot speak definitively for you here, but for me personally that choice has never brought me what I anticipated or hoped for. It has never delivered the promised goods. The consequences I received were totally different than what I thought would happen. I was deceived.
Galatians 6:7-8 warns us, “Do not be deceived” (don’t let yourself be duped by the enemy; don’t listen to the lies of Satan) “God is not mocked, for whatever one sows” (whatever choice you make in the moment of your temptation) “that will he also reap” (you will receive the consequences of that choice). “For the one who sows to his own flesh” (the one who chooses to put King Me on the throne and worship self) “will from the flesh reap corruption,” (choice-consequence) “but the one who sows to the Spirit” (the one who chooses to put God first in every aspect of his life) “will from the Spirit reap eternal life” (Choice-Consequence).
I truly thought that lust, porn, and masturbation was the way to finding some sort of lasting satisfaction – I was deceived into believing that giving in was the way to being happy in life ... because it temporarily eased my pain. But the end result was death. I lost the admiration of my wife and children. I nearly lost my marriage. I lost the respect of my friends at church. My mother literally took all her pictures of me and cut my face out of them. I lost four very good jobs because of my addiction. My relationship with God was severely strained. I even attempted suicide as a result.
When you choose the wrong way, when you choose the King Me way, the consequences of that choice will always be the death of something (usually many things) in your life.
However, IF you choose to trust, with all your heart, that God’s way of purity is far, far better – even though right now you may not be experiencing it; even though right now it is the hardest, most painful thing you have ever pursued – IF you choose to trust that God’s way of purity is far better, then the consequences of that choice are that He will help you along the way. He will not only show you the path to purity and lasting victory, He will also give you His divine power to be pure (see 2 Peter 1:3) and you will find far more than what you are currently searching for!
Let me give you a real-world example of the truth of Genesis 4:7. Let’s consider the story of King David’s sin with Bathsheba in 2 Samuel 11:1 through 12:22.
Remember, with each and every choice, there will always be consequences. Consider the
choices David made and compare them with Genesis 4:7
Choice #1: He stayed home from the war instead of doing his duty as king and leading his men into battle.
2 Samuel 11:1 tells us that “In the spring of the year, the time when kings go out to battle, David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel. And they ravaged the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained at Jerusalem. ”
Based upon his actions, who was sitting on the throne of David’s heart? The answer? King Me
What does God say about this?
That singular, self-centered, King Me choice influenced all of his other choices, and resulted in serious ramifications. “If you do not do what is right (if you choose to worship yourself instead of God), sin is crouching at your door.”
Can you see that same truth evident in your own life? In what ways have your King Me choices had significant negative ramifications in your life?
Choice #2: He chose to continue looking at Bathsheba bathing, allowing the look to turn to lust. Remember, when King Me is sitting on the throne of your heart, you see nothing wrong with the choices King Me is making.
2 Samuel 11:2 says, “It happened, late one afternoon, when David arose from his couch and was walking on the roof of the king’s house, that he saw from the roof a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful.”
What should David have done the instant he saw Bathsheba? What should you do the instant you see something even slightly sexually arousing?
When you choose to allow the look to turn to lust (as 2 Peter 2:14 says) you “have eyes full of adultery, insatiable for sin.” Don’t forget Genesis 4:7 - “If you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door.”
James 1:14-15 reminds us that “Each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.”
Choice #3: King David chose to pursue his lust instead of instantly destroying it before it got out of hand. “If you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door.”
2 Samuel 11:3 tells us that “David sent and inquired about the woman. And one said, ‘Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite.”
Don’t miss this – Bathsheba wasn’t a thing; she wasn’t an object of pleasure there for the whims and wishes of David. She was a real person – a woman. She was God’s creation. She was someone’s daughter. She was someone’s wife.
When you choose to lust, when you choose to look at porn and masturbate to it, that person you are lusting after is not a thing or an object of pleasure there for your fancy. That is a real person; a living, breathing human being. Someone’s child. Someone Jesus died for, not your play toy there for your pleasure and amusement.
Romans 13:14 commands you to “Put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.”
Think about the story of David and Bathsheba. In what ways did David make “provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires?” In what ways are you making “provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires”?
In Galatians 5:16 Paul writes, “But I say, walk by the spirit and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.”
Choice #4: David chose to have sex with a married woman (committing adultery) instead of honoring the sanctity of marriage that God had established. Remember: “If you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door. It desires to have you.”
2 Samuel 11:4 goes on to tell us that “David sent messengers and took her, and she came to him, and he lay with her. ... Then she returned to her house.”
David didn’t just have sex with a married woman, he himself was already married. No matter how you slice it, this was flat-out adultery.
I challenge you right here and right now to let this next verse speak deeply into your chest. In Matthew 5:27-28 Jesus says, “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”
Let me quickly point out that it’s not just about looking at a woman lustfully – you can look at a man lustfully as well.
What about you? Are you guilty of adultery? Be careful before you flippantly answer. If you are looking at porn, if you are lusting after another person, if you are engaging in sexual fantasy, even if you are not engaging in the physical act ... God says you ARE committing adultery
Choice #5: in 2 Samuel 11:6-13 we see that David chose to lie and deceive, covering up his sin, by attempting to bribe Uriah, encouraging him to sleep with his wife. Remember Genesis 4:7 ... “Sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you.” It wants to consume every part of your life.
So here is a vital question for you: In what ways have you been lying in an attempt to cover up your sins?
Colossians 3:9-10 commands, “Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self.”
Choice #6: We read in 2 Samuel 11:14-26 that King David chose to murder Bathsheba’s husband Uriah instead of obeying the sixth commandment of his Creator. In Exodus 20:13 God clearly states “Thou shall not commit murder.” Let me remind you of Gen. 4:7 “Sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you.” It wants to consume every part of your life.
Those 6 choices were significant choices in David’s life. Each choice led him deeper and deeper into sin.
“If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.”
Are you beginning to grasp the significance of Genesis 4:7? Do you understand why it is so vital to your purity that you have this verse permanently etched into your memory? You have a choice, and with each choice there are consequences. Each of David’s choices brought about serious consequences.
Was it worth it? Was it worth the momentary pleasure it brought David?
What about you? Has it been worth the momentary pleasure it’s brought you?
Finally, consider this: if David had made the right choice to begin with, had he chosen to join his men in battle for the protection of the kingdom, what would have happened to all the other choices? Answer: they would’ve disappeared. Why? Because he would never have been placed in a position where he had to make those other choices.
So, what primary lesson can you personally draw from this study of Genesis 4:7?
More importantly: What do you plan on doing about it?
Before we dive into next week’s episode, I strongly suggest that you daily read Psalm 25 and daily journal what stands out to you and why. Let me re-emphasize that this is to be done “daily.” This will probably be a challenge for you, even frustrating at times. That is to be expected. Remember, you are engaged in spiritual warfare. King Me is going to resist you every step of the way.
It is also important you recognize that this will be difficult because you are seeking to remove an old, established habit and replace it with a brand new one. This is no easy task. However, it is doable.
Philippians 4:13 promises “(you) can do all things through (Christ who gives you the strength).”
Romans 8:37 promises that “in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”
1 Corinthians 15:57 tells us why: “But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”