You do not have to look to the world to know that masturbation is a problem in the church among men and women. We do not need statistics for this because we all know that it is pandemic in the church.
Several years ago, as I was attending a seminar at Calvary Baptist Church in midtown manhattan, a young man stood up and asked a question about whether masturbation was a sin or not. You could hear a pin drop.
The moderator was taken aback by the question which was posed to him twice. He didn’t have a definitive answer and very politely brushed him off. There was no question in my mind that the young man was frustrated. I do not know if he was struggling with his conscience about it, but clearly, he went away without a definitive answer.
Looking back in hind sight, it was almost as if the Lord was warning me about what I was doing in secret. Up until that point, I didn’t know what the word “Masturbation” meant. I didn’t even bother to look it up. But I knew it had something to do with what I was doing as a young believer and minister in the Lord over 30 years ago.
There’s millions of people that is searching for definitive answers about masturbation. However, there is a vast majority of believers that will disagree about stopping masturbation and there is a reason which we will explore in another segment on this ground breaking series.
Again, there is no specific Scriptures that specifically state that masturbation is condemned. However, as I have pointed out. Just because the Bible is silent in one area, it doesn’t mean that we have permission to engage.
Can you control your urges and impulses?
If you are married, you can enjoy an normal sex life without masturbation, fornication, and adultery. As Dr, Mark Laaser has said, you can regain “sexual sobriety.”
It begins by understanding how to curb, discipline, and govern your urges and impulses.
Paul mentioned in Colossians 3:5 that we are to put to death your members which are on earth…” Then there is a list of sins that our minds and flesh desire to fulfill.
fornication- porneia. Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words defines “porneia” as “illicit sexual intercourse.” It is safe to say that illicit sexual intercourse is between two persons of the opposite sex that isn’t married. If either of them were married, it would constitute adultery.
uncleanness- morals, suggestive of the fact that sensuality and evil doctrine are frequently associated. Out of religiosity, sexual sins could be reasoned as justified, such as the doctrine of Balaam, the Nicolaitans, and the doctrine of Jezebel. In most cases, uncleanness will have some connection to sexual sins such as the man in the tombs.
Interesting to note that while I was on a Metro North platform at Tarrytown in NY, there was a black apparently homeless man standing on the overpass. As I gazed in his eyes, I could see that he was obsessed or possessed.
But while he was standing there, he was masturbating. When I read the story about the man in the tombs whom Jesus cast out a legion of devils, he was described as naked, and could not be tamed. He would break the chains. He would cry out all night long.
He had unclean spirits. Obviously all devils are unclean but the devils that operate then as well as today in humans predominantly deal in the area of sexual sins. We all know that the lowest level of depraved acts are sex acts. In some cases, not in all cases, demonic levels of depraved sexual acts do occur.
Masturbation in public is exhibitionism and to suggest that it is a clear demonically inspired sex act is a bit over the top and rarely happens. Lewdness does take place but it occurs with people that do claim to have some semblance of normalcy. .
With depraved sex acts, especially when they are committed against women and children, this is different.
passion- aggressive lusts; excessive lusts.
evil desire- “to fix the desire upon.” Thayer’s, “To long or crave for.”
covetousness (which is idolatry)- “a greedy desire to have more” which is idolatry, the worship of false gods.
Please note that masturbation is not specifically mentioned here or anywhere is the Bible.
But what is the true driving factor of all masturbation?
It is found in four words.
Uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.
If masturbation isn’t a sin, is there such thing as holy masturbation and unholy masturbation?
Remember, masturbation is self sex. It is an act done alone. As I shared in our last segment, the Lord said, “It is not good that man be alone.” To avoid masturbation was not the intended reason for the statement the Lord made. God created a compatible companion, suitable to his needs. Again, Adam and Eve were created perfect, in the image of God.
After the fall, things dramatically changed.
The rule of inference is applied because man will argue that since the Bible says nothing specifically about masturbation being a sin, then it is permitted. Very few men will tell you that they are thinking about their wives when it comes to masturbation.
Not after a hot babe walks by you. Or you are walking by the magazine rack.
Men are stimulated by sight. We do not have to look long and hard at a woman. Just a slight glance is enough to file her in our soul for masturbatory use later. Sometimes, when we say that I’m just thinking about having my wife sexually, it is just an excuse to engage in manipulating yourself to orgasm.
Covetousness, which is idolatry, is the culmination of uncontrolled members that must be put to death.
When you cannot manage or control “urges and impulses,” it potentially turns into an addiction and Paul describes it as covetousness, which is idolatry.
Again, many of you may disagree and that’s fine. Here is something that you may need to consider.
Remember what the Lord said to the Samaritan woman at the well? The woman mentioned “worship” but Jesus mentioned true worship. The Father seeks for those that worship Him in spirit and in truth. What she thought was true worship was a cover for what she was really worshipping. The runaway “greedy desire to have more.” And she was willing to do everything possible to meet that need.
A need that is never met remains a need. With sexual needs, there are deep seated or underlying needs in both genders.
4. Accomplishment or Success
All of these things are things that can only be satisfied in the true, spiritual worship of God.
When the Lord said, “You shall have no other gods before Me, for I, the Lord your God am a jealous God,” and when Jesus said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, This is the first and great commandment,” the Lord is letting us know that true satisfaction and love is found only in Him.
Psalm 16:11 says,
“You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”
Therefore, if we institute a priority to worship God in spirit and in truth, we can control our urges and impulses through giving God our full love for Him.
When this is accomplished, it is very easy to put these members to death.
Urges and impulses are signals given throughout the body to do certain things.
When we smell food, hunger is aroused. Even if you are not hungry, the smell arouses the desire to consume. When men watch women, sight arousal takes place. Also, if a man is thinking about sex, arousal will take place.
Urges and impulses need to be governed. Otherwise, covetousness, which is idolatry, will take place. When you cannot stop these urges and impulses from gaining the upper hand, they control what you do. In other words, you plan your day gathering as much sensual information as possible from as many sources as possible for the finale.
There would be times that I would meditate on the Word of God all day long and listen to praise and worship music too. But as soon as I turn to the newspapers, walk by the magazine rack in most stores, lustfully observe women, or view women from still pictures of internet images, all that worship was for nothing.
God knew my heart. We men of unbridled lust are all on the king’s balcony overlooking the area where she would come out and bathe herself. We are not where we supposed to be in God. We stay behind to get that one glimpse that would fill our hearts and minds with evil desires, unholy passions, and full blown lust.
By the time I got home, I’m completely overcome with lust in my heart, mind, and flesh.
When you look to self gratification, fornication, adultery, or prostitution to fulfill a sexual desire, you are out of control if you cannot stop. This is unhealthy sexual appetites.
Listen to the Amplified Bible of Colossians 3:5…
“So kill (deaden, deprive of power) the evil desire lurking in your members [those animal impulses and all that is earthly in you that is employed in sin]…”
When I wouldn’t kill, deaden or deprive of power the evil desire lurking in my members, those animal impulses, it was a battle that I would easily lose.
I was looking forward to fulfill the lusts of the flesh and mind. When it comes to the pleasures of sin, if you are not serious about the things of the Lord, you will override every prompting of the Holy Spirit to evade and avoid the trap of secret sexual sins. You will deny the power of godliness. You will set aside the Word of God to escape, just to experience the pleasure.
The intense pleasure of self gratification drove me to engage as often as possible. From self foreplay, to orgasm. While the desire to stop was always in me, the desire to fulfill orgasmic pleasure suppressed my desire to live in holiness, sanctification, and righteousness.
The pleasure was the hook. It kept me coming back for more and more. Just like Paul said.
Covetousness- a greedy desire to have more, which is idolatry, the worship of idol gods.
I frequently bowed at the altar of sexual immorality. I worshipped my ability to climax by masturbation and the images of porn and other women were being worshipped as well. I know that at this point, you do not think that masturbation crossed over into covetousness or idolatry. You honestly believe that what you are doing is innocent. It’s just a releasing of sexual tension. That’s all.
You vowed that you would never cross the line into the upper tier of sexual addiction level one. Adultery, fornication, and prostitutes. But that’s what urges and impulses is all about.
When it comes to the lusts of the flesh and the lusts of the eyes, Proverbs 27:20 says, “Hell and destruction are never full. So the eyes of man are never satisfied.” When it comes to false or substitute sex, the thoughts of crossing the line are always there.
And yes, whether you realize it or not, you are doing everything in your power not to cross that line. And to a degree, that is a form of control.
However, we know that the devil will always come back with that suggestion and there will be times when the temptation is greater than you think.
The line that the enemy wanted me to cross is to do porn movies. Don’t be so shocked. It was a very brief temptation because of the diseases. After getting delivered, and studying about these diseases that are out there, I found out that it’s a very full minefield. No matter which way you stepped, you will step on a mine. And knowing the way my life is, it would have been the first mine.
What am I getting at? Urges and impulses will drive every decision you make to fulfill false fantasy. Urges and impulses will always drive you to take the plunge into other areas to keep you interested.
Masturbation will no longer be enough.
1 John 1:9 was worn out. I was operating in remorse, not repentance.
Finally, how can we control urges and impulses? How can we deaden and deprive of power the animal impulses lurking within our members? How can we overcome an entrenched sexually pleasurable habit?
If you recall the first installation of The Masturbation Question, you must conclude three things.
1. You are violating the “one flesh” principle.
2. You are a born again child of God, therefore, you have no need for old habits because you are a new creature in Christ.
3. If Jesus masturbated, then you have every right to masturbate. If Jesus didn’t masturbate, then you can exercise the same sexual discipline of Jesus by conforming to His image with the help of the Holy Spirit.
We must understand the we still live in a flesh suit. As long as we live, we will always have urges and impulses. The Lord gave us everything that we need to exercise control over our members.
Rule #1. God placed within you the ability to control yourself.
Galatians 5:22 says, “The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness, temperance or self control…”
Yes! Self control.
Within us is the ability to control ourselves by the power and aid of the Holy Spirit. You can stop. You can change. You can desist. You can defeat and bring into subjection all of your fleshly desires.
Romans 8:5-10 out of the AMP says,
“For those who are according to the flesh and are controlled by its unholy desires set their minds on and pursue those things which gratify the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit and are controlled by the desires of the Spirit set their minds on and seek those things which gratify the [Holy] Spirit.
Set your mind on the Holy Spirit. How? By listening to the Word of God and fully yielding to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. For instance, when you see a woman across the street, the Holy Spirit will begin to train your eyes and mind to look elsewhere.
That’s 1 Corinthians 10:13 in operation when the Holy Spirit is making a way of escape for you that you may be able to bear under the temptation. Remember, the Lord will not allow you to be tempted above your ability to resist.
6 Now the mind of the flesh [which is sense and reason without the Holy Spirit] is death [death that comprises all the miseries arising from sin, both here and hereafter]. But the mind of the [Holy] Spirit is life and [soul] peace [both now and forever].
7 [That is] because the mind of the flesh [with its carnal thoughts and purposes] is hostile to God, for it does not submit itself to God’s Law; indeed it cannot.
8 So then those who are living the life of the flesh [catering to the appetites and impulses of their carnal nature] cannot please or satisfy God, or be acceptable to Him.
9 But you are not living the life of the flesh, you are living the life of the Spirit, if the [Holy] Spirit of God [really] dwells within you [directs and controls you]. But if anyone does not possess the [Holy] Spirit of Christ, he is none of His [he does not belong to Christ, is not truly a child of God].
10 But if Christ lives in you, [then although] your [natural] body is dead by reason of sin and guilt, the spirit is alive because of [the] righteousness [that He imputes to you].
Rule #2 You can resist every single temptation through prayer and the Word of God.
Hebrews 4:16 (AMP) says,
“Let us then fearlessly and confidently and boldly draw near to the throne of grace (the throne of God’s unmerited favor to us sinners), that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find grace to help in good time for every need [appropriate help and well times help, coming just when we need it].”
2 Corinthians 12:9 (AMP) says,
“But He said to me, My Grace (My favor and loving kindness and mercy) is enough for you [sufficient against any danger and enables you to bear the trouble manfully]; for My strength and power are made perfect (fulfilled and complete) and show themselves most effective in [your] weakness…”
Hebrews 4:12 (AMP) says,
“For the Word that God speaks is alive and full of power [making it active, operative, energizing, and effective]; it is sharper than any two- edged sword, penetrating to the dividing line of the breath of life (soul) and [the immortal] spirit, and of joints and marrow [of the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and sifting and analyzing and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart.”
James 1:22-25 (AMP) says,
22″But be doers of the Word [obey the message], and not merely listeners to it, betraying yourselves [into deception by reasoning contrary to the Truth].
23 For if anyone only listens to the Word without obeying it and being a doer of it, he is like a man who looks carefully at his [own] natural face in a mirror;
24 For he thoughtfully observes himself, and then goes off and promptly forgets what he was like.
25 But he who looks carefully into the faultless law, the [law] of liberty, and is faithful to it and perseveres in looking into it, being not a heedless listener who forgets but an active doer [who obeys], he shall be blessed in his doing (his life of obedience).
To win the battle of the urges and impulses, you have to set out to pray and do the Word on a “moment by moment” basis. You cannot let a simple innocent thought go unchecked. Every thought must be brought into subjection and then the body must be subdued.
By the power of the Holy Spirit, you can gain control over your outer man if you begin to apply these Scriptures.
Please go to http://www.blogtalkradio.com/prevailingword1 to listen to any of our groundbreaking series on Secret Sexual Sins.