As time progress, leaders must be watchful in all things. When coming out of the snares of sexual sins, they must learn themselves in the natural. As long as we are alive on this planet, it is a smart thing to learn your sexual tendencies, habits, patterns, practices, rituals, and routines.
The smarter you become about how you are tempted, the better you are able to develop resistance against the next level of temptation. As you have engaged in sin, you have incorporated unhealthy sexuality. Now that you have come from the darkness into the light of Christ, you now have to incorporate healthy sexuality in terms of choices and decisions.
As The Preacher said, “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven…a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing.”
The half brother of the Lord Jesus, James, tells us that we are to “Submit ourselves therefore to God, resist the devil and he will flee from you.”
Peter says, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, stedfast in the faith…”
As you put distance from the last time you’ve grieved the Lord, you should not waste time waiting to be tempted to get ready. As soon as the last sin is over, your mind and body is planning a comeback. When habits, patterns, and routines aren’t broken, then the mind plans another round of sin.
That’s where you will find that your repentance has sticking or staying power or you were just playing.
Repentance is always the starting point after sin, but very few make an aggressive plan to fight the next temptation. When your sin is still “fresh in you flesh,” these are the most difficult moments to make a stand. That’s why you have to identify “trigger mechanisms” that set things off in your mind and flesh to start you down the path of resuming business as usual.
If you are married, porn and masturbation went from recreation to “can’t live without it.”
So, lets start with breaking this sin first. You repent. You sensed that the Lord forgave you. You receive forgiveness and you feel like a new man. You promise not to sin that sin again.
You now set yourself to keep that promise.
Psalm 119:9-11 says….
“How shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your Word. With my whole heart I have sought You; Oh, let me not wander from Your commandment. Your Word have I hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You.”
How are you going to stop from breaking your promise to God?
The question is answered with a question.
“How shall a young man cleanse his way?”
The response is simple, yet, profound.
“By taking heed according to Your Word.
From the point of the promise to never sin that sin again, you have to “cleanse your way.”
In Matthew 7, Jesus likens a person that hear His sayings and does them as a wise man that builds his house on a rock. As long as you hear the Word of God and then do the Word of God, the house you build is secure. Now mind you, the storms of life will come. Rain will descend, floods will come, and the winds will beat upon your house, BUT…..it will remain standing because the foundation is solid. You built your house on a rock.
Doing the Word after hearing the Word is the building of the house upon a rock.
James tells us to….“Be doers of the Word and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.”
Here is a key…Do the Word and not do porn and masturbation.
Paul said this in Romans chapter 6…..“And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.”
Paul also said this in the 12th chapter of Romans…..”But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lust.”
Instead of making provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lust, make provision for the spirit to worship God in spirit and in truth.
We easily submit to the heated sexual moments that run rampant through our minds. When this occurs, this is the opportunity to remember the promise you made to God not to sin that sin again. This is the moment that the Holy Spirit will work with you in your weak moment to give you strength to overcome temptation. Sometimes you do not have to go places to be tempted. All you have to do is remember habits, rituals, cycles, practices.
I find that when I do remember these sinful habits, the Holy Spirit brings to my attention 1 Corinthians 10:13 and 2 Corinthians 10:4-5.
So I submit to God.
If you hesitate, that’s the ill fated moment the devil was waiting for.
During my time of subsequent relapses in mid 2012, it’s those moments that I let my guard down (not porn but masturbation).
When the situations of life come at you, you think about relief and feeling good, sex will do that according to Dr. Archibald Hart who wrote the book on The Sexual Man. When life comes at you and you are not vigilant, that’s when the flesh and mind wanders from the commandments of the Lord. When you are not practicing the presence of the Lord, your spirit man is weak.
Proverbs 24:10 says…..
“If you faint in the day of adversity your strength is small.”
So how do I build my strength up to withstand in the moment of temptation?
Prayer and obeying the Word. You must be ruthless on your flesh and mind (see 1 Corinthians 9:27 and Colossians 3:5).
If you practice His presence within you, you will “take up your cross and follow Him.” Living the crucified life requires the measure and level of Paul’s life. “I die daily.”
The urges and impulses that operate within you were put there by the Lord, but when Adam fell into sin, they became perverted. After being born again, the mind and flesh now has to commit to doing righteousness. Spirit, soul, and body must now work in unison with the Holy Spirit to obey the Word of God on a moment’s notice. The enemy will not waste time with you. Each moment counts. When you submit yourself without hesitation, that means you have put on the armor of light and you are ready to do battle.
Submission is where it all begins. Submission to God through His Word.
Afterwards, you must be vigilant. You have to watch your every thought. You have to watch where you put your hands at night. You have to do what is necessary to keep your promise not to grieve the Lord in sin. Then, you have to spend time strengthening your heart, mind, and flesh to withstand temptation.
This is accomplished by a variety of means. Very few will win the battle against temptation who constantly feeds on the world and starves themselves of the Word. The more Word you feed on, the more of the world gets starved out of you. Remember, your heart is like a field. Whatever seed is planted, that is what will manifest as a harvest.
Paul said this is Galatians 6……
“Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.”
That’s the difference between victory and defeat.
Whatever you feed on is the difference. How much time you spend in either will be the difference. As you feed on the world your spirit man grows weaker and will never be able to withstand in the evil day. As you feed on the Word, your spirit man grows stronger and will be able to withstand in the evil day.
Paul also speaks of renewing the mind and the spirit of our minds. If you preoccupy your mind with things of the flesh, your mind will resume habits, rituals, cycles, and practices. To break these things, you must renew the mind. Renovate the mind. Redo the mind with the Word of God.
You have to make a conscious decision to put into practice having the mind of Christ. As long as you do these things, you will master the mind and flesh, and victory, by the help of the Holy Spirit, is achievable.