I’ve talked to so many men who think that their lust problem, their masturbation problem, is a 15-minute-a-day problem. I honestly think it’s related to the other 23 hours and 45 minutes where there’s a complete lack of self-control. It’s just for 15 of those minutes, you’re alone. But a great growth in self-control, in general, will result in greater victory in the particulars.
Again, think about the way the Bible speaks about fighting sin. Colossians 3:5 Paul literally is put to death the members of your body. Romans 6. Let not sin, therefore reign in your mortal body to make you obey its passions. You and I have bodies full of sinful passions, even after our hearts are made new, the spirit is within us, our bodies are ground zero for the desires of the flesh. Our sinful desires do not float like clouds that cover us in a sin mist. No, it is bodily that we experience temptation. Our bodies are good creations of God, but they are fallen and they are in need of a good resurrection. And until that resurrection, we fight all the laws that are present in our physical bodies. This may seem too physical to you, but I tell you what. You’ll get more victory thinking this way.
What do we need to do to avoid sin in our hearts? We need very often to exert extreme control over our bodies. Think about some of the passages in the Bible that speak about dealing with sexual sin. They always involve how you use your body. First Corinthians 6:18. Flee from sexual immorality. What does that mean? Don’t be where sexual immorality is. Is sexual immorality present?
Is she just one arm’s length away from grabbing your tie and kissing you run away from there.
Is he trying to seduce you aggressively?
Get out of there. Flee. Run away. Joseph should not have settled down beside Potter for his wife to do his devotions and some evangelism. It was right to run. Running is the most spiritual thing you can do when in the presence of imminent sexual immorality. Think about job. He controlled his eyes. I have made a covenant with my eyes. How then can I look at a young woman? A woman approaches you. She’s decided that you’re going to look at half of her breasts based on what she’s wearing. What will you do? You stare straight in the eyeballs and treat her like the child of God. Or at least the woman made in God’s image that she is. And you do not look or sin. Notice this brothers or sisters fighting for the purity of our hearts involves the body. But not just any body. But your body. Did you notice the way the passage speaks to us? It’s so radical and free of legalism. Is it striking? If you’re right eye causes you to stumble. You gouge it out. And if your right-hand causes you to stumble, you cut it off. But guess what? What makes you stumble might not be what makes me stumble. And what makes you stumble might not be what makes me stumble. And very often what we do is we get a little. You know, one guy says, you know what? Whenever I’m on Netflix. I can’t just scroll through it. The minute I see someone scantily clad, I’m pushing that thing. I’m looking for the the movie with nudity. I’m all in. And so what does he does do? He tells all of Christendom that they can’t watch Netflix. Thank you. Your Phariseeism. We appreciate you how helpful you’ve been to all of us. You have to recognize where you struggle and then you have to get severe. Wherever you struggle. You need to get radical. You need to do a postmortem on the last time you fell. What happened? Where was I? What was I looking at? What enticed me? And I need to make no provision for my flesh in those ways.
This last Wednesday, we saw a couple who had fallen into sexual immorality, restored and gloriously baptized. We saw a man who is cheating on his wife, disciplined. After the meeting, I had another man walk up to me and tell me, you know, I’ve quit three jobs in my life to avoid sexual immorality. Now, you might say, Well, maybe you should just build some boundaries before you need to quit. Well, that’s probably true. But he’s still a married man. It seems extreme to do many things that it will take to stay pure, but it will not seem extreme in eternity. I can’t tell you how much “Must See TV” I’ve missed over the years. Am I missing out? My wife and I do not think so. Are you watching anything that would cause you to last? Don’t even finish the season. Are you wearing clothes that get the attention of the wrong kind of guy or give you the wrong kind of joy? Put something else on and throw those clothes in the trash. We must all fight to the death to walk in the purity of heart. Jesus calls us to.
This excerpt was taken from the full sermon Fighting Lust preached by Ryan Fullerton at Immanuel Baptist Church in Louisville, Kentucky.