The Real Answer For Sexual Sin

Any strategy to fight off sexual sin that leaves out the joy of the Lord is destined to fail. Having protection in place to prevent the ease of compromise is a wise thing, but the only real answer for sexual temptation is to overwhelm it with a passion for God. And a passion for God can be cultivated with a few critical things:

1. Heathy sexuality begins with a humbling of our humanity. Seeing our need for God is where the power for overcoming any earthly temptation resides. 

2. Joy found in God is the enemy of compromise. Sexual purity in the fruit of a relationship with God that is flooded with joy.

3. Saturation of the mind and soul with God's word and truth is the fuel of joy. The more we're filled with truth, the less we'll feel the need to satisfy our soul with lies.

Defensive movements are a good thing for sexual sin. But going on offense and finding our joy in God is the strongest move that we can make.

(Please check out this John Piper Montage)

 

The FOUR Voices Of Satan

God can be seen every single day if we know what to look for. Satan can be seen and heard as well, but there is no spitting and snarling as we’ve imagined. Satan is too cunning and crafty to come straight at us as we might have thought him to be, that’s what makes Satan so creepy.

The Spirit of God is seen/heard in people who humbly surrender their lives to Jesus and keep in step with the Spirit. On the other hand, the spirit of Satan can be seen/heard in people who run counter to the Spirit of God. Even well-meaning people, who carry a personal agenda that may not be God’s, can fall under the influence of Satan.

Jesus said, “Get behind me, Satan” when Peter had a different agenda for the Christ’s work than that of God the Father. Now this in no way paves the way for us to ascribe to anyone the name of Satan. But it does raise an important point. Not all counsel is godly, not all words are holy and not all gestures are from above.

Some of our words/actions are just flesh and reveal the residual effects of our fallen old nature. But some words/actions can fly in the face of God’s glory and his will. Understanding this should lead us to do at least two things:

  1. Watch what we say. Don’t be paranoid but when asked for advice make certain it comports with scriptural truth.
  2. Check the counsel/advice/direction you receive against the word of God and gather wise counsel around you to keep life sorted out.

Opinions are a dime a dozen. People can get on bandwagons that are going nowhere. Truth Matters! John 14:7Matt. 16:23

 

The TEMPTATION Voice

The day will come when Satan will be “tormented day and night forever and ever.” Until that day, Satan will pull out all the stops to take down as many people as possible until his fate is sealed. Satan has several voices and he uses them with precision.

Temptation is the voice of Satan that baits us into getting ahead of God, or worse, playing god. The goal is rather simple but the effects are devastating. Satan sets a trap to convince us that radical independence is a good option. The bait on the trap is hand selected to match our current needs. Jesus was hammered by evil after a Spirit led fast (Matthew 5:1-11). Note: Some of our toughest battles come on the heels of deep spiritual adventures with God.

Jesus was hungry so Satan hung out the bait of instant bread. Satan also tempted Jesus to test God’s will to protect him. Then Satan came at Jesus with the bait of power. Each temptation of Jesus was an attempt to get our Lord to take a bite at something before it was time. Provision, protection and power are all ironclad promises, yes, even for you and me. But timing is everything in the Kingdom of God. Satan will often tempt us with the wrong things, but more often he tempts us with the good things, even God things, but it’s just the wrong time.

Satan doesn’t usually hold a gun to our head, he baits us into jumping the gun. Wait, wait, wait on God and soon you’ll experience the fruit of deliverance…“behold, angels came and were ministering”. Revelation 20:10Matthew 5:1-11

 

The DECEPTION Voice

Half-truths, twists, embellishments, and leaving out key details–It’s all just a thin veil for deception. Deception is a voice of Satan and he’s not only mastered it, he invented it.

The fall of mankind into sin, cited in the Genesis account, is more than just temptation. The temptation of Adam and Eve had a healthy dose of deception. Think about deception as the truth with a twist at the very end. What makes deception so lethal is that it’s laced with good amounts of truth. Satan simply said to Eve, “For God knows…”. Yes, God is all knowing but the deception was that God was somehow withholding what was good and keeping it for himself. Subtle twists and turns can actually be used by Satan to get us headed in the wrong direction. Every person who has a pulse has been sucked into Satan’s deception scheme.

To really understand deception we have to understand the mask of deception. Get this, “Satan disguises himself as an angel of light”. He plays himself off as an illuminator of truth and then slides in destructive lies from the shadows of utter darkness. This is serious and the solution required is the Holy Spirit. Deception can’t be sorted out on the fly. We can’t lean on man’s wisdom or hunches to separate out truth from lies. Jesus illustrated the need to sort out lies when he yielded to the Holy Spirit who will “guide you into all truth”.

A few thoughts on deception that can keep you out of the ditch and walking the high road with God:

  1. Watch your stories and story retelling. A story with 90% truth has too much lie for its own good.
  2. Tell a story straight and true to the end or don’t tell it at all.
  3. And when it’s a tale about someone else, it’s better left untold. Gossip is a breeding ground for twisted truth.

II Corinthians 11:14John 16:13

 

The ACCUSATION Voice

The voice of railing accusation rings out from the mouth of Satan every day and the intent is to distract, derail and defeat. Satan’s voice will one day be silenced and “the accuser of our brethren with be thrown down”. The constant, “day and night”, barrage of accusations must be dealt with, if the child of God is going to stay on track with Him.

Accusation left unattended becomes a pile of defeat and unnecessary shame. The relief from accusation won’t be fully resolved until Satan is “thrown down”, but until then we can do one powerful thing that will offload emotional burden that comes through accusation.

The best thing to do with accusation is to face it head on. Literally “take every thought captive”. When a thought of accusation hits us we have two healthy responses:

  1. Own and confess any aspect of the accusation that rings of truth. Unconfessed sin gives Satan’s chatter credibility and we need to strip him of that power. And gives us freedom.
  1. Throw the balance away and let God deal with it. Satan loves to badger God’s children and keep us in a state of emotional turmoil, confusion, and defeat, even when our victory has been sealed.

Revelation 12:10I Peter 5:8II Corinthians 10:5I John 1:9

 

The CONDEMNATION Voice

Every voice of Satan is a warm-up for his final act. Soul crushing condemnation is the end game of evil with temptation, deception, and accusation all being aimed at burying God’s children emotionally. We have to both face the battle and throw ourselves at the mercy of God.

Satan waits in the wings of our deepest personal battles to pounce on every loss or defeat. Satan loves to use his voice of condemnation. It’s his way of marring what can never be stolen from us–our salvation. So let’s take a look at the answer for our wrestling, so we can shut the mouth of evil with the voice of truth:

  1. We’re going to wrestle with sin. It’s true; there is a battle with “another law at work in our members”. This is the residual effect of being born in sin. It’s found in us and we have to own it. But it’s fueled by demonic deception and temptation.
  1. We can say with Paul, “who will deliver me from this body of death”? But just when we’re recovering from yet another blow of defeat, there is this, “Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord”! God lowers the boom on the voice of condemnation by hammering back at Satan with the power of the name of Jesus.
  1. This third reality is left untapped for too many. It’s time to leverage the voice of truth to shut down the lies of Satan. Six of the most liberating words spoken in all of scripture are these:“There is therefore now no condemnation…”. Not a little or just a bit, in Christ all condemnation is gone. 

 

Don’t let condemnation have the last word. Speak up and speak out just who you are–God’s prized child who is loved deeply and protected most carefully.

Romans 7:23Romans 7:24-25Romans 8:1Proverbs 29:18

 

Knowing the Four Voices of Satan is critical for overcoming waves of beat-downs. But knowing the truth is what will truly set us free!

Jesus is the Truth so it is the knowing of Jesus sets us free indeed.

Temptation

The day will come when Satan will be “tormented day and night forever and ever.” Until that day, Satan will pull out all the stops to take down as many people as possible until his fate is sealed. Satan has several voices and he uses them with precision.

Temptation is the voice of Satan that baits us into getting ahead of God, or worse, playing god. The goal is rather simple but the effects are devastating. Satan sets a trap to convince us that radical independence is a good option. The bait on the trap is hand selected to match our current needs. Jesus was hammered by evil after a Spirit led fast (Matthew 5:1-11). Note: Some of our toughest battles come on the heels of deep spiritual adventures with God.

Jesus was hungry so Satan hung out the bait of instant bread. Satan also tempted Jesus to test God’s will to protect him. Then Satan came at Jesus with the bait of power. Each temptation of Jesus was an attempt to get our Lord to take a bite at something before it was time. Provision, protection and power are all ironclad promises, yes, even for you and me. But timing is everything in the Kingdom of God. Satan will often tempt us with the wrong things, but more often he tempts us with the good things, even God things, but it’s just the wrong time. 

Sex is a good thing in God’s plan at the proper time. The business you’re passionate to launch may just require a little God delay before it's time to go. That move across the city might be a month away or possibly it’s another state or country away. It's all about God and his good timing.

Satan doesn’t usually hold a gun to our head, he baits us into jumping the gun. Wait, wait, wait on God and soon you’ll experience the fruit of deliverance...“behold, angels came and were ministering”.

Revelation 20:10, Matthew 5:1-11

Temptation Can't Be Stopped, But We Can...

It's coming and there ain't no stopping it. Temptation is as certain as federal taxes and ocean tides. No amount of maturity can grow us beyond the reach of temptation. And the only thing we can be sure of is that temptation will hit us at our weakest moment and at our deep area of need. 

We only need to read Matthew 4 to realize that Jesus was hit with temptation at a time when he was the most susceptible. But scripture is clear that our Savior is able to "sympathize with our weaknesses". But rather than being fatalistic and assuming that we're certain to fail the test, God's word is equally clear that God will "not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide a way of escape".

There are really just three choices we can make when faced with any temptation, and this applies to every temptation that threatens to pull us off the path and into a ditch of sin. 

1. Take It: This usually involves hesitating for a bit and then taking the bait. The problem is that the pain soon follows and the shame can linger until we confess it to God (and others if needed). We usually come away from this experience swearing off being so foolish and the wise ones talk it over with someone who can help in the future.

2. Sample It: Sampling temptation is rarely spoken of but can be a common response. We rationalize that we're not taking the deep dive and that we can easily step away. But this can lead to a cycle of defeat and victory, followed by the same crazy cycle all over again– it never seems to end. The net effect is that our trajectory with God stays flat line. We find ourselves managing sin (or sin managing us) rather than growing in grace and wisdom. When we nibble at the edges of temptation it may not outright kill us, but it sure will certainly stunt our growth.

3. Escape It: It's time to take God at his word. If he says he has "provided a way of escape", it's gotta be there somewhere! Whatever the temptation is, bank on it, there's a hatch to escape the heat of temptation. Here's the deal: By faith, the moment a temptation hit us, ask God to illuminate the way of escape and then look for it. We may have to crawl out, jump out, sprint out, move out or shut it out, but take the way that God has made. By the way, don't worry about tomorrow's temptation, deal with the one you get hit with today and you'll have more wisdom for tomorrow. 

Hebrews 4:15, I Corinthians 10:13