Over the next few weeks we will have several guest blog posts from Jonathan LaFleur, Lead Pastor at First Southern Baptist Church, Terre Haute, IN. http://www.fsouthern.org/ You can follow him on twitter: @joenate_lafleur
Last week, we began discussing what men today do to conquer the besetting sin of viewing pornography. Today we will look at four more steps you can take to help guard your heart and mind.
- If you’re married, pursue more intimacy with your spouse– I’m not saying that you will be less tempted to look at porn if you and your wife have more sex. Intimacy is not the same thing as sex, it’s more than that. Intimacy is what two people have when they trust each other completely, bare their souls honestly, and embrace one another unconditionally. True intimacy is the key to a happy, loving, fulfilling marriage and sex life. Intimacy, sex, commitment, and love were all part of God’s design for marriage when He created it, that a man and woman would become one flesh(Genesis 2:24). Pornography is a garbage imitation of the beautiful masterpiece that is marital intimacy. Pursue your wife.
- Get personal accountability from a trusted friend – one of the greatest blessings of being part of the body of Christ is having personal support and encouragement from other believers. We are commanded to “confess our sins to one another” (James 5:16) and to “exhort one another everyday… that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin” (Hebrews 3:13). Having another man, or group of men, who is a close, trusted Christian friend walk with you in the pursuit of holiness can be a great benefit. He will ask you difficult questions, encourage you to keep doing good, exhort you to stop doing bad, and pray for you so that you can be all God wants you to be.
- Take seriously the warnings from Scripture concerning sexual sin – what warnings am I referring to? Find any passage on sexual sin and you will see what I mean:
For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. Matthew 5:29b
For if you live according to the flesh you will die. Romans 8:13a
Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality. 1 Corinthians 6:9
I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. Galatians 5:21
Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Ephesians 5:6
On account of these the wrath of God is coming. Colossians 3:6
The Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you. 1 Thessalonians 4:6
They will give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. 1 Peter 4:5
God hates sexual sin and He will judge rightly. Are you engaging in what God hates and upon which He will pour out His holy wrath? That is a dreadful thought. Fear God and flee from sexual immorality.
- Drown the desire for porn with a superior desire for God– the pursuit of holiness is not merely about saying NO to sin; it is mostly about saying YES to Jesus. If you are a Christian, then your heart has been awakened to the all-satisfying glory of Christ, and you know that in light of the all-surpassing worth of knowing Him, everything else is rubbish! You also know that your fellowship with Him cannot thrive when your heart and mind are consumed with immorality and impurity. If knowing Christ, enjoying His fellowship, growing in His likeness, and experiencing His power is of all-surpassing worth to you, then pornography cannot win. As my friend Tony Merida has said, “Every time you say YES to God and click DELETE on that pornographic email, that’s worship.” We conquer pornography and we conquer Satan when we choose the riches of Christ over the fleeting pleasures of sin.
Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.