Saturday, May 28, 2011
When I was 9 my friends and I hit the jackpot. Messing around in the woods around our neighborhood we found a white plastic bag filled with Penthouse magazines. We where blown away by what we saw!
I'm not sure how much or how little the "jackpot" contributed, but that summer I began a life long struggle with issues of purity. I actually thought that when I turned 40 I would have been totally "set free" from temptation and struggle, that is simply not the case. Even today I have to be so careful not to allow a foothold for potential temptation.
God has been so gracious, I've never been involved in "scandalous" sin that would jeopardize my family or ministry but I do have a deep desire to grow in this area of purity.
I ran across something I wrote for myself several years back to help me battle impurity. It's very practical but also includes verbiage to remind me of the truth. Please, please don't see this as a moralistic attempt to do better. My hearts desire was to lean more into Jesus but also do some "no brainer" things to place me in a position to grow in grace.
It's raw and was designed for my particular situation at that time. Perhaps it will encourage you to design your own thoughts in this area.
Purity Action Plan
11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. 12 It teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope-the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.
God has given us his grace to “tutor” us to say no to impurity. Although the process of becoming more and more pure is an act of God’s grace, he has given us wisdom and common sense by his grace to think through how to battle temptation. Dependence on rule and regulation does nothing to assist us in the battle against lust but it is wise to think through an intentional plan to utilize the gifts of God’s grace.
The following is an attempt, hopefully motivated by God’s grace, to grow in the area of personal purity. The following plan should be put into place immediately and be carefully followed for 2 months. At that time it might be wise to adjust and or change portions of the action plan. The plan should be shared with accountability partners who will daily and then weekly ask specific questions that relate to the plan. It is assumed that the person seeking greater purity will be honest in answering questions most the time.
What to do…
• Memorize and meditate on the following passages…
3 For the lips of an adulteress drip honey,
and her speech is smoother than oil;
4 but in the end she is bitter as gall,
sharp as a double-edged sword.
5 Her feet go down to death;
her steps lead straight to the grave.
6 She gives no thought to the way of life;
her paths are crooked, but she knows it not.
11 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 13 Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness. 14 For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.
2 Tim 2:22-23
22 Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
4 Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.
1 Cor 6:12-20
12 "Everything is permissible for me"-but not everything is beneficial. "Everything is permissible for me"-but I will not be mastered by anything. 13 "Food for the stomach and the stomach for food"-but God will destroy them both. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 14 By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also. 15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never! 16 Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, "The two will become one flesh." 17 But he who unites himself with the Lord is one with him in spirit.
18 Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. 19 Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.
"I made a covenant with my eyes
not to look lustfully at a girl.
27 "You have heard that it was said, 'Do not commit adultery.' 28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.
• Call David and or Joe every night at 10:00 until August 27th
• Daily pray that God would “create in me a clean heart”
• Call David and or Joe during more vulnerable times
o Before times of heavy responsibility
o After times of spiritual victory
o When I notice an extra attraction to women around me
o When I am feeling rejected by Julie and or others
o Times of travel
• Strive to be diligent in normal disciplines
• Set parental controls on T.V. in our bedroom
• Seek to serve Julie and pursue her romantically
What to avoid…
• T.V. past 11 if everyone is in bed
• Computer past 11
Again, this was for me in that particular time in my journey. The issue of purity is important enough for each of us to take the time and energy to think and pray through how we should deal with this area of temptation. Our family, ministry and intimacy with Jesus are worth the time and attention.