Recently I heard a story that sent chills down my spine. A pastor was sitting next to a man in a plane, who was consistently bowing his head and mouthing words to himself. When asked for a meal, the gentlemen politely refused and continued to bow his head. When he looked up again, the pastor couldn’t resist asking “Excuse me, I have to ask. Are you fasting?” The man said “Yes I am”. Oh, thinking they had a similar bond, he said “That’s great, I’m a Christian too and…” The man interrupted, “Oh, I’m not a Christian. I’m a Satanist. I’m on my way to a satanic conference, and we have made a covenant to pray and fast that all evangelical leaders may morally fail”.
Whoa! I thought, as a pastor, I knew I had a target on my back, but I didn’t realize that people were praying for my failure (albeit prayers that have no power/value). And, upon hearing that, and other reminders from the Holy Spirit puts on my heart, I knew it was time I take prevention up a notch.
Sexual Sin Prevention
- Prayer – A daily (if not hourly) prayer for God’s strength, God’s protection, and God’s wisdom against temptation (Matthew 26:41; I Corinthians 10:13)
- Close The Doors – There are enough doors that Satan can walk through, why not try to close all the doors you can (The “tear it out principle” in Mark 9:47). So that means, if internet is your problem, take it off your phone or don’t access alone.
- Three’s Company – Never meet with a woman alone. Period.
Sexual Purity Promotion
- Keep the Line of Communication Open – Have a consistent prayer life was already mentioned. But also, if you are married, keep constant and consistent communication with your wife when temptation comes, where you are, when something unexpected pops up on your computer screen, etc. (Prov. 4:23)
- Accountability – Listen, accountability groups where you just share how bad you did that week is garbage. If you are going to have true accountability it needs to have 2 things: honesty & teeth. That means if you can lie to your accountability, get a new one. That means if you can share more than once your failure and there are no consequences, get a new one. (Prov. 27:17; James 5:16)
- Be a Man of Action – While all this prevention is well and good…don’t forget about the actions! The Bible is full of action against temptation – “put on whole armor of God” (Ephesians 6:11), the “Put On’s” in Colossians 3 (we often focus on what to put off, but don’t forget to put on…which is done by allowing the words of Christ to dwell in you), Submit to God (James 4:7), Walk in the Spirit (James 5:16)…and the list goes on! You see God wants us to be Men of Action, not someone who sits on the sidelines with a clipboard checking off all we have done to prevent the enemy from scoring. God wants us to get out there and be the fierce linebacker and crush the enemy from the opening kickoff!
- Make a Deposit – Finally, and probably most important. Don’t forget to feed your soul daily. Allow God to enrich, empower, and encourage you through His powerful word. (Hebrews 4:12; Joshua 1:8)
What has given you success in your purity? What has caused you the greatest temptation? Comment and help others prevent sin and promote purity!