Paul describes our struggle well in Romans 7:15-25. He goes on to say in Chapter 8 that Jesus has set us free form the “law of sin and death”, and that there is therefore now “no condemnation” in Him. It is an amazing truth that we are indeed set free from our old sin nature, and from the law working in our flesh. We don’t have to struggle with these sins any longer…..
But we do. (1 Peter 2:11 – the lusts of the flesh, which war against your soul)
The more men I talk to, mentor and pray with, the more it is obvious that most are fighting a battle to take the moral high ground in their life – and keep it. Every time we are at our computer, in front of our TV, on the road traveling, home alone when the wife is away, or a dozen other scenarios – we are swarmed with little voices calling us, beckoning us to peek, to rent, to watch, to treat our flesh. Why won’t those thoughts (voices) just leave us alone?
Because we have an enemy. A diabolical, relentless enemy who is hell-bent on our destruction (and that of our marriage, our children, our finances, our future, our witness and our legacy). Yes, we live in a world at war, and we need to decide to suit up and live like it – every day. Even though the Bible says our enemy is disarmed and defeated – he is still “prowling around seeking who he may devour”. He can still take us out – IF we let him. IF we allow his thoughts and temptations to lure us into a mental conversation (like Eve did). If we begin to listen, then ponder, then agree with and justify our actions – we will fall every time. He is too good, too persuasive, to cunning. He has had centuries of practice.
What are we to do then? Well, the Bible, as usual, has an answer to our dilemma. Don’t try to talk him down, or reason with him. Just flee. Yep. Turn and run. Skeedaddle. Don’t think – run.
2Tim.2:22 – So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace
1 Timothy 6:11-12 – But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called.
Paul’s counsel to Timothy is good advice for all of us. But notice he advises not only to flee – but, to pursue something else. To fill that space in our thinking; to focus our eyes and thoughts on something else – something better. The first thing mentioned in both verses above is “righteousness” or right living. The right thing to do. The thing you know is right. What God would have you do. What your wife and children would want you to do.
First flee. Turn away from whatever is drawing us in – Then pursue (run) to what is right. Turn off the computer or TV immediately (or never turn it on) and get out your Bible, or a marriage book on cd, or your men’s Bible study. Run to something else – immediately. Not after you stumble and fall, and feel the need to get back into God’s good graces.
It sounds much easier than it is, right? But we can do it. God never asks us to do something He doesn’t give us the grace and ability to do.
Let’s start. Let’s try it this week. Whenever we hear the “call”, the voices, the beckoning to come look, come try, come indulge, or whatever – just flee and pursue.
I can do all things,