I can’t believe I did it again. Lord, I thought that I would be done with this. I can’t break free. Why, Lord? Why am I still bound. I promised that I wouldn’t do it again, and I have failed.
Forgive me, Lord. I’m sorry.
O wretched man that I am! Who will be able to deliver men from this body of death?
No. I am not talking about me in relapse (Fred Rochester), there is a backstop of prevention instituted and incorporated in my life, but the many other men and women that remain bound when they do not have to be bound. Masturbation, adultery, fornication, bisexuality, homosexuality. It’s a constant cycle for many and it seems like there is no way out.
But there is.
You just need to make up your mind to cross the line to God and never go back.
Now mind you, Paul said…“Let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall….”
When I read that Scripture, Paul issued a warning that if you do not pay attention to your surroundings, you will fall.
As long as you pay attention to your surroundings, you will not fall.
The moment you take your eyes off of the Lord, fail to put the Word to work in constant instant application to your life, mainly, your eyes, hands, and your mind, you will fall.
Look at what the Lord gave Peter.
“Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”
“But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self- control, to self- control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love.
For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins. Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble;“
This is not perfection.
This is watching and praying.
Watching who you submit to (God and the Word), and learning how to put it all together to keep free of sexual addictions and bondages.
In 24 hours, 2.1 billion persons will download Internet porn.
NO ONE WATCHES PORN AND NOT MASTURBATE or TAKE IT TO ANOTHER LEVEL! ACTING OUT WITH ANOTHER PERSON IN FORNICATION, ADULTERY, and HOMOSEXUALITY.
Now, you’ve tried to stop.
You’ve fasted and prayed. Confessed the Scriptures. Talked to your pastor or accountability partner, or your accountability group that you trust and feel safe with, but the urge got too strong to overcome.
What really happened was that the urges and impulses were allowed to rule in such a way that you gave up fighting them. Remember, the temptation has limitations imposed by God. It’s your urges and impulses that need to be disciplined.
You tried to escape, but all of a sudden, you find yourself making the provision for the flesh. One thing led to another, and after it’s over, the remorse sets in.
Once again, you cave in to the desires of the flesh and the mind. In most cases, multiple episodes in one day.
I know. I, and many other men and women fell prey to the lusts of the mind the flesh.
How did God delivered me?
Hopelessness sets in and there is an inner surrender to the will of the flesh and mind.
Hopelessness is not the end.
The mind enters into hopelessness when the mind deceptively convinces itself that there is no way out. Even when there is a way out, the mind refuses to accept a way out and self inflicted or self imposed banishment sets in.
For every believer in Christ, there is hope. The Lord promised this in 1 Corinthians 10:13.
In Mark chapter 5, Jarius’ daughter fell ill and eventually died. On the way to help her, the woman with the issue of blood was hopeless because she spent all that she had and she went to many doctors. It looked very hopeless for her until she heard of what the Lord Jesus could do. Her hopelessness turned into faith and while in the condition, she reached out to the Lord and received her healing.
While Jesus was conversing with the woman, some of the people at Jarius house came with some bad news. His daughter died. And they said to him…“Why trouble the Teacher any further.”
In other words, abandon all hope. There is nothing that Jesus could do.
Death has a way of stealing any chance of hope. It’s the same with certain situations in life. We honestly believe that when something happens, it’s beyond even the reach of God. That’s where faith shuts down and there is an acceptance of the conclusion.
First, you are still alive. So that is an indication that you have hope right there. Second, God never threw you away, did He? Third, the Word is there to help you, not condemn you.
There is a difference between making a mistake and intentional sin.
In either case, grace is the same, however, when we keep on sinning, knowing that the Lord will be gracious, we run the risk of assumption. The one thing that we have to be careful about is abusing the grace of God, or taking full advantage of the grace of God. God is all the time forgiving us; time and time again because it is His nature.
He loves us.
He knows that we are flesh or dust.
BUT there comes a point in our lives that we leave assumption behind and either live fully for Him or walk away from Him to live in a backslidden condition.
Remember what Peter said, you are to have and abound in “self control, perseverance, godliness.”
Then Peter said…
“For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins. Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble…”
Stopping the stumbling is in your court. At anytime, you can stop stumbling.
Now because you are born again, Galatians 5:22 says that “The fruit of the Spirit….self control.”
You have self control already within you because you are in Christ.
So, how did the Lord deliver me?
Deliverance is always in the plan of God for His people but the work was already done on the cross of Christ. The only thing that is left is accepting the face value of the Word of salvation, that is, working in our lives what the Lord already did for us by working the Word of God.
Simply put, it’s called application or practice what you preach. Preaching is good, living what is preached is better. “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God” but doing is now required to show your faith. It is now a matter of taking what you received by faith and manifesting the required expected action.
Jesus said, “If anyone hear these saying of Mine and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on a rock: and the rains descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat upon that house, and it did not fall, for it was founded upon a rock.”
As James said, “As the body without the spirit is dead, so then faith without works is dead also.”
Just like when we receive money, we know exactly what to do with money. We either save it or we spend it. Well, the Word of God is the same way. When we read the Word, we put the Word to work.
If you do not want to fall any more, be like a wise man, build your house on a rock and when the storm comes, you will not fall. What did this man do to be called a wise man? He heard the Word and He did the Word.
Remember, Peter said that we are to “add to self control, perseverance.”
It’s now a matter of developing self control through constant and instant application to the Word of God in perseverance or patience.
Perseverance is patience under extreme conditions.
The Greek word for perseverance is “hupomone” and it means “a remaining under.”
You are not willing to walk away prematurely. You choose to remain under. Just like when the storm passes, to stay protected, you remain under cover. It takes discipline to remain under.
If you recall the parable of the sower, (see Luke 8), the ones that are on stony ground are the ones, upon hearing the Word, received it with joy but they endure for a little while and when temptation comes they become unfruitful. But Jesus continues and says….
“But the ones (seed) that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience.”
The word “patience” is the same Greek word translated in 2 Peter 1, “hupomone.”
James chapter 1 says… “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the trying of your faith produces patience, But let patience have it’s perfect work, that you may be complete, lacking nothing….Blessed is the man that endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.”
The word “patience” is the same Greek word translated in 2 Peter 1 and Luke 8:15, “hupomone.”
The reason why we fall into sin is because we do not give the seed of the Word time to grow roots. The stony ground is indicative of an heart that is impenetrable. The seed can never penetrate hard places. All seeds needs good soil or good ground so the sower could plant it in the ground in order for it to grow.
But this stony ground is also indicative of an impatient heart. We fail to let the word have enough time to get deep into our hearts.
Look at the Scriptures above again and you will note that various trials and testings will come. Make no mistake about it.
But what is the goal? To pull you away from Christ. But also “that the testing of your faith produces patience.” So you must recognize that the testing of your faith is constant.
Everything is a test. You will not go on to the next lesson in life until you pass the test. If you wonder why you are left back on the spiritual grade level, it’s because you haven’t passed the test yet.
Pass the test and you can move to the next grade of glory.
You won’t know how to recognize and keep yourself under the Word of patience and perseverance if tests and trials do not come your way.
The mind and the flesh has to be disciplined if you are going to stay in Christ.
What it all boils down to is perfecting obedience regardless of how bad the mind wants pleasure and the no matter how bad the urges and impulses get. To deny the flesh is a very tough thing to do because the flesh always wants to have its way but when you are in Christ, the flesh must be denied and disciplined.
That’s why it takes patience, perseverance. Then the Word says…“godliness.” Godliness is respect or reverence of God.
This is how I was able to work with the grace of the Holy Spirit to incorporate self control, perseverance, and godliness.
In 1 Corinthians 9:27. Paul said,
“I discipline my body and bring it under subjection…” and “cleansing myself from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”
We will never escape the presence of sin while we are living on this earth. But we, like Paul said, are to “reckon ourselves dead indeed to sin, but alive unto God.”
NEVER GIVE UP ON YOURSELF. NEVER GIVE UP ON GOD. IT’S NOT OVER!!!!