Men are constantly tempted. However, it’s not just the temptation that one has to be concerned about. Every man must be concerned about the lust that lurks within the mind and body. With the combination of lust in the hearts of males and the women wearing clothing (or tight fitting, low cleavage, high flirty skirt clothes) that leaves nothing to the imagination, it behooves the righteous males to be even more diligent with our personal conduct.
There are certain lines that men will cross. Every man is different. Some will just stay with porn and masturbation because the risks to engage a person sexually is high for that male.
What’s the risks?
Males fear relationships because it involves commitment and compromise.
For other males, they will cross the line to engage a woman for sex only. Even women do the same. Predominantly, they do not fear relationships, however, some are not ready YET, to get married, but some, not all, will engage a man sexually, and call it a day. Whether it is a one night stand or multiple partners.
It’s called fornication, or illegal sex.
Pathetically, males will go to great lengths to encounter underage girls.
Nonetheless, one of the stops for a male on the sexual hit parade is the peep shows. A male doesn’t have to actually go to a peep show facility because outside these peep shops are women that dress scantily and in most cases, they leave nothing for the imagination.
Blame must be imposed on both genders. Sadly, when normal attraction is perverted, we allow ourselves to be taken to the places of the extreme. When a person wants attention, some people will pull out all the stops to impress. It is also true that the exercise of femininity is a power women use over males. Not just to attract attention but to make them into “sugar daddy’s.”
In some ways, it is a form of unfettered slavery where a male cannot help himself. In order to have that kind of woman sexually, males will spend an enormous amount of money.
So males will engage in the mental peep show.
James, the first bishop of the assembly in Jerusalem wrote about the simple process of temptation.
“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.”
James speaks of falling “into various trials.”
Please note that he said……”when.”
Notice this in the Greek.
“g3986. πειρασμός peirasmos; from 3985; a putting to proof (by experiment (of good), experience (of evil), solicitation, discipline or provocation); by implication, adversity:— temptation, x try.”
Now notice these notes that accompanied the definition.
- The trial of man’s fidelity, integrity, virtue, constancy an enticement to sin, temptation, whether arising from the desires or from the outward circumstances.
- an internal temptation to sin of the temptation by which the devil sought to divert Jesus the Messiah from his divine errand of the condition of things.
- or a mental state, by which we are enticed to sin, or to a lapse from the faith and holiness.
- adversity, affliction, trouble: sent by God and serving to test or prove one’s character, faith, holiness.
- temptation ( i. e. trial) of God by men rebellion against God, by which his power and justice are, as it were, put to the proof and challenged to show themselves.
Yet, the root of trials is “test.”
So when it comes to sexual temptations, it’s a test.
Jesus let’s us know where the “test” begins.
Jesus said in Matthew 5:27-30,
“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery. ’But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.
And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.”
Notice how the Lord started off about “You shall not commit adultery.”
All of a sudden you feel safe. You didn’t touch another man’s wife or have illegal sex with a single woman while you are married, however, the Lord took it further.
“whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”
That pretty much knocks out a vast majority of us males.
If at one point or another, we’ve all intentionally look at a woman to lust after her in our hearts. It is considered by the Lord as adultery.
So the root cause of adultery resides in the heart of a man. The fallen nature of man is prone to lust. Lust is defined in most places of the NT as “longing for that which is prohibited or forbidden.”
Jeremiah 17:9-10 says,
“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; Who can know it? I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings.”
The true measure of a person’s salvation is never determined by just what a person says. You must also consider how a person “acts” or their “deeds” and “thoughts.”
So the person’s heart is the source of man.
Notice what Proverbs 4:23 said.
“Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it (the heart) spring the issues of life.”
So when a man commits adultery in his heart, he has failed to “keep his heart with all diligence.”
Notice what the apostle John said in 1 John 5:19.
“We know that whoever is born of God does not sin; but he who has been born of God keeps himself, and the wicked one does not touch him.”
So the next question is “How does a male keep himself or keep his heart?
Psalm 119:9 gives an answer.
“How shall a young man cleanse his way, by taking heed there unto according to Your Word.”
“Taking heed” is equivalent to obeying the Word of God.
The NLT says this of that Psalm.
“How can a young person stay pure? By obeying Your Word.”
So as long as a man obeys the Word of God, he can stay pure before God.
How can this work?
1 Corinthians 10:13 gives the answer.
“No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”
There is a variety of ways that the Holy Spirit makes a way of escape, however, the primary way of escape is complete and total obedience to the prompting of the Holy Spirit in strict, immediate, and unconditional obedience to the Word of God in the moment of temptation.
This is where many males fail to become men.
Instead of falling into the presence of The Lord, males fall into Secret Sexual Sins.
Dr. Archibald Hart said that if you occupy the mind for 15 minutes, you would be able to alter the course of thinking about sex. Paul said that we are to “renew the mind” and be “renewed in the spirit of your mind.”
You must take charge of your mind and what is trafficked in the mind. Yes, with the help of the Holy Spirit, you can become the traffic cop in the mind to stop the peep show.
We are tested every day. How we mature and what we do about every temptation is the true tale of the tape. The male mind is “wired for intimacy or sex” according to Dr. William Struthers. That’s why we can think about sex on the subway, car, or bus, and get an erection.
Many of you will ask, “How did Jesus do it?”
Well, the Bible tells us that He was “tempted in all points as we are, yet without sin.”
I call this the “Sexual Discipline Of Jesus.”
If Jesus was tempted like we are in “ALL POINTS,” then there were multiple moments when thoughts about perversion and sexual immorality attempted to enter His mind, but He didn’t yield to these perverted thoughts. During the temptation of Jesus in the wilderness by the devil, The Lord understood that to fall into any temptation in thought, deed, and words, He would be disqualified.
Not only disqualified, being that He was the Lamb of God to take away the sin of the world, perhaps, there would have been no one to take away His sin should He sin. So the stakes to remain pure were high. Yet, He dealt a dispatching blow to every temptation.
How did Jesus do it?
He prayed when tempted or He immediately confronted the tempter. This is something that must be initiated. To be passive about attacking temptation only opens the door to love sin more than you love God.
Jesus got up early in the morning or after He finished ministering, He headed to the mountains to seek the face of God. The Holy Spirit made a way of escape in the place of prayer. Fellas, we need to do the same thing. We need to escape and pray to seek the face of God in the moment of temptation.
Men, we can do the same thing like Jesus. Fight temptation by acting quickly, and without hesitation.
Part two to follow.
It is indicated that over 50% of pastors struggle with porn.
It is an epidemic at this point. With easy access by way of the Internet and portable private devices, and other means of connecting to porn, the availability and accessibility to free porn is unlimited.
Walking out in the street and riding in the car, there is no lack of women wearing close to nothing and tight fitting clothing leaves nothing to the imagination. Women get daring at church services as well. These modern dresses above the knees and low cleavage dresses is a walking sexual time bomb. The failure to “cover up” for church service is detrimental to a man.
Truly, feminine power, unfortunately, is exhibited without regard to how it truly affects the hearts of men that desire to live holy.
For the men, Matthew 5:27-30 is quickly jettisoned and forget about the covenant with your eyes.
What is a pastor to do when temptation is around him? How can he escape the daily barrage of sexual temptation?
First, he must come to grips that there is very little that he can do about the way women dress, much less stop them from wearing sexually suggested clothing. We all know that most women desire the attention of men and will dress appropriately to get it. Even if they are married. This is not to say that women are to blame. Sadly, it is a give in.
Second, what is more important is what is going on in the mind of a man. According to Dr. William Struthers in his powerful book called “Wired For Intimacy,” we men have it bad. The responsibility is laid upon us to discipline our minds, guard our thoughts, and train our eyes. Even if it means to disrespect a woman. Not verbal reprimanding them or labeling them as hookers or whores. Just simply look in another direction. Especially you married men. Just look in another direction.
I like Stephen Arteburn’s book “Every Man’s Battle” which articulates what a man does when he is tempted to look. He instructs that a man should “bounce his eyes” else where. That’s real effective, by the way. It gives the mind little chance to “feast” on the flesh.
There are some that agree that there’s some things in his book that makes it very easy to fall into the same habits, patterns, and cycles that you are trying to break free of, but I also believe that a little honesty about what we do is necessary if we are going to be serious about breaking free.
Third, we must come to grips with the fact that grace is never an individual thing. The Lord uses other people to help us walk through the process of deliverance. We cannot see everything that goes on in our lives. The grace of God to break free comes in a variety of ways. From an accountability partner that you feel safe to share your inner secrets, to an association of fellow “valley walkers.”
With pastors, it can be a very lonely job and often, we believe that we can do it on our own. We believe that not only do we have the solutions to help others, we mistakenly believe that we can help ourselves. That means we assume the throne of God.
Well that is just another way to keep the Secret Sexual Sins embedded in our lives going a little longer. Pastors are notorious for making our lives secret and off limits to prying eyes.
We must remember that pornography is not an end in itself. It is the fuel for masturbation, prostitution, adulterous affairs, and homosexuality. No one does porn and never release sexual tension.
We as pastors must come to grips with the fact that Secret Sexual Sins is a hidden life of self deception.
The trigger that drive our out of control sex life must never be pulled. Even if the trigger is pulled, there must be enough of the love of God or love for God in us to never want to be a slave to our own bodies. As Paul said, our bodies were not created for fornication. We are the temple of the Holy Spirit. The moment we recognize that we are the temple where God dwells, should be the moment that we respect the purpose of the temple.
A habitation of God through the Spirit.
Steps To Break Free
1. Get Help.
Almost every starting point begins with either a discovery by your wife, or self admission of a sexual sin. The exposure, discovery, or self admission reveals that God was involved in getting you to admit your sexual sins. The thing that you have to do now is initiate getting the quality help. Sometimes we fall into the sin of denial so that we can stay attached to the porn.
Denial is just a part that remorse plays. True repentance means that you are done with Secret Sexual Sins. Remorse means that you will recover and continue in Secret Sexual Sins.
To get help, you need the help of qualified competent help to steer you and watch your progress along the way.
2. Never Make Up Your Own Rules Of Redemption.
When you make up your rules as to how long you are willing to be questioned, ministered to, and told what to watch and all, is the moment that you’ve made up in your mind that you will continue in sin. If you look at many of the men of God that prematurely cut off the path towards deliverance, they ended their sessions and resumed ministry, it is just a matter of time before they resume old habits, patterns, and cycles.
When you refuse to make up the rules and submit to a regimented discipline, it’s a good starting point.
This means that you are not in control of the amount of time that is needed to break free.
The grace of God must be worked into your life where there is a complete dismantling of trained habits, cycles and patterns for making provision to fulfill the lusts of the flesh, mind, and spirit. Just as it took time to train yourself to fulfill sin, it will take time to train righteousness within you.
This is, perhaps, the most difficult part. Relinquishing control of your hidden life. But it is necessary.
3. It Takes A Willingness To Submit To Scrutiny
Let’s face it. If we could trust ourselves, we wouldn’t need the spot light. Many of our hidden lives escape scrutiny because we became masters of hypocrisy and deception. We knew how to keep a lie going. When it is time to Come Clean, the game come to an abrupt end. Besides, there comes a point where one gets tired of keeping the game going.
4. Your Wife Is Just As Hurt, If Not Worse.
The attention of sexual sins is usually upon the man, but few realize that the wives suffer the brunt of sexual sins because the betrayal entered the home when the decision was made to look lustfully at another woman. The moment we look to get help, we must also look to get meaningful help for the wife to help her through the process of your recovery.
Your wife will play a critical role in your deliverance, but you have to remember that she is a person. The worse thing that you can do is isolate yourself further and make the process of deliverance all about you. This is another form of selfishness after the fact. The goal of the deliverance is to repair the breach by reestablishing your relationship with the Lord and then repair the breach in your relationship with your wife and children, if any.
These are just some helpful steps to get started on the road to completely break free of pornography and masturbation.
For the last four years and a few months, it’s been a rewarding journey. The fight to keep yourself from the sin that you were held bound to is the toughest battle of your life. Over these years, the growth in the Lord and the learning experience gained was invaluable. The previous blogs that I have written revealed a lot about how the Lord worked with me to keep myself pure from porn and masturbation.
The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life surrounded me like the Indians circling the cowboys.
In 1 Corinthians 9:27, it was a critical key to being successful against the onslaught of sexual temptation. If we do not beat down our flesh, the flesh and the mind will dictate the way we live our lives.
There comes a point in time where we must stop what we are doing and reconsider the fact that if we sin constantly, after having received instructions from the Lord about how to walk in the victory achieved on the cross, then satan is our real lord.
We know that when we sin after we receive instructions, we are disqualified. We are not fit or prepared for the Master’s use. We call it a “mistake,” to soften the blow that we have sinned. Sin is a very strong word. When a person hear this word, it is a clear indication that you violated the known will of God.
In order to “Come Clean,” acknowledgement of sin is required. Side stepping, story telling to deflect the blow of the sin, and other nifty, deft ways to deal with sin only reveals that we have failed to truly understand the magnitude of sin. Every time that we sin, the Father is hurt. He wants His children mature to the point where we stop ourselves from sinning. After all, this is what salvation is about. To stop sin and to save us from our sins through the life, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus.
Some will unhesitatingly say, “You do not understand.” I understand more than you will ever know. When you have been trapped in the web of Secret Sexual Sins of porn and masturbation for 33 years, I know all too well the excuse and excuses to continue in sin, but the Lord Jesus knows all too well beyond me. He was made to be sin for us, who knew no sin that we might be made the righteousness of God in Christ. For we do not have an High Priest who cannot be touched with the feelings of our weaknesses who was in all points tempted like as we are, yet, He never once sinned.
So the Lord sympathizes with you. Therefore, we can go boldly to the throne of grace to obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
The first 10 chapters of the book of Romans is the most profound discourse on sin and the redemptive power of Christ. Paul understood the depths the Father went to redeem man. Romans uncovers the heart of the Father about sin unlike any other book ever written. It is clear that the Father wants us to understand the power of sin, and the power of redemption. The Father wants us to understand that the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
The Father wants us to understand that He demonstrated His love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.
The most important thing that the Father wants us to understand that His hatred for sin is perfect and complete, otherwise, He would not have sent His Son to die. We must remember that Jesus became the “propitiation” or “appeasement” of the Father’s righteousness and His demands as a just and holy God. Folks, this is the way it is. The Father demands that holiness be the required way of life for His creation. The Creator has this right because we owe our existence to Him.
Paul said this about Jesus, “by Him all things consist.”
Death is not supposed to be the reason why we are here today. God is life, but because of Adam’s transgression, it takes death to bring us life. The moment we understand this, we can understand that death is not just the cessation of life. Death is separation from the One who gives life. So, if we want life, we now have to go through His Son to get it. Then after we initially get eternal life, we now must purpose in our hearts never to sin again.
Some of you believe that it is impossible to stop sinning.
Well let me use an analogy that the Holy Spirit gave me.
What do you do when you are about to cross the street? You stop. What do you do when you are driving a vehicle and you approach a stop light or a stop sign? You stop. You’ve just proved that you can stop. So if you can stop and obey traffic signals, you can stop sinning. As I have said before in my previous blogs, the man at the pool of Bethesda and the woman caught in adultery were told by the Lord Jesus to “go and sin no more.”
This is a profound truth. That we can go and sin no more. That tells us that sin’s power can no longer lord itself over me and reduce me to a slave of sin. That’s what Romans 6 teaches us. For years, I avoided that chapter because I loved the pleasure of sin. But now, I love the pleasure of righteousness. I love to please the Father. Every day that I stay from porn and masturbation, I am, by the grace and power of God, living to please Him. We are not perfect, but we are striving towards perfection.
Every moment that I stay free is a moment that the strength to resist, withstand, holdout, gets stronger and stronger. To the point where you can identify sin coming a mile away. Also, you have a plan to overcome the instant sin is coming your way to destroy you. As many men of God have said, “if you do not have a plan, you plan to fail.”
Many brothers are turning their backs on what God told them to do. They have strayed into the minefield of Secret Sexual Sins. From porn and masturbation to out right prostitution, adultery, fornication, homosexuality, and bisexuality. The promise to “keep yourself pure” has been thrown away for a moment of orgasm. The power to procreate is very powerful. The lusts of the flesh, and eyes can easily overwhelm an individual. Temptation from the devil doesn’t make it easy. But the Lord made a way out for all of us. We must fight with courage to abstain and maintain our sanctification.
It took me a long time to figure this out but for you that may be young in the flesh and young in the Lord, you can stop the madness of sin and live victorious, Christian lives.
The power of sin can no longer tell you to sin. The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. As long as I obey that law and tell my members what to do in righteousness, the freedom from the law of sin and death remains intact. The moment that I decide to suppress the Holy Spirit, suppress the Word of God to live a sanctified life, and turn my back on God, sin and death is mine.
But thank God that the Lord forgives us. Not to sin again and again, but to live righteously for the rest of our lives.
When you come to the Father, it is important to know that He loves us and He wants the best for us. Sin is never the best course. But we also have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ, the Righteous. Not to sin again that grace may abound, but to live free of the power and guilt of sin. Therefore, when you are tempted to watch porn, resist it. When you are tempted to masturbate, resist it. When you are tempted to fornicate. Resist it. When you are tempted to carry out homosexual acts. Resist it. When you are tempted to look lustfully upon a male or female. Resist it. When you are tempted, count it all joy when you fall into various trials and testings.
For the trying of your faith works patience. Therefore, let patience have its perfect work that you may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
Finally, the people of God should never applaud sin. When a person admits their sin and not label it as a “mistake” we must remember that sin always hurts the heart of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
“And grieve not the Holy Spirit.” Paul said in Ephesians 4:30. Very few have understood the grieving of the Holy Spirit. It is similar to a father grieving over his child that turned away and go astray. Parents grieve when a child goes down a certain path. When we prodigal our lives, we bring shame and disgrace to the Father. But thank God that the Lord looks down the path to see if we would return. Such is the case with the Father. Without question, the Lord receives us and throws a party that we have returned from trying conditions brought about by sin.
We can prevent these moments of grief for the Lord. Permission to sin is never given. But the Lord is always ready to forgive and forget, the moment we repent.
As time progress, leaders must be watchful in all things. When coming out of the snares of sexual sins, they must learn themselves in the natural. As long as we are alive on this planet, it is a smart thing to learn your sexual tendencies, habits, patterns, practices, rituals, and routines.
The smarter you become about how you are tempted, the better you are able to develop resistance against the next level of temptation. As you have engaged in sin, you have incorporated unhealthy sexuality. Now that you have come from the darkness into the light of Christ, you now have to incorporate healthy sexuality in terms of choices and decisions.
As The Preacher said, “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven…a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing.”
The half brother of the Lord Jesus, James, tells us that we are to “Submit ourselves therefore to God, resist the devil and he will flee from you.”
Peter says, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, stedfast in the faith…”
As you put distance from the last time you’ve grieved the Lord, you should not waste time waiting to be tempted to get ready. As soon as the last sin is over, your mind and body is planning a comeback. When habits, patterns, and routines aren’t broken, then the mind plans another round of sin.
That’s where you will find that your repentance has sticking or staying power or you were just playing.
Repentance is always the starting point after sin, but very few make an aggressive plan to fight the next temptation. When your sin is still “fresh in you flesh,” these are the most difficult moments to make a stand. That’s why you have to identify “trigger mechanisms” that set things off in your mind and flesh to start you down the path of resuming business as usual.
If you are married, porn and masturbation went from recreation to “can’t live without it.”
So, lets start with breaking this sin first. You repent. You sensed that the Lord forgave you. You receive forgiveness and you feel like a new man. You promise not to sin that sin again.
You now set yourself to keep that promise.
Psalm 119:9-11 says….
“How shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your Word. With my whole heart I have sought You; Oh, let me not wander from Your commandment. Your Word have I hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You.”
How are you going to stop from breaking your promise to God?
The question is answered with a question.
“How shall a young man cleanse his way?”
The response is simple, yet, profound.
“By taking heed according to Your Word.
From the point of the promise to never sin that sin again, you have to “cleanse your way.”
In Matthew 7, Jesus likens a person that hear His sayings and does them as a wise man that builds his house on a rock. As long as you hear the Word of God and then do the Word of God, the house you build is secure. Now mind you, the storms of life will come. Rain will descend, floods will come, and the winds will beat upon your house, BUT…..it will remain standing because the foundation is solid. You built your house on a rock.
Doing the Word after hearing the Word is the building of the house upon a rock.
James tells us to….“Be doers of the Word and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.”
Here is a key…Do the Word and not do porn and masturbation.
Paul said this in Romans chapter 6…..“And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.”
Paul also said this in the 12th chapter of Romans…..”But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lust.”
Instead of making provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lust, make provision for the spirit to worship God in spirit and in truth.
We easily submit to the heated sexual moments that run rampant through our minds. When this occurs, this is the opportunity to remember the promise you made to God not to sin that sin again. This is the moment that the Holy Spirit will work with you in your weak moment to give you strength to overcome temptation. Sometimes you do not have to go places to be tempted. All you have to do is remember habits, rituals, cycles, practices.
I find that when I do remember these sinful habits, the Holy Spirit brings to my attention 1 Corinthians 10:13 and 2 Corinthians 10:4-5.
So I submit to God.
If you hesitate, that’s the ill fated moment the devil was waiting for.
During my time of subsequent relapses in mid 2012, it’s those moments that I let my guard down (not porn but masturbation).
When the situations of life come at you, you think about relief and feeling good, sex will do that according to Dr. Archibald Hart who wrote the book on The Sexual Man. When life comes at you and you are not vigilant, that’s when the flesh and mind wanders from the commandments of the Lord. When you are not practicing the presence of the Lord, your spirit man is weak.
Proverbs 24:10 says…..
“If you faint in the day of adversity your strength is small.”
So how do I build my strength up to withstand in the moment of temptation?
Prayer and obeying the Word. You must be ruthless on your flesh and mind (see 1 Corinthians 9:27 and Colossians 3:5).
If you practice His presence within you, you will “take up your cross and follow Him.” Living the crucified life requires the measure and level of Paul’s life. “I die daily.”
The urges and impulses that operate within you were put there by the Lord, but when Adam fell into sin, they became perverted. After being born again, the mind and flesh now has to commit to doing righteousness. Spirit, soul, and body must now work in unison with the Holy Spirit to obey the Word of God on a moment’s notice. The enemy will not waste time with you. Each moment counts. When you submit yourself without hesitation, that means you have put on the armor of light and you are ready to do battle.
Submission is where it all begins. Submission to God through His Word.
Afterwards, you must be vigilant. You have to watch your every thought. You have to watch where you put your hands at night. You have to do what is necessary to keep your promise not to grieve the Lord in sin. Then, you have to spend time strengthening your heart, mind, and flesh to withstand temptation.
This is accomplished by a variety of means. Very few will win the battle against temptation who constantly feeds on the world and starves themselves of the Word. The more Word you feed on, the more of the world gets starved out of you. Remember, your heart is like a field. Whatever seed is planted, that is what will manifest as a harvest.
Paul said this is Galatians 6……
“Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.”
That’s the difference between victory and defeat.
Whatever you feed on is the difference. How much time you spend in either will be the difference. As you feed on the world your spirit man grows weaker and will never be able to withstand in the evil day. As you feed on the Word, your spirit man grows stronger and will be able to withstand in the evil day.
Paul also speaks of renewing the mind and the spirit of our minds. If you preoccupy your mind with things of the flesh, your mind will resume habits, rituals, cycles, and practices. To break these things, you must renew the mind. Renovate the mind. Redo the mind with the Word of God.
You have to make a conscious decision to put into practice having the mind of Christ. As long as you do these things, you will master the mind and flesh, and victory, by the help of the Holy Spirit, is achievable.