How to Overcome Temptation
I'm going to be talking to you about how to overcome temptation, specifically impure thoughts but before I do, and this is just a little something somebody shared with me, I hope they're not here today. It's been a number of years since I've had (static), but it touched my heart and it's very very relevant. The e-mail comes in to me and it says: "I've been married for 10 years we have 3 children my wife is a good woman and mother. By the way I'm going to go a little bit fast today to keep within the time frame.
We're both Seventh Day Adventists I hold several church offices and preach once a quarter, we have regular family worship our marriage is ok but we are no longer intimate. I do not feel the way I once did, I'm not passionate and do not feel very attracted to my wife anymore, we're both in our early 40's. I own a small business and keeping it going requires a tremendous commitment of time and energy. I feel the Lord has blessed it though as there is always work. (static) A few years ago I ran an ad for a part time secretary.
Elizabeth," this is the name I gave her, "applied for the job and was hired, she's from another country and is married. She's been married before but met her current husband in this country and married because her father wanted her and her present husband married, and her present husband married her because he needed a maid. There's no love at all in her marriage, there's no support, no comfort, no intimacy, no nothing. Her marriage has caused her a lot of stress which has resulted in health problems and she has at times been suicidal.
Elizabeth has been a tremendous help to me and the business, she's been supportive and is my number one fan, I couldn't run my business without her. I don't get very much support from my wife except nagging, but Elizabeth encourages me when I'm about to give up she pushes me to do my best and brings out the man in me. We confide in each other, she talks to me about everything because she can't talk to her husband. I tell her things that I do not tell my wife, my feelings dreams for life's accomplishments, so forth. Elizabeth encourages me but my wife encourages me very little. Over the years I've fallen in love with this woman, we have become dear and best friends."
And watch this reasoning. "Elizabeth and I pray almost daily for the business for each other and for the families. We pray about everything. She used to be a catholic but because of working with me and over our discussion on religion she went to our meetings and was recently baptized. She loves Jesus and wants to do more for Him. She's a beautiful caring person, she wants to become part of my ministry and encourages me to do things. I'm there for her and I support her in her dreams and encourage her to keep going. I give her the things she's missing at home. She says I'm her perfect man and I feel she is the perfect woman for me. Our relationship is based on a deep caring for each other it's not infatuated love, it's not about sex, we both love each other dearly. I find myself awake at 2 AM almost nightly and go downstairs to pray for her health and salvation. Neither one of us wants to sin in this relationship. I've pleaded with God to guide the relationship and to make it the way He wants. In my mind it's about loving and caring, not sex. We are physically attracted, but no question about it, to me she's beautiful, we have a compatible chemistry that's uncanny. We know how each other feels and what we're thinking. Just holding hands or hugging sends warmth to my heart that I'd never have experienced before. I would go to the ends of the earth for her I feel, I would give my life for her. I'm at the point that I do not want to be without her in my life. I think about her 24/7 and pray for her 24/7.
We've talked about this extensively and she feels exactly the same. I've never felt this way about my wife. We cry," this is with Elizabeth, "we cry with each other, hug, kiss, and it feels wonderful. The deep caring and warmth just flows through me. There have been occasions when the passion begins to run high and we want more, but she stopped me because of not wanting to sin and I've stopped her for the same reason. Maybe it's too late, I've wept over this, trying to convince Jesus that it's not adultery. The feelings are from my heart not below the belt.
We both realize the difficulty. She doesn't want to break my family up, neither do I want to subject my kids to a broken home. But I think if it weren't for the kids I would get a divorce. Because of her marriage it seems she's seeing a counselor and they put her on anxiety drugs. She called me once in the middle of the night scared and distraught asking for prayer. We both prayed on the phone. I've chased her down before and prevented a possible suicide when she was having a panic attack. She needs me and I need her. We both wish there was a way to be together to be married.
What do I do? Can I be in love with another woman, true caring love not sex-driven love without it being sin? I don't want to do anything that would cause either of us to lose our salvation. I want to see her and be with her in heaven. Why do I feel this way? Why does my heart hurt so much? I've prayed for the Holy Spirit to take away the pain of this if it's not right. I feel that I do not want to go on without her. She means everything to me. How can this be wrong if I'm praying for her protection, forgiveness, salvation, and guidance? I'm so confused."
My answer to him: "Dear Eddie, thank you for sharing your story and for your frankness. I can see that this is a tremendous burden for you. It's taken you time to get into this and it's become a deeply ingrained problem and addiction. I'm sure that I'm not going to tell you what you want to hear. Matter of fact you already know what I will say. You have made this more complicated because you have mixed spiritual components into something that's not spiritual. It reminds me of the time that pastor Charles Spurgeon, a famous English pastor, was asked to offer the blessing when the main course was a roast pig. His prayer was, Lord if you can bless what you've already cursed, then bless this food. God has not abandoned you or you wouldn't have contacted me. But time is running out. You run a business and to do this successfully you must keep things clear and in their right place. In this case you've dumped everything into the same file. It's like a computer program that's become corrupted. You can not sort this one out short of a reinstall and probably have to ask Jesus to reformat your hard. You have wandered into a mine field you can not walk out. Jesus must air lift you out.
You are sinning against Jesus, your wife, Elizabeth, and her husband to say nothing of your children. You're rationalizing and declaring holy that which Jesus has declared as unclean. Your prayers with Elizabeth are going nowhere. He can not bless what He's cursed. Fortunately the Spirit is pleading with you. You know in your gut that this is wrong but you're hitting all of the buttons hoping that God will make an exception in your case. The fact that you have not had sexual intimacy must not be used as a justification for the relationship. Psalm 51 applies in your case. Jesus is waiting to heal you and to forgive you. Elizabeth is holding you hostage with threats of suicide. This holds you in the web. She has been unfaithful to her husband and now she has you emotionally trapped. You can not be responsible for her. God holds you responsible for your covenant. You have a wife and children and have turned your back on them.
Jesus is calling you to terminate this relationship. You must not fear what will happen to Elizabeth. She has used you. It's no wonder that you're no longer intimate with your wife. You're emotionally committed to another woman and have made the enormous mistake of attempting to bring God into an elicit relationship. Though you may deny it, Psalm 51 is about you. I plead with you to return to God. The god that you and Elizabeth have been praying to is a god of your own design, one that approves of what you're doing. Sometimes to save ourselves we must amputate and arm or a leg. In this case an appendage that has no rightful place in your life has been grafted in and must be removed by the Holy Spirit. You don't need to ask God what to do He's already revealed it. I urge you to confess your sin and pray that He will give you the grace to do what He's already revealed in His word.
I must disagree with you that this is about love and caring. If it were it would be in the context of your covenant with your family. Please forgive me but this is about selfishness. You're both using each other without regard to the will of God or your commitment to your spouses. Please, while the Holy Spirit speaks, turn around. It's not easy but it will be right. We often speak of the last days and the times of trouble; this is the last days and you are in trouble. Jesus has promised to deliver us from the enemy. Satan has desired you that he may sift you as wheat. Jesus is praying for you, don't let Him down. I've talked with you man to man. Your brother in Christ."
He answers me: "Pastor O' Fill thank you for your quick reply last week. I read it immediately. You were right. I knew exactly what you would say. The Holy Spirit hit me like a ton of bricks as I read your e-mail over a hundred times. Everything you said was correct. How was I so stupid and so blind? As I read the fog lifted from my mind and I clearly saw my sin. Psalm 51 was for me, Psalm 66:18 was too. I fell at my keyboard and asked Jesus to forgive my sin. I felt so ashamed that just hours before I had written such horrible things about my wife. As I reread your messages I felt a relief come off my shoulders, glad that my sin had been found out and that I could be forgiven.
I left my office work and drove home. My wife was outside gardening and as I pulled up in the driveway a voice in my head said, 'behold your wife.' I could not stop the tears and went and hugged and kissed her. That night we were intimate. For the next few days your message was like a balm to me. I prayed aloud Psalm 51 and wept bitterly. My illicit relationship with Elizabeth is over.
I approached her and explained that we had committed adultery and had sinned against Jesus and our spouses and family. Our prayers were not being heard and we were in a dangerous spiritual condition. Pastor I believe the Holy Spirit convicted her heart too. We prayed and wept for an hour, confessed our sins to God and asked for forgiveness. She wanted to feel that first love for Jesus that she had before. I felt a clean feeling that I have had since baptism.
I did not realize how strong and emotional deception could become even to the point of throwing God's word back in His face; but knowing what it says all along. I praise God for His Spirit and how He led me to Him through you. His mercy and love amaze me. He has not left me but right in the middle of it all, he pulled me out of the mire by the collar and He saved us from destruction.
Pastor O' Fill thank you for your ministry, this will be my last communication. You do not have to respond back to my e-mail, but you can if you'd like. I have to go now, as my eldest son's piano recital is about to be held and I wouldn't miss it for the world."
I'll tell you the scripture says the heart is deceitful and desperately wicked and this guy was using all the spiritual words. Look out for that ladies, look out for that. I want to talk to you about overcoming temptation, but we're going to use the specific temptation of impure thoughts. And here it goes, we don't have much time. I'm going to give you 8 points. You want to write these down. Each one has a text with it.
Overcoming temptation but particularly impure thoughts. The first point is the purpose in praying for victory over impure thoughts is not to reduce them. You know to say well I think I have about 25 impure thoughts per day I hope to get it down by 10%, and then hopefully I'll only have half as many some day. No, it's all or nothing. The first text is Daniel 1:8: "But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself." Ladies and gentlemen we can not ask God to do in our lives what we don't want done ourselves and many of us are doing that you know. I know what we pray sometimes, "Lord give me the desire to have the desire" and all that stuff that can be... that's alright I suppose. But many of us are praying that God will do for us what we really don't want done. In this case if we're going to have victory over impure thoughts we have to purpose in our hearts that that's the way it's going to be. The purpose is not to reduce it, it's to do away with it.
Point number 2. We've got to realize that immoral acts begin in the mind. The problem we have with immorality is not below the belt it's in the head. That's the sex organ. And it's for this reasoning that we must pray Psalm 139 verse 23 and 24: "Search me O God and know my heart and" what is it? Did I say 39? 139 I meant to say 23 and 24. "Search me O Lord and know my heart see if there's any wicked ways in me and lead me in the way everlasting." You know we, have you ever heard people say, did you hear Pete? No, what happened? He fell into adultery. Nobody falls into adultery. They've worked it out in their minds long ago. It begins in the mind. We've committed adultery in the mind long before we commit the act. And that's why if we're going to have victory over impure thoughts and impure behaviors it's a problem of the heart. Search me O God and know my heart.
Point number 3. We must make an agreement with our eyes. You know the way to the head is through the eyes. They're the windows of our mind. And I didn't know the text was in the scripture but it's in Job 31 verse 1: "And Job said I made a covenant with my eyes; why should I look upon a maid." In plain language he said I had to decide to make a deal with my eyes to quit looking at pretty girls. Because you know when we're looking at pretty girls or whatever you girls do I don't know what you do, but whatever it is it's pretty bad. It's gotta be worked out, it's gotta be worked out with our eyes.
You know they're putting some pretty suggestive stuff on the billboards these days. Have you noticed that? And sometimes they'll change the billboard and we won't even know they changed it, you know, yesterday; because we haven't been by there in a while. And then we notice that it's got, I'm talking about us fellows; and like I said last night us fellows are... we work with the eyes that's the way we work. You girls my have other ways you work. That's why you girls, daughters of God, you have a responsibility toward the impression you give. In other words you can say, "well I'm not responsible for his dirty old head." Well you know I use this illustration. If you have a little grandchild in your house, girls, you have a mother instinct I think. And so you have this grandchild but what you don't do when you're boiling a pot of water is leave the handle of the pot hanging over the edge of the stove. C'mon you understand what I'm, did you get that.
Anyway, supposing, am I among friends? Hey we're talking heart to heart you know that. Anyway, they can change that billboard and you didn't even know it fellows and then suddenly there it is, but now you know it's there. And so the next time you come down the road you know about a half a mile down the road, you say, you see a billboard, I know what's on that billboard. So what you don't want to do is go down the billboard, you go, "O God take away the desire." No you gotta make a deal with your eyes. If you know there's a suggestive billboard down there that puts the wrong thoughts in your mind, then guess what you don't do? You don't look at the billboard.
In fact, in fact, you may think I'm a wimp but you know there's parts of town where they have the adult book stores. I mean it doesn't mean that they've got you know nude people out on the front of the store but they've got signs out there that remind you. And you know, and we know what goes on in there. I don't look at the sign. You gotta make a deal with you eye.
Number 4. We've gotta realize that our struggle is not physical but spiritual. Ephesians 6 verse 12: "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." I was walking through the Reagan Airport in Washington one day; just on my way to the gate and carrying my suitcase. Back in those days you could carry your suitcase. Now they make you check them in. So, anyway, I'm walking along there and I pass a kiosk, you know one of these book cutouts where they sell the books and magazines. And there's a guy standing with his back to me and he's reading a pornographic magazine. He's holding up like this and it probably had the dirtiest picture that I've ever seen. And I looked at it. And I wasn't looking for anything, I'm just walking along, just walking along and I just cast an eye there and when I saw it man I pulled my head fast.
You know it's interesting what the devil does. You know, you know you probably can't remember fellows, the name of your first grade teacher, but if I were to ask you, you'd probably remember the first dirty joke you ever heard. You know it's interesting how the devil is continually, we wrestle not against flesh and blood, is continually trying to destroy us. And, and, and it's crazy how these dirty pictures get embedded in our heads or dirty thoughts and you know they'll come out anytime. You know they'll come out right in the middle of a church service. And that infuriates me. We have an enemy that's out to destroy us.
You know we talk about doing the health message. You know some of us are more into the health message then we are into the moral message. But Jesus says don't fear him who can kill the body, after that he can't do anymore to you, fear him who's after your head. And you run the risk not of getting a disease but of going to hell. Am I still among friends?
Number 5. We've got to remove from our lives the things that contribute to our defeat. Romans 13 verse 14 says: "Put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make not provisions for the flesh to fulfill the lust thereof." You know we must take out of our environment everything that would contribute to moral impurity. And you know that even the magazines, it's incredible, the magazines, everything is suggestive these days. By the way our culture is designed to destroy our souls. And the first thing that our culture is designed to do is, you guys are mostly single people, but the culture is designed to turn you into a sex fiend and to ruin your marriage when it happens.
And if we just stay on this road you can come to as many of these retreats as you want and get messed up anyway. Because it's not what we do here, it's what we do at home. You can get here and just get carried away and go into a spiritual trance and you go home to reality. It's what we do when we go back down the hill the makes the difference. We've gotta get out of our lives the things that contribute to our defeat and I don't need, I hope I don't need to tell this crowd, that there's nothing that's destroying us more than television. Television that is watched by the average Christian is the opposite of everything you're asking Jesus to do in your life. Just the opposite. You know you've heard of these science fiction things where this alien comes and implants something in your head. Television is the implant. Television is telling us what to eat, how to dress, the whole works is destroying us. And we've gotta do something.
You can say, "well you know" and I tell this when I'm talking to a congregation in a marriage context, "well Pastor O' Fill you're right man, but the other day I was talking to my wife about that and she said, Pastor O' Fill she gets a spiritual blessing from watching the soap operas, I, I, I don't now what I'm gonna do, I..." And so I say, "Listen, just make a deal with her, you know just negotiate, c'mon, you know marriage is a two way street. And you say "honey," you say "I understand that you get a spiritual blessing from watching Naftela Novella, the soap opera, and so why don't we do this we'll have television for 5 years and then we'll be without one for 5 years." And she'll say, "O Negro," you know that's what they call, it means like sweetheart, "O sweetheart, you're so nice." When she says that then say, "We've already had your 5 years."
Now listen we've got to do something about it, do something about it. Now watch even this. You say, "well I only watch the news." The news is sometimes pornographic. It creates all kinds of images in your mind. And another thing about the news you know when the Bible says, "Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof." If you watch the news all day and in fact let me talk to the girs and you girls that live in California and you hear that someone was raped in Connecticut and you just get scared out of your wits. You go put another lock on your door. You see we're not made to bear the burdens of this planet. This is why, now I know we need to know the news but we can know so much news, that we're stressed out hysterical and all the rest.
Great peace have they that love thy law and nothing shall offend them. We, we need as much as anything we need peace these days but do something about television. I don't know where you're at and maybe you're saying, "Well I only watch 3ABN all the time and Hope Channel" and I've got lots of programs, dozens of programs on Hope Channel and on 3ABN but I don't even watch it. You know that's for the people in the halfway house. You know we do better, we don't need the television. You know it's crazy you go into a home these days they can't stand the silence of their own head.
Jesus is in the still small voice it's not much room for Jesus' voice if there's music going dum, dum, dum, whatever it is... all the time, just make, make your house quiet and see what you get. Then you have to hear your own thought. Now think about it and you get the white hair, you get smart. Buddy you might think when you get home dying your hair white get smart, save yourself, save yourself some trouble man don't just go through all the years man. That's why you want to listen to people like us. We weren't born yesterday. Don't make the mistakes. Well I gotta make my own mistakes, you're crazy don't do it. The mistakes that are being made these days are fatal to spiritual development.
You know I was saying at breakfast this morning that there was a time in which you didn't have to have a commitment to Jesus to survive because the family would hold you up, you know, the influence, the culture, the church, just was kind of like walls around you. Not anymore those are all down we're taking the hits direct. I believe that it's necessary to have a commitment. Did you notice I didn't say relationship? That word's no good. That's no good. It's necessary to have a commitment to Jesus to stay married. And I already told you again and you may think I'm wasting my time talking to this crowd. Girls never, never move in with a fellow or let a fellow fool you until he makes a commitment. Just don't do it. You know, but you heard, you say, "well don't talk to us this way, we're spiritual." You heard that e-mail, didn't you? So was he.
You alright? You know when you go to a doctor, some of you are doctors. There's 2 things that we patients want when we go to a doctor. One is we want a correct diagnosis and the other we want a correct description. And in the culture they say if you don't get that that's malpractice. As a minister of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, I don't want God to get me for malpractice. You do what you want when you go home, you do what you want, but know this and this is the thing that I just want to talk to you and I don't want to make you mad... let's get the spiritual life out of the theory and let's get it into the practice.
Have I been talking to you about real things? And so remember life is not a theory... you know somebody was talking to me about the last... you know we're in the last days... about the times of persecution, they're already here... they started in the house. You know I don't fear what the pope can do to me but it's what's going on in your home that can cause you to be lost. And so we've got to go home, ladies and gentlemen, we gotta not look at your pastor anymore, that's his problem or the church or whatever, well the church, oh the church is messed up... No! We're messed up. What did Joshua say? I know not what course others may take but as for me and my house we will serve the Lord.
We've gotta realize that the battle is not just one time it's, it's continual. Jeremiah 14 or 12 verse 5 says, "If thou hast run with the footmen and they have wearied thee then how canst thou continue with the horses?" Listen this thing, you know, in other words you can't say, "You know I used to have impure thoughts, haven't had an impure thought since..." It's everyday! I used to look for perfect people Norman, not anymore, I look for survivors. Anybody that's talking about, you know one guy said, "I haven't sinned in 3 months." He must not know what it is.
Anyway, I was in a motel one time, I'm not going to tell you which one it was because I don't want to give a bad reputation there to the Holiday Inn in Golden Glades Miami. But I had had my shower and was getting ready for bed and had my devotion, you know read the Bible a little bit and knelt down. I hope you do that at night you know and if you're married you know you pray with each other, you learned that didn't you? Anyway, I had just turned off the light, just turned off the light and the phone rang and I said, "hello" and it was a woman's voice she must've been the house prostitute. Boy she didn't wait 3 words to start talking dirty. When she did that and I heard the third word or whatever it was I hung up on her. Now I suppose you might say Pastor O' Fill you lost the opportunity to witness. You should've said, you should've said, "sister you shouldn't do this, come down to my room and let's have a Bible study."
Listen to me fellows the Bible says you flee fornication, you don't negotiate with it, you don't... When that starts up between you and your girlfriend that's no time to sit around and read the Bible that's time to hit the road. Flee fornication. Now you may think I'm a wimp but after I hung up on her I turned on the light again and I got up again, took the Bible, read it and I prayed to the Lord. Because that woman had spit in my brain. Just like you're standing by the road and a truck goes by and splashes you and gets you all dirty you have to a bath. And so when you get exposed to that stuff you gotta wash it out man.
I used to work on a plastering crew; those fellows couldn't put two clean words together and I can remember coming home from work one day. I was 21 years old and I just had to sit down read the Bible wash that out man. Wash it out. Werewithal shall a young man or woman cleanse his way? Anyway, so the battle is always.
Here's another one. How to overcome temptation... it's by the fear of the Lord. Proverbs 16 verse 6 says "And by mercy and truth iniquity is purged and by the fear of the Lord men depart from evil." You know when I travel a lot I stay in motels, I don't like to stay in motels. I like to stay with the believers in the people's houses. When I used to live in South America the agency for international development sponsored a training session in San Pedro Sula in Honduras and so I was representing the Seventh-day Adventist world service with other representatives from other agencies you know what I mean other agencies. We all got on the same airplane and we went up to San Pedro Sula and when we got up there and the thing was going to last 3 or 4 days, I noticed that the guys that I had traveled with on the airplane. Once I got up there when I saw them they were hanging around with women and they were prostitutes obviously.
But it occurred to me Jim, that what had happened, these men were out of their element. I don't think they would've done that in Santiago. They were accountable in Santiago but not in San Pedro Sula. This is why it's important. It's dangerous to get out where you're not known. Because you can do stuff that you would never do if it was otherwise.
And you know I can think even of a man, when I was a young man, he had an important position in conference, he might've been a youth director. He is no longer living. But sadly the story was that one weekend and he was in a restaurant and this was Friday night. And in this restaurant there was dancing and apparently some girl came up to him and invited him to dance. Now I don't think the guy was into that kind of stuff. He probably didn't even think about it. But, you know it happened so fast that he found himself up on the floor dancing around with her. And that was all there was to it, that was all there was to it. But what he didn't know was that there was a former Seventh-day Adventist there that night. And they called the conference on Monday and he lost his job. He transfered to someplace else. If he had been staying with the believers that night he wouldn't have fallen into that.
See this is what the church is for, theoretically. It's about accountability. And you see before we're baptized we made our commitment to Jesus, but baptism... I don't think the baptism water washes away sin, do you? The blood of Jesus does that. It's like getting married, you know, really a couple is married before they're married. Aren't they really?. It's when they stand there they make a public commitment to God and to the people that are there and to the families that I'm going to be faithful. And so when we're baptized what we're saying, we're telling the church that I've given my heart to Jesus and I am accountable to you for the commitment that I've made. This is why it's important that in the church we have accountability. That's one of the greatest blessings of the church.
Now the last point is... I'm going to use the Spanish Bible you can turn to Romans 6 verse 1. (Spanish) In fact this is the one that will help you overcome temptation. Boy I'll tell you when you get tempted to have impure thoughts this is the one that does it. It's 6 verse 1 (Spanish). Here's the way we say it: "what should we say then, shall we continue with impure thoughts that grace may abound?." What's the rest say? "No way, how can we who are dead to impure thoughts" C'mon, hey don't just say sin because this guy thought he wasn't committing any. Hey let's call it for what it is. Let's call a rat a rat. And so if you want to overcome impure thoughts then let's call them for what they are. Well don't say, "well it's.. I love her so much."
You know what love is? Love isn't sex. Did you know that by now? Have you learned that? When we say "make love" that's not love. You can do that with a prostitute. You understand what I'm saying? Love is first Corinthians 13 and you tell your sweetheart that you love him or he loves you that's what he's talking about. C'mon let's get the meaning of love back. Love isn't sex. You don't make love in the bed. Now you might have a special relationship. This is a symbol but it isn't love. Because you can do that with a prostitute. Homosexuals do that in their awful way.
So anyway, what's the secret to overcoming impure thoughts? Play dead. Yeah, because you know, God forbid, if we were to have a casket here on the platform and there's somebody, God forbid, laying in there, you know, and you were to march a you know who in front of it, naked woman or something. What would he do? He doesn't do anything... he doesn't because he's dead. What's the secret to overcoming impure thoughts or any temptation? Play dead. In other words you say a little prayer. How can I who am dead to impure thoughts or to anger or to selfishness or whatever it might be, and when we say that prayer it's over. Because dead people don't, they just don't respond.
Now you might say Pastor O' Fill I've tried that before that doesn't work... well if that doesn't work, it works for most of us but you might be really, you might be really a serious case. So I'm going to give you, I'm going to give you a secret that'll break any temptation that could possibly, you know that's after you. Can you think of anybody in your life, this morning, that needs Jesus? C'mon put a name with it don't tell me what the name... just put a name. I'm going to publicly announce the name Ann, my sister, my younger sister. Ok so you got your name? Now by the way the devil just loves to harass us and to tempt us, doesn't he? He's thinking, "man I get such a kick out of that, just drive 'em nuts that's what I'm gonna do."
Here's what you do. You say the next time that I'm tempted to have impure thoughts you know when those come in, it's going to remind me to pray for Ann. Now the devil doesn't want you to pray for Ann. He doesn't want that. In fact he'd rather not bother you then having you pray for Ann, you know what I mean? You see that first one playing dead, that's a shield. But this other one's aggressive. That's telling the devil, "next time you come to me, I'm coming at you." And that'll take care of that.
Ladies and gentlemen this is predicted, it was said of this generation that this generation would be a generation whose eyes are full of adultery. Now I don't think adultery is a new phenomenon. By the way you know we say that the natural process of sexual relationship was from creation, but lust wasn't. Now if you pray, "Well I'm praying that God will take away the desire." Well it's the end of your race. In other words it's like a glutton saying, "well I hope the Lord will take away my appetite." No He won't. If you're a glutton you don't pray, "take away my appetite, you pray for self-control."
So if you've got a problem with impure thoughts you don't pray that he'll take away the sexual part of you. You pray that he'll create in you a clean heart, renew a right spirit within you. This generation is obsessed with sex and unfortunately we're all infected. And we bring it in in any numbers of ways... It just disguises itself. But those who are lost will be those who refuse to receive the victory that Jesus promises for any sinner.
You know this is one of the things that really concerns me so badly about the homosexuality. It's not that it's the worst sin or that you could imagine I suppose; hacking up little children like you heard that guy killed that woman, that little actress or whatever she was. But anyway the thing about homosexuality, it refuses to call itself sin. And so the unforgivable sin is the sin that refuses to submit itself to the forgiveness of Jesus and many of us can be in that.
You know, Christian, you know in Pilgrim's Progress; Christian's on his way to the celestial city. And he says, he meets some other pilgrim and they start talking about sin, then the pilgrim says I've gotten rid of all the big sins in my life, I only got the little ones. And Christian says it's the other way around: what you call the big ones were the little ones, what you call the little ones are the big ones. And that's the way it is, let's be honest with ourselves. What we say is this big is really the sin that's going to destroy us.
Those who are lost outside the city they are enumerated, they are adulterers. Will those who are saved be adulterers to? Yes. But they wanted out and they let Jesus give them the victory. Those who are in the city and those who are out of the city, same kind of people with a difference. Those who were in the city accepted the victory and the salvation that Jesus gave them, the ones who were outside the city they liked to dwell. Jesus is doing everything He can to save us all. If we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Now you know the secret of how to overcome temptation don't you? Heavenly Father, we're thankful that there's no temptation taking on us but that's taken everybody else, but that you will in spite of this temptation make a way of escape Lord that we can be victorious in an ongoing way. We pray for every young woman here Lord that you will help them to resist, help them to be women of the... beautiful women, not in body but in spirit that they can be appreciated for the people and sisters and daughters, wives that they are, girlfriends. And Lord we men we're just dirty old men and we hate to... Oh Father do something in our heads. Help us to determine in our hearts as men that we will not defile ourselves, make deals with our eyes. We're thankful now that we've been able to be here this weekend. We're going back down in the valley and to real life where everything good can happen and everything bad does happen. Help every young person here Lord to go back in courage, invigorated, strong in the Lord, and may we increase in wisdom and physical health and in favor with you through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.