Psalms 119:9 ESV
“How can a young man keep his way pure?
By guarding it according to your word.”
The Battle We Face
It isn’t just young men who need to keep their way pure. We all do. And in today’s world it is getting harder and harder for the young and the old to keep their way pure, for impurity is being thrown our direction from all different sources, including from within the gatherings of the church.
If we walk through a mall, it is in the windows of the stores. Or, if we go grocery shopping, it stares us in the face in the checkout line from the magazines prominently placed in our view where we are standing. If we go anywhere in public, we are presented with people immodestly and even provocatively dressed.
If we are anywhere on the internet, even on some Christian sites, we are faced with it in their ads, which may seem innocuous to some people, but seduction can begin very subtly with just small hints of something that can play in a person’s mind until it leads to something greater.
And if we are on social media, it comes at us through memes that are shared, and through the ads, and through some people’s posts, even those of people professing faith in Jesus Christ. Some of their posts are pictures of themselves with prominent parts of their bodies sticking out (uncovered).
And seduction and sensuality and sexuality are in the music people listen to, in the video games they play, in the ads on TV and on YouTube, at half-times or pre-game shows at sporting events, and even in “Christian” music videos. I can’t begin to count how many of those I had to turn off.
And then if you go to a news site, they often have some kind of extra stories on the side to draw your attention with some kind of action or with some catchy title that makes some people curious, and so they follow their curiosity, and many times that leads them to where they should not go.
I mean, I haven’t even begun to scratch the surface on this, I am sure, because I am in my 70s, so I don’t even know all the new ways people are being inundated with sensuality and seduction. But I know that a big open door for this has been personal computers, tablets, and now smart phones in the hands of the immature and the self-indulgent, and in the hands of children.
We Have to Guard our Minds
We are all human, who are humans. We all live in flesh bodies. Therefore, we all have a propensity to sin. Even though Jesus died to deliver us from our slavery to sin, and even though, by genuine faith in Jesus Christ, we have died with him to sin, we have to die daily to sin, by the Spirit.
God’s grace, which brings salvation, trains (instructs, teaches, commands) us to say “No!” to ungodliness and fleshly lusts and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives while we wait for our Lord’s soon return. For, Jesus gave himself up for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.
The Holy Spirit within us also gives us the wisdom, the power, and the strength to do what this says (above), and to resist the devil, and to flee temptation, and to draw near to God in full assurance of faith. Jesus provided a way out for us from temptation so that we will not give in to it. We just have to take the way out that he provided.
So, yes, we are being bombarded daily, if we live in this world, with sexually suggestive or with sensual or with seductive images and messages being thrown at us unceasingly. So, we have to be determined, and we have to put on that armor of God, and we have to be committed to purity, or we will fail. We have to guard our minds against all forces of evil trying to invade them.
So, how do we do this? First off, we have to be in genuine relationship with Jesus Christ. We have to have died with him to sin, and we must be living to Christ and to his righteousness, in the strength and wisdom of God. And we have to set our faces “like flint,” (Isaiah 50:7) so that we don’t let those images or those suggestions have one second of infiltration into our minds.
We have to immediately look away and pray and close sites and block sites or people who are a problem for us. We can’t look a second time. We have to take action immediately. People may think we are crazy or that we are overreacting, or that we are legalistic or whatever else it is they want to think about us, but we must not give sensuality one second in our lives.
Now, it goes without saying that if you have been caught up in sexual sin in the past, and by God’s grace, you are committed to walking in freedom, then you have to know your areas of weakness, and you know where you can’t go, so don’t go there! Don’t test fate, basically.
If you have a history of being led down rabbit holes, know those rabbit holes so that you recognize them and so you avoid them, and so you don’t keep repeating the same sins over and over again. If you do, it is obvious that you are not serious about walking in purity of devotion with the Lord, and you are just playing a dangerous game. And that is because Jesus has given you all you need to live a pure life, so no excuses! You just have to obey him!
Psalms 119:10-12 ESV
“With my whole heart I seek you;
let me not wander from your commandments!
I have stored up your word in my heart,
that I might not sin against you.
Blessed are you, O Lord;
teach me your statutes!”
We can’t be casual about our relationships with the Lord Jesus and expect to walk in purity free from slavery to sin. We have to seek the Lord Jesus with our WHOLE HEART, and not half-heartedly. We have to be committed to moral purity, and we must guard our minds and hearts from all sources of evil which might try to work their way into our minds and hearts.
And we can’t let our guard down at any time. We must know our enemy and his tactics he uses against us so that we don’t fall into any of his traps. That is what Ephesians 6:10-20 is all about. We can’t act like we don’t have an enemy prowling around ready to attack us at any given moment and then expect to not get burned.
Therefore, commit your all to Jesus. Live for him fully! Do not disobey his commands. Do what he says. Bathe your mind in the word of God and with music with godly lyrics and spiritually uplifting messages. Use Philippians 4:8-9 as your rule of thumb for deciding what you will listen to and what you will watch, too. Be faithful, be steadfast, and never ever give in to temptation! Pray! Trust the Lord! And obey him!
[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10, 19-20; 2 Co 5:10, 15; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 3:4-10]
Oh, to Be Like Thee, Blessed Redeemer
Lyrics by Thomas O. Chisholm, 1897
Music by W. J. Kirkpatrick, 1897
Oh, to be like Thee! blessèd Redeemer,
This is my constant longing and prayer;
Gladly I’ll forfeit all of earth’s treasures,
Jesus, Thy perfect likeness to wear.
Oh, to be like Thee! full of compassion,
Loving, forgiving, tender and kind,
Helping the helpless, cheering the fainting,
Seeking the wandering sinner to find.
O to be like Thee! lowly in spirit,
Holy and harmless, patient and brave;
Meekly enduring cruel reproaches,
Willing to suffer others to save.
O to be like Thee! while I am pleading,
Pour out Thy Spirit, fill with Thy love;
Make me a temple meet for Thy dwelling,
Fit me for life and Heaven above.
Oh, to be like Thee! Oh, to be like Thee,
Blessèd Redeemer, pure as Thou art;
Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness;
Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.
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2 thoughts on “The Battle of the Mind”
The Bible teaches us that we need one another! It’s so important to have a close friend to help us in our struggles and temptations, someone to pray for us, encourage us, and when tempted, to hold us accountable to do what’s right.
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Annie, that is true. Hard to find such a person these days. So many people are living immoral lives. So much fakery and lies abound. So many unfaithful to their spouses. So many broken lives and broken marriages and families because of sexual sin. So many following a cheap grace gospel and encouraging one another in their sins instead of helping them to be free from their sins. It is a sad situation. And accountability only goes so far as the people are honest with each other.