Ephesians 5:3 But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; (NKJV)
(Previous devotionals can be found at www.seriousfaith.com)
The problem of lust, impurity and immorality is a major issue with both genders today. Our society is plagued with sexual immorality and the church is no less affected.
The Internet has been unique in both its blessing, and its curse. Immorality in every form imaginable is at your fingertips via the Internet. Because of this fact, I have investigated, tested and used many programs for monitoring and accountability for computers and the Internet. The two best that I have found are “Covenant Eyes” and “I Am Big Brother”.
- “Covenant Eyes” monitors your Internet activity and reports it to accountability partners of your choice. Find out more by clicking here (http://www.seriousfaith.com/accountability.asp).
- “I Am Big Brother” allows you to monitor all activity on any given computer including instant messaging, email, etc. Find out more here (http://www.seriousfaith.com/accountability.asp).
I keep repeating this opening with each lesson so that the foundational idea remains clear. From our main Bible verse (Ephesians 5.3), notice the breakdown of the words in Greek:
- “immorality” (porneia) – illicit sex, adultery, fornication, homosexuality, lesbianism, all forms of deviant sexual activity, sex with a divorced man or woman
- “any” (pas) – all things, every, whosoever, everyone, whole, all manner of, every thing, whatsoever, always
- “impurity” (akatharsia) – uncleanness; lustful, luxurious, profligate living; impure motives
- “named” (onomazo) – call, to utter, to make mention of
Studying the original meaning helps us to understand how deep and encompassing this imperative from Paul is. He is saying, “let NO form of sexual impurity or lust or uncleanness be mentioned, uttered or named about any person who calls themselves ‘Christian'”.
At this point in our series, we have learned (view the all series here) that:
- The command for sexual purity is clear and all encompassing (Exodus 20:14; Matthew 5:28; Acts 15:29; Romans 13:13-14; 1 Corinthians 6:18-20; 1 Corinthians 10:8; Galatians 5:19; Colossians 3:5; 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5; Jude 7; Romans 12:1)
- Sexual sin does not just happen “by accident”; it is a series of steps that lead us closer and closer to edge of the “cliff” where a stumble or gust of wind can blow us off into tragedy.
- We are to flee sexual immorality; run from it; get as far away as possible rather than stand and put up a “fight” (1Cor 6.18)
- We cannot have a “two second mentality” about moral purity; “2 seconds” is a great rule for safe driving, but it is suicidal when it comes to sexual immorality. We should not simply be better than the world (a safe distance behind), we should know what God’s standard is, and adhere to it.
- Sexual immorality is always STUPID. It is never right, never healthy, never good and will never be without consequences (Gal 6.7); conversely, moral purity is always smart and will always be honored, rewarded and blessed by God.
- We need to know our enemy and have a plan; recognize the areas, times or people that represent temptation or moral failure in your life; have a plan on how you will aggressively take hold of moral purity in those times when you cannot avoid the temptation all together.
In the battle for moral purity, it is not simply enough to think, “I will not think about anything immoral”. The very fact of thinking that thought keeps your mind thinking about it! Don’t believe me? Try this:
There is spider in you shoe – but don’t think about it. DO NOT think about that spider in your shoe. Repeat to yourself over and over, “I will not think about the spider in my shoe.”
What are you thinking about now? Nothing but the spider in your shoe. Dealing with lustful thought or sexual temptation is much the same. You can’t simply deal with it by declaring that you are going to think about it. That very act will steer your mind towards continually thinking about it. So what should you do? The same thing we always do when it comes to living a Christian life: turn to God’s word.
Learn to immediately replace the temptation or lustful thought
in your mind with the pure words of Holy Scripture.
This will get your mind going in another direction so that sin cannot cultivate:
James 1:14-15 But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death. (NKJV)
We are tempted and drawn into sin. If we allow it to grow it will give birth to sin. How do you keep something from being born? You kill it. How do you kill lust and sexually impure thoughts? By executing them with God’s Word:
- When a beautiful or immodest person tempts you to lust:
Job 31:1 “I have made a covenant with my eyes; Why then should I look upon a young woman? (NKJV)
- When a TV or movie tempts you to watch something immoral:
Psalm 101:3 I will set nothing wicked before my eyes; I hate the work of those who fall away; It shall not cling to me. (NKJV)
- When another person entice you with flirtation and flattery and draws your attention from your spouse:
James 4:8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. (NKJV)
- When you are a mouse click away from a pornography or impurity on your computer:
1 Corinthians 6:18-20 Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s. (NKJV)
- When you find your mind turning to or fixated on impure sexual thoughts, desires or dreams:
Proverbs 15:26 The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the Lord, But the words of the pure are pleasant. (NKJV)
- When you are tempted to rationalize or justify your participation in something impure – perhaps using self-pity or selfishness as your reason (ie, “my husband doesn’t love me like he should, so it’s not my fault” or “my wife doesn’t give me enough sex, so I can’t help it”):
Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. (NKJV)
In the battle for moral purity, you must not leave a void in your mind by simply trying not to think about the temptation. Actively fill your mind with God’s Word and displace wicked thoughts with holy ones.
Our Heavenly Father, Help us to know Your word and use it to fill our mind with holiness. We ask that through Your Spirit, You will bring just the verse to mind to help us be morally pure. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Contemplation: Do you have any Bible verses ready to help you, 1) deal with sin, and 2) replace sinful thoughts with holy thoughts? Do you believe there is any real benefit in this, or is it just nice Christian suggestion?
Application: We do not exist in a vacuum. Something is in our mind all the time. If you want to have victory against impure thoughts, learn to replace them with holy words from the Bible.
- If you are having trouble with immorality and the Internet, Covenant Eyes is my recommended service for helping you in this area. This service tracks your activity, and send a report or the accountability partner(s) you choose. Find out more here: http://www.seriousfaith.com/accountability.asp
- If you need to monitor and record the activity on a computer including email and instant messaging, my recommended program is “I Am Big Brother”. It cannot be uninstalled without security privileges and can run secretly in the background. Find out more here: http://www.seriousfaith.com/accountability.asp
James 1:22 – But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. (NKJV)
- What is the most obvious Bible truth you have learned today?
- What change in your life needs to be made concerning this truth?
- What specific thing will you do today to begin that change?