When we win the battle of our thought life we begin to have victory over sexual sin.
Family Counseling Ministries -
Someone who has repeatedly fallen into sexual sin often
comes to believe that he or she is helpless to win the war against immorality.
In the first article in a seven-part series on conquering impure thoughts, Dr.
Don Dunlap explains that when people fall into sinful sexual habits they feel
powerless to overcome their disobedient lifestyles until they win the battle of
their thought life. In the words of Proverbs 23:7, As a man thinks in his
heart, so is he.
Many Christians experience discouragement and often
despair, because of their inability to conquer sinful sexual habits. I counsel
people weekly who are involved in every sexual sin imaginableadultery,
premarital sex, homosexuality, prostitution, masturbation, and pornography, to
name a few.
A sinful action always begins in the mind.
They come seeking help because they feel powerless to
overcome their disobedient lifestyles. They are unaware that they are fighting
the wrong battle. Immoral actions grow out of impure thoughts. I encourage each
of them with the scriptural truth that, as they win the battle of their
thought-life, they will begin to have hope for victory over sinful actions.
We read in Proverbs 23:7 that actions are the result of thoughts: For as he
thinks in his heart, so is he.
Many Christians have been trapped in sexual sin for so long
that they have given up hope of ever being victorious over it.
People who have repeatedly fallen into sexual sin often
come to believe that they are helpless to win the war against immorality. They
resign themselves, instead, to reducing the number of defeats that they
experience. God, however, commands us to fight sin wholeheartedly.
He does not permit us to settle for anything less than an
all-out victory over sin. James reminds us in James 1:6,7,
But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he
who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man
should not think he will receive anything from the Lord.
We must commit ourselves to resist sin, no matter what the
cost may be.
When we expose our minds to sexually graphic images, we are
unlikely to forget them.
We harm ourselves spiritually when we view sexually explicit
movies or read unwholesome books or magazines that stir us sensually. From
these ungodly sources, we collect secret pictures that exist in our minds.
When we encounter sexual temptation we revive these
pictures and focus on them. These pictures fuel our impure thoughts. Fighting
to remove the pictures from our minds usually does not work, but superimposing
Gods pictures over them is an effective tactic.
Jesus died so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.
The first vivid picture that we should have is that of
Christ being bruised for our iniquities. In Scripture, the word iniquity
is most often used to refer to moral impurity. David prayed in Psalm 51:2,
Wash me thoroughly
from my iniquity.
The galleries of our minds should include pictures of our own
iniquities nailing Christ to the cross, and of His horrible suffering, and then
of His triumphant death that freed us from the bondage of iniquity.
In Romans 6:6, Paul explains,
For we know that our old self was crucified with Him so that
the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to
Again in Romans 8:5-9, Paul provides us with a scriptural
foundation for why we must discipline our minds to win the war against impure
Those who live according to the sinful nature have their
minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with
the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires
Those controlled by
the sinful nature cannot please God. You, however, are controlled not by the
sinful nature but by the Spirit.
If Gods Spirit lives in us, our highest goal is to walk
in a manner that is pleasing to our heavenly Father. The Bible tells us plainly
that a sinful, lustful mind is hostile to God.