Called to Sexual Integrity
“One Way God Changes Our Hearts”
Reliable studies indicate that over half of the Christian men in America have a major struggle with the pull of temptation to look at pornography. As Reformed believers, we understand that the only answer to this struggle is the power of the gospel to transform our hearts. We understand that the Biblical approach to the battle with lust is heart transformation, not just superficial behavior modification.
In our last issue we emphasized that the root issue of sexual sin is idolatry. We are looking to the God of sexual pleasure to satisfy our hearts rather than looking to the one who says he is the answer to our deepest longings. But confessing our idolatry is only the starting point for heart transformation. There are many other Biblical principles that reveal how God changes our hearts. We discover, for example, that one way our Lord transforms our hearts is through obedience to Romans 12:9, “Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.”
God commands us to do something with our heart. That action is to hate. God wants us to develop a heart-felt hatred of our sexual sin and a passion for sexual purity. The way to hate sin is to realize how much pain and destruction it causes. Joe Dallas, who teaches the Every Man’s Battle Workshop writes:
“You should know by now that sexual sin ravages everyone connected with it. If you’re entertaining lust, you’re dancing on a cliff. Take concrete action now while you can. “Lust, when it is conceived, brings forth sin, and sin brings forth death” (James 1:15.)
To train his heart to hate sexual sin, one man wrote out the following list to meditate upon:
The Price Tag of Sexual Sin
1. The guilt of lust destroys your inner peace and temporarily breaks your communion with God.
“Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day and they hid from the LORD God. Genesis 3:8
2. Impurity steals the spiritual growth you need to be the spiritual leader your wife and kids need.
“Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.”
3. Your sexual sin brings shame on the name of Christ. Can God boast to Satan about your sexual purity?
“Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.”
4. Surrender to lust inflames your sexual desires making it harder to resist temptation next time.
- The more you indulge your lustful appetite the stronger that appetite becomes.
- You are on your way to building a habit that will soon enslave you.
- Each surrender to temptation further entrenches the habit, making it harder to resist next time.
- Every sexual sin adds one more picture to the scrap-book of enticing sexual images stored in your memory and accessible to your sinful nature for awakening lust.
5. Training yourself in sexual indulgence may eventually cost you your wife and children.
- No one goes from winning his sexual battles to committing adultery over night.
- Surrendering to adultery won’t usually happen unless a man is already in the habit of excusing his sin and turning a deaf ear to the promptings of God’s spirit.
- If he commits adultery, his wife has the Biblical right to divorce him. He may lose her and no longer be permitted to live with his children.
Remembering this list is not some magical cure for lust. But obeying God’s command to train our hearts to hate evil is part of the process by which God redeems us. He wants us to hunger and thirst for righteousness and to loathe evil because we know that sin’s wages are always death.
“Do not be deceived: God is not mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, FROM THAT NATURE WILL REAP DESTRUCTION; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap life.”
- Job 1:8
- Matt. 5:8