- Who was physically the strongest man in the Bible? (Samson)
- Who was the wisest man in the Bible? (Solomon)
- Who was the one in the Bible called “a man after God’s own heart?” (David)
- What did they have in common?
All of them, the strongest man in the Bible, the smartest man in the Bible and arguably the most godly man in the Bible – all of them struggled with sexual temptation AND LOST. I’m literally blown away thinking about it, but it tells me something I need to pay attention to. What it’s telling me is I am not so strong, I am not so smart and I am not so godly that I can defeat sexual temptation, on my own. I am NOT beyond falling into this temptation, and when I think I am, I may be the most vulnerable. “If you think you are standing strong, be careful, for you too may fall into the same sin.” (1 Corinthians 10:12)
Here are some things I think are important for me to know in overcoming sexual temptation:
- Know what the Bible has to say about sex outside of the covenant of marriage. The Bible is my standard. The culture does not determine my sexual behavior. I do. My choices must be based on Scripture. (Hebrews 4:12)
- Remove any source of sexual temptation. If you are being tempting by watching certain things on the television, turn it off or change the channel. If you’re being tempted by someone of the opposite sex, stay far away from them. If it’s pornography on your computer, put a filter on your computer. Remove any and all sources of temptation. (2 Timothy 2:22, Matthew 5:29)
- Purpose in your heart to follow God’s Word. Don’t be ruled by passion. No matter what you feel, act with your brain and not your emotions. Scripture is clear that sexual behavior is always subject to the will. Dogs have no control, people do. (Proverbs 4:23)
- Keep your mind pure. Think on things that are noble, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous and praiseworthy (Philippians 4:8).
- Don’t put yourself in places to be tempted. In the same way that a recovered alcoholic wouldn’t go sit in a bar, don’t put yourself in a place that makes resistance tough (IE. don’t go to dirty movies, strip joints, bars, certain chat rooms, trashy novels and magazines, etc.). When Satan tempted Eve, she engaged him in conversation. Instead of telling him to go crawl in a hole, she entertained his conversation. We all know the outcome of her choice! (Genesis 39:11-12)
- Be accountable to a friend. Be willing to tell a friend you trust what you struggle with and allow him/her to help keep you accountable. “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” (Proverbs 27:17)
- Don’t be over confident. Most of us think we can handle a lot more sexually explicit material than we can. We aren’t aware of the subtle influence and desensitization that goes on by regular exposure. We are lulled into thinking we are above these influences. If you are human, you are not! (1 Corinthians 10:12)
- Keep your walk with the Lord strong. Most of us give in to temptation when our daily walk is not strong. Spend time in prayer and be intimately connected to your heavenly Father. When you are weak, He is strong. And remember, He doesn’t leave us. Stay connected. “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13)