Calling all men, this is for all of us
For those who are young and those who are old, for those who are married and those who are single, for those who struggle mightily in the area of sexual sin, and for those who may barely struggle at all. We would love it if you would commit with us to 31 Days of Purity through the month of March—thirty-one days of considering what God’s Word says about sexual purity and thirty-one days of praying that God would help us fight sin and pursue holiness in this area.
What If I Don’t Struggle?
A while ago Tim Challies wrote an article titled When You’re at Your Best, Plan for Your Worst. His point there was that even if you have gained a significant victory in this area, thank the Lord, but don’t stop battling. What He said there still applies:
There is a kind of weakness, a kind of vulnerability, that may come when we are convinced of our strength. It is when we are not being tempted, it is when we are standing strong in the Lord’s grace, that we ought to consider the times we will be weak and tempted and eager to sin. We need to assume such times will come and we need to use the moments of strength to put measures in place that will protect us when we are weak.
Also, even as you pray for yourself, you can partner with a friend who may not be experiencing the same victory. Encourage him along. There is every reason for you to join us, even if you are not struggling in this area.
What If I Do Struggle?
In Richard Sibbes’ sermon “A Breathing After God,” he spoke words that are very applicable to us today:
“If a man pray, as St. Augustine, in his confessions, that God would free him from temptations, and yet is unwilling to have those [temptations] removed from him, he prays, but he doth not desire. There are many that pray; they say in their prayers, “Lead us not into temptation” (Mt. 6:13) and yet they run into temptation; they feed their eyes, their ears, and senses with vain things. You know what they are well enough, their lives are nothing but a satisfying of their lusts, and yet they pray, “Lead us not into temptation.” And there are many persons that desire that, that they dare not pray for, they desire to be so bad. But a Christian, what he desires, he prays for.”
Sibbes is telling us that we are hypocritical and do not have proper desires if we are praying for purity and yet not pursuing purity by fleeing areas of temptation. Just as we read in Proverbs 6 if you walk by the harlot’s house—even if you are all prayed up—you are being a fool.
If you are in Christ you have been given the strength to flee areas of temptation. Taste and see that the Lord is good—indeed much better than the fleeting pleasures of sin. Let us repent of our hypocritical praying without Spirit-fueled action and obedience.
If you find yourself to be a hypocrite in this regard don’t give up hope and turn to yourself for rescue. Flee to Christ. Cast yourself upon His mercy and pray that He would change your desires. Get to the heart of the matter. Confess to Him that you want and desire the sin that you know is killing you. Humble yourself before him and pray that he would stir up your affections.
And then smash your idol. Not to show the Lord how serious you are—but because Christ is more precious. Don’t fall back into some pointless legalism—smash your idol because Jesus has already disarmed it on the Cross.
Smash it! Smash it! Smash it!
How Does it Work?
Each day you will receive an email with a short section of the Bible, a couple of paragraphs of explanation or application, and a prayer. We would encourage you to ponder the Scripture, read the devotional, and pray the prayer. Obviously, this is no magic charm that will ward off sin. However, since we believe in the power and authority of God’s Word and since we believe that God loves to hear and answer our prayers, why shouldn’t we expect that He will move powerfully in our lives? Will you join us?
Also, as a part of the challenge, we’re inviting all the men to join us on Saturday mornings through the month of March from 7:30-9:00 am at the Ministry Center. If you sign-up, it is not mandatory that you attend every Saturday or any Saturday for that matter. But it’s an opportunity to further discuss and pray with one another concerning this matter of purity.
If you have any questions, please contact Jonas Byler or Pastor Luke Rosenberger