Through God’s Grace
Secondly, choose your friends carefully. The first place where adultery begins is usually with close friends. The second place adultery and sexual sin begins is usually in the work place, since everyone is dressed up, looking nice, often with expense accounts. The third place adultery happens is usually with the relatives of the spouse. Choose your friends carefully.
The third and final suggestion, set some guidelines that will keep you away from much of the temptation that Satan will bring up in your life. Now I want to share with you very candidly and carefully some of the guidelines I have set up. I have shared these with you before and I will share them with you again. One. I will never meet another woman privately or publicly unless she is my wife. I will never go out to lunch with another woman. I never counsel a woman alone in my office. Never, ever, ever. Two. I never ride alone in a car with a woman. Three. I don’t travel alone. These are some guidelines that I have set up in my life because I want to remove myself from any area that could cause temptation, any area that could give Satan a chance to get a toe hold. And if we keep ourselves out of those situations, we have knocked away most, not all, most of his artillery. I have been faithful to my wife, Lisa, since we were married and I plan on being faithful by God’s grace until I go to be with the Lord. Both of us were virgins when we got married. There are people who say there is no way you can be a virgin. That is a bunch of junk. Because if I can do it, and I am a normal man being involved in a very secular world like I was and am involved in, you can do it too, but only though God’s grace.
God Will Forgive Sin
One day the rich man had an important business associate come to town and he invited him over and instead of killing one of his lambs for a meal, he took the little ewe lamb from the poor man and killed it. David became violently angry. He said that man should pay the poor man four times over, or even be killed for his action. Then David locked eyes with Nathan. Nathan took his hand and pointed to David and said, “You are that man. You are that man, you committed adultery and you have killed Uriah the Hittite.” You talk about really being rattled and rocked and brought to your knees. David experienced that. Confess and come clean.
Number four, consider the consequences. You see when David was tempted, he should have thought about the consequences, he should have looked past the temptation to what was going to happen, the coverup and then those consequences that never left his house. God will forgive sin, but He will not remove the consequences of sin. Here is what happened because of David’s sin. The Bible says in II Samuel 12:10, “Therefore, the sword will never depart from your house.” Let me tell you what that meant to David. God cleansed him and forgave him and forgot his sin, but the child born to David and Bathsheba died at three months of age, David’s son Amnon raped his half sister, then Absalom, another of David’s sons killed Amnon and to top that off, Absalom tried to take the throne from his father and he was killed in battle. “The sword will never depart from your house, because you despised me and took the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your own.”
The Beauty of God
II Samuel 12:13. “Then David said to Nathan, ‘I have sinned against the Lord.’” Do you see that? Every time you sin, no matter what it is but especially sexually, you sin against the Lord. So when you have sex outside the marriage bed there are always three people involved, you, the person you are having sex with and the Lord. He is always there. And when you think about that, when you think about putting Jesus with you in the bed of adultery, when you think about putting Jesus with you into the bed of premarital sex or homosexuality or lesbianism, that will change entirely the way we live.David said, I have sinned against the Lord. Then Nathan replied, “The Lord has taken away your sin.” The Lord easily at this point could have turned his back on David but He didn’t and this is the grace and the beauty of God. Four points, four responses to sexual temptation.
Now let’s bring this whole message down to the practical side of life, let’s bring it down to where we live. I want to give you some guidelines, some specific guidelines, concerning sexual temptation. First, monitor your media intake. One movie that has an explicit sexual scene can feed lustful thoughts for weeks. “But the movie was so good. I love Michael Douglas. Sharon Stone has something else about her. I really don’t think about it. I’m married.” Who are you trying to fool? I was born at night, but not last night. God knows. How about the channel surfing? Different talk shows, the made for TV movies, Showtime, HBO, Cinemax. Any exposure to pornographic materials is like throwing a lighted match into a pool of gasoline. Romance novels? Monitor your media intake.
We need people of spiritual courage these days, don’t we? And some of you are saying, well, this seems rather minute, kind of an afterthought. You’re telling me that is spiritual courage over just a small, little thing, like eating, come on, what’s the big deal here? If you are going to develop courage, it starts with the small meal, it starts in bite-sized chunks. The minute you take those bite-sized courage chunks, as the stakes get higher, as the opportunity becomes broader, then you are ready to really shine for courage. Spiritual courage. Five hundred miles away, he had every reason in the world to fall into this pagan culture, but he stood for the Lord. It takes courage, I’m talking about spiritual courage just to become a Christian, doesn’t it? You know what makes me mad? And I am kind of like Michael Jackson. “I’m a lover, not a fighter.” But what makes me almost fighting mad is when someone looks me in the eye and he goes, “You know, Ed, I’m not going to become a Christian because Christianity, it’s for weaklings, it’s for people who need a crutch, it’s for people who can’t really make it in this life, so you kind of got to have that thing over there, but you see, I don’t need it, because I can make it myself.” I say, “Oh, really?” It takes courage to become a Christian. He asked Why? Because the first thing the Bible says you have to do is, you have to confess your sins before a holy God. You’ve got to come clean, you’ve got to say, “God, I have blown it. I am a failure relationally, morally, ethically, spiritually.” You’ve got to call sin what it is. o when someone says that to me, I want to say, “Well let me tell you something, young man, Christians have a lot more guts than you do, because you won’t even tell the truth about yourself.
You are afraid of it.” So please, if you are thinking about that, don’t ever use that term or those lines in front of me. Because it’s a lie. Christians have more courage than you do if you are outside the family of God right now. Spiritual courage.
Ed continues, for a long time I concluded that, because I doubt, I guess it means I don’t believe. But that is whack. It’s bogus. Faith and doubt run on parallel tracks. So doubt is not what I thought it was.
I have a huge mouth, don’t I? Get a good shot of this. [He opens his mouth wide for the camera.] See that little piece of skin hanging in the back of my throat? That’s called the uvula. This morning, I got up real early. I got up at around 5:00 a.m. And when I rolled out of bed, I didn’t say to myself, “Wow, I wonder how my uvula is doing.”
You don’t think about your uvula. It just hangs there. It’s a little piece of skin. I mean, what’s so big about the uvula? Well, I’ll tell you about the uvula. The uvula is important. One time I was speaking somewhere, and before I walked on this platform, I felt like I was choking. I said, “Lisa, look at my throat.”
She was like, “Oh, no, he, that thing in the back of your throat, that little piece of skin that hangs down—it’s enormous!”
And it was resting on my tongue. I felt like I had two tongues. I had some uvula problems. So I called my physician. I said, “Dr. Perkins, something is wrong, man. I’m about to choke. That little thing in the back of my…”
“Oh, the uvula?”
I said, “Man, it’s huge!”
He said, “You need to take this medicine.”
So he gave me some medicine. I took the medicine. And boom! Gone! My uvula shrunk back to its normal size.
He also mentioned that doubts are like uvulas. They kind of hang there. They’re pretty insignificant. We shouldn’t overreact about them. But if doubts get infected with unbelief, they can choke out our faith.
So whenever I’ve been on that wobbly suspension bridge of doubt; whenever I’ve been hammered and dogged with doubt; instead of moving toward unbelief, I just simply talk to the great Physician about it.
Jesus welcomes our doubts and our concerns. Don’t be shy about them. And, hopefully, this talk will free you up to doubt. And we’re going to discover that doubt can lead us to greatness. But that’s a little bit later.
God, the Father. God, the Son. God, the Holy Spirit. The dove is used to picture, to show us, the role of the Holy Spirit.
Well, now let’s talk about some “take home” stuff here at Ed Young Ministries. There are two quick things I want to talk to you about. Here’s what we can do today to begin to walk in purity. Number one — “mobil-eyes”. Some of us have heat seeking missiles in our eyes. We are just looking for the next voluptuous babe, the next hard body, and we just lock on. We are going to see people who are attractive. We are going to be drawn to certain people. That’s part of life. Our eyes should be mobile, though. We should not linger on a person. We can look. We can go, “Wow.” But, we should not linger. The lingering leads to lust. Ed Young Blog said that it segues from that attraction into the illicit action.
What we need to do what Job did in Job 31:1. Check him out: “I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a girl.” Maybe the women here could say, “I made a covenant with my eyes. I’m making a covenant now, God, with my eyes, not to look lustfully at a guy.”
Starve What You Want To Kill
That we need to starve, friends, what we want to kill and feed what we want to build. Do you really want to walk in purity? I mean, do you really want the best? If you don’t, then just drown me out. But if you do, starve it. Starve what you want to kill. Make the choice. Feed what you want to build. Maybe you’re saying, “Man, how do I do that?”
Let’s just talk for a second. Take, for instance, television. Why do you have the movie channels?
Some argue, “Well, man, there are some good movies on there, you know?”
I know. But, you are going to expose yourself not only to good movies, but also to the garbage that is on there. That can feed lust for months and years and lead you down this path? I’m not telling you to do this, but if you are serious about starving what you want to kill, why don’t you cancel the movie channels?
They never really give to people in need, to the poor, to the downtrodden, even to the local church. It has been amazing. I didn’t say all.
Number one: I laugh because it makes me feel good. You’re saying, “A reason why you laugh because it makes you feel good?” Yes. It sounds shallow and superficial, I know, to a lot of people here. But there is a real depth to it as I unpack it.
What happens when we laugh? New research says that our T-cells are all ramped up and our endorphins really explode and our entire muscular system relaxes. That’s what happens. That’s the health benefits, they say, of laughter. I want to laugh at the new research, because the Bible tells me in Proverbs 17:22, “A cheerful heart is good medicine.”
Laughter is God’s tranquilizer. Ecclesiastes 3:1 and 4 says, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: …a time to laugh.”
One of the things that kept me from going into the ministry for a while was the fact that so many pastors were so serious and boring and monotonous. I thought to myself, “I don’t want any of that.” As I read God’s word, as I began to pray, I discovered that God is our creative creator. Ed Young Ministries states that God wants us to laugh. God being God could have decided that the prevailing attitude of his children could be one of boredom and solemn-ness and seriousness. But God didn’t say that. Throughout his word God has told us that the earmark of a Christian, the sign that we know Jesus Christ, is outrageous, contagious joy. And a by product of joy is what? Laughter. So it’s good to laugh.
I experience life in the raw every day being in the ministry. I deal with some tough stuff in people’s lives and I need to laugh. I need to laugh and to feel good. And that’s a lot of fun. We have a fun time laughing around our staff.
Jesus rose again. Have you appropriated that into your life? That is God’s vision, a trust pact with His Son.
Yesterday, I was in the office studying. Believe it or not, I was praying. Anytime you speak to a few thousand people, you just pray a lot. It just happens. Ed does. I do. Anybody who speaks up here, we pray. But I did something different that I normally don’t do. I was reading this passage about Joshua and, in my office, I lay on the floor face down to pray to God. I can’t tell you how amazing it was to have the perspective of my face down before God. Because as I lay there, you know, it’s hard to be proud when you are lying on the floor. It’s hard for pride to overtake you when you are lying before God. That is why most of us, when we talk to God, love to stand or sit. Very few of us ever lie down because it is a pride issue. I’m not saying that, every time you pray, you have to throw yourself on the floor. But I am telling you, when you are dealing with a serious crisis in your life, when you are asking God to bless you in some way, I would recommend that you recognize who you are talking to and throw yourself on the floor and pray face down.
He will nod to St. Peter, St. Peter will jump out of the garbage truck, he will take whatever you have placed in the trash can and he will dump it. Jesus will kind of give you the thumb’s up sign and roar away. And you say to yourself, “That’s it. I’m done with that.” No, you aren’t done. You have to take the trash out regularly. We take the trash out every Tuesday and every Friday. You do have to keep on doing it, God is not going to do this for you. God is not going to say, “OK, get up and walk to the trash can, take pride and anger and throw it in and take it out to the curb.” We pray and ask God to help us cooperate with Him promptings.
But we have to move our muscles to deal with these issues. Number four. Associate with people who help you, not hinder you. One of the most amazing things in life is to look back and to see children, junior high students, high school students, college students, graduate students, those who have PhDs and everything else, those who are middle age and old age, they always, always, always are like the people that they associate with, their friends. And too many of us in this room are hanging out with people who keep dragging us down. We hang out with people who have the same defects we do and they cause us to stumble, they cause us to trip, they cause us to be on the side of the road in a ditch amongst all that wreckage. The Bible says in Proverbs 27:17, “People learn from one another, just as iron sharpens iron.” That is why we have the church.
So my taking out the trash is really dangerous.
Mentally, now, when you deal with a character defect, when you deal with a sin, think about a trash can. Let’s look in this trash can here. Here, in this particular trash can, are some signs listing some of the problems you may be dealing with, overeating, the need to control, fear, gambling, overspending, anger, perfectionism, overworking, etc. Whatever you are dealing with, those seven deadly sins or one of these specific things, you think about the trash can. Think that you are having a problem with, I want to release this defect to God.
Then mentally take it and put it in the trash can. Now here is the tough part. You have got to take the trash out to the street. The evil one, Satan, the father of lies, who is like a prowling Rotweiller, is behind that fence and as you begin to drag that trash out, he will tell you again and again, “Don’t do it. Man, you don’t have to take the trash out. Everything will be OK. You have enough willpower to take care of this problem.” And if you don’t take the trash out, what is going to happen? It will stink your life up. It will rot you away.
As you take the trash out and evade the evil one, you put it on the street, run back in your house or apartment or condominium or dorm and look outside. Suddenly you should see, in your mind, a giant, white, pristine garbage truck pull up and on the side of the truck will be this legend. God and Son. Dealing With Trash in Believer’s Lives For The Last 2000 Years. And then you will see Jesus Christ driving this machine.