Surrendering everything over to God’s authority in your life requires that you deny and “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.” (James 4:10) OK, so we’re going to talk about humility. Why? Because “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6b) What does that mean and what does it look like?
Learn more about the ministry of The Purity Coach at http://www.thepuritycoach.com
Surrendering everything over to God’s authority in your life requires that you “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.” (James 4:10) OK, so we’re going to talk about humility. Why? Because “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6b)
Welcome to Episode #104 of The Point of Purity Podcast. I’m your host Steve Etner, Author, National Speaker, and Purity Coach for The Pure Man Ministry. Each episode takes us deep into Scripture to discover from God’s Word the answer to the question “What’s the point of being sexually pure?” We also discover from the Bible how to get to the point of purity and stay there. This week’s episode is entitled “Deny and Die! But why?
I have an important question I want you to consider here. Throughout your battle with sexual impurity, in what ways have you been proud? Consider this: until now you have tried to fight the beast and live in victory in your own strength, your own willpower, your own ability to “fix” the problem. Did you know that is a form of pride?
Proverbs 16:18 warns us that “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” And Proverbs 11:2 tells us that “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom.”
Here’s a fact: You cannot and will not experience victory and freedom apart from the power of God at work in your life. In Philippians 4:13 Paul declares “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” This is why you must choose to fully and daily surrender your soul AND BODY to the Lordship and leadership of God in your life. The Apostle Paul put it this way (1 Corinthians 9:27) “I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.” He writes in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 “that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”
The title of this week’s episode is “Deny and Die! But why?” I gave it that title because of what Jesus says in Luke 9:23-24. “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.” (Luke 9:23-24)
To “deny” yourself is to permanently set aside your own personal desires and interests that are contrary to those of the One to whom you are indentured (you owe your life to). In other words, “You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God.” (1 Corinthians 6:19b-20a)
I submit that it’s critical to your purity, it’s vital to victory that you understand what it means to deny self! So let me repeat the definition. To “deny” yourself is to permanently set aside your own personal desires and interests that are contrary to those of the One to whom you are indentured (you owe your life to).
This is the epitome of “lifting up my soul” to God (Psalm 25:1)! This is the essence of loving “the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul and with all your mind” (Matthew 22:37). This is the embodiment of “submitting yourselves therefore to God” (James 4:7). It’s not about what you want, need, desire, long for, must have or can’t live without. Never, ever! It’s always ALL about God’s glory, God’s honor, God’s praise, God’s will, and God’s way.
Have you ever asked the question “Why must I deny myself? Why do I have to ‘permanently set aside’ my personal desires and interests that are contrary to God’s? What’s wrong with just a little self-indulgence? After all, what harm can a little lustful look every once in a while be?”
Consider this: Life is not about you. It’s not about your sexual gratification or happiness or fulfillment or satisfaction. You are not alive for your own personal pleasure. You are breathing right now, your heart is pumping right now, blood is coursing through your veins and the synapses are firing in your brain right now because God has willed it. Not so you can enjoy the pleasures of the flesh, not so you can get something gratifying out of life but so that you may glorify God and give Him your worship and praise in everything you think, say, and do.
I Corinthians 10:31 commands, “Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” You see, when you make life all about King Me, YOU are getting in the way. You are setting a different course and purpose for your life – one that is separate from and in direct opposition to God. You are taking the attention and glory away from God. God says, “I am the Lord; that is my name; my glory I give to no other.” (Isaiah 42:8; see Isaiah 48:11) This is why you must deny yourself. This is why King Me must die daily. When King Me is sitting on the throne, you are hostile to God (Romans 8:7)
King Me isn’t going to just curl up in a corner and quit. King Me will never just give up and go away. Unless you daily choose to die to yourself, King Me will continue to hound you, haunt you, and harass you until you eventually give in and worship yourself once again. This is a never-ending struggle. This is an ongoing battle. I tell you this, not to discourage you, but to warn you. This is daily, unavoidable spiritual warfare.
“For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.” (Galatians 5:17)
I have an important question to ask you. In your struggle for sexual purity, what are the desires of your flesh that typically hound you? (For help in your answer, invest some time reading Galatians 5:19-21) The answer goes much deeper than just a desire to lust, look at porn, and masturbate. Remember, those are the by-products of the real issue. Deep within there is a strong desire to feel something more than just sexual pleasure.
OK. Now here’s another question to seriously consider: In your struggle for sexual purity, what are the desires of the Spirit of God–what is it that God wants for you? (For help in your answer to this question, invest some time reading Galatians 5:22-25) Consider this: “For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God.” (1 Thessalonians 4:3-5)
This is why you and I must daily choose to “Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” (1 Corinthians 6:18-20)
“But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity.” (Ephesians 5:3 NIV’84)
As long as you are alive on planet earth, you are stuck “driving” through life in your “car” (your sinful, fleshly body); it’s a car that is permanently out of alignment, it’s a car that is constantly dragging you off the path of purity, pulling you away from a right relationship with God. The flesh wants nothing more than to please King Me. The flesh wants to feel good. The flesh is and always will be against the Spirit. Galatians 5:17 tells us that “the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.”
This is why we must daily keep our hands on the “steering wheel,” determined to stay on the path toward the will of God for our life. The Spirit of God within you is telling you to deny the flesh, refusing to let it draw you away and choosing instead to daily submit to God.
In Romans 8:5-8 Paul writes, “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.” ()
So, I ask you: upon whom is your mind “set?” Are you finding yourself focusing on the things your sinful flesh wants? Are you listening to what King Me is demanding of you? Are you giving in to what it wants, it needs, it cannot live without? Or are you determinedly setting your mind constantly on the things God desires of and for you?
This is why you must daily “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:11-12)
OK, we’re going to hit the pause button here until next week’s episode as we look forward to continuing this study.
As I close this episode, I just want you to know how deeply honored I am that you have chosen to share your time with me today and listen to this episode in its entirety. Would you prayerfully and seriously consider joining us in being a vital part of this ministry. We are praying for and looking for Purity Coach Partners who will commit to supporting this ministry in two major areas.
First and foremost, in prayer. I’m talking about more than just “Dear God, please bless Steve and The Pure Man Ministry.” As important as that is, we need partners in this ministry who are praying for us daily. Praying for wisdom as we counsel, praying for protection as the enemy tries almost daily to stop us in our tracks and shut us down. Praying for the men that are entrenched and enslaved in this sin – praying for their freedom, praying for victory, praying for clarity as they study the Scripture, praying for their personal spiritual growth, and praying for their families – their wives, their children, their churches. We NEED faithful prayer partners who will commit to praying for this ministry on a regular basis. Would you consider becoming a Purity Prayer Partner?
But we also need partners who choose to come alongside of us and support this ministry financially. We are a donor-supported, faith-based, not-for-profit ministry. Everything we do is dependent upon God’s people giving to this ministry financially. So, if this episode, if the description of this ministry speaks to you – if you share our burden to reach men and women across the globe with the message of freedom, victory, hope, healing, and restoration through the cleansing power of the Word of God as led by the Spirit of God – would you please join our team of Point of Purity Partners? We are looking for monthly supporters whom God is calling to support us with gifts of $25, $50, $100 per month or even more.
Your financial support of any amount to this ministry is not only greatly appreciated and very much needed, but it is also tax-deductible. If God is moving in your heart to become a financial partner with us, you can visit our website at www.thepuritycoach.com and click on the “Donate” button in the upper right corner to give your tax-deductible donation today. Again that’s www.thepuritycoach.comand click on the “Donate” button in the upper right corner
And if you have not yet subscribed to this podcast, let me encourage you to do so today so you won’t miss any of our upcoming episodes!
So, until next time this is Author, Speaker, and Purity Coach Steve Etner reminding you that if you are going to glorify God in your everyday living, He must first be glorified in your every moment thinking.