When we trust in King Me to bring satisfaction, we are trusting in and worshiping a false god – an idol – namely, the assumed ability of Self to satisfy your sinful desires. We have carved and shaped it into something essential in our life. Something that feels like we cannot live without. An idol.
HOW do I dethrone King Me and let God reign in every aspect of my life. Welcome to The Point of Purity Podcast!
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When you trust in lust, pursue porn and masturbation, when you engage in sinful sexual activity, you are trusting in and worshiping a false god – an idol – namely, the assumed ability of King Me to satisfy your sinful sexual pleasure. You have carved and shaped it into something essential in your life. Something that feels like you cannot live without.
Welcome to The Point of Purity Podcast. A weekly study filled to the brim with the all the tools from Scripture you will ever need to build a lasting life of Biblical purity. Each episode is designed to help you discover how to skillfully handle the word of God as you choose to live in freedom!
I’m your host Steve Etner, Author, National Speaker, and Purity Coach for The Pure Man Ministry. This is Episode #108, and in this week’s episode we discover from Scripture that “Image Worship is Idol Worship.”
In last week’s podcast – Episode 107 entitled “Shame Free” – we began a deep dive into understanding the concept of shame. In Isaiah 42:17 God says, “They are turned back and utterly put to shame, who trust in carved idols, who say to ... images, ‘You are our gods’.”
So, let me ask you: In what ways have you been trusting “in carved idols” and “images”? I don’t want you to miss the point here. Isaiah is saying that when you choose to worship an image (e.g., porn), when you bow to an idol (e.g., masturbate to that image), you have turned your back on God and that is a wicked and shameful thing (Jonah 2:8 and Matthew 6:24).
When you trust in lust, when you choose to pursue porn and masturbation to satisfy you, when you engage in sinful sexual activity, you are trusting in and worshiping a false god – an idol – namely, the assumed ability of King Me to satisfy your sinful sexual pleasure. You have carved and shaped it into something essential in your life, and you cannot live without it. You are choosing to worship that idol as your god, and when you choose to masturbate, you are spilling a personal sacrifice on the altar to that idol. Psalm 97:7 declares that “All worshipers of images are put to shame, who make their boast in worthless idols.”
Did you catch that “all worshipers of images are put to shame”? Is that not what is happening when you look at porn and masturbate to it? Are you not worshiping an image? Are you not boasting in a worthless idol? Is it not a shameful thing?
Every time you give in to your sexual temptation, you are declaring by your choices that you believe God is not the one and only true God. By your actions you are saying you are convinced God cannot, or will not, sufficiently meet all of your needs. Your sinful actions are asserting that you are convinced that the images on the screen (or the images in your fantasy) are more qualified and capable of satisfying you than God is. Again, I ask, is that not a shameful thing? If those thoughts, feelings, and actions were exposed for the world to see, would you not be ashamed?
In Isaiah 44:9-11 God says, “All who fashion idols are nothing, and the things they delight in do not profit ... that they may be put to shame. ... They shall be terrified; they shall be put to shame together.”
Let me repeat what Isaiah said, “the things they delight in do not profit” they are “profitable for nothing.” Do you realize, do you recognize, will you acknowledge the absolute truth in those words? What profit have you gained from your shameful practice? What has the worship of a false god done for you? I’m not talking about your flesh here, but rather your soul, the real you. What has the worship of a false god done for your soul?
Oh sure, the flesh gets a momentary burst of pleasure. Yippee! You receive a massive dose of hormones that give you that pop, that rush, that “ahh” feeling. Congratulations! But then what? What benefit, what profit, what lasting value has it given you? In Romans 6:21 the Apostle Paul asks a very powerful question. “What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death.”
After the rush is gone and the hormones have subsided, you are left with nothing but an emptiness that is begging to be satiated once again. Please hear the heart of God speaking through the words of Jeremiah 2:13. “My people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water.”
What about you? Have you forsaken God, the fountain of living water, the only true source of satisfaction and fulfillment just so that you can “drink” the tainted, poisoned water from the cistern of lust and self-gratification?
Would you like to live the rest of your life without shame? You can! Listen to what God says about the removal of shame. “For the Scripture says, ‘Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame’.” (Romans 10:11) “Indeed, none who wait for you shall be put to shame.” (Psalm 25:3) Is that powerful or what? Let me quote them to you again. “For the Scripture says, ‘Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame’.” (Romans 10:11) “Indeed, none who wait for you shall be put to shame.” (Psalm 25:3)
When your focus is entirely upon God, when you are moment-by-moment choosing to dethrone King Me and surrender your soul over to the Lordship and leadership of God in every aspect of your life, there is no shame! Why? You are living for God instead of King Me. Therefore, you are not sinning. Instead of being filled with shame over your ungodly behavior, you are experiencing a fullness of joy resulting from your unimpeded relationship with your Creator, Savior, and best friend. Psalm 34:4-5 declares, “I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed.”
When you are looking to God for everything, when you are lifting your soul up to Him and fully trusting in Him to meet all of your needs all of the time, when God is sitting on the throne of your heart, there will be no shame because there will be no sin. Isaiah writes, “But the Lord God helps me; therefore ... I know that I shall not be put to shame.” (Isaiah 50:7) The Psalmist cries out, “O Lord, let me not be put to shame, for I call upon you.” (Psalm 31:17a) And in Psalm 119:31 he writes, “I cling to your testimonies, O Lord; let me not be put to shame.”
David finishes Psalm 25:2 by saying, “Let not my enemies triumph over me.” Take a moment here and think seriously about this question: Up to this point, in what ways have lust, porn and masturbation “triumphed” over you?
I love the promise of Psalm 25:3 which says, “Indeed, none who wait for you shall be put to shame” The word David uses for “none” (“Indeed, none who wait for you” – that word “none”) is an absolute negation. In other words, absolutely no one, not a single one who waits for God will be put to shame. None. That’s a powerful promise. There is not one ounce of shame ever felt by the one who waits for God. Never. Ever.
To fully understand this, we need to examine what David means by the words “wait for you.” What does it mean to wait for God, and how does that guarantee you will have no shame?
The idea behind this word “wait” is not what we, in our modern-day western culture, typically think the word means. In today’s world, we see waiting as anticipating (or dreading) something that is yet to come. We wait at a traffic light. We wait in the doctor’s office. We wait for a phone call. We wait to get the results of a test. We wait for the arrival of a friend. It gives the concept of the passage of time before something happens.
That misunderstanding of the word “wait” in this verse contributes to our anxiety over surrendering everything over to God. We are concerned that He might take His time responding to us. We worry that He will take our sexual passions away from us and then we fear we might have to wait on Him to give us something in return – something (we fear) that will probably be of lesser value; and so, we wait, and wait, and wait.
That is not the meaning of the word David uses here in verse three. We aren’t waiting FOR God to do something so that we won’t feel shame. Here the word “wait” refers to looking at something or someone. It’s focusing upon, placing your full attention upon someone and not being distracted.
Think about it this way: when you go to a restaurant and sit at your table, a person comes up to you, welcomes you, and asks how they may serve you. We often call that person our “waiter” or “waitress.” They are there to wait on you. To serve you. Their primary focus is on meeting your needs.
So, what David is telling us in Psalm 25:3 is that you are to put God first in everything! Place all of your attention, all of your trust upon Him. Wait, not just FOR Him (as in be patient) but also ON Him (as in serve Him). Place your full attention, all of your trust upon Him all of the time. Our primary focus is to be upon serving Him – waiting on Him.
When we faithfully wait on Him, when He is number one in our life, when we live in complete surrender and walk in total obedience to Him, we will not be put to shame. No sin, no shame.
1 Samuel 12:24 says we are to “fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all our heart. For consider what great things he has done for you.” And as we wait on Him, “whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men ... You are serving the Lord!” (Colossians 3:23-24)
When we wait on God, when He is number one in our life, when we live in complete surrender and servitude, and we choose daily (moment-by-moment) to walk in total obedience to Him we will not be put to shame. No sin, no shame.
Malachi 3:18 tells us that there is a distinction “between (the) one who serves God and (the) one who does not serve him.” Why? Because as Matthew 6:24 reminds us, “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other.” You cannot wait upon, you cannot serve both God and King Me.
The point David is making here is that when you put your hope in God, when you rely upon Him, when you lift up your soul to Him and fully trust in Him (in other words, when you choose to make Him Lord of your entire life) you will not experience shame. No sin, no shame.
“Hope (focusing your attention upon God) does not put us to shame.”
(Romans 5:5 addition mine)
Do you remember our talk about shame in verse two? The point here is this: when you have Christ as Lord over all of your life you will not sin. Seriously. No self-centeredness = no sin = no shame. “None who wait for you shall be put to shame.”
“I am the Lord; those who wait for me shall not be put to shame.” (Isaiah 49:23b)
Let me repeat this simple format: No self-centeredness = no sin = no shame.
OK, we’re going to hit the pause button here until next week’s episode as we look forward to continuing this study.
If you would like to learn more about today’s study, or if you’re interested in learning more about our ministry, be sure to visit our website to see the multitude of resources we’ve made available to you – you can find our website at ThePurityCoach.com
One of these powerful resources we are making available to you is my book called “Overcoming Temptation: 4 Steps to Spiritual Victory.” You see, saying “No” to temptation and choosing to live an upright and godly life is a daily decision you must make. Every time you are faced with a temptation, you are also faced with a decision: Do I give in, or do I stand firm in my faith and fight it? Do I yield to the leading of the Holy Spirit and live to glorify God, or do I focus on King Me and give in to my fleshly desires?
This book “Overcoming Temptation: 4 Steps to Spiritual Victory” presents, in a very clear and practical way, how to live a life that is holy and pure, how to say no to sin and live by the Spirit in a way that glorifies your creator, your Savior, your Heavenly Father. Again, the title of this book is “Overcoming Temptation: 4 Steps to Spiritual Victory.” You can find it on Amazon.com or on my website (ThePurityCoach.com) in our Resources section.
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.