Don’t turn to that which is dead to find help in how to live. Don’t seek counsel from the ungodly to discover how to be godly, how to live for God and being free from the beast. Turn to the beast master – God Himself! The talking dead cannot help you.
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Building a life of sexual purity doesn’t happen overnight, and like any building project – it is always best to use the right tools for the task.
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, speaker, and purity coach for The Pure Man Ministry ... WELCOME to episode #112 entitled “The Talking Dead.”
Over the last few episodes, we’ve been doing a deep dive into Psalm 25. We saw in Psalm 25:4 that not only does David ask God to “show me your ways” and “teach me your paths”; he also asks God to “guide me in your truth.” (Psalm 25:5) Have you ever done that? Have you ever asked God to “guide” you? If yes, what was at the heart of your request–in other words, what were you after, what were you really asking for?
A guide is one who goes ahead of you, showing you the way, helping you navigate an unfamiliar place so you can reach your destination. A guide leads you by accompanying you as well as giving you directions along the way. A guide knows exactly where he is going, what lies around the next corner, and he knows how to best traverse the path. To let someone guide you, you must fully trust them.
Now consider this: lifting your soul up to God and fully trusting Him daily is in many ways an unfamiliar place for you. Navigating your way up the path of purity, holiness and godliness might seem at times to be a bit overwhelming. After all, you are accustomed to following the whims and wishes of King Me.
1 Chronicles 10:13 tells us that King Saul “broke faith with the Lord in that he did not keep the command of the Lord, and also consulted a medium, seeking guidance.” In other words, Saul sought guidance from someone who spoke to the dead. Aren’t you doing the same thing when you get counsel and guidance from someone or something that is not speaking to you God’s Word, God’s truth? Someone who is dead in their trespasses and sins (Eph 2:1). In other words, the talking dead!
There is a lot of advice available out there to “help” you in your struggle against Lust, Porn, Masturbation, and other forms of sexual sin; but if it’s not coming directly from Scripture, it is dead counsel. It may help you correct bad habits and adjust poor behavior, but it’s not helping you address the heart of the problem – your worship. Only God can reveal and heal your heart.
God warns, “Do not turn to mediums or necromancers; do not seek them out, and so make yourselves unclean by them: I am the Lord your God.” (Leviticus 19:31) In other words, don’t turn to that which is dead to find help in how to live. Don’t seek counsel from the ungodly to discover how to be godly, how to live for God and being free from the beast. Turn to the beast master – God Himself! The talking dead cannot help you.
Listen my friend, lust and porn will give you dead counsel. They try to tell you “Come, let us satisfy your need! Walk with us and we will show you wonderful, forbidden pleasures that will make all your problems go away. Indulge. Play, have fun, it’s not like you’re doing anything wrong! Whom will it hurt?” Lust and porn will always–mark my words, always–give you evil guidance.
“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.” (Psalm 1:1-2)
“Woe to him who says to wood (or porn), ‘Come to life!’ Or to a lifeless stone (or masturbation), ‘Wake up!’ Can it (or lust) give guidance? It (sexual sin) is covered with gold and silver; there is no breath in it.” (Habakkuk 2:19)
Oh how you desperately need God to guide you as you open His Word and begin to navigate through His standards, principles, and precepts of purity. Who better to be your personal guide than the Author of Scripture Himself?
“When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are go come.” (John 16:13)
“The Lord will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.” (Isaiah 58:11)
“He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way. All the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness, for those who keep his covenant and his testimonies.” (Psalm 25:9-10)
This is why David prays, “show me your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.” (Psalm 25:4-5)
When your “hope,” when your attention and focus is fully on God “all day long” you will see His ways, you will know His paths, and you will understand His truth!
Moving on in our look at Psalm 25, we see in verse 7 David praying, “Remember not the sins of my youth or my transgressions; according to your steadfast love remember me, for the sake of your goodness, O Lord!”
Don’t let the phrase “remember not the sins of my youth or my transgressions” trip you up here. Basically, David is asking God to not see him as the rotten, evil, wicked, sinful man that he has been (a man worthy of God’s holy wrath and righteous judgment); rather, David is pleading with God to see him through the eyes of His steadfast love, mercy, grace, kindness, goodness, and forgiveness.
Here are a couple of questions I’d like you to chew on – something to think about for a moment. Why was that so important to David? In other words, why did David ask this of God?
Why should that be important to you? Why should it matter to you that God sees you through His lens of steadfast love and limitless goodness? Why should it be important to you that God not see your wickedness but rather see you through His eyes of mercy and grace?
“The Lord is a jealous and avenging God; the Lord is avenging and wrathful; the Lord takes vengeance on his adversaries and keeps wrath for his enemies. ... Who can stand before his indignation? Who can endure the heat of his anger? His wrath is poured out like fire, and the rocks are broken into pieces by him.” (Nahum 1:2, 6)
I submit that those verses should send shivers up and down your spine. In today’s Christian circles we hear a lot about God’s Grace as well as His Mercy and love, kindness, and forgiveness–which is fantastic! Praise God for those attributes. However, we tend to put so much emphasis on those qualities that we neglect to also emphasize He is Holy, Righteous, Pure and Just. As such, God’s holiness, God’s righteousness, God’s purity, and His justice demands that His judgment upon sin be executed, and His wrath poured out because of our sinful behavior.
God is a jealous and avenging God. God keeps His wrath stored up for his enemies. No one, absolutely no one can stand before His indignation at their sin. No one can endure the heat of His anger. God hates sin. Your sin. My sin. All sin. He doesn’t just dislike it, He hates it with a holy, righteous, powerfully perfect, and pure hatred. (Psalm 5:5; 11:5)
David understood that “God is a righteous judge, and a God who feels indignation every day.” (Psalm 7:11) Whoa, wait a minute. Did you catch that? God “feels indignation every day.” God feels anger, outrage, and fury over sin on a daily basis. Every time you and I choose to live for King Me, every time we choose to disobey His command to flee sexual immorality (1 Corinthians 6:18; 2 Timothy 2:22), every time we choose to lust after another person and commit adultery (Matthew 5:28), every time we sin, that angers God.
But understand this: It angers Him–not because He’s mad at you, not because He’s disappointed in you–no, He loves you unconditionally (Romans 8:35-39). He loves you with a perfect and holy love. He loves you so much that He chose to execute all of that wrath and all of that righteous anger–not upon you, but on His one and only Son who volunteered to take your place and pay the ultimate price for your sin. (Isaiah 53:4-6; Galatians 3:13; 1 Peter 3:18)
So, God is not angry at you. He is very angry at your sin. He is angry at the effects and the ramifications that your sinful choices have ravaged upon your heart, your health, your spirit, your family, your worship, your life. You see, God is angry because “your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you.” (Isaiah 59:2) He’s angry at your sin because it drives a wedge of division between you and the One who lovingly sacrificed it all for you. He is angry because “your sins have kept good from you.” (Jeremiah 5:25) That is what angers God.
Oh, my friend, there is so much that God wants to do in your life. So many blessings He wants to pour out upon you. So much good He wants to lavish upon you; if you would only choose to daily deny yourself, die to yourself, picking up your cross and say NO to the wicked, evil, selfish, sinful desires of King Me and yes to all that God is and wants to be in your life.
When you and I fully understand this; when we truly begin to grasp the fact that God hates it when we choose to sin, when we choose to turn our backs on Him, when we willfully choose to worship self, that ought to lead us to what Scripture calls “the fear of the Lord.”
Oh, how we have misunderstood the Biblical teaching about fearing God. Fearing the Lord is a good thing! In Psalm 112:1 David exclaims, “Praise the Lord! Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who greatly delights in his commandments.” In Psalm 128:1 he writes, “Blessed is everyone who fears the Lord, who walks in his ways.” Three verses later he says, “Behold, thus shall the man be blessed who fears the Lord.” (Psalm 128:4)
The fear of the Lord isn’t a bad thing. Just the opposite. “The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever” (Psalm 19:9) The fear of the Lord is not cowering in a corner, living in absolute terror that if I do something wrong, God is gonna zap me. No. The fear of the Lord begins with the realization that I am not King, He is. I am not Lord of my life, He is. This life is not mine to live however I want. This life is NOT about me. I am answerable to no one else but my designer and creator, the Savior of my soul.
Proverbs 8:13 tells us that “the fear of the Lord is hatred of evil.” Fearing God means hating King Me. Fearing God means not worshiping myself, my wants, my needs, my desires. We have already established that living with King Me on the throne of my heart is evil. I should hate that, just like God does. Proverbs 14:2 says, “Whoever walks in uprightness fears the Lord.” The person who is going throughout the day with God on the throne of their heart; the one who is walking in worship of God (not self) and walking in obedience to His will (not yours), that is the person who is fearing God and the one who will be blessed.
No matter how you slice it, “the fear of the Lord leads to life, and whoever has it rests satisfied.” (Proverbs 19:23). “The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, (enabling you to) turn away from the snares of death.” (Proverbs 14:27). It is good to fear the Lord.
Consider for a moment the wrath of God against the sins of your youth and all your transgressions to date. In fact, I know this may be somewhat difficult, but I challenge you to be honest here and talk with your accountability partner(s) about this. Name the sins and transgressions you are guilty of (focus on your sexual sins but be sure to include all other areas where you have been worshiping King Me).
The truth is, “No creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” (Hebrews 4:13) You can cover your sin and hide it from everyone except God.
God already knows each and every sin and transgression – past, present, and future. David acknowledged this when he prayed, “O Lord, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways.” (Psalm 139:1-3)
“But you, O Lord, know me; you see me, and test my heart toward you.” (Jeremiah 12:3a)
God already knows that you “have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) You can deny it all you want. You can try to hide it and cover it up. You can try to excuse it away. That’s what mankind has been doing since the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve sure tried (see Genesis 3)! It didn’t work for them, or for anyone since. It’s not going to work for you either.
Understand this: “If you say, ‘Behold, (I) did not know this,’” in other words, you excuse it away by arguing that you’re just human, you didn’t understand what you were doing so it isn’t your fault; “does not he who weighs the heart (God) perceive it? Does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it, and will he not repay man according to his work?” (Proverbs 24:12)
Think again about the list of sins you have committed over the years (even just last month or what about yesterday). God says, “the wages of (each and every) sin is death.” (Romans 6:23a, addition mine) In other words, what is due you (your “wage” or paycheck) because of each of your King Me choices to sin is eternal separation from God.
It doesn’t matter how great or small your sin may be from your perspective, it’s all the same before God. It only takes one sin to separate you from God. Just one. “Your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear.” (Isaiah 59:2) James reminds us that “whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it.” (James 2:10)
This is why David cries out “remember not the sins of my youth or my transgressions.” (Psalm 25:7) He understood that “the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.” (Romans 1:18) He also understood that God is “good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon (Him).” (Psalm 86:5) In 2 Samuel 24:14 David says, “I am in great distress. Let us fall into the hand of the Lord, for his mercy is great.”
Can you see the application to you and your battle with the sinful desires of your flesh? Jesus warns you to “not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Matthew 10:28)
It is critical that we “confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9) You have something David did not. “The blood of Jesus (God’s) Son cleanses (you) from all sin.” (1 John 1:7 additions mine)
“According to his great mercy, he has caused (you) to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” (1 Peter 1:3)
That means that you can, “with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that (you) may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16 addition mine) This is why you can pray, “Remember not the sins of my youth or my transgressions; according to your steadfast love remember me, for the sake of your goodness, O Lord!” (Psalm 25:7)
OK, we’re going to hit the pause button here until next week’s episode as we look forward to continuing this study.
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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.