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10. Strategy Ten: Find Faithful Soldiers to Fight Beside

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Nobody fights a war alone—we need other godly soldiers to fight beside. Consider what Paul said to Timothy, “Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart” (2 Tim 2:22).

Paul told Timothy to flee evil desires of youth, which refers to various ungodly desires including lust. We should find like-minded people of the same gender to fight beside—men with men and women with women. In a battle, the one fighting alone is the most vulnerable and susceptible to attack.

Why do some fight alone? Some fight alone because of shame—the enemy makes them feel ashamed of their sin. They feel like nobody else struggles with it, and therefore, they never tell anyone. However, Scripture says, “There is no temptation taken you but that which is common to man” (1 Cor 10:13). This battle is something that we all share to various degrees. Don’t let the enemy lie to you and keep you from getting the support needed. Some fight alone because they think they can win the battle without help. However, 1 Corinthians 12:21 says, “The eye can’t say to the hand, I don’t need you.” God created the body of Christ in such a way that we are interdependent—meaning we need one another. We need one another to accomplish the works God has called us to do including gaining victory over lust.

Proverbs 13:20 says this: “He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.” Find wise, godly soldiers to pray with, to confess to, and to gain wisdom from in order to obtain and sustain victory against lust. These wise soldiers will include those who are battle tested and successful in winning the battle against lust. As a college student, I didn’t really start getting victory until I began to be mentored and held accountable by an older, spiritually mature man. Previously, my accountability partners were primarily young men like myself who wanted to be pure but were losing the battle. This was not wrong, but it wasn’t enough. Find wise, godly soldiers to help you win the victory.

In addition, it must be noticed that the companion of fools will suffer harm. This is also true in your battle against lust. If your intimate friendships and dating relationships are with individuals who are not zealous for righteousness and purity, their spiritual apathy and immorality will affect you negatively. Sometimes in order to have victory, not only must one seek godly companions, but one must let go of ungodly companions.

Again, wisdom and foolishness in Scripture is not an intellectual issue; it’s a moral issue. The fool says in his heart there is no God (Psalm 14:1). The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (Proverbs 9:10). Choose wise soldiers to fight with—those who are pursuing righteousness out of a pure heart (2 Tim 2:22)—and let go of those who hinder spiritual progress.

In these friendships with the wise, employ the tactics of accountability and prayer. James gives us an anointed prescription for breaking strongholds in the life of a believer. He says, ”Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective” (James 5:16). Though this healing may primarily refer to physical healing caused by sin (cf. James 5:14-15), it no doubt also refers to spiritual healing (cf. James 5:19-20). Personally, through confessing my failures to others and having them pray for me, I have experienced renewed strength for my battles.

Confession of sin both to God and to others is crucial. One of Satan’s schemes is encouraging believers to hide sin, instead of confessing it. Through spiritual hypocrisy, strongholds are developed and fortified in a believer’s life. This is the kind of Christian that Satan will destroy. They have closet addictions—closet lusts—that they never share with anyone.

When Christians don’t confess before God and others, they become desensitized to their sin—opening the door for greater strongholds. Paul talks about false teachers who have a “seared conscience” and are deceived by demons in 1 Timothy 4:1-2. Listen to what he says:

The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.

Paul called them “hypocritical liars”—meaning they professed godliness while living in unconfessed sin. Because of this, their consciences stopped working—making them more susceptible to demonic deception. Living in unconfessed sin opens the door for the devil in our lives.

This happens to Christians all the time. How does a pastor who preaches every week continually steal money from the church and live in an adulterous relationship? This type of stumbling doesn’t happen all at once. It’s typically a process of living in unrepentant sin while professing godliness. The hypocrisy slowly silences the conscience of the believer and further opens the door for the enemy.

We have all experienced this before. When I was in high school, I struggled with cursing. I would curse during the day, confess my sins at night, and commit to try harder the next day. However, eventually, I could curse and not feel convicted about it at all—I could live in it. By practicing sin, both my conscience and the Holy Spirit were silenced leading to greater sin.

This is what Satan aims to do in the area of sexual immorality. By continually living in unconfessed sexual sin, it opens the door for demonic deception and control, as demonstrated in the false teachers. Believers quickly find themselves bound to pornography addictions, sexual fantasies, homosexual desires, illicit sex, etc. This is the pathway to destruction, and it typically begins with Christians walking alone—with no accountability and confession in their lives.

Solomon, one of the wisest men to ever live, said this:

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (ESV)

“Pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!” Who are your spiritual warriors who fight beside you? Who picks you up when you fall? Are there strongholds in your life that you haven’t confessed to anybody? He who walks with the wise becomes wise—they start to live a victorious, godly life.

This is a strategy every soldier must employ: Find other godly soldiers to fight with—to confess your sins to, to pray with, and to encourage. Also, be willing to let go of those who are not calling on the Lord out of a pure heart.

Reflection

  1. Why is it important to have spiritual accountability in the battle for purity?
  2. How should one select and initiate an accountability relationship?
  3. Who are your accountability partners and how have these relationships helped you?
  4. In what ways do worldly friendships and worldly dating relationships lead to suffering harm, especially in the area of sexual purity?
  5. What other questions or thoughts do you have about this section?
  6. In what ways can you pray in response? Take a second to pray as the Lord leads.

Copyright © 2015 Gregory Brown

Related Topics: Sexual Purity

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