Being Strengthened with Power in Our Inner Man ~ blog
How many times have you felt you do not have the power to stop falling back into sexual sin? When we develop over time habits through taking the actions that will help us feel better breaking those habits is going to be a battle and you know that. We have three options.
Option # 1 – Lie to ourselves and believe that these habitual actions are not that big a deal and if we really wanted to stop we could. So, have another drink, smoke another joint, eat another bag of chips, watch another porn video, masturbate and relax. After all, you are not hurting anyone…right? WRONG!!!
Option # 2 – Fall on our knees and cry out to God promising Him we will never do it again. Beg for forgiveness and promise to double your efforts to stop. However, when stress and pain show up in your life you go right back to acting out…even telling yourself this will be the last time. WRONG AGAIN!!!
Option # 3 – Understand that you are in a battle far greater than your power, learn what the Bible teaches us about how to live the true Christian life, and then begin to do it. Living one day at a time.
Here is the problem. We do not have it within ourselves to be able to stop being entangled in the sin that so easily entangles us. Don’t take those words as a challenge to try harder and show me that I am wrong. I am not wrong. Trying harder while maintaining our isolation will only keep us in bondage.
I wrestled on and off with porn for 40 years and when it became an addiction threatening my marriage, my family, and my career as a pastor I still did not have the strength to stop because I was seriously addicted. Highly motivated to stop but lacking the power I needed.
Notice how Paul begins his prayer for the Ephesians in Ephesians 3:
“For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man…”
The very fact that you are listening to this podcast or reading this email should be enough proof that you do not have it in you to stop this highly addictive behavior. How many times have you tried to stop? How many promises have you made and broken? How many more failures are you going to have to endure before you begin to seek strength from someone other than yourself?
Paul prays for the Ephesians that they would be strengthened with power through the Holy Spirit in their inner man. Notice he is not saying strengthen yourself. The verb is in the passive tense which means that the strengthening we will experience must come from outside of ourselves.
We do not have to wonder where this strengthening power is going to come from. It will happen “through the Holy Spirit in their inner man.” He is not saying we need to strengthen ourselves with more bible study and prayer. Those things are extremely important to living the Christian Life. But they are not enough.
However, to face the powers working against us, our sinful flesh, our fallen sex-filled world, and demonic powers we need to be being strengthened beyond any strength we can muster on our own.
To illustrate this, imagine that you are in your home and sexual lust comes knocking at the door. You know you should keep it out. You know the chaos it is going to cause. It is the proverbial Cat in the Hat that will come in and make a horrible mess of your life, marriage, family, and career.
You know you should ignore it, but your curiosity just wants to take a peek. So, you look through the eyehole or out the window and you see something that is exactly what you are looking for and you become lured away and enticed. You hear her say; “Does Johnny want to come out and play … or do you want to invite me in, and we can play.”
You find yourself doing exactly what you said you did not want to do. In the moment of temptation when lust comes knocking at your door as soon as you give in to take a peek you find yourself falling once again back into sexual sin.
What we all need, and we all need daily is to be strengthened in our inner man. This strength can come from two sources. First and foremost, from the Holy Spirit. Why do you think He is in you? Part of His purpose in you is to help you and strengthen you in your inner man so that you do not even go to the door to take a peek. Strength to either get up and go out the back door or to stay still and ask the Spirit to answer the door.
Secondly, we need the Spirit to strengthen us to do what we know we need to do. We need help not only from the Spirit but from a friend or friends with whom we have teamed up with who will help us fight this battle.
How long will your pride and shame keep you in isolation and not joining an Online Support Team? Listen, our program has been helping men for over 10 years. We know what we are doing, and we can be the place where you can find help from other men and stop being defeated and instead to grow strong in the Lord and in the power of the Spirit?
Online Support Teams will help you. Just contact me if you want to sit in on one to see what they are like. We even have one from men in Brazil and no English needed.