“Guarding Against Moral Failure” – BTPP004

List of Scriptures:

mentioned at 17:15
-Romans 6:12-18 (Replacing “sin” with whatever you’re            struggling with, daily devotion)
Romans 8:4-14        Gal 5:16-17           Gal 5:24-25
1Thes 3:13-4:7          Prov 4:23-27        Prov 2:16-19
Prov 5:3-23             Prov 6:24-35        Prov 7:27
Prov 9:13-18             2 Tim 2:19-22      1Peter 2:11
1John 2:16                 Matt 6:22-24       1 Cor 3:16-17; 6:13-20
2 Cor 10:3-5

Pre Topic: Miracles, Relationship, and Everybody Preach.

0:50 RYAN:  This week I was preaching on Acts 3 and the healing of the lame man at the gate beautiful. A couple things I noticed was that first Peter and John were together. It highlights the importance of who you are with. Secondly Acts 3 only happened after Acts 2; the healing only happened after the infilling. As important as healing and working of miracles is, it is not to be our focus or source of rejoicing. Lk 10:20  “Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.”

Jesus’ first miracle was not a healing, but rather was turning water into wine, a symbolic act of giving new life, and changing from one thing to another. That’s what happens to us when we receive God’s spirit, we are changed completely, and then after that is when you see all the miracles, and other mighty works.

Luke 10:20 reaffirms that the most important thing in ministry is leading people to Christ so their names can be written down in heaven. Healings will happen and we want them but they are not the goal of ministry.

5:56 TIM:  You mentioned about Jesus’ first miracle and it reminded me of something I’ve been studying lately.

Even though Jesus was always God, as far as we can tell, Biblically, Jesus never performed any miracles until he went into the wilderness, fasted for 40 days and confronted the enemy.

It is interesting that the Bible refers to Jesus coming back from the wilderness in the power of God. If God robed in flesh had to spend 40 days fasting to enter into this level of the power, why is that I think I can pray for 5 minutes before prayer and expect results.

8:06 RYAN:  I’m glad you brought that up because in my message I talked about that too. Yes we need to be around other Godly people, but we also absolutely must get alone with God. Which of course was the topic of our last couple episodes about personal devotions. If God had to do it, I’m pretty sure we all have to do it.

8:47 TIM: But really it fits with your point about the importance of relationships. When we talk about being alone with God really we aren’t talking about being alone. Of course your point of cultivating ministry minded relationships is very important. That’s why we are doing this podcast.

There is something about it, you become like who you hang around with. As youth pastors we all realize that if we can just get a young person to change who they hang around, and what they listen to anyone can change.

Regardless of how carnal you are or were if you start reading about ministers, and hanging around ministers you will become ministry minded.

10:35 RYAN: It doesn’t necessarily mean you are called to ministry. But it will definitely gear your mind to thinking that way.

10:36 TIM: In Acts we read about some people coming to the Apostles and complaining about how food was being handed out to the widows. The Apostles responded by basically saying find someone else to take care of this, because we need to give ourselves to prayer and studying the word. So they chose some guys to essentially work the buffet table and make sure everybody got fed.

In that group was Stephen who ended up preaching a powerful message that saw the conviction of the Lord fall. Now that convicting spirit led to his martyrdom, but he was just a lunch table worker. Another man chosen to be one of the lunch servers was Philip, the evangelist that shared the gospel with the Ethiopian eunuch.

This kind of goes back to our first episode “am I called to preach?”. Just do whatever you can for the kingdom of God. If or when the opportunity arises to preach the gospel preach. The most often used Greek word translated preach simply means to proclaim. We are all called to proclaim the gospel.

Main Topic: Guarding Oneself Against Moral Failure

14:45 RYAN: This topic hit very close to home for me. The Holy Ghost has helped me, but there is not a day that goes by that I don’t experience some sort of temptation.

It is amazing how quickly a thought can enter your mind and suddenly you are in a battle. It’s important to remember that we are in a war. Even if I lose a battle I refuse to lose the war.

While I was at ABI, Elder Lucas (Tim’s dad) came and while there devoted several chapel services to teaching on this subject. He reminded us that what is really at the heart of the matter is your heart. Purity and outward appearance is just showing what is on the outside.  He also gave us a list of scriptures that has proved invaluable to me.

-Romans 6:12-18 (Replacing “sin” with whatever you’re            struggling with)
Romans 8:4-14 Gal 5:16-17         Gal 5:24-25
1Thes 3:13-4:7   Prov 4:23-27      Prov 2:16-19
Prov 5:3-23         Prov 6:24-35      Prov 7:27
Prov 9:13-18       2 Tim 2:19-22    1Peter 2:11
1John 2:16           Matt 6:22-24     1 Cor 3:16-17; 6:13-20
2 Cor 10:3-5
When I first began using this list, I read through each of these scriptures everyday during my devotions. It takes about 15 to 20 minutes to read through them and it is such a great help in putting up the walls to protect against the moral battles.

22:40 NIGEL: In the day we live in you will be bombarded with these temptations. You just can’t avoid it anymore. Of course we can’t control what we see, but we can control what we watch. But as we’ve stated already, better men then us have fallen. And so we have to very intentionally make up our own minds that what ever it takes I will safeguard myself.

You know I was told there are three things you really have to be careful about in your life if you want to be involved in ministry: women, wealth, and wine. In our day the media tries to flaunt women in such a way that will make you fall. But God wants you to be victorious. It is the will of God for you to win.
25:10 TIM:  Nigel you said something that I think is key. I tell myself all the time that if it could happen to them it could happen to me. If I didn’t, it would be easy to look at safeguards I have placed around me and think I was immune. But that is when you are most susceptible. I think though, that when you actively think of yourself as vulnerable you are far more careful about your actions.
I have made up my mind that my wife is by far the most important person and specifically women in my life. Regardless of who else is hurt or who I am not able to minister to, I must protect my relationship with my wife.
27:11 NIGEL: I learned from the missionaries a good rule. They would never ride alone in a vehicle with another person of the opposite sex. They were in their 60’s and no one would have thought anything but they made the rule for themselves.

They also made all the Bible School students listen to a sermon entitled “The Snare Of The Fowler”. The thing about a snare is that it is hidden, you almost never see it until you are caught. The most dangerous snare in the life of a minister is that because you are fasting, and you are studying, and because you are surrounded by mighty men of God that it could never happen to you. That is when you are the most valuable. You can never put too many defenses in your life.

That’s why I always tell my wife anything that has happened or a conversation with someone of the opposite sex that is even slightly questionable. I have had young girls at churches that I am preaching at come up and want to stay in contact, I always direct them to my wife.

31:01 RYAN: One guard that I’ve set up for me is Covenant Eyes. It is an internet filtering program that sends reports by email to my accountability partner. One of the things I like about it too, is that they also regularly send articles about dealing with the dangers of internet, and helping others and such.
It’s like we said you can’t do too much to prevent something from happening. Especially nowadays it just takes two seconds and it is there at your fingertips.

33:58 NIGEL: I’ve had so many young people come to me and talking to me about these things, and parents asking for help for their kids struggling with pornography, just 13 years old.

So many young men come to Bible School and have these addictions, and it is so hard to get rid of them. If you are involved in or just starting to dabble you need to stop right now. Do what it takes, get an accountability partner, or whatever. Just clean up your act. Researchers now say that pornography is more addictive than heroine and to get free really does take deliverance.

I feel so bad for the young guys who have these devices in their hands, and their parents don’t know how to protect them through these things like covenant eyes. And they end up finding themselves in trouble later on. Later on they want to do something for God but they feel the guilt because of the things they have got involved in, and feel like they can’t possibly ever do anything for God.

36:10 TIM: It is so interesting to me when you look at the story of Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden. We’ve all looked at the strategies Satan used to get Eve and then Adam to fall. But notice when God comes to the garden and finds them hiding, he asks Adam why are you hiding. Adam then says we realized we were naked. God then says “Who told you, you were naked”. Not how did you find out you were naked, but WHO told you, you were naked. The only other voice there was Satan.

The moment you give in to the temptation, the voice of Satan that had been so alluring and tempting, turns accusatory and condemning. Both are equally lies.

Just as false as the lie that God wont judge you for this sin, or this sin will be pleasurable, is the lie that God wont forgive you, that God doesn’t love you anymore. You’ve got to take care of this now. The longer you wait the harder it is. Please feel free to reach out to us and ask for help. We want to help you.

It is important to take care of it now because it will only progress. When you hear some of the filthy things people are looking at, you can only wonder how in the world they can possibly find that attractive. It is because they started out on “normal” stuff, and as always happens they needed increasingly deviant things to satisfy their lusts.

I recently ran across a researcher that has discovered cultures that have high rates of pornography use also have high rates of suicide. He couldn’t figure out the link between these two issues for quite sometime until he realized, pornography is the ultimate devaluing of others, and suicide is the ultimate devaluing of self.

39:49 RYAN: What you have to realize is that research has shown that to a spouse, pornography use is almost worse than being cheated on. First of all it affects and inhibits your physical intimacy with your spouse. And secondly it is so sneaky, and deceptive, and trust breaking. When they find out, and they will find out, it’s gut wrenching.

The reason we are talking about this is because we really don’t want you to fall to this. I hope you come away from this knowing that you can be forgiven, and that your ministry can be salvaged. Remember there are souls out there relying on you, to not be tripped up by this.

42:35 NIGEL: When I came to ABI I began to have young men come to me and express their struggles in this area. And this is not just at ABI, it is a struggle for many at all of the Bible Schools. But I approached Bro Grant about doing a class to help them in this battle. They are still teaching the curriculum “vessels of honor” that we started. But my point is that even at Bible Colleges young men are fighting this battle and we need to approach this, and talk about it. It is possible to find deliverance. Sometimes when you are in that dirt, it is easy to think I will never be able to get clean, but you can be cleansed.
44:50 TIM: And here is one of the ways you can do that.
Ps 119:9,11
         “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.” “ Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.”

If we will meditate on the word of God, everything else will for the most part take care of itself. If I were to tell you don’t think about a pink elephant, immediately you would think about a pink elephant, even though you probably wouldn’t have thought about a pink elephant in the next year if I hadn’t mentioned it. All I would have to do to get you to stop thinking about a pink elephant  is replace the thought with anything else.I actually personally try to have thoughts ready to use when evil thoughts come into my mind. So that as soon as I have one of those thoughts I replace it with one of the topics I have waiting to use.Ryan you started with this and I think this is a great way to end this episode. When you read those scriptures everyday, and then you begin to meditate on them, that is when it will change you. There are only two places in the Bible where prosperity is promised.
Joshua 1:8
“This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success”
Ps 1:1-2
         “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor            standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the                                  scornful.But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

We may say but I don’t really delight in the law of the Lord. Well if you will meditate on it you will. The key is meditation. Now this is not the “emptying of the mind” type of meditation that eastern mysticism uses, but actually the exact opposite. Biblical meditation is focused intent thought on a specific thing. It could be a particular characteristic of God, or a specific verse, or a topic.

The Bible says we are transformed by the renewing of our mind. The way we are changed is by changing the way we think. The battle is in the mind. Proverbs says “as a man thinketh in his heart so is he.”  Every single sin starts in the mind.

48:35 RYAN: One more thing I think is so important, is that if we are ministering to people we need to know they are going to be dealing with this, and equip them to be able to fight the battle. Because it is such an easy way to get tripped up, and if you have more than just a handful of people in your church I guarantee you there is someone struggling with this issue.

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