God's Way of Setting Captives Free
I’m sure you’ve noticed that you can vow to change, make promises to do better, commit to really trying hard, and yet find that temptation eventually overpowers all your efforts. This is why it absolutely does not work to make vows and decisions, to get together with a bunch of others and all make commitments to be pure, to promise our spouses we’re going to quit this time for good, etc.
None of that works long term, for it is not God’s way of setting captives free.
The Testimony of King David
King David in the Bible had a terrible moral lapse. He was upstairs looking down on a naked woman taking a bath, and he lusted in his heart after her and ended up committing adultery with her. One sin led to another, so he ended up having her husband killed.
David was hardened in his sin (Hebrews 3:13) for 9 months until God sent Nathan the prophet to rebuke him. David’s heart became broken over his sin and as David cried out to God for forgiveness, he said these words:
Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Psalms 51:7 (NIV)
Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
Psalms 51:10-12 (NIV-WS)
David understood his sin defiled him and made him impure, and he prayed for cleansing, to be washed and made whiter than snow. He also prayed for God to change his heart.
God's Work in our Hearts
Friend, if you and I are ever to get free from impurity God must work in our heart. Jesus said,
But the things that come out of a person's mouth come from the heart, and these defile them. For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. These are what defile a person; but eating with unwashed hands does not defile them.
King David did not heed this warning:
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.
Do you see how the issue is the heart? God must literally change our hearts; that is, our desires, loves, and passions, in order for us to find true and lasting freedom. Otherwise, we can do all the programs we want, make all the decisions to stop that we want, try as hard as we want, and we will remain enslaved. Do you see this?
I remember one night having fallen very badly to sexual impurity having committed adultery. I was just full of guilt, shame, and self-loathing. I felt like there was no hope for me to ever change. Have you ever felt this way?
Well, in my dark moment, I felt God calling me to Him so I reluctantly pulled my Bible out of my suitcase (I was a professing Christian so I always carried it) and reading through David’s prayer in Psalm 51, and God enabled me to cry out to Him for cleansing, to wash me and make me new, to rescue me from slavery, to give me a new heart and a new spirit. And He heard me, and He began working in my heart and changing me slowly.
Do you acknowledge that pornography and impurity are defiling you and causing harm not only to your heart and mind but also to those around you? Are you seeing the importance of being washed and having your heart changed? Do you want to see God do an amazing transformation in your life?
Question 4. Maybe you are crying out to God like David did and I did. Please write out your prayer here:
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