The following is a guest post by Joe Tyrpak, Assistant Pastor of Tri-County Bible Church in Madison, Ohio. In part 1 of his meditation plan he suggested that we “Call to mind the deceptions of sinful sensuality.” In part 2 he suggested that we “Call to mind the destructions of sinful sensuality.” In part 3 he considered the joys of God-ordained sensuality. In part 4 he reminded us of the ever-present eyes of God. Now he concludes the meditation series.
Even though I started a deliberate meditation plan in my teenage battles against lust, pornography, and masturbation, I’ve often failed. I’ve often fallen to sexual temptation at the very moment I’m calling to mind this Scriptural meditation plan. If nothing else, I’ve learned that I myself am a wretch (Rom 7:24), that my natural heart is incurably sick (Jer 17:9), and that my sin nature is not, and will never be, subject to the law of God (Rom 8:7).
All in all, in the last few years I’ve come to learn that even though my meditation plan is somewhat helpful (in fact, I’ve found the biblical memorization and meditation to be of inestimable value), it doesn’t really work in the end. Further, as I’ve grown in my understanding of Biblical theology, I’ve begun to understand that Proverbs 1-9, just like the law of Moses, was never intended to fix my sin problem, but rather to highlight my need for Jesus. In other words, parts 1-4 don’t provide the ultimate solution to my lust problem because they were never intended to.
So in the last 2-3 years I’ve added another point to my meditation plan—one that is not merely tacked on, but one that grows out of a truly biblical interpretation of Proverbs 1-9.
Meditation Plan (Part #5): CALL TO MIND MY UNION WITH CHRIST.
This final stage has four aspects.
First, I think about Old Testament history. If I learn anything from OT history, it is that in spite of all their knowledge of God’s commands, God’s people didn’t obey. I learn that Solomon didn’t heed his own words and that his sons didn’t heed his words, either. Despite Solomon’s wisdom, his sons—the future kings of Israel—led the nation into captivity within three hundred years of this God-breathed advice. That testimony should serve as an exclamation point on the reality that our hope for overcoming sin is not found in being better educated regarding biblical standards. I don’t find power for obedience in rules, not even Biblical rules!
I can totally identify with Solomon, his sons, and the Israelites. In spite of all that I know about the Bible and all that I know about sensuality’s deceptions and destructions, sin continues to be attractive nonetheless. I can be tempted to sin even after I’ve studied for a message or after I’ve listened to preaching. My sin nature loves sin, even when there is no logical or physical reason for it. My sin is irrational. Even when I quote specific passages of Scripture, remind myself of its consequences, and dream about my wife, I still have part of me that desires to do wrong simply to experience sin.
The whole point of the Old Testament is that I need Jesus! I don’t simply need biblical rules; I need a Savior from myself. I need to remind myself of this constantly. I’m a totally hopeless, enslaved sinner apart from the regenerating, cleansing, transforming work of Jesus Christ. Continue reading
Filed under: Contemporary Issues, Devotional Thoughts, Fighting Lust, Proverbs, The Cross, The Gospel, Union with Christ | Tagged: Fighting Lust, Joe Tyrpak, Lust, Masturbation, Meditation, Proverbs, Purity, Romans 6, Sanctification, Temptation, The Gospel, Union with Christ | 6 Comments »