Present Pleasures or Painful Consequences?
Caution yourself that the final pain will soon erase the temporary pleasure. Moses followed this principle. He chose to walk with God rather than to become absorbed in the attractions and the pleasures of Egypt’s life-style. “By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; choosing rather to endure ill-treatment with the people of God, than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin” (Heb. 11:24,25).
Sin is so pleasurable that people are willing to risk their reputations to taste its flavor. When you turn off the internal warnings you would automatically turn on the desire.
Let the Word of God control your thought life. When the devil launched his full-scale attack against Jesus, He withstood temptation by using the scriptures. We read in the Bible, “How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping it according to Thy word... Thy word I have treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against Thee.” (Ps. 119:9,11). When the Word of God is stored up in our minds, it stands ready to strike. No weapon of deception can stand against the truth.
In the wilderness Jesus knew that life comes from God. He realised that in His human form He must keep His eyes on the Father. If you turn your eyes upon Jesus, you will find far more than you were ever looking for.
Some people have a wishful thinking that if God would save them and then, within a matter of seconds, take them to heaven it would be a great relief and they would never have any temptations and would never mess up their lives. They just want to be whisked off to glory-saved, sanctified, galvanized, and glorified!
Some have suggested sanctification by isolation. After all, how can you walk through a coal mine without getting dirty?
Jesus prayed for his disciples and for us: “I have given them Thy word; and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.” I do not ask Thee to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one. (Jn. 17:14-15)
He has left us in the world on purpose and for His purpose. In this dark world where the majority are going the wrong way, we are left as illuminating lights and as living examples of the right way. We are spiritual salmon swimming upstream.
This world is inspired by “The spirit of the age,”which Trench defines as follows:” All that floating mass of thoughts, opinions, maxims, speculations, hopes, impulses, aims, aspirations, at any time current in the world, which it may be impossible to seize and accurately define, but which constitutes a most real and effective power, being the moral, or immoral atmosphere which at every moment of our lives we inhale, again inevitably to exhale.”
You must give greater thought to the consequences of sin rather than to its pleasures. If you’re thinking about having an affair or if you are being caught in that lustful trap, it would be better for you to walk through the consequences in your mind. Think through the effects of that act in your life and in the lives of others whom your life touches.
Randy Alcorn says that, whenever he is feeling particularly vulnerable to sexual temptation, he finds it helpful to review the effect such action could have. Some of the things he mentions are:
* Grieving the Lord who redeemed you...
* One day having to look at Jesus... in the face and give an account of your actions...
* Inflicting untold hurt on... your best friend and loyal wife... losing [her] respect and trust.
* Hurting your beloved daughters...
* Destroying your example and credibility with your children, and nullifying both present and future efforts to teach them to obey God...
* Causing shame to your family...
* Creating a form of guilt awfully hard to shake. Even though God would forgive you, would you forgive yourself?
* Forming memories and flashbacks that could plague future intimacy with your wife.
* Wasting years of ministry training and experience for a long time, may be permanently...
* Undermining the faithful example and hard work of other Christians in your community.
* Bringing great pleasure to Satan, the enemy of God and all that is good....
* Possibly bearing the physical consequences of such diseases as gonorrhea, syphilis, chlamydia, herpes, and AIDS; perhaps infecting your wife or even causing her death.
* Possibly causing pregnancy, with the personal and financial implications, including a lifelong reminder of your sin...
* Causing shame and hurt to your friends, especially those you have led to Christ.
And that’s just a small list of the consequences! It doesn’t even begin to focus attention to the consequences for the other person in the affair and the number of people affected by his or her sin.