Be Free in Christ is a ministry that was established so Christian men would have a place where they can reach out to one another. Whether for the purpose of confession, asking for advice or prayer, or offering encouragement. It is vital that we let Jesus wash us clean of the filth in our lives, but it is also important that we have some earthly person to turn to who will help us stand when we need help in battling our desires.
First we need to identify the seriousness of lust. If we consider lust to be like a drug that pulls us in and destroys us from the inside out, it can help shine a light on just how dangerous it can be to our spiritual health. Romans 8:6 – The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.
Pastor John Piper writes: Lust Is Psycho-Erotic Euphoria. It is just like power in your body that makes you so pleased by the erotic, by the visual, that you are moving toward it visually with such a force that it starts to nullify moral conviction. It puts you out of touch with all the arguments you had before to be pure and move you into behavior that you are then later going to disapprove of.
It is like drunkenness. Suppose you go to a bar with a buddy … and he wants to drive and go watch a movie downtown while he is drunk. And you say, “You are not driving. I am not going to let you drive.” And you bend his arm behind his back and just throw him in the back seat and grab his key, and since he is your friend, he doesn’t hit you, and you drive him home and throw him in bed.
Is that right? Should we do that? And I think most people would say, “Yeah. Yeah, you should do that. I mean he was drunk. He was going to kill himself.”
We need to attack lust like we would alcoholism or drug addiction. We need to rid our lives of the source of our temptation, whether drink, drug, or porn. Matthew 5:29 – “If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out”.
So, along with attacking temptation ourselves (in Jesus’ power) we should surround ourselves with brothers in Christ who will stand alongside us. And in turn, we need to be there for our brothers to help them in their struggles.
As Pastor Piper adds: we need people in our lives who will break our arm? Not just, as Paul says, “I pummel my own body.” I am saying you should pummel me.
If you are drunk, and you are going to kill yourself, you had better be glad somebody is in your life to throw you in the back seat of a car. And later on when you wake up, you will glad they did. Then you can pray towards some kind of appropriate stance where you obey freely from your heart.
Helping Each other Stand
Having brothers who will try to shake some sense into you is an incredible blessing. We can help to keep each other stay focused and on the right path. Proverbs 27:17 – Iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.
Accountability, like we find in groups such as Be Free in Christ is a powerful tool in helping us feel like we are not alone, that there are others with similar struggles.
We must not be afraid to admit we cannot overcome on our own. First and foremost we need Jesus. His grace and His strength are essential in winning the battle over temptation. Second, having Christians who will allow us to lean on them is vital.
Hebrews 3:13 – Exhort one another every day, as long as it is called ‘today,’ that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.
John Piper (@JohnPiper) is founder and teacher of DesiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. For 33 years, he served as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is author of more than 50 books, including A Peculiar Glory. Quotes attributed to John Piper were taken from his writing that can be found in its entirety at the following link: http://www.desiringgod.org/interviews/how-can-we-serve-one-another-in-battling-lust