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The Seductive Power Of Desire Part 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
The Truth Network Radio
March 6, 2023 1:00 am

The Seductive Power Of Desire Part 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

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March 6, 2023 1:00 am

We all have devices which can be used for good, but that Satan wants to use to destroy us. Millions are bound by pornography. In this message from James 4, we are given three commands to overcome the seductive call of internet sensuality. It’s time we took proactive steps to freedom.

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Running to Win
Erwin Lutzer
Running to Win
Erwin Lutzer

Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith. We need proactive steps we can take to break the stranglehold the media has on us. Today we'll find three such steps in the fourth chapter of the book of James, steps we must take to be free from the seductive siren call of the internet. From the Moody Church in Chicago, this is Running to Win with Dr. Erwin Lutzer, whose clear teaching helps us make it across the finish line. Pastor Lutzer, simply shutting down the internet is hardly an option anymore.

Even filtering can be gotten around. If people's hearts do not desire holiness, can any headway be made? Dave, you've asked a very pertinent and important question, and it really comes down to this.

Do we love Jesus more than we love our sin? And that's the battle that all of us face, and that's why this series of messages I believe is so critical, helping people to think through the implications of technology, how it has affected us, and how it affects our hearts. Nothing could be more important. I'm holding in my hands a book I've written entitled, Cries from the Cross, a Journey into the Heart of Jesus. Let me ask you a question, and I'm going to be answering this question at the end of this message.

Will we see any evidence of the cross when we get to heaven? For a gift of any amount, this book can be yours. Here's what you do.

Go to or call us at 1-888-218-9337. Now let us listen to God's word. Because he does not understand the depth of his need, he is thinking that by making a promise he's going to be delivered, but you need something more than your own vow and your own promise when you are in that pit. And so the promise is made, but the problem is it will be repeated. Maybe more secretly, but you can't get out of that pit just by saying I'm going to promise it's going to be different from now on. And so that is the analysis as to what happens, especially when we struggle with that which is closest to us, namely our sexuality.

Maybe I can put it this way. When I was out on the farm and we had a gas can, it was always said don't ever light a match near a gas can because you know the fumes might actually light up and the gas can might explode. You and I have within us flammable material. And all that you really need is that match to go off.

All that you need is that outer stimuli and the traitor within is willing to open the gates to the enemy without and pretty soon you're carried away almost into another world, all fully justified until you see sin as it is and then you wonder what to do. Well where do we go from here? What is the answer? You know that in every one of these series of messages or I should say in every message I give you an assignment. Last time the assignment was to detox from the media for three consecutive days.

Could I ask a question? How many of you did that? How many of you detoxed? You know quite a few. I've gotten some very good testimonies about people who say how freeing it is to detox from the media.

Let me ask you another question. Did the world go on okay without you knowing about what was happening? Was there any problem with you detoxing from television, from movies?

I think that everything carried on. I detoxed this week, I detoxed the previous week and you know I'm beginning to like this detox idea to separate us from the media. That was last time. What is the assignment this time? I'm going to give it to you in a moment but your Bibles are open to the book of James. Would you now turn to James chapter 4. James chapter 4 where I believe that James now gives us an answer to what we have talked about. In James chapter 4 and I wish we had time to read the beginning of the chapter but we're going to jump in after a couple of verses.

I'm in verse 6 actually. Therefore it says, oh I should begin by saying he gives more grace. To you today who are struggling with sin and you have repeatedly made promises that you have broken and you think there is no help, please notice this. He gives more grace. There's more grace in God's heart than sin in your past but look at this. He gives more grace and God is opposed to the proud. Do you know that the Greek word really means God is at war with the proud? Why is it that so many people still continue to struggle with sin?

They go places where they shouldn't go and they swear it off and do it again. God wants to humble them because God is at war with the proud. You're a proud person. God is not on your side until you are humbled but he does give grace to the humble. Now in the next verses that follow, James gives 10 commands and what I've decided to do is to select three of those commands and we're going to learn what they are and your assignment is going to be to implement these three commands. The first command that James gives us here is to submit to God.

I'll read the text and then we'll go through them. Verse 7, submit yourselves therefore to God, resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands you sinners and purify your hearts you double-minded. Be wretched and mourn and weep.

You've got some repenting to do. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord and he will exalt you.

Alright are you ready for this week's assignment? First of all we must submit completely. Submit therefore to God. Now we normally don't do this here at the Moody Church but I want us to say together the words submit completely. So after I've given you instruction in fact right now let's say it together. Submit completely. Alright now you can do better than that now that you know it's okay to talk out loud in church. Submit completely.

Very good. Before you get up in the morning, taking as much time as you need, getting up earlier, maybe you do this while you're still in bed or maybe you do it as soon as you get out of bed, you submit to God as an act of worship. What you do is you say today God my life is yours all that I am is yours I give you my day with all of its busyness with all of its interruptions and challenges with all the emotions that I have I now give my day to you with gratitude and praise and I receive from your hand a promise and then you quote one of God's promises because what you need to do is to submit completely to God especially the thing that concerns you the most especially that habit that has you bound unconquered sin submit it to God. You know what the promise is here in the text we just read it draw near to God God will draw near to you you know God really is on your side God really does love you God really does want to fight for you you draw near to him he'll draw near to you and what you're going to do is to experience God in a new way as I'll indicate in a moment so the first thing that we have to remember is to submit completely the second is to resist continually let's say those words together resist continually resist the devil and he will flee now he'll be back this was evident in the ministry of Jesus you remember Jesus said begone Satan and quoted the word of God and it says in Luke after Satan left him he left him for a time but then he returned but what you're going to do is to resist Satan you quote verses of scripture you affirm the word of God and you say Satan has no authority over me which he doesn't because he's totally defeated but I will not go into Satan's territory I resist him in the name of Jesus and you resist I've told you this story before but it fits here so I'm going to tell it to you again many years ago when Rebecca and I logged on to America online I'll never forget that because that was rather historic day you know this thing called the internet and I remember now you know you could type in something like going to a library and and there were books you remember the days when you used to have to plug in and then maybe wait five or ten minutes for a phone line and all those things but you know you thought that that was the best of technology and since that time it has radically changed but now we were on America online that night I had one of three my first though demonic dreams it was horrific you don't want one three evil spirits in my dream which I still remember this day had me up in a corner and I felt totally completely helpless there's nothing that you can do because they have control over you you have no power to fight them can you imagine how happy I was when I woke up and found out that this was only a dream wow what a terrible dream you just wake up and you're shaking and then you realize thank God this was a dream this was in my opinion God's special gracious gift to me because it was as clear as anything that day we hooked up to America online that night I get the dream God was saying you now have something in your home that Satan wants to use to destroy you I have never forgotten that dream and never forgotten the lesson that God wanted me to learn yes I've seen some things at times on the internet perhaps I shouldn't have but if I never attempted to go into that other area or even to have some curiosity and to type in certain words or go to certain websites just to see what's there I remember the dream I have something in my home that Satan wants to use to destroy me and my dear male friend though I speak to the women too you have a computer you have something in your home that Satan wants to use to destroy you and I warn you don't go there don't don't worry about the curiosity thing as to what it looks like stay away stay away because that's demonic territory there are millions of men and women who are bound by pornography because of the internet that now makes it accessible instantly in all different varieties and supposedly of course with anonymity don't go there without compromise don't go there yes you may clap if you agree I have a friend or at least I can call him an acquaintance who was arrested for child pornography and I remember he and I we connect a couple times a year and we're there in my backyard and we're talking and he said something I would like to brand the mind and heart of every person in America this is what he said talking about how he got into it through pornography etc etc and how it led him down the path he said once you go on that path it'll take you places you never thought you'd ever go may I repeat that once you begin on that path it will take you places that you thought you'd never go resist the devil and he will flee from you so what do we do we submit completely we resist continually and later on in another message I'll give you some specific guidelines in terms of what to do when the temptation actually comes but we resist continually and then there's something else and that is we confess thoroughly say the words confess thoroughly he says cleanse your hands ye sinners purify your hearts you double-minded now it's not as if you know you can purify your own heart but there is such a thing as the cleansing of the conscience that God does of course God does it but what you and I need to do is to confess completely and thoroughly everything that God brings to our attention and then we receive not only his forgiveness we have to insist on cleansing you do know the difference don't you he is faithful and just to forgive us many Christians are forgiven but cleansing is the subjective work by which we not only are forgiven but we feel forgiven and our heart of condemnation is gone and that's what we need to do so that so that the the condemnation and the guilt has been taken care of and we give all that to God and we receive the cleansing that is ours in Jesus so what do we do now here's your assignment before you go to work in the morning either do this while you're still in bed though it may be a means by which you wake up an hour later so be careful either you do this before you get out of bed or when you get out of bed you have an assignment and that is you submit completely you resist continually and you confess thoroughly now can you look at me can we say these three actions together without even looking at the bulletin so that we know them so that when you wake up in the morning you know what to do let's say it together we submit completely resist continually confess thoroughly that's what you do in the evening I have another assignment for you and that is you memorize Psalm 1 Psalm 1 has six verses you know blessed is the man who walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly nor standeth in the state of sinners etc etc you memorize that so that you know that Psalm and don't go to bed at night having just watched the news or having watched something that perhaps is even impure don't do that no you have to end that so that you go to bed with a piece of God and then you wake up in peace as you give God your day did you know that there was a study in England that indicated that preschoolers who saw violent videos before they went to bed didn't sleep as well as those who didn't why am I glad for such studies I don't know how much they cost but who would have ever guessed that that would be the result I'm glad for these studies folks we've lost our minds we've lost our minds how can you sleep with all that on your conscience and in your subconscious as we conclude first of all remember victory is a process it's not an event it's a process not an event you see the average person says boy I want to just get alone with God and deal with this once for all and just yield to him and never be tempted again that probably will not happen anyone who's come out of alcoholism or drugs for every person who stands up and says you know God just delivered me like that and all of my desires are gone for every person who does that there are nine who say I've struggled and I've fallen but I continue to struggle until finally I'm free why doesn't God just zap us with victory oh longer story but there are things that we have to learn about the exceeding sinfulness of sin that we could never learn we'd say to ourselves well it's no big deal look at how God just delivered me the temptation to go back there again would be powerful it's Mark Twain of course I'm not addicted to smoking Mark Twain said I've quit a thousand times God says I want this person to struggle so they prove their love for me God has an entirely bigger agenda than simply zapping us with victory so the victory is there but usually it's a process of discipline with all kinds of practices that we even will talk about in future messages so victory is a process not an event secondly forgiveness is a gift it's not earned forgiveness is a gift it's not earned no matter what pit you find yourself in today remember this that no matter how deep the pit God is deeper still you say well pastor luther if my sins were piled up my sins would reach heaven and I say that the merit of Jesus is above them and greater than those sins pile up pile up your heap of sins God's grace is greater still you say I have a mountain of sin God comes along and he covers the mountain with a bigger mountain he gives grace and all because of Jesus Christ and the power of the cross that we heard about today the fact that when he died he died not just for nominal childish goody two-shoes sins no he died for what luther called damnable iniquities if you're here today and you're a great sinner I'll tell you what I have for you I commend to you a great savior who came to save us from our sins and to deliver us in our need as we conclude today we're going to be singing the song all to Jesus I surrender some of you know Christ as savior and you need to sing that song all of us need to sing that song because we need to experience God's deliverance and recognition that Jesus is our Lord if you don't know Christ as savior you can sing that song and even be saved while you're singing it if you understand that he is the savior who was crucified and rose again on behalf of your sin and you receive him also as we sing together there'll be prayer partners up here if they'd come and if you have a need today while we sing you can come and talk to them and pray with them because some of you need someone with whom to share your need and they are here to help you but first of all let us pray father in the midst of human weakness show your glory show your power we ask today Lord that the struggles of life that we might be reminded that your grace is sufficient and you pour grace on the humble may we humble ourselves in your blessed presence even as we surrender to the lordship and the glory of Jesus in whose name we pray amen you know my friend God always emphasizes our hearts the word heart is used in the Bible hundreds of times today God wants our hearts and I trust that all of us will submit to him and give him all that we are and all that we have I'm holding in my hands a book I've written entitled cries from the cross a journey into the heart of Jesus in the introduction I asked the question whether or not the cross is going to be remembered in heaven well perhaps you know the story when John was given a glimpse into heaven he says I saw a lamb looking as if it had been slain standing in the center of the throne encircled by the four living creatures and elders a lamb as if it had been slain yes we shall know him by the nail prints in his hands for a gift of any amount this book can be yours here's what you do go to RTW that's RTW or call us at 1-888-218-9337 let me give you that again RTW or 1-888-218-9337 you can write to us at running to win 1635 North LaSalle Boulevard Chicago Illinois 60614 first John chapter 2 says if anyone loves the world the love of the father is not in him next time on running to win we take a look at the great divide we all face as the media and the internet assault us with a deluge of impurity don't miss a message on loving the world loving God thanks for listening this is Dave McAllister running to win is sponsored by the Moody Church.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-06 02:08:36 / 2023-03-06 02:16:27 / 8

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