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by Mark Driscoll
Fornicating on the Battlefield
When I ask men about their sexual behavior, most guys are surprisingly honest when anonymity is a factor. We’ve spoken about porn, oral sex, prostitution, lust, marriage, thoughts, immorality, intimacy, desires, homosexuality, masturbation, sexual abuse, incest, greed, and idolatry. I’ve eaten meals with pastors, executives, bankers, doctors, religious people, church planters, frat guys, students, entrepreneurs, traffickers, and average guys that work 40 hours a week and stay relatively pure.
The Majority of Us Are Sexually Broken
Most of us had absent fathers. 1 in 5 of us were sexually abused. Every one of us has learned the art of concealing sin. Around 80% of men in the church are currently using pornography. Some of us don’t need a girlfriend because we’re in full-fledged relationship with our hand or laptop. And some of us know the feeling of cold emptiness after leaving a strip club or a brothel. Some of you men know what it's like to go to sleep next to an empty shell of a woman that used to be your wife because your infatuation with photoshopped women has extinguished the intimacy. You’re no longer lovers, you’re roommates with children. Some of you are fathers that see your sexual sin manifested in your children, but you’re too fearful to expose it in your own life regardless of the damage its doing to your marriage and family. “What if coming out with this stuff makes things worse?” is the only question you’ve thought of.
I know where you’re at. I know what you’re thinking. And I know the lies you’re deceived by. I’ve been where some of you are.
You Love Porn...And Jesus?
A good friend of mine has battled sexual addiction all of his life. He’s a graduate of Bible college and is part of a healthy church. He’s got a lovingly invasive community and has had numerous Godly mentors pushing him towards Jesus for the last 7 years, but he still uses pornography every chance he gets—disabling the X3 watch on his phone and computer. If he’s alone for longer than 30 minutes with an internet connection, he begins searching for filth. He still habitually masturbates. He lies about his sin. He conceals his secrets. He manipulates Christian women into sinning with him, then he lies about that. He exemplifies the epitome of selfishness and a lack of self control.
But he also calls Jesus his Lord…Are you that guy? It’s sometimes confusing to me when men can be sexually enslaved while following Jesus, yet that’s what the overwhelming majority of them tend to be living. Can the two coexist? Are they diametrically opposed? Isn’t one the antithesis of the other?
I’m not going to quote your favorite authors or offer free accountability software. I don’t have a PDF to read or an invitation to a men’s conference. You’ve probably already tried those things. You’ve read books and made countless commitments, which you’ve broken. You’ve tried accountability. You’ve gone through a “freedom season.” You’ve confessed your sin. You’ve been rebuked. You’ve disconnected the internet. You’ve been kicked out of the house. You’ve destroyed the computer. You’ve memorized the Word of God. You’ve pleaded with Jesus to remove the thorn in your flesh. You’ve shouted, screamed, and wept. You’ve tried everything and you’re still shackled.
A Different Kind of Image
Just imagine for a moment that this is reality: You’re on a battlefield. It’s dark. Chaotic. Cold wind is whipping your face. The stench of death fills the air. Corpses of demons lie all around you and the field is soaked in blood. You can hear the sounds of armor and weapons colliding while sparks are flying. Screams pierce your ears.
You see chiseled, powerful beings radiating in white and they’re destroying shadows, gripping the throats of principalities and slitting them with iridescent blades. But you’re without armor. You wonder how you got to this place and why you came unprepared.
Since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.
Men that you recognize are rushing the opposite direction—spears aligned, ready to throw. Swords sharpened, shields fixed, helmets lowered they’re ready for battle. They’re calling for you to join them. They’re rushing for the the front lines—they’re unafraid. They know they’ve been given victory.
But not you. You’ve got your pants down around your ankles. You’re roaming in circles looking for the seductress that’s calling you by name. You can’t wait to fornicate on the battlefield.
And all the while, the kingdom is coming. The lost are being found. The sick are being healed. Demonic assignments are being cancelled. The veil is being lifted off of false religion and the persecuted church is exponentially growing in the face of opposition. Jesus is authoritatively mediating a covenant—the Spirit is interceding for the children of God, breathing life into dry bones.
You? You want an orgasm.
A Reminder of Who You Are
- You are God’s child
- You are a friend of Jesus
- You have been justified
- You’ve been united with the Lord and are one with him in Spirit
1 Corinthians 6:17
- You’ve been bought with a price…you belong to God
1 Corinthians 6:19-20
- You’re a member of Christ’s body
1 Corinthians 12:27
- You’ve been chosen by God and adopted as his child
- You’ve been redeemed and forgiven of all your sins
- You are complete in Christ
- You have direct access to the throne of grace through Jesus
- You are free from condemnation
- You cannot be separated from the love of God
- You are free from any condemning charges against you
- You’ve been established, anointed, and sealed
2 Corinthians 1:21-22
- You were washed…you were sanctified. You were justified in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God
1 Cor 6:11
- You are hidden with Christ in God
- God started this work in you, and he will bring it to completion
- You are a citizen of heaven
- You haven’t been given a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind
2 Timothy 1:7
- You are born of God, and the evil one cannot touch you
1 John 5:18
- You are a branch of Jesus Christ, the true vine, and a channel of his life
- You have been chosen and appointed to bear fruit
- You are God’s temple
1 Corinthians 3:16
- You are a minister of reconciliation
2 Corinthians 5:17-21
- You are seated with Jesus Christ in the heavenly realm
- You are God’s workmanship
- You can approach God with freedom and confidence – not because of your obedience, but because of Jesus’ obedience
- When you are faithless, he will remain faithful, because he cannot deny himself
2 Timothy 2:13
Fix Your Eyes on Jesus
Since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him, he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you as a father addresses his son? (Hebrews 12:1-5).
You've been eating with the pigs long enough. Come home, son.