In summary, do you see the common thread with these lies? Each one gives the power of impurity to something outside ourselves. The supposed danger is exposure to the nude form.
Remember Adam’s defense when God confronted him with his sin? Adam replied, “It’s not my fault… it’s the woman YOU gave me…” (Gen. 3:12 – paraphrased) On the surface, he blamed the woman… but in reality, he was blaming the God who gave him the woman.
Gentlemen, we do the same thing when God confronts us with our lust… we look God in the face and say, “It’s not my fault, it’s the women YOU made…” We are blaming God… It’s God’s fault because He made the women too attractive, and he made me visually aroused.
The Right Battle
Gentlemen, stop fighting the beauty of women. Ladies, stop fighting the attractiveness of men. Start fighting your lustful responses.
Let me leave you with one final thought from the Words of Jesus, Himself. Pastor Bill dealt with this passage before, but it’s worth reading again. Mark 7:15,17-22 (NIV emphasis mine):
“Nothing outside a man can make him ‘unclean’ by going into him. Rather, it is what comes out of a man that makes him ‘unclean.’”
After he had left the crowd and entered the house, his disciples asked him about this parable. “Are you so dull?” he asked. “Don’t you see that nothing that enters a man from the outside can make him ‘unclean’? For it doesn’t go into his heart but into his stomach, and then out of his body.”
He went on: “What comes out of a man is what makes him ‘unclean.’ For from within, out of men’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and make a man ‘unclean.’”
Of course, on the surface, Jesus was speaking about food, but His list of sins that originate in the heart shows that He had much more in mind than just food. And He included the very sins we’ve been talking about.
He clearly said that “nothing” can defile a man by entering him from the outside.
Nothing can cause us to have sinful responses simply because we are exposed to it.
This is true! And “nothing” means nothing! This includes visual images or anything that we might see. There is no visual stimulus which will cause you to lust against your will to do so. And until you recognize that, you will continue to fight… and lose… the wrong battle.
Living the Truth
So, how do you apply this?
Well, truth sets free, as we talked about before (article: Battling Pornography—What Does Work), we must put truth into practice if its power is to be released in us. We mentioned three steps to being set free by truth. In review, they are:
1. Look for and uncover the lie or lies that keep you bound to your sin.
2. Learn the truth of God that had formerly been supplanted by the lies.
3. Begin to live as if the truth is true instead of living as if the lie were true.
Hopefully, this article and the others you’ve read on this site have helped you discern #1 and #2.
But that third step is really up to you and the Lord.
Ask yourself these questions (They are really two sides of the same coin):
• How am I living/what am I doing that reflects a belief in the lies?
• How can I live/what can I do that would reflect the truth instead.
As food for thought, I would suggest that you no longer need to beat yourself up for enjoying the sight of a beautiful woman… be it her face or her body. But do not let your heart lust or let your mind go down those wrong paths. That might be hard at first, but it gets easier very quickly. As you admire her beauty, do so as if you were standing next to an artist admiring his artwork… because you are. Tell Him that you appreciate His handiwork. Ask Him to help you see it as He does.
I would also suggest that you will need to retrain your mind about nudity. Culturally, we have defined it as a sexual condition. You may need to find ways to experience it outside of a sexual context, even if only with your spouse or alone. The lies are really a house of cards. You’ll be amazed how quickly they fall.
Ultimately, it boils down to living by what is true. Know the truth and live it. The freedom you seek will overwhelm you.
This is our prayer for you.
— Pastor David Martin and the MCAG team
Bonus Article: The Renewed View of the Body