This post came from praying through Psalm 119. Verse 32 says, “I will run in the way of Your commandments when You enlarge my heart!”
Another translation says, “I will run in the way of Your commandments for You set my heart free!”
My father-in-law, Rick Jackson, on the football field called “Action Jackson” is a man to be remembered and imitated. He fought for purity in His own life and cared for men who were fighting for purity in their lives. God’s Word was his daily meditation in a life-transforming way, and his friendships with men were genuinely impactful. He was calm in his patient care for guys. He listened to their struggles and challenged them to find their contentment in Jesus Christ, to find all their delight in God and to experience lasting freedom from a predominate addiction to lust in its various forms.
If we want to see the Gospel showing up on the ground of our lives, see lives transformed – both our own and our friends’ – we have to be submitting our whole souls to the all-satisfying reality that God sets our hearts free through the death and in-dwelling life of Jesus Christ. I am not an extremely self-controlled guy naturally. My father-in-law and I had many conversations about lust and how to experience grace to change. He actually was a big help for me in the new battles of fighting for purity as you near a decade of marriage. I’d had some exciting longish seasons of victory over lust in my single years and in my early married years, but when we were having trouble with getting pregnant, I began to resent not having children. I began to allow myself to listen to the lies of the world, my sinful flesh, and the demonic/Satanic influences around me. I believed I needed someone or something to be happy here, when our contentment comes from God alone. True Christian contentment and usefulness comes in refreshing rhythms of the believer’s life!
Men, we have to be constantly saturated in God’s Word, God’s Spirit, and fellowship with God’s people. And, we must be giving of ourselves to each other in active accountability and even more importantly genuine friendship. “Accountability groups” fall short so often because they easily become blurt contexts instead of where we form fast friendships. We should be weaving into friendship with other men every day through texting, calling, bumping into for lunch/coffee/hikes/walks, emailing, and taking one another out of each other’s busy lives to be honest and seek genuine friendship.
One thing my father-in-law and I really were able to often agree was necessary for lasting change was this: Overcoming the temptation to merely blurt out confession of sin and instead seeking genuine friendships among men mutually seeking after God’s heart and in that context sharing about where we are at in our battle against sin. The great thing about this genuine friendship level of growth under God is that it allows for seeking to grow in so many more areas than just our battle against lust. As we fight for purity, however, we can’t help but to experience clarity to fight for godliness in so many other areas.
Men do best when fighting together for a cause. Men, let’s unite in fighting for the glory of God. More than that, let’s strive together to deepen in our walks with God individually and as a community of believers. As we do this, we are better equipped to lead and love our wives and children and non-believing friends into the excellence of Jesus Christ, the awesome worth of God as our absolute obsession.
Celebrating Christ with you, friends,
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