The eleventh in a series of 12 blogs answering anticipated objections to material set forth in A Way of Escape, i.e., the eleventh in a series of 12 blogs answering anticipated FAQs.
OBJECTION #11 (of 12)
With the best of intentions, the church leader cries out, “Neuroplasticity? Dopamine? Music videos? Whoa! You’re unnecessarily complicating the issue with a lot of peripheral, non-biblical talk. To win the war against the flesh, all a believer needs to do is ‘Let go and let God.’”
Rightly used, such expressions can be helpful. If they are understood to mean letting go of one’s own resources and self-will, and surrendering to God’s truth and power, the idea is scriptural. But this is often not the case. Rather, such expressions often lead to teaching the idea that Christian living is little more than passive submission to God, contrary to all the militant terms and commands for great effort that pervade the New Testament .
THREE MILITANT TERMS AND COMMANDS FOR GREAT EFFORT
A “Let go and let God” approach often leads to the Christian sitting on the sidelines, and simply watching God do battle for him. In the war against the flesh, such an approach will always leave the addict wallowing in the porn pit. If the addict is to escape, some measure of human effort is required. The Way of Escape Battle Plan begins with three (3) militant-like strikes:
1. Exercising Spiritual Gifts: How critical that the born-again believer discovers his spiritual gift(s), for they determine his function and purpose in the Body of Christ. A profession of faith, empty of follow-on good works, leaves the too-much-time-on-his-hands believer vulnerable to attacks of the flesh. But this need not be his continuing state. Enemy “incomings” can be greatly reduced by simply identifying his spiritual gifts, and then filling his idle, temptation-filled days with ministries that exercise these gifts. Some measure of human effort is required.
2. The Offending Eye Removed: The believer is to exercise extreme caution concerning those things that he allows to pass before his eyes. All materials that are pornographic in nature must go. Any electronic devices that bring these offensive materials before his eyes must also either go (preferred) or be effectively neutralized. The believer cannot win the war against the flesh if he is unwilling to let go of the devices that the enemy (the flesh) is using to trip him up. Some measure of human effort is again required.
3. Watch and Pray: When believers come to saving faith in Christ, they enter into a heated battle. Like it or not, their profession of faith enlists them as one of God’s soldiers in a battle between the flesh and the Spirit. But take heart, dear reader. There is much that can be done in the way of “watching and praying” to reduce attacks of the flesh (e.g., drop the passivity, avoid predictable attacks, diffuse surprise attacks). The Way of Escape Battle Plan teaches readers how to prevent the flesh from launching many of its attacks. Once more, some measure of human effort is required.
ACTIVE PURSUIT OF REGULAR RELATIONSHIP INTIMACY WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT
Even after executing these three militant-like strikes, most believers will still have only passive relationships with the Holy Spirit.
The Way of Escape Battle Plan is all about actively initiating intimate encounters with the Holy Spirit. And not only on Sunday mornings while seated in a church pew. A daily filling of the Spirit. Or even multiple times a day. As often as the sheltering presence of the Spirit is needed in the war against the flesh. The active pursuit of regular relationship intimacy with the Holy Spirit. This is the key to unleashing His inner-working power (Ephesians 3:20) and winning the war against the flesh.
A GAME-CHANGING BOOK HAS ARRIVED
In A Way of Escape, readers learn how to step up the degree to which they “walk in the Spirit” (Galatians 5:16). They learn how to build a library of Spirit-anointed, flesh-diffusing apps. Apps that are uniquely fitted to them, and their unique Spirit-filling triggers (Ephesians 5:18b-19).
I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh (Galatians 5:16).
The still-struggling now have another option. The still-struggling now have fresh hope for discovering that long-sought-after way of escape from sin and temptation (I Corinthians 10:13). A way that—because it is wholly Spirit-powered—does not require enlisting the aid of an accountability partner or group. Truly, a game-changer!
1. MacArthur, J., The MacArthur New Testament Commentary: Galatians, First Printing, Moody Publishers, Chicago, IL, page 153, 1987 (this entire 4-sentence paragraph is lifted from MacArthur’s Commentary)