During the morning of 11/17/2007, John Freeman (firstname.lastname@example.org) from Harvest USA
(http://www.harvestusa.org/) spoke at the men's prayer breakfast. It
was a blessing to be there. I would like to share his outline (with my notes) from his talk:
Keeping Yourselves From Idols: Living as Men of Integrity
.... In A Sex-Saturated Culture
- PURSUING HOLINESS IS GETTING MORE DIFFICULT THESE DAYS
- 90% of the guys who seek help at Harvest USA are believers.
- Baseball, Basketball, Football, NBC, and CBS combined do not
generate the $$$ the porn business does. In 2001, the porn
business was a $20 billion business! While Christians are
accused of trying to impose our views on others, the money seems
to show who is trying to impose.
- Something small can set a man on a downward spiral. You don't even
have to look for it. It's there.
- Dan Allender: With our sexualized culture (TV, media, magazines,
Internet, etc.), there isn't anyone, really, who has not been sexually
- UNADDRESSED SEXUAL STRUGGLES LEAD US TO BECOME ....
Roots of the problem are idolatry and unaddressed/unexamined sexual
struggles. DON'T MAKE PRAYER A NEGOTIATION.
- God Haters
Even believers can experience this! If there is a "slow simmering" of
an unexamined sin that seems unresolvable, it can lead to a slow
simmering that can lead to a "schizophrenic" love/hate relationship
with God. This, in turn, leads to an anger turned inward.
- Idol makers
- Idols Rob In 3 ways ...
- Idols rob us of the Truth & Grace we are to speak to our own hearts
and the hearts of others.
- Idols rob us of our confidence, love for, and excitement of things
of God and His work in the Church.
- Idols rob us of free worship and availability to God, which in turn
robs us of availability to others.
Sex is always about worship, a way we express leadership or rebellion.
Sex is a revealer of the heart. What's going on in the heart? So, we
need an acute awareness of what's going on in the heart. Sex and our
propensity to misuse it calls on our need for mercy, grace, and
accountability. Our proneness is to make idols.
Some of us don't want to give up "pet" sins because there's a "pay off."
There are 2 kinds of deserts:
- Ones entered freely as a response to go there - realization you
need nothing else but God.
- Ones where God puts us there.
(I like to think of 1. like Job and 2. like Saul. Isn't it true that
we may live the Christian life, regardless of circumstances in either
joy or grief)
We must desire God, not fill with something else.
Be continuously and desperately needy for God.
- RUTHLESS HONESTY --- The only way to live with integrity
- What Keeps Us From Going There?
We don't see the need. We need to see our need of the Gospel daily.
- He already knows us...what kind of people we are
God IMPUTES His Righteousness to you based on His work, not your one
thousand repentances (i.e. your works).
- THE ONLY WAY TO CHANGE OUR DARK DESIRES
- Cultivation: A New Love & Affection
Examine your heart frequently and confidently (in Christ) because God
knows us as we really are. We need more passion for the right things.
Idols don't disappear, but they can be disempowered. What cannot be
destroyed can be dispossessed. We're far too easily pleased with our
idols as C.S. Lewis says.
- The Expulsive Power of a New Affection.
We need to see Jesus' love in the pit.
- KNOWING THIS IS THE ONLY WAY WE WILL ATTEMPT TO LIVE LIFE IN ...
Accountability ---- (as opposed to Temptation & Sin Management)
Speaking truthfully about my temptation, sin, and condition of my
heart with another Christian brother. "Be unshockable and unrockable."
- Discipleship: Growing in faith and truth about who I am because of
Christ's relationship with me.
- Transparency: Living openly and without deceit, offering my life and
motives to the examination of others in the liberty given in Christ.