April’s Prayer Focus: Sexual Immorality
It was a blow to hear the news of Frank Page stepping down from his role as President and CEO of the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee after years of incredible work and devotion to our beloved SBC. Each man I spoke with who knew Frank was totally surprised by the news of his inappropriate relationship (the details of which we still do not know and something he, respectably, self-"out-ed"). Everyone spoke so highly of his character and leadership. It even pains me to reference him here...a respected man...one no one thought would succumb to temptation in this way...yet his situation is not new to Christians and certainly not new to Christian leaders, either.
Ephesians 4:27 - "...and do not give the enemy a foothold."
There's an incredible account from the Battle of Gettysburg in July, 1863 where, after taking a brutal beating by the Confederates in the first day, the Federalist Army by nightfall was finally able to hold and fortify their position on a high ground south of the town. Once they were secure, it is said that one Northern General then began to shout...
"DON'T GIVE THEM AN INCH, BOYS!"
Take nothing away from the emotion of that moment. An army which was all but lost in this war...a war which reduced many of their homes to rubble, destroyed families, pitted brother against brother, neighbor against neighbor...these starved and battle worn men were told to hold their ground with their lives and for the sake of the many who depended on them to win their freedom. What followed the next day was one of the most devastating and bloodiest battles of the war, yet this 3-day battle is widely viewed as the turning point in the war in which those same "boys" saw a victory only a couple years later.
It is with that same attention and fervor that you must view the attacks of the enemy against your purity and sexual desires. Hold your ground! Brothers at your side. Weapon in hand. Surrounded with a fortification all intending to push back on an enemy that wants nothing more than to cause you to stumble one small compromise at a time.
The band Casting Crowns nailed it a few years ago with their hit song, "Slow Fade"...
It's a slow fade when you give yourself away
It's a slow fade when black and white are turned to gray
And thoughts invade, choices are made, a price will be paid
When you give yourself away
People never crumble in a day
The journey from your mind to your hands
Is shorter than you're thinking
Be careful if you think you stand
You just might be sinking
Pray these verses over your battle this month:
- Your high ground to hold
1 Peter 1:16, Romans 7:4, Eph 2:10, Phil 1:27
- Your brothers in the fight
Proverbs 27:17, 2 Kings 2:2, Proverbs 13:20, Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
- The weapon to fight back
2 Tim 3:16-17, Rom 8:26, Psalm 46:1-2
- The plan to win
1 Timothy 4:7, Galatians 5:16, 1 Cor 6:18, 9:27, Romans 12:2
- The fortification in his promises for us
1 Cor 10:13, John 10:28-30, Romans 8:1, 33-34
“Why am I really Facebook friends with her?” “I don't have to include her husband on this email.” “Is this appropriate that we talk 1-to-1 like this for this long?” “Why did I shut my office door?” “I can't control the banner ads on this sports site I go to every day...several times a day. I can look at that stuff, it doesn't affect me.”
Don't fool yourself. Don't lose heart. And, don't give him an inch, boys!
Men's Ministry Update:
We have a fun-filled Spring and Summer coming up. Check out the events. This year, to promote Godly fellowship, fun, and fatherhood we're running 2 camping trips:
May 4-6 High adventure canoe/kayak trip for all men and older kids.
June 15-17 Our younger kid-friendly or non-camping-dads trip.
Unsure which category you fit in? Let's just say, if you need that queen-size blow up air mattress in your tent, then I'll see you in June.