Whatever It Takes
February 11, 2014
Topic: Sermon Passage: Galatians 6:1–6:2
“WHATEVER IT TAKES”
The Bible clearly calls for Christians to be ACCOUNTABLE: Gal. 6:1-2.
2 crucial lessons emerge from this text:
If I am CAUGHT in a SIN, I need to be RESTORED by someone who is WALKING in the SPIRIT.
We can freed from pornography only when we are willing to acknowledge that we need the help of other Christians in order to change.
I need to be willing to PROVIDE ACCOUNTABILITY for SOMEONE ELSE.
We ALL – at SOME time – will NEED HELP from someone else. It may not be LONG before YOU need that help. That is why you need to be helpful to someone NOW who NEEDS you.
CHARACTERISTICS of EFFECTIVE ACCOUNTABILITY
It doesn’t RELY EXCLUSIVELY on accountability.
Not matter how:
FREQUENT the meetings; or
OPEN the confession; or
ENCOURAGING the group may be, it is NOT ENOUGH.
Is INVOLVED EARLY rather than LATE.
In many accountability groups, guys only report on the sin they have ALREADY COMMITTED, rather than ASKING for HELP with the TEMPTATIONS that PRECEDE sin.
Involves Someone with MATURITY.
You need someone who is MORE ADVANCED in this area of struggle than you are; someone who has a TRACK RECORD of VICTORY in the area of sexual purity.
Involves Someone with AUTHORITY.
Heb. 13:17: “Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as someone who will have to give an account.”
It’s more SOBERING to be called to repentance by a PASTOR than by another man in your group.
There are times when the ENTIRE CHURCH must be involved in the DISCIPLINE of a fellow member, & that process must be led by the CHURCH’S LEADERS.
AVOIDS EXPLICIT DETAILS.
DESCRIBING our struggles in a GRAPHIC way may only INTENSITY the TEMPTATION of those who are listening.
Enough DETAIL is needed to enable those who are helping you to know HOW to keep you accountable, but TOO MUCH DETAIL can FUEL TEMPTATION.
Those who hold you accountable NEED to KNOW details such as:
How you ACCESS porn;
How MUCH TIME you spend in viewing porn;
If the STYLE of porn you’re viewing is DIFFERENT from the “norm,” such as HOMOSEXUAL porn, or CHILD porn.
Places the RESPONSIBILITY of CONFESSION on the Person WITH the PROBLEM.
The WRONG approach: passively WAITING to provide ANSWERS to specific questions.
The RIGHT approach: TAKING the INTIATIVE to SHARE HOW they have sinned, & how they NEED HELP.
Actually HOLDS People ACCOUNTABLE.
In many groups, there’s a lot of REPORTING, but little actual ACCOUNTABILITY.
3 elements are necessary for TRUE accountability:
The COMMITMENT to DO MORE than merely ATTEND.
Instead, they must be willing & available to PRAY for you, to CHECK on you, to ANSWER your CALLS, etc.
Enough BIBLICAL KNOWLEDGE & PRACTICAL WISDOM to GUIDE you toward maturity.
A willingness to be committed LONG TERM.
Why do many people STRUGGLE with porn? Because it is so EASILY ACCESSIBLE.
If porn is EASILY ACCESSIBLE to you, you will LOOK at it sooner or later.
Consider the ADVICE of JESUS: Matt. 5:27-30.
WHY did Jesus use such STRONG LANGUAGE?
To AWAKEN you to the SERIOUSNESS of your sin; &
To ALERT you to the RADICAL MEASURES that are needed to DEAL WITH it.
There is a SERIOUS STANDARD.
True sexual PURITY requires MORE than merely the willingness to AVOID HAVING SEX with someone not your spouse.
Rather, it includes NOT WANTING to have sex with someone not your spouse.
There is a SERIOUS STRATEGY.
When we are tempted to SIN SEXUALLY, we must ACT AGGRESSIVELY – EVERY time we are tempted.
There are SERIOUS CONSEQUENCES for DISOBEDIENCE.
God does not FORBID sexual immorality because He wants to make your life MISERABLE.
Rather, He forbids it because it leads to BROKENNESS, SADNESS, EMPTINESS, DEATH, & HELL.
When do YOU LOOK at porn?
When you DESIRE to look at it;
When you have the TIME to look at it;
When it is AVAILABLE to you. Therefore, RADICAL MEASURES are needed to deal with it.
It BEGINS with our THOUGHTS. Actually VIEWING porn is the FINAL STOP on a process that began long ago.
You will know that you are FREE from porn when you have FULL ACCESS to it, yet NO DESIRE for it.
3 RADICAL MEASURES are needed to ACHIEVE this goal:
REPENT IMMEDIATELY – and you will need to do it REPEATEDLY.
Memorizing scripture is MORE than a worthy religious exercise; it is a powerful SPIRITUAL WEAPON available to us.
Ps. 119:11: “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.”
REACH OUT for HELP - & do it NOW, BEFORE you are in the MIDST of temptation.
MASTERING the USE of Your TIME
If one of your PASTORS or ACCOUNTABILITY partners were IN THE ROOM with you, would you probably VIEW PORN at that time?
It is when such people are AWAY - & you are ALONE – that you are tempted. Therefore:
LIMIT the AMOUNT of TIME that you spend ALONE.
CUTTING OFF ACCESS
If you view porn, you probably access the SAME SOURCES REPEATEDLY.
ACCESS must be ELIMINATED, not merely LIMITED.
RESTRICT your ability to VIEW MOVIES that you might PURCHASE.
SURRENDER DEVICES to your accountability partner; devices such as: DVD PLAYERS, TV’S, COMPUTERS, etc.
DESTROY any MOVIES, PICTURES, or MAGAZINES that you already possess.
RESTRICT your ability to KEEP PORN where you live.
Give your accountability partner(s) TOTAL ACCESS to your home. He should have permission to come when you’re NOT THERE, & to examine the most PRIVATE AREAS of your home.
RESTRICT your ability to TRAVEL FREELY.
Install SOFTWARE on your PHONE that enables your accountability partner to VERIFY your WHEREABOUTS.
RESTRICT your PURCHASING ABILITY.
Provide BANK PASSWORDS to someone who can MONITOR your TRANSACTIONS.
Provide RECEIPTS for any CASH purchases.
Ask someone to put PASSWORDS on your COMPUTER, PHONE, & TV that will make it IMPOSSIBLE for you to view porn on those devices.
Install ACCOUNTABILITY SOFTWARE (such as Covenant Eyes) on your computer & phone.
Get RID OF ANY EQUIPMENT that you use to view porn.
You DON’T NEED ELECTRONIC DEVICES, but you DO NEED to BE HOLY.
Be ready, then, to give your accountability partner an ITEMIZED HOTEL BILL.
Ask a hotel employee to REMOVE the TV from your room.
If you’re using SOMEONE ELSE’S devices to view porn, CONFESS that to them, & ask them to REMOVE those devices while you’re around.
Are you READY to GET SERIOUS?
Do you FULLY UNDERSTAND the SERIOUS CONSEQUENCES of your sin?
Keep this in mind, however:
RADICAL OUTWARD MEASURES, effective as they are, CANNOT CHANGE the HEART. Therefore:
You NEED MORE than a CHANGE in CIRCUMSTANCES; you need a change OF HEART.
ONLY JESUS has the POWER to change your heart, & He will:
If you truly REPENT of your sin; &
You ACCESS His FORGIVING & TRANSFORMING GRACE.
Are you READY to WIN the battle?