(note: this newsletter was originally published on a hot summer’s day in the ‘D’ – Detroit :0)
Summer is here!
The temperature is rising.
The sun is HOT! BBQ grills are going, and folks are seemingly making every excuse to get together.
With increased temperatures seem to come a decrease in one’s wardrobe more women are scantily clad, and some men are shirtless showing biceps and triceps. Not only that, old boyfriends or old
girlfriends who you thought you would never hear from again somehow find your number
and call you out the blue. Old beaus you used to mess with find you at an outing or a
picnic. People you rejected months ago start looking good to you all of a sudden as
you email them asking for their phone number.
What’s a single saved man or woman of God to do?
Well the key is to resist temptation!
Just because the temperature is rising doesn’t mean your flesh has to as well. However,
what it does mean is because the flesh is generally more vulnerable during the
summertime, you have to make a conscious effort, as a single believer wanting to
please God with his or her body and lifestyle, to keep it under subjection.
How do you do that, you might ask?
The Apostle Paul says in 1 Corinthians 9:27, But I keep under my body, and bring it
into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself
should be a castaway. The Amplified Bible’s translation says this, But [like a boxer]
I buffet my body [handle it roughly, discipline it by hardships] and subdue it, for
fear that after proclaiming to others the Gospel and things pertaining to it, I myself
should become unfit [not stand the test, be unapproved and rejected as a counterfeit].
Paul said a mouthful!
There are a couple things to note in this passage of Scripture. The first thing is
that Paul makes it very clear whose responsibility it is to keep one’s body under, or
buffet one’s body like a boxer.
It is your responsibility and not God’s.
The word buffet in Webster’s 1828 edition Dictionary means to strike, to box, and to
beat. You have to speak to your flesh, even if it means becoming violent with it.
You have to command it to line up with God’s Word.
Like Paul said in Galatians 5:24, And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh
with the affections and lusts. The word, crucified, in this Scripture in the Greek
means, to extingish or subdue passion or selfishness. The flesh is selfish. The flesh
wants what it wants now, no matter the consequences, no matter who it hurts the flesh
gotta have it.
However, the Spirit man, or the real you wants to please God.
The Spirit man doesn’t want to hurt God by not treating his or her body like God’s
temple that it really is. The Spirit man doesn’t want to cause the anointing on one’s
life to decrease because of the fulfillment of one night of so-called fun and selfish
pleasures. The Spirit man want to do right by God, and reap all the benefits of
righteousness if one keeps the faith and doesn’t give in to the temptation.
The second part of 1 Corinthians 9:27 is that Paul says he keeps his body under and
subdues it so he doesn’t feel like a hypocrite if he stands behind the pulpit telling
others to live holy while he himself isn’t doing it. We all know that there are tons
of hypocrites out there, or as some call it, counterfeit Christians, but God knows
the truth. What I like about Paul is at least he’s being honest with himself and
admitting to always having to keep his flesh in check not just to please God, but
also so the anointing on his life to preach and be a light and a testimony to others
won’t be adversely affected.
Single believer, the anointing of God on your life is for other people.
Know that one night of rolling around in the hay with someone of the opposite sex
won’t just affect you spiritually and maybe even physically if, God forbid, you
acquire an STD, but it’ll also affect the people God had in mind for you to touch
with the Word of God and possibly be used by God to save their souls. Here, Paul
understands this. It could also stop the power of God on your life and possibly
derail the plan and purpose He had in mind for you if you continue in a life of
unconfessed, or unacknowledged sin. If you ask me, it’s not worth it.
Another way one can resist temptation is to guard the gates. No, not the pearly gates,
but the gates which I refer to as passageways to the soul (which is the mind, will and
emotions). Some of these gates include the eye gates and the ear gates.
Be careful of what you allow your eyes to see. Men, if you’re walking down the street
and you see a woman wearing daisy dukes (do folks still wear those?) do what my
Bishop calls, the Holy turn. This basically means you may see her at first, but then
you immediately turn your head the other way. This way, your brain isn’t given much
time to stamp that woman’s image in your brain for it to come up again later as
you’re about to go to sleep. Also, saints of God, you can’t go see every movie that
comes out on the big screen. And, speaking of screens, stay off internet porn sites!
Pornography can create a definite stronghold that could leave anyone, believer or
non-believer, coming back for more. It dehumanizes people and turns them into mere sex
objects, and creates false, ungodly expectations which even plagues some marriages.
Guard your eyes, protect and keep them from evil.
For some of you, if you could be honest with yourself, it means not being able to
frequent MySpace as much. Don’t let ungodly vixens and sexy men trap you into spending
hours and hours on MySpace, feeding your flesh, and spending less and less time in God’s
Guard what you see, and also guard what you hear. If you’re already battling with
your flesh every night, it may not be a good idea to pop in R. Kelly’s, I don’t see
nothing wrong with a little bump and grind while you’re on your way to Bible study.
That song may have you making a U-turn to your old girlfriends house – you remember her? –
the one who used to give it up at the drop of a hat.
I heard an awesome statement from my co-pastor last week, and I would like to share it
with you. He said that every sin starts with a thought. That is so true. Think about it.
Before you slipped, before you ended up in the bed with that other person, then having to
repent on Sunday morning, you thought about that thing. For this reason, I’m not a
believer of the phrase, It just happened. Nothing just happens.
It starts with a thought, then a phone call, then an invitation to come over, then the
mood is set with the music and a romantic atmosphere, then you look deep into each other’s
eyes, then you think about how you really like this person, then ya’ll have dinner,
sit down in front of the T.V., then you’re on the couch kissing each another, and now
he’s leading you to the bedroom, then off come your panties and you have pre-marital
and un sanctioned by God sex. At any given moment there was an opportunity to say no
and stop what was about to go down.
What could prevent it from going down in the first place is to not set up an atmosphere
for failure…i.e. late night calls over for dinner when you know you think this man is
Also, the main thing that keeps a believer from falling is the Word of God.
Meditating on the Word every day, reading Romans 6 and Romans 7 in the midst of flesh
battles every day, praying and running to God when you get the urge instead of running
to the telephone, keeps the believer from falling into sexual sin.
One of my favorite Scriptures, Jude 1:24 reads, Now unto him that is able to keep you
from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with
exceeding joy, This Scripture lets me know that there is a place in God where you
can be kept from falling.
Sure, you may fall, and Lord knows He’ll forgive you if you repent (i.e. turn away from
the sin) and He’ll allow you to get back up again . . . but there is a place where you
can trust God that He can keep you from falling if you acknowledge Him in all your ways,
keep your mind stayed on Him, and keep your Spirit man strong by doing those things I
previously mentioned, and by crucifying your flesh daily.
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