8/3/2010: Every Man’s Battle
2 This is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘I will punish the Amalekites for what they did to Israel when they waylaid them as they came up from Egypt.
3 Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy everything that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.’”
(1 Samuel 15:2-3)
7 Then Saul attacked the Amalekites all the way from Havilah to Shur, to the east of Egypt.
8 He took Agag king of the Amalekites alive, and all his people he totally destroyed with the sword.
9 But Saul and the army spared Agag and the best of the sheep and cattle, the fat calves and lambs—everything that was good. These they were unwilling to destroy completely, but everything that was despised and weak they totally destroyed.
(1 Samuel 15:7-9)
1 Samuel 15:22 But Samuel replied: “Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the LORD? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.
23 For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and arrogance like the evil of idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, he has rejected you as king.”
(1 Samuel 15:22-23)
Yesterday, I finally applied this passage to my life. I did guard duty so I had yesterday off. All throughout the day, I had the desire to release myself, to masturbate so I could release the pressure so I won’t sin against God more.
I was introduced to this concept when reading <i>Every Young Man’s Battle</i> by Fred Stoeker, Stephen Arterburn, and Mike Yorkey. Although the authors are not in agreement about this issue, the book said one way to release your built-up, sexual tension is to masturbate but only without thinking of girls, so you could release the sexual tension without sinning against God. But, the authors added, almost no men can do that! When a guy is experiencing sexual pleasure (by masturbating), it is almost impossible to block out thoughts of girls he likes. To be honest, I have only been successful once. Yes, this is a very personal and sensitive topic to discuss, but it still relates to my relationship with God. All the other times, I would go ahead and do it desiring to think of the girls partly because of my flesh but also to avoid the consequences of escalation (checking pornography).
I know the right thing to do is to resist the devil (my fleshly desires) until he flees from me. If I really put God first, I would trust and obey God. I would pray and pray until my desires are under control (I have been successful to some extent doing this). But, when the intensity of the desire hits, it’s very easy for me to compromise, to disobey God and instead, make sacrifices.
I would say, “After I release myself and in the process and sin against God a little bit, I would pray, worship, sing, devote, etc, etc to God.” In other words, He will be my number one again as soon as this sexual urge is released. Other times, I would get depressed because I lost this battle and would just play computer games to seek escape, which, in the long-term, would just makes things worse.
So that is what I did. I know I’m doing wrong, but I just can’t help myself. I am not strong enough yet. I would make deals with God. I would disobey God only to make sacrifices later. I am simply following the path of Saul.
I realize now the severity of my wrongdoing and will make a double effort to not sin against God in this area.
“<i>So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it</i>” (1 Corinthians 10:12-13).
I know that God will give me the strength to resist temptation if I fully seek Him. My help should not come from Egypt; it should not come from man, but, it should only come from God and through God.