Day 77+: Don't Wander
Well here we are at the end of this course. It's not really an end at all though, is it? More of a beginning if anything. This is the beginning of your lifelong walk towards complete and total freedom from sexual sin!
One of the first things you'll notice from this point on is that it'll be much easier to give into sin without the daily reminders that this course has offered. Human beings are extremely prone to wandering, much like that of sheep, who will even wander off the edge of cliffs if left unchecked. As a famous hymn says:
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.
Fortunately we are also creatures of habit. One of the intentions of this course (particularly its length) is to help you develop lifelong habits that will carry you on from here. These aren't ideas or concepts that we at The Risen made up. These are from the Bible. Reading the Bible, regular prayer, worship, and fellowship are all things that scripture commands us to do in order to walk the narrow road to life.
But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” -Matthew 4:4
If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. -John 15:7
God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” -John 4:24
DON'T NEGLECT GOOD HABITS
You've come a long way in 77 (or more) days. We've talked on both simple and tough things. Specifically we've addressed the habits that any Christian should make whether or not they struggle with sin, but especially if they do or have in the past. Below are a few of those key habits that you do not want to neglect going forward. Doing so will leave a part of your armor exposed to the enemy. How long before he finds that weakness and uses it against you?
We're mentioning this one first because usually it's the first one to go. There are many ways to stay in touch with your accountability partner. It doesn't always have to be a long drawn out conversation, but it DOES have to be daily. Daily we have to be asked the tough questions: "Were you free from all forms of sexual sin since the last time I asked?", "Have you experienced temptation of any form in subtle or intense ways?" These types of questions are vital to remaining pure because they give accountability to our thoughts and hearts when tempted.
Reading the Word
What was Christ's primary defense against the devil when tempted in the desert? The word of God! That didn't happen accidentally. Christ intentionally studied scripture with the intention of using it (among other things) to combat temptation when it came. The same is true for us. The Bible has been likened to a sword because that's exactly the way it acts in times of struggle. It's either dull and ineffective (the operator is inexperienced and cannot wield it properly - swinging it wildly, harming themselves in the process) or sharp and true. The more you study the word, the sharper your sword becomes and the better you become when wielding it. We recommend being in the word of God at least once daily.
Probably the most underestimated and neglected aspects of our faith is prayer. Since we don't always see immediate results, it's easy to just refuse to pray. We'll say things like, "God already knows what I want." or "The last time I prayed, nothing happened." There are things that these mortal eyes cannot see. There is a world at war around us and prayer gives us direct access to it. Don't just pray during temptation, but both before and after as well.
As time passes, things begin to creep into our lives that tempt us regularly. At first it seems so innocent and harmless, like a baby rattle snake. What we soon come to realize is that the venom of even the smallest stumbling block is potent and powerful. You may have already cut out sources of temptation throughout this course, but mark my words there will be others. It could be a new relationship, a new device, or a new environment. Whatever it is, cut it out of your life before it becomes a problem.
Our hope is that you've enjoyed going through this course and have experienced lasting victory from sexual sin. We take pride in being able to convey the word of God in such a way that people can walk through life victorious. As the final lesson comes to a close we want to offer you a certificate of completion as a reminder that you've walked this road and are committed to continuing in purity moving forward.
To prevent any misconceptions about what this is, let us be frank: the journey is far from over and The Risen is not a 1-2-3 step program to guarantee freedom. Only God can guarantee true lasting freedom; we're simply here to show you what tools are at your disposal. This final certificate should not become a source of pride, for it's only a piece of paper. It's what the paper represents -- a heart of stone being transformed into a heart of flesh-- that matters.
Finally, if you have not been experiencing freedom in the last 30 days (i.e. have fallen into any form of deliberate and habitual sexual sin) please do not move on until you've gone back through the course. This ought not to be discouraging, rather humbling. Realize that you're not the first to arrive here without having full and complete change. Indeed many have come this far and still experienced struggles. I repeated a cycle in my own life dozens of times before finally waking up and seeing all that I had been doing wrong. You are not alone and you are not a failure. You're like the rest of us, desperate sinners in need of a savior.
Day 77 Application
Have you wandered in the past? How will you ensure this doesn't happen again?
Ponder and log what you’ve learned in this course. How will you continue to utilize the truths you've learned?
How can you cultivate a lifestyle of intimacy with God, such that all your heart, mind, body, and soul will be involved?
What is required of you in order for you to remain sexually pure for the remainder of your days?
Take this opportunity to contact us and provide your thoughts on the course overall. Was there anything that you wish we would have discussed?