Walter Scott once said, “A rusty nail placed near a faithful compass, will sway it from the truth and wreck the Argosy”

For over a decade I have had the privilege of walking along side numerous pastors and missionaries after the enemy has “placed a rusty nail” next to their moral compass resulting in ship-wrecked lives and ministries. On the other hand, I have witnessed God’s miraculous restoration and healing as God’s grace and forgiveness has prevailed. As a pastor myself, I recognize that there have been times when the magnetism of sin was strong, and could have easily directed my journey onto a destructive path as had happened to others.

In an overly sexualized society where temptation runs rampant through every type of media, how does one keep sexually pure?

“A rusty nail placed near a faithful compass, will say it from the truth and wreck the Argosy.” (Walter Scott)

Here’s several things that I and others have used to fight this battle of the flesh:

1. Make a Covenant

“I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a young woman.” (Job 31:1). A Covenant is a binding agreement. In fact, in Job’s day, making a covenant often meant cutting an animal in half, meaning that once the covenant was made there was no turning back. In this case, Job Made a binding agreement with his eyes that when a lustful scene presented itself, he “bound” or “willed” his eyes to look the other way. The Bible does not command this covenant. What is commanded is absolute purity (Col. 3:5). However, this covenant is a powerful first step to freedom in our thought life. The reason this is so important is that the eye is the primary gate to our sexuality. As Bob Sorge points out, “only when our eye gate is sealed from tempting sights can we find and hold the high ground of purity.

2. Have a plan

When soldiers go into a modern-day war zone, they don’t just march in haphazardly firing their weapons. They have a battle plan. Why is it then, that temptation so often catches us by surprise? I believe it is because we fail to have a spiritual battle plan. There are three things every soldier must know: Who the enemy is, who the leader is, and how to use his or her spiritual weapons. I encourage those I work with to actually write out a battle plan: “when tempted to ___________, I will _______________ .” If you are interested in a sample battle plan, contact me.

3. Have an accountability partner

“Anyone who is not held to accountability is a danger to himself, the people he or she leads, and the organization he or she represents” (Greg Salciccioli, The Enemies of Excellence). Clearly, when it comes to spiritual growth and overcoming the battle of the flesh, an accountability partner is a must. This person will help keep us focused on winning the war of the flesh. An accountability partner must be a person of integrity, confidentiality, and a close enough friend that will not be afraid to ask the hard questions, and a close enough friend that you are not afraid to talk to about every corner of your heart. If you don’t presently have an accountability partner, it will be a process to find the right person- but frankly, this is one person in your life you don’t want to be without!