PURITY 101 – How to Say “No” to Ungodliness
All of these 101 tips come from chapters in my book 21-Day Purity Jumpstart. It is the foundational book for our ministry.
Saying no flies in the face of the sexual struggler. As a struggler, you have a long history of doing whatever you want to and pursuing whatever you desire. You have practiced saying yes to:
- Indulging in your fleshly desires
- Going to whatever sites you want to on the Internet
- Lusting after anyone you’re attracted to and fantasizing about them
- Viewing whatever shows you want on TV and in the movies
- Doing whatever you want with your body
The spirit of God changes everything. He gives us a newfound ability to say no and calls us to a life of self-control. Here is Paul talking to Titus:
“For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age,” Titus 2:11-12
Peter says it as well:
“I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul.” I Peter 2:11
Jesus tells us to say No in the form of denial:
“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” Mark 8:34
- Saying no begins with a relationship with Jesus. – You do not have the power within yourself to say no to sexual sin for the long-term. Eventually, your strength will run out and you will fail. Only Jesus can give you the ability to say no. You need to make sure you are connected to Him. Make sure you’re connected to the power source that can help you say no.
Action Step: Make sure you have a relationship with Jesus.
- Small “No’s” lead to bigger “No’s.” – As you practice saying no, you will get better at it. You start with what’s in front of you. Build your defense. Set up roadblocks. Set up good rules and boundaries. Say no to the bad things that are in front of you right now. They will prepare you for the bigger battles down the road. The guy new to the gym starts with the 10 lb. weights before he can move up to the 50 lb. weights.
- You must say no 1000 times. – Long-term purity builds up over time as you practice saying no. You need to practice consistently. Every time you say no to ungodliness you take another small step forward on God’s path toward sexual purity. Say no and repeat. Wash, rinse and repeat, right?
- Saying no means sacrifice. – It hurts to deny myself. It hurts to say no, especially if I am used to getting what I want. There is always sacrifice with self-discipline. I choose to say no now, so I can say yes to something greater.
I’m sure you didn’t pick up this book expecting me to tell you to suffer. You wanted a 21-day solution to your sexual struggles and you wanted it to be easy. I wish it were easy. I wish there was a pathway to sexual purity that didn’t involve pain, challenge and suffering.
You won’t be able to get stronger, become more efficient or build endurance without suffering. Think about the body builder. He shows up for his workouts religiously. He works his muscle groups by challenging them and pushing them to the point of fatigue. Then he rests, rehydrates, downs a whey powder banana shake and goes after it again. He does the hard work, but he’s got a bigger goal in mind.
Saying no to short-term pleasure gives you the opportunity to say yes to long-term fulfillment.
Let’s talk about God’s greater plan.
PRACTICE SAYING YES TO GOD’S GREATER PLAN
Saying no and denying self gets easier when you have a larger goal in mind. The bodybuilder thinks about his future physique. A runner thinks about finishing his race with a great time. The dieter thinks about fitting into a smaller pant or dress size.
Sexual purity brings a payoff for you. You will be healthy, whole, and not controlled by your urges. Purity will affect you emotionally, mentally, physically, and most importantly, spiritually.
Sexual purity brings a payoff in your relationships. You will be able to give more of yourself to your family, friends and others. You will be able to understand what true intimacy in your relationships look like. You will learn to respect and value others.
Sexual purity brings a payoff for the Kingdom of God. You will not have a divided heart. You will be able to serve God with integrity. Your sexuality, emotions, relationships and thought life will honor Him.
If you can get a glimpse of His greatness, His grace, His love and His plan for you, it will help you say no. The more you know God, the more you’ll come to understand that the rewards are much bigger when you decide to live by His rules. God doesn’t ask you to deny yourself and your fleshly desires to punish you. He has a better path in mind for you. God knows that the path of our evil desires will lead to death and destruction. He wants to preserve us from that. God wants to save you from regrets and foolish decisions.
“ See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. For I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in obedience to him, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the LORD your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess.” Deuteronomy 30:15-16
Action Step: Why are you saying yes to God? What’s the bigger picture you’re shooting for? What are your motivations? Write your reasons below.