Do you have one of these in your backyard? It’s a fire pit. They’ve become pretty popular in the last number of years. We have one in our backyard … or we did have. It’s actually here now. (Laughter) My wife after the service last weekend … she was like, “I wondered what happened to that.” It’s part of being married to a preacher. Anything is fair game for the sermon. So this is our fire pit from home. And the kids love it. They’re kind of at that age where they enjoy being outdoors and roasting hot dogs and making s’mores. So we’ll get a fire going in the fire pit and we’ll use it for cooking. In the fall and the spring it’s kind of nice on a cool evening to go out, and we’ll gather around the fire pit and we’ll use it for heat. Even on a hot summer night sometimes we’ll get the fire going. It’s a nice, kind of relaxing source of light. So fire in a fire pit is a great thing. It’s good for cooking and for warmth. It’s good to, you know, light up the night air. But it’s interesting. There are quite a bit of warnings that come with a fire pit. Now I wouldn’t have guessed this, but I pulled up online the manual that goes with this fire pit and there are all kinds of warnings. For example, one warning is, “Don’t use it indoors.” Seems obvious but it’s good to know. For some of us, we need that extra help. And it says, “Don’t use it on a wood surface,” which actually I’ve used it on the deck before, but apparently that’s not a good idea. “Don’t use it in windy conditions” is one of the warnings that comes with the fire pit. “Don’t use gasoline to start the fire in the fire pit,” which, admittedly, I had done that and learned the hard way it’s not a good idea. The explosion was so loud—it’s true, it’s true—that neighbors came from outside their homes to see, you know, what the preacher had done now. (Laughter) It got rid of the unibrow, though, so that’s… (More laughter) In all things God works for good. That’s what the Bible says. So it also said, “Don’t let children get too close to the fire,” and that’s true with fire, right? I mean, you don’t want children to get close. It requires constant supervision. They warned about the importance of always having a hose nearby or some kind of a fire extinguisher just in case. And there are all these warnings that go along with the fire pit. Why? Because fire inside the fire pit is very helpful. It’s a good thing. I mean, it serves a great purpose. But fire outside the fire pit can be very dangerous. It can become very destructive.
This is how the Bible talks to us about sexual sin. Sexual sin is…or sex is not necessarily sinful if it’s used and if it’s practiced in the context that God created. Sex between a husband and wife in a married relationship is a beautiful thing. It’s a great gift from God. Next week we’re going to talk a little bit more about this and finding fulfillment, sexual satisfaction, within marriage. It’s great within the fire pit, but outside that (the) fire of sexual sin then can become very destructive. It can do all kinds of damage. So there are all kinds of warnings in Scripture—warnings that go along with sex. It appears that God gives us this gift of sex, but then He warns us about where we should not use it and how it should not be practiced, because it’s a powerful thing. And outside of the context for which He created it, it can become very dangerous and very destructive.
So in this series we’re talking about sexual sin, and we are seeing just some of the devastation, some of the destruction that it can bring. The Bible… In Job chapter 31, Job describes lust as a fire. Here is what he writes in verses 11 and 12. He says, “Lust is a shameful sin. It is a fire that burns all the way to hell.” Then Job says, “It would destroy everything. It would wipe out everything I own.” And he just identifies how dangerous this fire can be when it’s outside of the fire pit, when it’s outside the context for which God created it. “It could destroy everything I own.”
And what we’re doing right now in this series is we’re looking at some different stories where the fire of sexual sin has caused destruction. Last week we looked at King David and his affair with Bathsheba from 2 Samuel 11 and chapter 12. This week we’re going to be in 2 Samuel 13. So if you have your Bible you can go ahead and turn there—2 Samuel 13.
Last week it was David and Bathsheba; this week (the very next chapter) it was David’s son Amnon. It’s not surprising, in some ways, to see a son following in his father’s footsteps of sexual sin. I’m sure it would’ve been difficult for David to talk to his son about such things, because his son would’ve known full well about David’s immorality and about his multiple wives and about his affair with Bathsheba. So we read in 2 Samuel 13 (about) Amnon creating his own fire that’s going to cause all kinds of devastation. I would encourage you to go home and read this story. I’m going to take just a minute or two and tell it to you. The story begins in chapter 13 with Amnon being absolutely obsessed with his beautiful half-sister Tamar. He’s just filled with lust for her. He fantasizes over her to the point where this is all he thinks about. It’s all he’s focused on and he’s just obsessed with the fact that he cannot sleep with Tamar. It gets to the point where it just is dominating his life and people around him know something isn’t right. Eventually one of his friends comes to Amnon and says, “You haven’t been yourself lately. What’s going on? What’s the problem?” And Amnon explains to his friend that he’s just obsessed; he’s filled with lust; he has this desire for Tamar but he can’t really do anything about it.
What’s he supposed to do? And this friend says, “Well, if you have a desire … if you have a desire, the way you get rid of the desire is to satisfy it.” And that’s the message that many of us have heard when it comes to sexual temptation. “If you have a desire, then the way you deal with it is you satisfy it.” That’s what this friend says to Amnon; then he goes on to tell Amnon how to do this. Now Amnon’s friend here … you know he’s no … he’s not an accountability partner, right? I mean, he’s not a spiritual encourager. His friend’s an idiot. And his friend says to Amnon, “Here is what you do. You pretend to be violently ill and your father David…King David…he’s going to come and check on you. And when he checks on you, you say, ‘You know, I feel so sick, but what might make a difference is if I got some of Tamar’s famous homemade bread. If she made me some of that bread, it might make me feel better.’ Then your father, King David…he’s going to go tell Tamar to make you the bread, and when she comes into your room and she makes the bread…you know what to do from there.” And Amnon thinks this is a good suggestion, so this is what he does. Tamar comes into his room and she begins to prepare the bread. And he just is obsessing. He’s lusting; he’s fantasizing. She walks over to feed him this piece of bread and he grabs her by the arm, and he says pointblank, “I want to have sex with you.” And she says, “No, no! How could we do such a horrible thing in the sight of God and the sight of our father?” And we read this heartbreaking verse in 2 Samuel 13:14. It says, “But he refused to listen to her, and since he was stronger than she, he raped her.” And she is destroyed, and she runs out of his chambers tearing her garments as an indication that she is no longer a virgin. My heart breaks for Tamar here. Just breaks.
And my heart breaks for some of the Tamars in this room. And you know how she feels. A few minutes … your life changes. You know the devastation that she feels, the shame—even though it wasn’t her fault. She’s burned badly by this uncontrolled and uncontained fire of Amnon.
She has another brother named Absalom and Absalom kind of figures out what’s going on. And in verse 20 of chapter 13:
Her brother Absalom said to her, “Has your brother Amnon had his way with you? Now, my dear sister, let’s keep this quiet. This is a family matter. He is, after all, your brother. Don’t take this so hard.” And Tamar lived in her brother Absalom’s home bitter and desolate.
Don’t take it so hard? She’s covered in third degree burns from head to toe, and her brother says, “Let’s just pretend that this never happened.” Well, it doesn’t work that way. She is devastated! I am so sorry for those in this room who have been sexually abused, taken advantage of. You finally get the courage to pull that out of the darkness and you tell somebody and they say, “Don’t take it so hard. Let’s keep this in the family. Let’s just sweep this under the rug. Let’s just pretend like that day never happened.” And you go back into the darkness and the shame grows and bitterness grows and anger grows. Absalom may have meant well, but he gives Tamar the worst possible advice when he says, “Let’s not make a big deal out of it. Let’s keep it a secret.” Don’t keep it a secret. Pull this into the light. Listen, God can take the broken pieces and He can put it back together and He can make it something beautiful, but He does His work in the light. He does not do His work in the darkness. And don’t go through this alone. This is too big to go through alone and you need other people who can walk with you through this. There are others who know how you feel, and I could give you many examples of people who went through this and they have experienced God’s grace and mercy and God has put pieces back together again. It’s what He does. It is what He does. But He does it in the light.
And to those of you … to those of you in this room who would dare take advantage of one of God’s sons or one of God’s daughters, Jesus says to you in Matthew 18, “If you should take advantage of the simple trust of one of these children, it is better for you if a boulder is tied around your neck and you drown in a lake than to face the doomsday that is coming to you.” God has seen what you have done. He will not be mocked. God will have His vengeance—if not in this life, the next. Eventually Amnon gets his. Absalom has him killed for what he did to the sister Tamar.
Now we read the story and on one hand it doesn’t relate. I think, for many of us, we see this extreme story in 2 Samuel 13 and we just can’t imagine ever going there. It just seems too extreme. Now some of you know full well what that story is like, because in a way you’ve lived this. I mean, you’ve seen what kind of damage this fire can do. But for others of you, you read a story like that and it just … well, your fire just seems pretty … pretty safe. I mean, your problem with pornography or the little flirtation at the office, that’s no big deal because, I mean, you’re not caught up in anything like that. But you’ve got to understand that’s the nature of a fire. The nature of a fire is that it starts small and it grows and it grows and it consumes and it devastates. It destroys.
So how do we stop the destruction now? How do we extinguish the fire now? Last week we talked about some habits that we can address when it comes to sexual sin. We looked up some behavioral change. This week I want us to address more the head and our thinking. The Bible says in Romans 1 of those who are sexually depraved that they exchange the truth of God for a lie. They exchange the truth of what God said about sex for what the world said about sex. Whether we know it or not or whether we fully even want to acknowledge it or not, a lot of our understanding, our views, our perspective on sex has been shaped by our culture. We’ve traded, in many ways, the truth of God for the lies of our world without even knowing it sometimes. So I want to identify a few of the lies that we’ve bought into (and) expose those with the truth of God’s Word.
One lie that many of us have kind of gotten caught up in is this lie that, “I can play with fire and I won’t get burned. I won’t get burned.” I mean, that’s kind of the consistent message of our culture when it comes to sex outside the fire pit, when it’s outside the context of God’s design and instruction. We think, “Well, there are not going to be any consequences here,” because so much of what we see portrayed and so much of what our culture holds up … you see the pleasure side of it and you see the fantasy side but they never finish the fantasy. You never see the destruction. You never see the scars and the burns. So we think, “Well, I can play with this and I’m not going to get burned.”
Last Saturday night in the Post, after I preached the message, we had a live question/answer time where the students (college age, young adults) would text in their questions and then they would come up on the screen. The first question that came up on the screen was, “Can you touch on why ‘friends with benefits’ isn’t a good idea?” Friends with benefits—meaning you have a friend … just a friend … but it’s a friend that the person does sexual things with. Why … why is that such a big deal? I mean, I understand why the Amnon and Tamar thing is a problem, but if it’s between two consenting adults, what’s the problem with that? And that’s kind of the mentality that we are constantly being fed. What’s interesting, though, (is that) the very next question that came up on the screen was this: “My husband likes pornography but he doesn’t like to have sex with me. What should I do?” And suddenly you start to realize that maybe you’ve underestimated this fire that has grown inside. The Bible says in Proverbs chapter 6 … it asks this question: “Can a man scoop fire into his lap and not get burned?” You can’t play with this fire and not be burned by it. And one of the things I’ve just discovered is that, in many ways, this church is a bit of a burn unit. It’s a burn unit, because all of us … one degree or another … they may be first, second, third degree burns, but all of us have some burns from sexual sin—either our own or someone else’s.
So I have heard many stories. Many burn victims have told me their stories. So a woman begins with a little spark at the office and innocent flirtation. It turns into an affair and this fire just destroys her home and her marriage. A number of men confess for the very first time … send me an email, leave me a phone message … the first time in thirty, forty years they confess this sin of pornography, the struggle they have with lust. And as they confess, they realize, in some ways … they acknowledge for the first time what they’ve lost in the fire. College students are scared because of what they’re viewing online they wouldn’t have imagine looking at six months ago, but the fire has just consumed even more. A young lady explains that she’s been living this life of secret sexual sin through Facebook and Craig’s List. Nobody knows about it. Another man writes in and says, “You know, ten years ago…if you would’ve just done this series ten years ago, maybe things would be different, but after a decade of hiding sexual sin, you know, I’ve lost everything.” He’s lost everything in the fire.
You cannot play with this and not be burned. If sex is used outside of how God created it, it’s going to leave some scars. There are going to be burns. I think we sometimes assume, especially with lust, that, “Hey, if it’s just in my mind … if it’s just in my mind I’m not hurting anyone. If nobody else is involved, if it’s just my thoughts, what’s the problem?” And what we don’t understand is that we are, with every thought, we are poisoning relationships. We are poisoning how we see the opposite sex. The Bible warns us that it’s our thoughts that shape our life. Proverbs 4:23 says, “Be careful how you think because your thoughts run your life.” Your thoughts run your life.
And I think one of the appeals of porn for many people is they think, “Well, it’s just in my mind. It’s just my thoughts.” Yet we’re seeing more and more secular research showing that it causes all kinds of damage. Professor Jennings Bryant of the University of Houston found that repeated exposure to pornography results in one of the following or in all of the following: (First), a decreased satisfaction with one’s sexual partner. Men found their female sexual partners to be less attractive and sex and affection with their partners to be less satisfying. They were less satisfied with their partner’s sexual drive and their partner’s sexual curiosity. There have been similar studies that show the same is true for women. As I said 28% of visitors to adult websites are women. There are studies that show the women who are constantly reading some of these trashy novels … it’ll have the same effect. You’re just poisoning your relationship with your spouse. You think, “It’s just in my thoughts. It’s just in my mind. It won’t have any impact.” But it does have an impact. And soon your wife, your husband begins to feel resentful, begins to be bitter. Your wife can’t live up to these expectations. You expect her to respond the way that you fantasize, the way that you’ve seen portrayed, and it’s not … it’s not real. So she becomes bitter. She resents it. There is a decrease, secondly, in the value of faithfulness. That being unfaithful seems to be the norm. There is a major increase in the importance of sex without attachment. In other words, sex becomes more and more just a physical act and less about this intimate connection. One of the Hebrew words for sex is “a mingling of the souls.” Pornography, lust destroys that. It turns it into a physical act. It removes the body from the spirit … from the soul of the person and makes it something that’s just physical.
So our thoughts—whether we know it or not, whether we realize it or not—have this huge impact on our relationships, on our emotions, on our attitudes. It’s called cognitive psychology. For the last forty years or so, it’s the major approach to psychological health. Cognitive psychology. You change the way people think, because how you think affects everything. And we have this idea, “Look, I can think this way. I can do these things when I’m by myself and it’s not going to affect these other areas. I’m going to keep it in this air-tight compartment,” but you are poisoning the way you see life. You are poisoning your marriage. You are poisoning your attitude. With each exposure it’s just a little bit more.
Think of it this way. Imagine there are thick and heavy woods, and it’s your job to carve out a path through these woods. If you’ve ever done anything like that, you know that as soon as you begin to make that trail, it can be a little discouraging because it’s slow-going. You knock out some trees and some branches, but you look behind you, you can’t even tell where the trail is. You bring someone back out there later and you try and show them where you made the trail but it’s hard to even find because you’ve only gone through it once. But what happens is, with this trail that you make, each time someone goes down it, each time a motorcycle rides across it, each time hikers travel it, it gets beaten down a little bit more. It widens a little bit more until eventually the trail becomes obvious. This is the way our brains work. All of us have in our minds…we’ve established what are called neuropathways…neuropathways. They’re patterns of thinking. So they begin being established early on and then they are often reinforced and then trampled on, trampled on, trampled on until it becomes the path through which certain ideas travel.
So many of us, when it comes to sex, have these neuropathways that were developed at a fairly young age. So you get a teenage girl and her perspective on her body and on sex … she gets it from television; she gets it from reality TV or movies or from what her friends say. And parents aren’t too worried because it’s just stuff they’re hearing. It’s just … they’re not actually doing anything. But here is what’s happening. There is this neuropathway being created that says to her messages like, “Your value as a person is based upon your body parts.” So she dresses a certain way because the neuropathway that’s been established by our culture says, “Your value is based upon how men look at these parts of your body.” Or (you) have a young man who sees pornography and then acts on that pornography and it starts to create this neuropathway of how he will see women. And pornography kind of establishes this four-lane express neuropathway—it’s very strong—and it begins to beat down this path, and now every woman that this young man finds attractive … every woman gets sent down this neuropathway and this is how pornography has taught them to look at women. It has so much power. We don’t realize it. And soon what happens, and you’ll hear people talk this way, that they don’t want to think these things but they are held captive; they are held prisoner by their own minds. They’ve created these pathways and it’s the default trail. It’s the only trail there is for these things to go down and it’s just … it’s more powerful than we realize.
One doctor calls lust and self-pleasure … he calls it “playing with a neurochemical fire”—“playing with neurochemical fire.” God has created this fire for marriage because it binds us powerfully to another person, but outside the context of marriage it’s this neurochemical fire. If it’s just lust and self-pleasure then you’re binding yourself to yourself. It creates incredibly selfish and narcissistic attitudes towards sex. So the question you have to ask yourself whenever there are these lustful thoughts, whenever these chemicals and hormones are being released, you have to ask yourself, “What is this binding me to? What is it binding me to?” Because it’s binding you to someone or something. Your thoughts are creating these powerful connections—whether you know it or not or realize it or not.
There have been studies that kind of reveal the truth of this. (In) one study I read about a man … a number of men … were shown pornography for an hour a day on a computer for thirty straight days. An hour a day for thirty straight days. On top of the computer there was a hat, a baseball hat. No one said anything about the baseball hat. No one pointed out the baseball hat. But for an hour a day, thirty straight days, they see this pornography and there is a baseball hat on the top of the computer. Now when the study is over, the men are presented with the baseball hat and they show signs of sexual arousal. Their heart begins to beat faster. Hormones are released into their body. Now why is that? It’s not because they’re big baseball fans, right? I mean, that’s not it. It’s because they have created, without even knowing it, this powerful association, those sexual thoughts, associated sex with a baseball hat. And they didn’t even mean to! But that’s how God created it.
A story for you… (Laughter as Kyle pulls out “the glasses of invisibility”) If you weren’t here last week, these are the glasses of invisibility. And I’ll break these out from time to time and it means that I can’t see you and you can’t see me. And so … when my wife and I were married early on, you know, we had … for awhile we had in our home three children ages 3 and under. So it was very busy, you know? You never really had any privacy. You never had any husband and wife time. You had to get creative with that. Some of you parents of young kids understand. You know exactly what I’m talking about. You’ve got to figure this out, so you get creative. So we’d do what a lot of couples do and we would break out a video for the kids, and while they would watch a video we’d go into the other room for some time alone. So the video that we would put on for the kids—ages 3 and under at that time—was Barney. So they’d be watching Barney in the other room. The strangest thing … (Laughter) I can be walking through a store and I hear the theme song for Barney, you know? (Kyle whistling theme song) My heart starts to beat a little bit faster. (More laughter) I’ve got like a whole Barney collection of DVD’s. (More laughter) Now why is that? Well, it’s because, whether we know it or not, our thoughts are creating these connections. There are these powerful associations being made. There are these neuropathways being established. We think, “I can think about these things and it won’t matter,” but it does matter. It is bonding us to something, to someone.
Another lie that many of us have bought into is this: “I can keep this fire contained. I can keep it contained.” We see that the fire is out of the fire pit, but we think, “I’ve got it. I’ve got it. It’s under control.” This is the great lie. “I can control this fire.” Some of you have been telling yourself that and that’s what you’re saying to yourself right now: that it’s not going to happen to you. It’s already happened. You’re not going to be affected by it. You’ve already been affected by it. Amnon, I’m sure, thought to himself, “I’d never act on this fantasy with Tamar. I’d never do anything.” But that’s the thing about fire. It grows and it consumes. The Bible describes sin in Romans chapter 6 as “ever increasing in nature.” It’s ever increasing. There is this progressive nature to it. It takes you further and further and further—further than you ever thought you would go.
Now, for many young people that I talk to they explain that really … that a lot of this happened to them when they were quite young. That some of these neuropathways that were established…that some of this fire that came upon them was when they were quite young. The average age that a child sees porn now is age eleven and it gets younger every year. And early exposure can often be like this accelerant that’s thrown on a spark. So parents, our job has never been more difficult to fireproof our homes. Did you notice in the story of Amnon and Tamar, Amnon’s friend…he notices something isn’t right with Amnon, but David doesn’t notice it? He doesn’t seem to pay attention. Amnon talks to him and says, “Hey, can you have Tamar come to my room?” Nothing ever clicks in David’s mind. And later when David finds out about what had happened, David is furious but he doesn’t do anything. Doesn’t do anything. Maybe two words to describe David are that he is unaware and he is unengaged. He is unaware and he is unengaged about the sexual temptation and the sexual sin in his own home. And there is only so much we can do as parents. There is only so much we can do, but we’ve got to do what we can.
I was talking to a father of a high school boy not long ago, and he was saying to me that, “You know, I want my son to know that I know what it’s like to go through this. It’s no different for him than it was for me when I was his age.” And I love … I mean, I hear as a father … I’m so proud of him because he’s saying, “I want to walk through this with my son. I want him to know I know what it’s like.” But when he says, “It’s no different for him than it was for me,” he’s wrong. It’s a lot different. The internet is a game changer. It’s a game changer. There is this instant accessibility. I mean, just type a few words onto the PSP or into their phone or their computer … just a few words, within seconds they’re seeing things that you never even heard of until you were out of college. It changed everything.
So we have to be as aware as we can (and) do everything we can to keep them from the fire. So (here are) just a few things. Do not let your kids have internet access in their rooms. Just don’t. It’s a no-brainer. If you have children with internet access in their rooms, today is the day to get rid of that. Put a filter or some kind of accountability software on your computers at home and check it regularly. Read their emails. Check their phones regularly—throughout high school. If they delete their history, the only reason they’ve deleted their history is because they’re trying to hide something. You pay attention to how your daughters dress. You don’t leave out a Victoria’s Secret catalogue on the kitchen counter. You’ve got to fire proof your home in every way you can. Most of my exposure growing up was when I spent the night at other kids’ houses. Be careful where you let your kids spend the night—especially if there is an older sibling in the house. If they’re dating then don’t let there be lots of unaccountable time. Make them accountable for their time. And if they say to you, “Don’t you trust me?” you say, “No, I don’t trust you.” And if they have a problem with that, you just … they say, “Well, why don’t you trust me?” then you just say … you can say this if you want. Just say, “Kyle told me not to.” (Laughter) You can say that. I don’t mind you playing that card. That’s fine. They can be mad at me. That’s fine. Someday my kids will say to me, “Don’t you trust me?” and I know what I’m going to say to them. I’m going to say, “Look, I don’t even trust me. I don’t even trust me.” So we’ve got to do everything we can to protect them … protect them from the fire.
Amnon thinks that the best way to extinguish this fire … the best way to put it out is to give into his desires. This is the great lie: “That the way I satisfy this desire is to give into it. That’s how I get rid of it.” But here is what he finds and this is what many of us have found. That when you lust it does not release the lust; it reinforces the lust. It reinforces it. When you give into sexual temptation, the sexual temptation does not diminish; instead you’ve added fuel to the fire and it’s stronger than ever before. So in verse 15 Amnon says … after he rapes Tamar he says … it says, “Then Amnon hated her with intense hatred. In fact, he hated her more than he had loved her.” And he discovered that it was all a lie. The sexual sin and temptation promised satisfaction and fulfillment; it delivered emptiness, guilt and shame.
He loved his sin until he committed it and then he hated his sin, but he would love it again. And some of you know this pattern. You love your sin; then you hate your sin. You love your sin; then you hate your sin. It’s time that we put this fire out. We put it out. For many of you, the approach you’ve taken is to try and control the fire. You cannot control it. You will be burned by it and so will those around you. You cannot contain this fire. Many of the sermons, many of the books, many of the people who try and help in this area—they will try to help you manage this sin. You cannot manage sin. You kill sin. You do not manage sin. You kill it. If you have tried to manage this sin of sexual sin, if you’ve tried to manage it through behavior modification and mental determination, I know it hasn’t worked; and if it has worked, it’s only worked temporarily because the fire is still there. You have not put it out.
So how do we extinguish this fire? How do we put it out? Well, it’s interesting because in Scripture while the Bible describes lust as a shameful sin, as a devastating fire—it describes lust as a fire—it also describes the Holy Spirit as a fire. And this is how you fight fire—with fire. So in your mind you picture a backyard. You’ve got these two different fires burning. One of them is labeled “The Holy Spirit” and one of them is labeled “Sexual sin/sexual temptation.” And the question you have to ask yourself with your thoughts, with your mind, with your eyes, “Which fire am I fueling? Which fire am I fueling?” See, for many of us, our tendency has been … when we see this sexual sin and we see this fire, we think, “Well, I’ve got to put that out,” and all of our attention goes to this fire and putting out this fire and all the things we need to do to get this fire out. But here is how you get rid of this fire: It’s by fueling this one over here, because it will begin to consume and consume all of the resources and there will be nothing left to feed this fire and it will be burnt out. It will go out. The Holy Spirit gives us the power to do what we can’t do on our own. The Bible says in Romans that we put to death the deeds of darkness through the power of the Holy Spirit. The Bible says in Galatians chapter 5 it’s by walking in the Holy Spirit that we stay out of the darkness. And don’t, don’t try and manage this anymore. Put it out. Kill it. Overcome this. But understand that you will not overcome this by your own strength and power but you will overcome this by the blood of the Lamb. It is through the blood and the sacrifice of Jesus Christ that you will find victory from this. And you will be healed from this not by your own efforts, but you will be healed from this by the power of the Holy Spirit as you walk with Him.
So we want to give you an opportunity to accept Jesus Christ as your Savior, and we want to give you an opportunity to make this your church home, a place where you can be strengthened and encouraged in this journey. If you want to talk to someone about one of those decisions—making Jesus your Savior or making this your church home—you can meet me down front as together we stand and we worship God, the One who heals, the One who gives us the power to overcome. (Audience applauding)