Growing up in this culture has in someways desensitized me to the world around me, as well as made the fight against lust and temptation a constant thing, whether on the internet, watching football or even driving down the road, the images put out by marketers, advertisers and the media in general makes everyday a run through a land mine field. This truth however does NOT excuse me to give into temptation or to think that I am just a innocent victim. The Lord will not allow us to be tempted beyond our abilities: "No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it." 1 Corinthians 10:13. We are commanded to daily to take ever thought captive, 2 Corinthians 10:5, this is active wartime language, in other words we are not to wait till that pop up shows itself, or we pass by that billboard, but we are to know it is coming and be ready for any lustful, sinful thought that comes into our minds and take it captive. Pastor Mark's list here is not one to make us wave the white flag of surrender, but is like a list of enemies that we must fight and we know they will stop at nothing to destroy us. The beauty of this war though is that it is already won, at the cross of Christ. Jesus went to the cross and died and rose again, so that porn, and lust can never destroy us again, sin will never have the final victory. We are fighting a defeated enemy that is desperate, we must press on with confidence knowing that even if we get shot, we cannot be defeated, we cannot be overtaken, and that our new commander and general has gone before us and won the battle, so we must press on to follow Him, and trust daily on His victory that becomes ours through faith.
31What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? 33 Who shall bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written,What a thought, and what motivation to press on in this war! We do not fight to win the battle, we fight BECAUSE the battle has been won!
“For your sake we are being killed all the day long;
we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8: 31-38 ESV