With regard to mental purity and battling lust in our minds, I think it is essential that we celebrate those tiny victories we have! God is working with us – by His Spirit’s power inside of us – sanctifying us, little by little, degree by degree, toward holiness! Whenever we take even a microscopic step in the direction that God intends for us, that is a cause for celebration!
When we do successfully avoid a lustful thought – when we do avail over a tempting situation – no matter how small! – we have to take a quick second to celebrate God’s help, provision, and victory through us in that moment! Even if just in some small, indistinguishable way we have experienced a bit of transformation into His likeness, that is a reason to celebrate!
Every time I see a physically attractive woman in my peripheral vision, and I DON’T turn my head to take a more focused look, I do a quick little fist-pump, and say a silent “YES! Thank You, Lord!”
Every time I pass a salacious billboard on the road – I know it’s there – but I refrain from looking up – that is a moment to smile and silently thank God for helping me not steal a second glance.
I’ve experienced so many instances of failure in this area throughout my life – so many times where I gave into a lustful thought or action – and then spiraled down into a period of self-loathing and shame…
Those times when I do resist the temptation and I don’t give in to the lustful impulse, I should relish in God and give Him glory for His help in even the tiniest victory!
God assures us in 1 Corinthians 10:13 that He always provides a way out when we are tempted. There’s always a second choice – an option to choose integrity, purity, holiness, God’s best.
When I was in college, I used to intentionally sit with my back to the cafeteria door during meal times. All the beautiful young ladies had to walk in to the dining room through that door. Every time I made it through a meal without having a lustful thought, I had a little silent celebration of thanksgiving to the Lord in my heart!
I love watching football on TV – it’s one of my favorite past-times! But most TV networks that air football games will cut to a close-up of the cheerleaders any time they are going into, or returning from, a commercial break. Years ago, I trained myself to snap my head away whenever the cameras cut to the cheerleaders. I knew I didn’t need to watch them dance. The Lord provided a way out by helping to train me to look away. And every time I actually take advantage of the way out, I whisper a silent, joyful “Woo-hoo! Thank You for Your faithful help, Lord! I ask You to help me to always respond like this!”
The accumulation of small victories over a course of days – weeks – months – years – results in a victorious life! Celebrate the grace of God at work in your life that is enabling you to secure even the smallest victories over sin! Small victories now lead to greater, more significant and life-strengthening victories tomorrow!
“No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” -1 Corinthians 10:13
I love the visual picture of you doing a fist pump while out in public.