Run! Run! Run! Anyone who ever thought they could stand against the onslaught of sexual temptation was mistaken. The Biblical mandate is not to think you can stand (1 Cor. 10:12), but to run (1 Tim. 5:11). We don’t have a good track record with temptation when we linger. When it comes to sexual temptation keep your running shoes on, and laced up. Be ready at all times to use them.
You’ve got to run before the pulse quickens and the desires intensify. You’ve got to run before you ask any of the “what if” questions in your mind. Like what if I can keep this a secret? or what if this relationship is better than the one I have in my marriage? or (and I’ve heard this one before) what if this relationship (even though it’s immoral) is God’s will for me? This is how humility works. It runs before any of that happens. Don’t linger. Run.
Joseph, of Egyptian fame, teaches us that humility is a great deterrent to sin. He saw temptation and set the land speed record for leaving the bed room (Gen. 39:12). In his humility he knew he couldn’t stand against temptation.
11 But one day, when he went into the house to do his work and none of the men of the house was there in the house, 12 she caught him by his garment, saying, “Lie with me.” But he left his garment in her hand and fled and got out of the house (Genesis 39:11-2)
On the other hand, King David teaches us that if we think we can linger at temptation’s door without sinning we are gravely mistaken (2 Sam. 11:2-3). His pride led to his lingering, his lingering left him vulnerable to sin, and his sin brought tremendous destruction to his family.
2 It happened, late one afternoon, when David arose from his couch and was walking on the roof of the king’s house, that he saw from the roof a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful. 3 And David sent and inquired about the woman. And one said, “Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?” 4 So David sent messengers and took her, and she came to him, and he lay with her (2 Samuel 11:2-3).
Think accurately about the long-term consequence of succumbing to sexual temptation. That’s an encouragement to run even faster.
The Scripture says,
For lust is a shameful sin. A crime that should be punished. It is a devastating fire that destroys to hell. It will wipe out everything I own (Job 31:11-12, NLT)
If we linger we fall to temptation, if we run there’s hope.