Run from and Run to

February 6, 2024

Run from sexual sin. 1 Corinthians 6:18 NLT

Run as fast as you can from all the ambitions and lusts of youth; and chase after all that is pure. Whatever builds up your faith and deepens your love must become your holy pursuit. And live in peace with all those who worship our Lord Jesus with pure hearts. 2 Timothy 2:22 TPT

The most common verse about battling destructive sexual thoughts simply says, “Run from sexual sin.” But we know there’s more to it than just running away when you find yourself about to sin sexually. We know the story of Samson (Judges 16). When he was tempted to consider thoughts of what it would be like to be with Delilah was the time to run. When he let them turn into feelings, he ended up with his head in Delilah’s lap, and then it was too late to run. There’s a time to run and a place to run. We can’t afford to miss it.

Timothy was a young leader who had Paul’s heart. He wanted Timothy to start well, lead well, and end well. He gave clear directions and elaborated on running from sexual sin, the thing he knew would decimate Timothy’s life and the lives of those in his sphere of influence. He said …

Run as fast as you can from lustful thoughts. Do not mull them over and allow fantasies to grow in your mind. RUN! But don’t just run frantically with your hands over your ears.

Chase everything that is pure. Don’t simply run without direction. You’ll run into other temptations. Intentionally chase and hotly pursue everything that is pure. Sinful actions begin with sinful thoughts. A pure life begins with pure thoughts.

Center your life around the things that build up your faith and deepen your love. Paul says make these things your “holy pursuit.” A pursuit is not casual. A pursuit is intentional, focused following. To pursue something or someone signifies passion and perseverance.

Choose people who are also focused on living with pure hearts as your close life companions. You’ve probably heard it more times than you can count: “You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with” (Jim Rohn). Then there’s the “show me your friends and I’ll show you your future” derivative. Again, both are rooted in God’s wisdom: “Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm” (Proverbs 13:20 NIV). Audit the people around you. Make sure that you’re spending time with people who are in the same pursuit.

Don’t just run from. Run to.

  • This is the only sure protection. But it’s your choice. Neither purity nor sin are accidental.