King David was a man after God’s own heart, yet his temptation with Bathsheba revealed a lack of the kind of character he exhibited when he was younger. God had chosen him as king (instead of one of his older brothers) for his purity of heart. However, as his story unfolded, those key inner qualities that he once possessed began to fade. While the compromises may have seemed small at first, they left him vulnerable in his battle with sexual temptation.
After 25 years of listening, learning, and guiding people through the regret and devastation of sexual failures, I’ve discovered that their stories have common touch points. Like David, the individuals I encounter also lack an internal fortitude to strengthen their will when temptation beckons with sexual desires. I’d like for you to imagine those inner qualities as “five small stones.” Just as David reached into the brook and gathered five stones to slay Goliath, these inner qualities are powerful weapons to be utilized in our battle for sexual purity. As a young man, David practiced them with proficiency. He was as internally accurate as he was externally—he could hit the target of temptation, just as he struck Goliath. But if you could do a postmortem on David’s adulterous relationship with Bathsheba, you would see that, later in life, his spiritual sling lacked projectiles. Those five key qualities—so essential to his battle with sexual temptation—had fallen into disuse. In that moment, David was an unarmed warrior. For each of us, these stones are just as valuable when we battle sexual temptation. With them, we can stand against desire. Without them, just like David, we’ll fall. Here are the five small stones that wield great power against sexual temptation.
Humility: To walk in humility is to recognize that you cannot win the battle with sexual temptation in your own strength.
Integrity: To practice integrity is to make a commitment to transparency during temptation, and to confession after sin.
Loyalty: To desire loyalty is to love God by using your body for his glory, not your temporary pleasure.
Responsibility: To exercise responsibility limits your opportunity for temptation because you are preoccupied fulfilling your commitments.
Accountability To live with accountability is to guard your vulnerabilities through the Word and fellow believers.
Ask yourself are you still wielding these vital weapons? At one stage in his life, David had them, but, as they fell into disuse his vulnerability to sexual temptation gained free run in his life. If the mighty warrior can play the part of a fool, what chance have we to enter the battle theater unarmed and remain unscathed?
Taken from Strength for the Struggle: biblical strategies for standing against temptation