So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. (2 Timothy 2:22)
We are at war. Our enemies—the world, the flesh, and the devil—are forever opposed to us. A constant battle rages inside us, outside us, and all around us. As humans made in God’s image we can be brave and bold, stand firm and be fearless in battle. All throughout the New Testament we are told to stand, to stand strong in this fight. And yet there is one area where we are commanded to flee: “Flee youthful passions.” We are to flee lust, to run fast and far from the desire and the opportunity to commit sexual sin. “Can a man carry fire next to his chest and his clothes not be burned? Or can one walk on hot coals and his feet not be scorched?” (Proverbs 6:27-28) Of course not. Only a fool would even try.
Flee, my brother. Learn how and when to run and do not be ashamed to do so. Remember Joseph and Potiphar’s wife (Exodus 39). Do not toy with sexual sin. Do not make light of sexual sin. Do not laugh or joke about the very sins Christ died for. Do not allow yourself even the smallest taste or the briefest glimpse of whatever might cause you to stumble. There is no shame in running.
Father, you tell me to flee sexual sin. You tell me that “sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints” (Ephesians 5:3). Yet too often I have toyed with sexual sin, I have determined to allow myself just a glance or just a taste. And then, somehow, I have acted surprised when that small taste led to a complete fall and outright gluttony. I have no one to blame but myself, because I chose to disregard your Word. Teach me my own weakness and display to me your great strength. When I am tempted, let me flee to you and take refuge in you, in your promises, in your strength.