Wouldn’t it be great if there were cloaking devices for sin? In Star Trek, a cloaking device was used to hide or mask the presence of a spaceship. Using such a device, you could sneak up on the enemy and launch a surprise attack, or you could sneak away from an attacking enemy and not be seen.
In the first Harry Potter movie, young Harry received a cloak that, when wrapped around him, made him invisible. He used it to sneak into forbidden places, undetected.
Wouldn’t it be great to have such a piece of clothing, that if we put it on we would be immune from sin? We wouldn’t be drawn to sin and sin would not be drawn to us.
The good news is that there is such clothing for a believer. He is called Jesus. Romans 13:14 says, “Put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provision for the flesh.”
Review of Our Tactics
This is the third post in a series about tactics used in the battle for sexual purity. All these tactics are proven and if applied, will greatly aid in helping to overcome the various attacks that come upon us. The framework for these tactics is in the form of a Naval warship. Remember: a ship in the water is good . . . water in the ship is not good. This is a picture of holiness. A Christian in the world is good. The world in a Christian is not good. We are to be in the world but we are not of the world. When we cling to Christ’s completed work on the cross, separating ourselves and purifying ourselves from that which is ‘ignoble,’ then we will be ‘vessels of noble use, sanctified and useful to the master of the house’ (2 Timothy 2:20-22).
The first tactic is to arm yourself with the offensive weapons for spiritual warfare. The primary weapon needed is to memorize God’s Word. By hiding God’s word in your heart, you have instantaneous weapons ‘at the ready’ when temptation comes. Just as Jesus immediately quoted Scripture when under attack, we too need to be similarly prepared.
The second tactic is the use of armor. This is again rooted in the word of God. Faith comes from hearing, and hearing from the Word of God. Our faith is built up as we claim the promises of God, believing what God says about us instead of listening to the lies of the Evil One. It is through these promises that we ‘escape the corruption that is in the world because of lust and become partakers of the divine nature.’
Wrapping Ourselves With Jesus
The third tactic is the spiritual principle of reckoning. It is our “cloaking device” for escaping the ongoing power of sin. Romans 6:11 says we are to ‘reckon ourselves as dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.’
Using the ship illustration again. When a ship is being constructed, it lays in dry-dock for 3-5 years. The earth is a big magnet, with a North and South Pole.
As the ship’s steel is welded on, it takes on the magnetic signature of the earth. When the ship comes out of the shipyards, it’s actually a huge magnet.
All it takes to sink this ship is to put a magnetic mine in the water. When a 50,000-ton magnet floats near the mine, the detonator would sense the change in the magnetic field and detonate the mine, sinking the ship.
In order to counteract a magnetic mine, the U.S. Navy wraps coils of wire around the inside of the hull of the ship, and with the proper amount of wiring, the proper electrical current and the proper placements of these coils, the magnetic signature of the ship can be eliminated. This makes the ships magnetically neutral, making magnetic-activated mines useless as a weapon.
The illustration below shows different types of coils used to eliminate or neutralize the magnetized hull of a ship. The process is called degaussing. The wires are built into the ship, and all it takes to make it work is to flip the on/off switch to “on.”
How do we practically “wrap ourselves” with Jesus, so that the natural pull of our flesh towards sin is neutralized?
Unlocking Romans 6
Galatians 2:20 says, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who live in me. And the life that I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me.”
When I was totally immersed in the world of porn and was crying out to God for deliverance, I attended a seminar of a well-known Christian speaker. His recommendation for escaping any habitual sin was to memorize the entire chapter of Romans 6. It is only 23 verses, and for anyone who is not brain-damaged, it is a worthy and achievable goal.
(I recommend copying it on a sheet of paper or making 3×5 flashcards. Have your daily devotional times in this chapter. Read it over and over again, and read it out loud. If you devoted several hours to the intentional memorization of Romans 6, you would come close to ‘writing it on the tablet of your heart.’)
Once you have it memorized where you can say it out loud, then when you find yourself under temptation, personalize this chapter. Everywhere the word “sin” is mentioned, replace the word “sin” with “lust,” or “masturbation,” or “adultery” . . . whatever sin you are being tempted to commit.
“What then, shall I continue to lust that grace may abound? By no means, how can I who died to lust still live in it? Do you not know that everyone who has been baptized into Christ Jesus was baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. . . . We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the lustful body might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to lust. . . . The death he died, he died to lust once for all . . . so you also much reckon yourselves dead to lust and alive to God in Christ Jesus. . . . Let not lust therefore reign in your mortal bodies to make you obey its passions.”
As I go through this mental exercise, I am doing the command found in Ephesians 4:22-24, “Put off your old nature which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind.” By reviewing what God says about me, my new identity of being “in Christ” and of being a “new creation,” my mind is spiritually renewed.
Reckon Yourself Dead to Sin
I start to think about Jesus hanging on the cross: bleeding, giving up his spirit, dying for me. But then I go a step further. Galatians 2:20 says, “I have been crucified WITH Christ.” I picture myself also hanging on the cross next to Christ. Everywhere on Jesus’ body that he is bleeding, I too am bleeding, nailed to the cross, gasping for air. Then I see myself as limp, recently dead, the blood still oozing from my wounds.
As I reckon myself as dead to sin and alive to God in Christ, the lustful thoughts disappear. Just as the Scripture teaches, sin has no dominion over me. The urge to look at porn, or the urge to masturbate, or to engage in sexual fantasy disappears.
Think about this thought: Right after Jesus died, suppose that the High Priest, as a final act of disdain, went up to the body and spit on Jesus one last time. Would Jesus spit back? Not that Jesus would if he could, but he wouldn’t. Why? Dead men don’t spit. Dead men don’t retaliate or take revenge. Dead men also don’t lust. If we consider ourselves dead, we won’t lust either. But we have to be unified in our minds and spirits with Christ.
“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.” We are to be ‘dead men walking.’ Colossians 3 says, “For you have died and your life is hid with Christ in God.” Romans 13:14 says, “Put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provision for the flesh.” Romans 6 says, “For sin [i.e. lust, masturbation, porn] will have no dominion over you since you are not under law but under grace.”
Jesus is our cloaking device. Jesus is our degaussing, or de-magnetizing coil for our ship. But just like a ship, we must turn the electrical switch to the ‘on’ position. In the same way, we must make the conscious choice to ‘put Jesus on.’ We do this by a daily commitment to spend time with Jesus. We do this by immersing ourselves in daily Scripture memory and meditation. We do this by staying in true, honest, vulnerable fellowship with other like-minded believers.
I use this tactic almost everyday. It works because Jesus is alive and the Scriptures are true. His Spirit is real and the Word is powerful, and my position ‘in Christ’ is certain. I exhort you to hide Romans 6 in your heart and to give ‘reckoning’ a try.