Question:

How are you today? I have a question about doing what's right in God's eyes.

I've made a few changesthis year. I am developing a habit of reading the Bible daily, praying, and reading biblical topics. When I do these things I have a good, if not great, day, but if I miss a day, I allow Satan to control me. I understand that every day we face many challenges and temptations, and it's not easy to follow God, but am I doing the right thing?

I am currently forming other habits, like holding a Bible when I'm tempted to think about lust. Sometimes, I even sleep with my Bible as a shield from the aforementioned.

Do you have any spiritual advice? Is what I'm doing sincere or in vain? I'd love to seek your input.

I must admit, as weird as it sounds, I am not a churchgoer. I do not feel comfortable there. Weird, but honest.

Thanks for taking the time to read my e-mail. I hope to hear from you soon.

May God bless.


Answer:

Basically, while you keep your mind on godly things, you tend to behave yourself. But without constant reminders you slip back into old habits. It is a shame that you don't attend church services because that is what it is there to help you. "Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching" (Hebrews 10:23-25). You reject the way God designed to keep people faithful and then substitute your own methods -- which don't work nearly as well.

By the way, I'm not talking about the entertainment that passes as worship in most denominations. I'm talking about meeting with true Christians who are sincerely striving to serve God and each other.

There is nothing wrong with forming good habits, but you are leaning toward making them like a superstition -- like wearing a lucky hat when playing sports -- using the physical Bible as a shield. "These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh" (Colossians 2:23). Just as an example, what happens when there is no Bible available, do you excuse indulging in lust?

"Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts" (Romans 13:13-14).

The way to handle lust is to not make it easy to indulge in it. If pornography is your problem, then you make it hard for you access it, while at the same time learn why it is wrong and how you are being manipulated. If lustful thoughts are a problem, the you learn to control you thoughts by focusing on other things.