#3 The Key to Sustained Victory
As a teenager and into my twenties I spent my summers working at a beautiful summer camp situated on a massive lake in Arkansas. Because of the lake, one of the main features of the camp was the water ski program. We had some of the best equipment on the market at the time. Our “ski shed” was full of high end skis, ropes, life vests, kneeboards, and wetsuits. We spent hours teaching campers how to wakeboard, kneeboard, and barefoot water ski. We also put on a weekly ski show for campers and the community.
But what really set our program apart were the two Correct Craft competition ski boats parked at our dock. These boats are what the real pros use. They are powerful, turn on a dime, and can endure a summer of wear and tear from campers and staff. They are also really expensive, and for a couple of summers as ski director, I was in charge of the upkeep and security of these amazing machines. It was routine for us to make sure the boats were secured in the dock before leaving the waterfront each evening. But for whatever reason, one evening, one of the boats didn’t get put away properly. We came back down the next morning, to take staff members for a morning ski, only to find that one of the boats was missing. You can imagine how horrified we were. Much to our relief we caught a glimpse of the boat tucked back in a cove where it had apparently drifted overnight.
Thinking back on it, that experience provides a great illustration for why I’m convinced that understanding and living out our purpose is essential to experiencing SUSTAINED VICTORY and sobriety. Now just imagine if we had decided to leave this powerful and expensive boat just to drift along banging around in that cove? That would have been unimaginable! But think about it, you are extremely valuable to God. You’re of far more value than any boat, you’re essential to His kingdom, yet often we just allow our lives to drift along banging around in some meaningless cove.
The major problem with our drift is we become susceptible to what I’ll call the “current of the culture”. In other words we’ll simply “go with the flow” not knowing where we’ll end up. But that won’t go well for us, especially if the culture has accepted porn as the “norm” for men and women. That seems to be the case. There was a time when pornography was understood to be detrimental to our souls. Society may not have known exactly why, and the experts couldn’t back it up with data, we just knew. That isn’t the case so much now and without a clear understanding of our purpose there is a danger then that we’ll drift into the same ideology and practices.
Mark Twain famously said, “In matters of style swim with the current, in matters of principle stand like a rock.” I think he was on to something!
That is why I believe understanding our PURPOSE is absolutely essential to gaining and maintaining sexual integrity over the long haul. You might expect that I would say that attending your support group or men’s accountability group is the key to maintaining sobriety. No question, groups are absolutely important so please go! But here’s the thing. Groups, accountability partners, Bible studies, or even a marriage retreat with your wife don’t really matter much if we aren’t clear on why we’re doing them and where our lives are headed.
Understanding our PURPOSE provides the answer to these questions and becomes the high octane fuel we need to ignite an inner passion for sexual integrity that will last. Since Rick Warren wrote The Purpose Driven Life it has sold more than 32 million copies! That means people crave an understanding of their PURPOSE. It means they understand how critical it is to know the answer to the question that Warren poses, “What on earth am I here for?”
Before Rick Warren wrote Purpose Driven Life, John Eldridge wrote Wild at Heart and suggested that men have a 3 fold purpose:
- a beauty to rescue
- a battle to fight
- an adventure to take
I like what both men have to say. I think they are right on. But the Bible is also clear that God has a purpose for us. Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Again in Jeremiah 29:11 God speaks through the prophet Jeremiah saying, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
My encouragement for you is to spend time discovering God’s great purpose for your life. In discovering your purpose you’ll also experience freedom and a lasting integrity that will endure for many years to come. Courage.