Justin Taylor links to an excerpt from John Piper that is so helpful, I simply want to reproduce it here. It’s from Piper’s sermon “Do You See the Glory of God in the Sun?“, and you can read it below. I also want to direct readers to Piper’s six strategies for fighting sexual sin: “ANTHEM: Strategies for Fighting Lust.” There is one other sermon that you should take the time to listen to instead of reading: “Sex and the Supremacy of Christ, Part 2.” My prayer is that these words will land where they need to.
Do you know why there are no windows on adult bookstores? Or do you know why there are no windows on certain kinds of nightclubs in the city?
I suppose your answer would be, “Well, because they don’t want people looking in and getting a free sight.”
That’s not the only reason.
You know why? Because they don’t want people looking out at the sky.
You know why? The sky is the enemy of lust.
And I just ask youâ€”you think back on your struggles. The sky is a great power against lust.
Pure, lovely, wholesome, beautiful, powerful, large-hearted things cannot abide the soul of a sexual fantasy at the same time.
I remember as I struggled with these things in my teenaged years and in my college years â€”I knew how I could fight most effectively in those days. And I’ve developed other strategies over the years that have proved very effective. And one way of fighting was simply to get out of the dark places, get out of the lonely rooms, get out of the boxed-in places, get out of the places where it’s just small me and my mind and what I can do with it, and get out where I am just surrounded by color and beauty and bigness and loveliness.
And I know that when I used to sit in my front yard at 122 Bradley Boulevard with a notepad in my hand a pen and trying to write a poemâ€”at that moment my heart and my body were light years away from the sexual fantasizing I was tempted by again and again in the late-night, quiet, secluded, in-house moments.
There’s something about bigness, there’s something about beauty, that helps battle against the puny, small, cruddy use of the mind to fantasize about sexual things.
And then turn it around: it works this way too. We know from experience that if we give way to sexual fantasies and yield to lusts and dwelling on unwholesome things, our capacities for seeing the sky are cut in half. And then cut in half again. And then cut in half againâ€”until you’re just a little worm on the ground as your language and your mind is nothing but smut. It can happen to anybody!
And so I just commend to you: don’t let that happen. Battle lustâ€”among all the other weapons that you’re given in Scriptureâ€”battle it with the upward glance of the magnificent blue and the thunder and the lightning and the sunrises and the sunsets and the glory of God. And say to yourself, “If I give way in this hour to that kind of thinking, I won’t enjoy this, I won’t have a large heart, I won’t have a capacious mind, I won’t be a noble personâ€”I’ll just be an old gutter person.” Preach to yourself like that! And then give yourself over to the ministry of the sky. And let it help you free from lust.