And I do mean fighting sin. Because it is a fierce, unending, exhausting struggle.
Right now, as you read this, you are in an all-out war. Each day when you wake up, you have just started a new battle in that war. At the end of the day, you can either mark it down as a victory or a defeat for you personally.
Choose to fight. Choose to win!
Not in your own strength – of course! Anyone who thinks they can fight sin on their own willpower is delusional and should be admitted to an asylum. But when we realize we have a Savior who defeated the hordes of hell on the Cross and rose again, we gain confidence that victory is possible.
It won’t be easy. We need every weapon we can get a hold of to throw at this enemy. Might I suggest installing a couple “swords” – and maybe a bazooka – on your iPhone.
Here’s some wartime apps for today’s battle:
1. Covenant Eyes – K9 – xxxChurch
These are a great triumvirate of filter firepower for any device. They are simply filters to weed out sin from your Internet usage. Covenant Eyes is perhaps the best, with the option to have an accountability partner emailed with your usage. It may be embarrassing for your best friend to see that you spent 26 hours on Facebook on Saturday (very talented), but it would be even worse for your best friend to find you surfing on an immoral site. K9 and xxxChurch are free – a great place to start. Let me be frank – you NEED one of these for every device. Immorality is not just a laptop browser problem. It’s actually probably more of a late-night iPhone problem – so convenient, so hidden. And you can access unfiltered Internet easily through your Safari browser, YouTube app, and even the Facebook and Twitter apps. Even FB Messenger has a way to access the Internet (I’m not telling you how, but if your flesh is as bad as mine, it will find a way). So in addition to these great filters, you also need…
2. iPhone restrictions
Being an iPhone user and thus more sanctified, I shall describe it as it works on my godly device – you heathens on Androids will have to repent first (mostly kidding). In the Settings app, under “General,” there’s a restrictions part. You have to have a four-digit code for it – and if you’re like me, my memory won’t remember the date of the 95 Theses for the History exam but will remember these four numbers no matter what they are (stupid memory). So I have to have a friend punch in the numbers and write it down somewhere in case I need it (I shouldn’t ever need it). Then, I’m able to go in and restrict Internet usage. I would make it as restrictive as possible. When in doubt, restrict the site. After all, it’s simply a matter of convenience – and convenience should die a brutal death if it causes you to sin. If you restrict what websites you can access, then no matter how your flesh finds a way on the Internet, it still won’t be able to access those sites. You should also slide the Safari button off, disabling that browser so that you can only use one of the filter’s browsers/apps from above. You can also restrict the age-appropriate range of apps you choose – I would recommend something fairly low to keep you from downloading things like Chrome or other browsers.
(I’m told that Norton Antivirus has an Android app that can disable specific apps, but I do not think this is Apple compatible. Thus, I suppose the Android users have one saving grace for their pitiful state.)
3. STOP IT!
Okay, this isn’t an app. But it is something to keep in mind, beyond all these helpful apps. In fact, you can have all these apps, use them perfectly, cut off all access to immorality and temptation, and STILL FAIL!
Why? Because though sin is exaggerated by technology, it does not find its root there. Your sin habit is not found in your iPhone, but in your heart.
So for all our efforts to cut off sin, it really comes down to a simple concept – STOP IT!!!
My university president preached a message on that last week. And it came across as a bit insensitive to many of my classmates. But after reflecting on it all week, I’ve come to the conclusion that he’s exactly right. It’s good to employ every weapon we have against sin with apps, Bible-reading, prayer, etc. But at the end of the day, weapons do no good if we have no motivation or resolve to fight.
So as you add weapons to your smart phone stockpile, remember – at the end of the day, you must determine to simply fight. Don’t hold back. Don’t show mercy.
Kill sin, or it will kill you.
Restrict the Internet, or it will restrict you.
Delete the app, or it may delete you.