Helpful Apps for Fighting Sin

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I’ve been doing a series on helpful apps for various things (see previous ones on devotions and evangelism). Today, I want to talk about some helpful apps for fighting sin.

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.

Three Apps for Evangelism

In Taylor’s and Carrey’s and Livingstone’s and Judson’s day, it was the map that was the missionary’s best tool.

Today, it’s the iPhone.

That’s a bold statement, but I believe a true one.

An iPhone (or any other less-sanctified smart phone) can open more doors to evangelistic conversations than even a tract!

How? Allow me to suggest three ways and three apps that can help you with your evangelistic efforts.

  1. dp-2WhatsApp. Every Christian interested in overseas work needs to have this one. It is an international staple. Oversees, for one reason or another, texting can be expensive, and so many people use WhatsApp as a free messaging tool to keep up with each other. It also works well for starting group conversations. A believer can harness it to connect with unbelievers on a short-term trip and then be able to keep up with them for free from back in America. I found it to be a great tool to maintain connections. I have used it to share the Gospel from my home in America to countries to which I could probably never get access as a cross-cultural worker. The Gospel is going forth unstoppable. One of those ways is through pixels and emojis on WhatsApp.
  2. iphoneThe StoryThis app is a must-have for plane trips. Stumbling over your words trying to explain the Gospel to your seat-mate? Bring up this well-designed app and let its simple Gospel message guide you through the process. Another cool feature of this one is that you can put a smart phone barcode on a tract or church invite. Then, you can see who around the world has scanned and viewed the story from that tract. It’s pretty awesome to see how the Gospel has spread through your efforts!
  3. 13567188_1130178680372202_7901429322323480464_nThe ExchangeRelated to the Story is the Exchange – a brand-new app in development by my friends at the Exchange, who produce literature and helps for discipleship with unsaved people. The app is an online version of it. Right now, it is just a well-designed website that walks you through the Gospel and basics of Christianity. Soon, it’ll be an app that any iPhone or Droid can download. You can choose to use “Presenter view” if you are showing it to someone and explaining it on a plane or in a large group. Or, you can share it on social media, email, or text with a customized link that includes the person’s first name when they bring it up. I’m really excited about this one – definitely one to keep your eyes on and start using as it gets up and going!

Really, although I highlighted these three, ALL APPS can be a tool for evangelism. Simple texting or calling can be used to connect or reconnect to an unsaved person. The Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or even Snapchat apps can be used to show Christ to unbelievers with every status and picture. I’ve heard of Facebook messaging and Instagram profiles being tools God’s used to draw people into Gospel conversations.

The key is to remember that these apps are SUPPLEMENTARY. They do not replace face-to-face sharing the Gospel. Rather, they can be used to pour the Gospel deeper into a person you have already met in person. Perhaps someone from a far-away land or someone who’s moved away.

Whatever the circumstance may be, one circumstance will never change for us – we have been put where we are in order to share Christ with those around us.

So let’s go! First to the App store, then to our neighbor’s house or the local coffee shop or the cubicle beside you, and then – to the world!