Unit 4 Key 1 – For the Mentor


UNIT IV Key 1                                         DESIRE

Purpose of this Key:

  1. Compare godly and ungodly choices.
  2. Compare the attitudes that influence godly and ungodly choices.
  3. Understand how one sin can set off a chain reaction that leads to greater and greater sin.
  4. Understand that committing more sin in order to gain control over one’s life leads to         more problems.

John 10:27

Common responses:

    1) To follow Christ means we listen to Him and obey.

    2) We are never alone. Jesus is always watching over us.

    3) We can trust Jesus to lead us into the abundant life.

    4) If we read the Word, pray, and seek God’s will, we can hear His voice.

    5) Jesus treats us all as individuals, and we are part of a community of believers.

    6) As His followers, we want to become more like Jesus, our Shepherd.

Points to emphasize:

1) Affirm that it is possible to hear God’s voice if we have confessed our sins, forgiven        others, and surrendered self-will.

2) Affirm that God speaks to us through His Word. Any thought contrary to the Word is not from God. Fallen human beings are not able to hear His voice perfectly (II Corinthians 4:7).

3) The Holy Spirit will show us the lies of the devil that lead to negative thoughts, negative emotions, and temptation.

4) Moments of fear, trauma, shame, humiliation, helplessness, pain, and attacks against our self-esteem are often moments when lies were being injected into our minds.

5) When we recall a painful memory, we can ask the Holy Spirit to reveal what lies were injected into our minds during the painful event.

6) When the lies are exposed and are replaced by truth from the Word, then painful memories often have less power over us.

7) The more we speak truth against the lies that were injected into our minds during painful events, the more easily we can forgive those who wronged us.

8) The more we are willing to obey, the more God will reveal His will for our lives and give us the gifts to enhance our calling (I Corinthians 12).

9) Jesus is always “God with us” (Matthew 1:23 & 28:20).

Matthew 7:7-12

Common responses:

1) God can be trusted to give us what is good for us.

2) We can trust Him to deliver us out of every temptation if we ask.

3) We need to do unto others as we would have them do unto us.

4) We can ask God to help us with whatever we are going through.

5) We are totally dependent on God, Who delights to answer our prayers if we pray in His will.

6) God blesses us, so we can bless others.

7) Some respond by testifying to experiences of answered prayer.

Points to emphasize:

1) Affirm the need to surrender self-will and obey God’s will in response to His forgiveness.

2) In every situation, we can ask the Holy Spirit how He wants us to handle it; He loves it when we ask (Luke 11:13).

3) If we ask for something, and God makes us wait, we can ask Him how He wants us to spend our time while we wait.

4) The more we seek God’s will in every situation, the less room our minds have for temptation.

5) Affirm that God will only do us good and not harm (Jeremiah 29:11).

6) We only need to tell Him our needs and trust Him.

7) If we are living in God’s will and adjusting our lives according to His plan, we can trust Him with the results.

8) In the Gospels, everyone who asked Jesus for something got something, but not always what they had hoped for. If they went away empty-handed, it was because they would not accept what Jesus offered (Luke 18:18-23).

Hebrews 3:12-19

Common responses:

1) We are to remain steadfast in our faith.

2) We are to obey His voice and not harden our hearts.

3) God cannot bless us if we will not obey.

4) Sin is deceitful, and little sins lead to big sins.

5) God can do amazing things in our lives if we will obey His will.

Points to emphasize:

1) Affirm the need to consult the Lord about our challenges in life instead of panicking (Numbers 13 & 14). Caleb and Joshua were blessed because they were willing to obey when no one else did.

2) The Hebrew tribes sometimes thought God had abandoned them, which was a lie of the devil. He had repeatedly delivered them out of trouble, and He continued to send manna twice a day even when they doubted, complained, and sinned.

3) Like them, we are more likely to complain and fall into sin when we think God has abandoned us.

4) Verse 14 assures us that we are partakers of Christ, to Whose mercy we can always appeal.

5) The more we are willing to obey God’s will, the more responsibility He can entrust to us, the more we can call on Him for help, and the more opportunities He can give us to serve Him.

6) We can make a lot of spiritual progress, but when a new test comes to us, we sometimes panic and think God has abandoned us. In reality, He is causing us to grow.

7) Sometimes the biggest spiritual test is when nothing seems to be happening, God seems to be silent, prayers do not seem to be getting answered, and there is nothing visible one can point to which would indicate God is at work.

8) Great saints and great prayer warriors are often those who have suffered through “dark nights of the soul”. This is a test of faithfulness.

9) God works in our lives in ways we cannot always see.

Matthew 6:25-34

Common responses:

1) We need not worry about what we cannot control.

2) God is our Provider.

3) We ask Him for what we need, because asking draws us closer to Him.

4) We do not need to worry about tomorrow; God has it all planned out for us anyway. We just need to focus on following His plan for our lives.

Points to emphasize:

1) Affirm that we can bring every situation before God and ask Him how He wants us to handle it.

2) He will never give us an answer that contradicts His Word.

3) Affirm that God always has a plan; we just need to ask Him what He wants us to do.

4) Ssa/ma/tx overcomers often wonder if they will like the changes God is working into their lives. They can trust that as God changes them, they will like themselves better (Jeremiah 18:1-4 & 29:11, & Romans 8:28).

5) God’s solutions to our problems may not be solutions we would have thought of or preferred, but we can trust that they will be the best possible solutions.

6) Asking God for what we need cuts into our pride and self-sufficient attitudes. It obligates us to thank Him and give Him the glory when our needs are met.

7) When we let God help us to become humble, then we are ready to accept more responsibility.

8) Acknowledge that fear is a big part of being a fallen human being. As we take our fears to God, our faith becomes stronger. Fiery trials are part of the Christian walk (James 1:2-4 & Romans 5:3-5).

1. Please read I Samuel 9:15-16 and 10:21-22. What weaknesses did Saul have?

Common responses:

1) He lacked self-confidence.

2) He did not see himself the way God saw him.

3) He should have been obedient.

4) Saul had a weak faith in God and therefore did not obey God’s call on his life.

5) Some identify with Saul’s low self-esteem.

Points to emphasize:

1) Saul’s confidence in himself should have been based on confidence in God.

2) Because he was God’s choice to be king, he could have trusted God to empower him.

3) Even if we feel unqualified for God’s call on our lives, we need to let Him decide what we are capable of (II Corinthians 3:5, 9:8, & 12:9-10).

4) Saul did not give God a chance to change him from a simple farmer into a true king.

5) If we operate within the limits of our spiritual authority, our obedience will bear fruit.

6) Saul did not realize that he was king by God’s authority. Because he would not accept God’s authority, he failed to become the right kind of authority himself.

7) Saul repeatedly insisted on doing things his own way and was thereby ultimately destroyed.

2. Please read I Samuel 11. In this chapter, Saul did several things right. What are they?

Common responses:

1) He was Spirit-led.

2) He defended his people; the battle went very well (verse 11).

3) He spared the lives of his political opponents (verses 12-13).

4) He acted like the king God had said he was.

5) He led worship and thanksgiving. He gave God all the glory for the victory (verse 15).

Points to emphasize:

1) The most important thing he did was allowing himself to be Spirit-led (verse 6).

2) By sparing the lives of his political opponents, he relied on God to establish his kingdom.

3) He gave God all the glory and sought none for himself.

4) If he had continued to lead this way, he would have become an excellent king.

3. Please read I Samuel 13:5-14. What was Saul’s sin? What lies opened him up to temptation? What truth should he have believed? Did his sin get him what he wanted? Who really won the battle, according to chapter 14?

Common responses:

1) He was disobedient, stepped outside his proper authority, and did not trust God’s promises.

2) He should have trusted God and waited for Samuel.

3) The lie was that if he obeyed God and waited for Samuel, the people would scatter and the Philistines would win.

4) He thought God would show him favor even if he disobeyed.

5) His sin prevented him from passing the throne to his son.

6) His God-fearing son won the battle with God’s help.

Points to emphasize:

1) Saul’s faith was being tested. But he never asked God for help or direction.

2) He seemed afraid of not being in control. He feared that God had abandoned him.

3) So often we give in to temptation just before God intervenes. If Saul had waited a little longer, Samuel would have arrived.

4) Often we sin because we fear that God has abandoned us.

5) Jonathan, by contrast, totally committed himself to God’s will and care. He thereby won the victory and gained the confidence of the people.

6) Saul should have repented and accepted whatever discipline God gave him. Instead, he began to go from bad to worse.

4. Please read I Samuel 15:1-23. What was Saul’s sin? What lies opened him up to temptation? What truth should he have believed? Did his sin get him what he wanted?

Common responses:

1) Saul was disobedient, rebellious, prideful, and greedy.

2) He tried to make himself popular with the people instead of pleasing God and trusting that God’s choice had made him king.

3) He feared the people would reject him if he did not allow them to take the livestock, but he was eventually rejected anyway.

4) He thought that if he sacrificed some livestock to the Lord and lied to the prophet, he could avoid punishment for his sin.

5) He thought God could be bribed; if he sacrificed some livestock to the Lord, they could keep the rest.

6) He gave God no glory for the victory, as though he had won the victory by his own strength.

7) He should have trusted God and obeyed Him.

Points to emphasize:

1) Saul was given one more chance to prove he would be faithful to God.

2) God did not want his people to engage in warfare for plunder. If plunder became their motive, the war would no longer qualify as a just war. God only allowed the people to go to war to defend themselves, not to plunder like the pagan tribes.

3) If their motives were corrupt, God could not continue to bless them.

4) If the people were allowed to go on plundering, they would begin to look for excuses to go to war, whether or not they truly needed to defend themselves.

5) Religious-sounding excuses never justify open sin. Neither do lies, half-truths, blame-shifting, or shirking responsibility.

6) Samuel warned Saul that he was headed for worse sin. Without repentance, one sin will lead to another until we commit sins we never thought we would.

7) Child sacrifice and temple prostitution were part of the Amalekite religion. Wiping them out seems harsh, but there was no other way to stop this practice and prevent the Hebrews from doing likewise.

8) The Amalekites had lived next to the Hebrews for centuries by this time and could have repented of their sins like Rahab (Joshua 2) or Ruth. Instead of seeking God’s mercy, they succeeded in spreading child sacrifice and cult prostitution into Hebrew culture, which continued until the Babylonian captivity.

5. Please read I Samuel 15:24-31. Was Saul’s repentance genuine? Why or why not?

Common responses:

1) Most say it was fake.

2) He just wanted to look good in front of the people. He should have shown them humility and public repentance.

3) He never accepted responsibility for his actions.

4) He blamed the people.

5) He showed no signs of truly seeking God.

6) A few think Saul’s repentance was real. He acknowledged sin, worshipped the Lord, and tried to set things right.

Points to emphasize:

1) If he only wanted to look good in front of the people, then worshipping the Lord brought him no spiritual blessing.

2) If Saul were truly penitent, he would have accepted the Lord’s discipline. He would not have tried to kill David, the man whom God had chosen to replace him. Real repentance leads to surrender of self-will and greater obedience.

3) Jonathan, by contrast, repeatedly saved David’s life even though he knew David would be king someday instead of him.

4) Truly penitent people only want God’s mercy and forgiveness, and they will gladly give up everything else.

6. Please read I Samuel 24 and 26. What did David do right, and what truths from the Word of God empowered him to do right?

Common responses:

1) He obeyed God’s Word by not killing the Lord’s anointed.

2) He did not accept bad advice from his people.

3) He refused to take revenge.

4) He left the matter to God’s will, trusting God’s choice and timing.

5) He gave God the glory for delivering him from Saul.

6) He trusted God to make him king at the right time.

Points to emphasize:

1) David could have easily convinced himself that God had given him the opportunity to kill Saul.

2) However, God’s ultimate plan was for Saul to repent (I Samuel 24:16-22 & 26:21). Saul did seem to be temporarily humbled by David’s mercy.

3) Unfortunately, Saul did not stay humble.

4) David did the right thing and left the consequences to God.

5) David knew God had a plan, and he trusted himself to it.

7. Saul’s weaknesses were many. Do you see yourself in any of his weaknesses? If so, which ones?

Common responses:

1) Answers will vary.

2) Many spent years ignoring God’s will and trying to control their lives by their own efforts.

3) Others identify with Saul’s sin of pride.

4) Some realize they have had a weak faith that has not stood up to tests.

Points to emphasize:

1) Give reassurance that I John 1:7-9 and Romans 8:1 always apply.

2) Encourage them to de-brief with the Holy Spirit about what lies opened them up to temptation and, with the Holy Spirit’s guidance, to develop a plan to resist the lies and temptations.

3) Remind them that those characters in the Bible were no different from us. If they repented, they were forgiven. If not, disaster followed.

4) Encourage thanks and praise to God that they can now see these weaknesses in themselves. Acknowledge that God is obviously at work in their lives.

5) Honestly acknowledge your own struggles with self-will, pride, and weaknesses of faith. Every growing Christian faces these battles.

8. Please see I Samuel 16:14-15 and 18:6-12. How did Saul’s attitude enable an evil spirit to torment him? Why might God have allowed it?

Common responses:

1) Pride, rebellion, self-will, jealousy, resentment, hatred, and desiring to commit murder, all opened him up for the evil spirit.

2) He never truly repented.

3) He wanted glory for himself instead of giving glory to God.

4) God wanted Saul to be driven to repentance and to acknowledge his need for God.

5) God accepted Saul’s free will and gave him over to his sin.

6) God would ultimately be glorified even by Saul’s rebellion. David gathered more and more followers as Saul showed himself as a weak ruler.

7) This question often triggers a great deal of insight.

Points to emphasize:

1) Without repentance, one sin will lead to more sins.

2) Jealousy can motivate people to do very destructive acts.

3) David repented of his sins; he had seen in Saul’s life what happens to one who refuses to repent (Psalm 51:11-12).

4) If Saul had repented like Manasseh (II Chronicles 33), who was a worse king than Saul, he could have been forgiven.

5) Any known unconfessed sin opens us up for trouble. Trouble may not come immediately, but eventually it will come. Known unconfessed sins are holes in our battle armor (Ephesians 6:11-18).

6) To be delivered from demonic oppression, one must first thoroughly examine oneself and confess known sin.

7) We can ask the Holy Spirit to show us our unknown sins (Psalm 19:12-13). We can trust God’s mercy to cover all our sins, known and unknown.

8) God used Saul’s rebellion to set David up to become an extraordinary military leader.

9) Affirm any Biblical insights.

9. How do the following verses encourage you to overcome ssa/ma/tx or any other sin?

Proverbs 10:24

Common responses:

1) Eventually we will experience victory.

2) The wicked will get what they fear.

3) The righteous in Christ will receive what they desire: eternity in heaven.

4) Often we sin in response to fear and then have even more reasons to be afraid.

5) God will cause us to hate sin and love Him.

Points to emphasize:

1) The righteous person confesses sin and is covered with the righteousness of God in Christ. By faith we are counted as righteous (Romans 3:20-24).

2) The more we confess our sins and accept God’s forgiveness, the more our desires are aligned with His.

3) We will pray more in accordance with God’s will and have more power in prayer.

4) The righteous desire to walk more closely with the Lord and to be purged of every sin that stands between them and Him.

5) The wicked may have done nothing worse than rely on their own clean living and good works to save them (Luke 18:9-14). They live in fear that they have not done enough to impress God.

6) The wicked are full of unconfessed sin, which causes fear (Romans 2:15, Hebrews 2:14-15 & 10:31, & I Corinthians 15:56-57).

Proverbs 15:5

Common responses:

1) We benefit from accepting godly correction.

2) We need to learn from our mistakes.

3) We need to grow from our heavenly Father’s discipline.

Points to emphasize:

1) God will pour out blessings if we are willing to accept godly reproof.

2) People who cannot accept reproof should not give it, nor should they be in positions of leadership.

Proverbs 16:2

Common responses:

1) We might try to look good on the outside, but the Lord knows our hidden motives.

2) We need to confess impure motives as sin.

3) We try to justify our sins, but God’s Word exposes the lies with which we deceive ourselves.

Points to emphasize:

1) We need to confess sins of hidden motivations and secret agendas.

2) God does not bless good deeds if done with ungodly motives (Matthew 6:1-6 & 16-18).

3) If our motives are good, but our deeds are not quite right, we can ask God to forgive us and show us how to do better.

4) The more our motives are aligned with God’s will, the more blessings and victory we will receive.

5) Our fantasies can reveal a great deal about our hidden motivations and secret agendas. In our fantasies, our selfish wishes are fulfilled while we give nothing in return, our sense of entitlement is never challenged, our judgment is never questioned, and our every whim is granted.

6) Hidden motivations and secret agendas can lead to unexpected slips into sin (Psalm 19:12-13 & 139:23-24).

Proverbs 16:7

Common responses:

1) When we are right with the Lord, He will handle problems with our enemies.

2) Some testify that they have seen this come true in their own lives.

Points to emphasize:

1) God is pleased when we pray for the salvation of our enemies.

2) When we have trouble with a difficult people, we can ask God how He wants us to deal with them.

3) If they do not share a testimony, ask them if they have had a chance to put this verse to the test.

4) Sometimes we must wait a long time before we see this promise fulfilled.

5) People who are unkind to us might be testing us to see if our faith is genuine or fake.

6) Sometimes unbelievers who are under conviction of sin respond to it by attacking Christians. Hidden guilt feeds their hostility.

7) When we pray for revival, we can expect the enemy of our souls to attack us.

10. By now, what are your greatest reasons for wanting to overcome ssa/ma/tx?

Common responses:

1) Many express gratitude to God for His mercy.

2) Their relationship with Jesus is more important than any sexual thrills.

3) Many now realize that change is possible. 

4) Living according to God’s Word feels better than their lives of sin.

5) Minor-attracted adults want to be protectors of children rather than predators.

Points to emphasize:

1) Affirm any Biblical response.

2) The strongest and most lasting reason is gratitude for the mercy of God as a free gift in Christ.

3) Remind them that they will like the changes God works into their lives.

4) We can trust God to bring us peace as He sanctifies us (I Thessalonians 5:23).

11.How has your self-image changed as you learn who you are in Christ?

Common responses:

1) Many feel better about themselves.

2) Minor-attracted adults often viewed themselves as worthless when living their life of sin; now they view themselves as strong and safe.

Points to emphasize:

1) Affirm that we will like who we become as God transforms us.

2) We are monuments of God’s glory and trophies of His Grace.

12. How have your relationships with others changed since you began the Keys?

Common responses:

1) Answers will vary.  

2) Many have become kinder to others and less self-centered.

3) Many are exploring non-sexual friendships.

4) Some are developing leadership skills.

5) Some are more comfortable around others.

6) Some notice they are less dependent on others’ approval.

7) Some notice their relationships have more honesty and trust.

Points to emphasize:

1) Affirm any positive changes and the ways in which they are blessing others.

13. On a scale of 1-10, how victorious have you been lately? Please explain your answer.

Common responses:

1) Most are doing well.

2) Some still struggle with fantasies and masturbation.

3) Some are only slightly tempted by ssa/ma/tx and are now more concerned about sins of words or thoughts.

4) Some have come under conviction of sins that did not used to concern them.

Points to emphasize:

1) Encourage thanks and praise to God for any victory gained.

2) If the number is high because they have had very little temptation lately, encourage thanks and praise to God.  

3) If the number is high because they have had to fight much temptation and were successful, encourage thanks and praise to God.

4) More tests will likely be put in their way, but future tests should not spoil their enjoyment of the victories they have had so far.

5) Avoid criticizing a low number. Try to find out the reason for it. Ask about their thoughts, attitudes, stressful situations, how they are using their time, or if anything unexpected has happened.

6) If they sin less frequently than before, assure them that God has been working in their lives. Encourage progress, not perfection.

7) If they slipped into sin but noticed that the feelings were not as strong, that is a sign of God at work in their lives. Encourage them to confess it, accept God’s forgiveness, and get back on track.

8) If they feel worse after sinning than they used to, that is a sign that God has made their consciences more responsive to His will. They can be thankful for their awakened consciences; they used to be dead in their sins (Ephesians 2:1).

9) Remind them that I John 1:9 and Romans 8:1 always apply.

10) Encourage them to retrace their steps and ask the Holy Spirit to give them insight into    what weakness led to the fall.

11) Encourage them to confess sins of thoughts (Romans 12:2) in order to more easily avoid sins of words and deeds.

12) Continue to encourage them to use memorized Scripture to block tempting and negative thoughts. Encourage use of the Emergency Prayer.

13) If they view themselves as making very little progress, keep their focus on God’s mercy rather than their own failures. Punishing themselves with guilt accomplishes nothing; Jesus took the punishment on their behalf.

14) New Christians do not always understand the difference between temptation and actual sin. Some give themselves a low number, but while the temptation was great, they may not have fallen into sin. Explain the difference to them.

15)  If they have not had temptation in a long while, they might need to be aware that   the devil does not give up easily and may be preparing a major attack. This possibility should not prevent them from enjoying their progress now. Overcomers commonly experience a     major attack of temptation before getting the final victory over a besetting sin. If they withstand a big temptation, which can go on for days or weeks, they will usually find themselves that much stronger once it is over. Encourage them to pray for rescue immediately when tempted.14. Did you use any memorized Scripture to battle temptation lately? What was the result?

Common responses:

  1) Answers will vary.

  2) By this time, most have learned to use the Word effectively against temptation.

3) Most are using it against the sins of deeds. Some are still learning to use it against the      sins of the mind.                                     .

Points to emphasize:

  1) Affirm any Biblical response.

15. How is your spiritual life in general, how are your private devotions, and how are things at                    your church/fellowship group?

Common responses:

   1) Answers will vary.

   2) Most report that things are going well.

   3) A few are beginning to emerge as leaders in their church/fellowship group.

Points to emphasize:

      1) Encourage thanks and praise to God for whatever is going well.

      2) Explore what is not going well and try to help them find out why.

      3) Counsel based on your knowledge, experience, and what you have learned from

          working with this person.

Plan of Action

   1) Affirm any Biblical response.

   2) Counsel based on your knowledge, experience, and what you have learned from working with this person.

Additional points:

  1. Recognize that giving up the ssa/ma/tx lifestyle is painful.
  2. For many, it was a way to cope with painful emotions.
  3. In your work with them, empathize with the pain. This empathy will not reinforce their desire to go back. What they need is for you to acknowledge the pain.
  4. Many are facing painful memories and thoughts for the first time in many years, without their fantasy life to comfort them. It takes time to find other ways to cope with painful emotions.
  5. They may have to face anxiety. They need to take their anxiety into their prayer life and bring it all to the Lord.
  6. They may have to face sadness and grieve. Grieving in the presence of Jesus is powerful. He is the Good Shepherd Who cares for hurting sheep.
  7. They may need to confront the negative thoughts and attitudes that may be leading to depression. While some depression is caused by a chemical imbalance, and medication may be helpful, many times depression is caused by low self-esteem and feeling powerless.
  8. Many grew up in families in which they were abused and therefore often felt powerless. The depression likely resulted from that. They need to face painful memories in their        prayer time.
  9. They need to confront the lies of the devil that were injected into their minds when they felt powerless.
  10. They need to confront feelings of shame and the lies of the devil that causes the shame.
  11. Ssa/ma/tx people often compare themselves to others and view themselves as lacking in various ways. This can lead to depression.
  12. They need to stop comparing themselves to others; they need to recognize the gifts God has given them and to give thanks.
  13. They need to stop feeling inferior to others, and stop compensating by fantasizing that they are superior to others. By recognizing their gifts and thanking God for them, they can view themselves as equal with others.
  14. They may need a lot of support. They need caring friends who will listen to them, keep what is said confidential, and pray with them.
  15. Above all else, they need to be in the Word and letting the Holy Spirit renew their minds and take their thoughts captive to Jesus. They need to take every issue to Him in prayer.