It’s common to hear amongst believers today of the necessity to acquire something known as an accountability partner. This is one means to ensure a greater resistance against temptation in our fight for joy in Christ. Relying on the help of others is not man’s idea, but is very much a biblical principle. We see the obvious need for daily exhortation (Hebrews 3:13) and the soul-stirring power that is available when one is joined to a Christ-centered community (Hebrews 10:24-25).
Some might have different definitions of an “accountability partner” but a common one may simply be: a person(s) who regularly follows up with our walk with Christ while also being one we confess our sins to with the expectation of loving rebuke, correction, and prayer. The hopes of such a relationship(s) is to create a sense that someone is essentially, watching us. Our lives are not private anymore. Our decisions and actions are filtered by the reality of a face-to-face conversation that we will have with another person regarding what we’ve done. In God’s wisdom, Christian community is one way he empowers and encourages his people to stay persistent.
Nevertheless, I see something in the Scriptures that offers even more force, more might, and more strength in the area of maintaining holiness than anything else. It’s the fear of God. This is the ingredient that will take you further in victory over sin more than your pastor, counselor, or mentor ever will.
For the sake of not making this blog too long, I won’t describe what the fear of God is as much as I will mention what it offers. It is a heavenly deposit that provides hatred for evil (Proverbs 8:13), it grants the energy to help us turn away from wickedness (Proverbs 16:6), and it is the source that keeps our devotion to Christ bursting with life (Proverbs 14:27).
I think of Joseph. A man who couldn’t text his father for advice when abiding in Potiphar’s house. A young adult who didn’t have access to a weekly meeting with a friend to pray with about his struggles at work. But what he did have is what many lack: an awareness of the all-seeing, all-present, all-knowing God that kept him consistently rejecting what was being offered daily from an adulteress woman. He himself expressed the anchor of his soul when being pulled by the tides of temptation by stating: “…how then can I do this great wickedness and sin against God?” (Genesis 39:9b)
By all means, find an accountability partner and don’t walk this walk alone. But don’t forget that the greatest one you can have is the fear of the Lord.