Day 75: Why Be Sexually Pure?
WHY NOT JUST GIVE IN?
Isn’t it easier to just give into lustful desires instead of living in guilt and shame trying to combat them? Maybe - but only if you thought there was nothing wrong with it. God is clear - lust is sinful, and He paid the ultimate price in blood to clear you of it. Once you know Christ you’ll never be able to live in the darkness again without conviction. Conviction is knowing that the evil you're doing is fundamentally wrong, and that Christ loved you enough to die to save you from it. The beauty of the Holy Spirit is that He is constantly guiding our hearts and minds towards righteousness:
But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. -John 16:13
Many times in my struggle I simply gave up. I was just tired of the fight and decided to simply give into any and all temptation. That was the equivalent of pushing a splinter farther into a wound. It temporarily relieves the pain, but in the long run it will result in an infection. Our hearts have been infected by sin and we are called by God to turn away from our former self. Since we now have a knowledge of good and evil, He asks us to simply choose good.
THE WHY OF SIN
Often I struggled with the “why” of sin. Why do I have to resist these urges at all? Put quite simply, we resist because God said to do so. When did that stop being enough for us? The creator of the heavens and the earth, formed us in our mother's womb and has asked us to do and not do certain things. In fact, it stopped being enough for us with Adam and Eve. Their struggle is our struggle with lust: God told them what to do and what not to do, and they decided to take matters into their own hands. This same rebellion led the Israelites to wander around in a desert for forty years:
The Israelites had moved about in the desert forty years until all the men who were of military age when they left Egypt had died, since they had not obeyed the LORD. For the LORD had sworn to them that they would not see the land that he had solemnly promised their fathers to give us, a land flowing with milk and honey. -Joshua 5:6
The Israelites were to be God’s chosen people for the specific purpose of showing His nature to the world. They had an incredible legacy in front of them, an incredible plan set in motion through Abraham. Through this one nation, God would bless all peoples of all nations and tribes.
And yet, what was the fate of this nation? They wandered for 40 years in a desert and eventually began a pattern of regularly disobeying God and His commands. As a result this once great nation was banished from their land and punished throughout scripture.
THE RELATIONSHIP OF GRACE AND OBEDIENCE
God has a plan for each of us, including you. Our obedience to His word allows the fulfillment of that plan. Our disobedience however will leave us with a life of heartache, guilt, shame and humiliation. Deny this fate for yourself. Know that God is holy and desires to bless you, but He asks for your obedience. The Bible tells us that obedience is better than sacrifice (1 Samuel 15:22). This was written in the old testament, before Christ came. Think about that for a second... there was not yet an ultimate price paid for sin (Christ's death on the cross). As a result, people had to sacrifice animals to cover their sins. And yet it was written that obedience was of more importance than sacrifice, why? Because it was always about grace. God has been extending grace long before Jesus. Look at the response from Nathan the prophet after David admitted his sin without making any animal sacrifices:
Then David said to Nathan, "I have sinned against the LORD." Nathan replied, "The LORD has taken away your sin. You are not going to die. -2 Samuel 12:13
What's the point? The point is that God directly correlates grace with obedience. When you confess your sin and choose to obey God, He extends His grace. This is the grand theme of scripture and has been since the dawn of time. If the Bible had a subtitle, it could read something like: "The redemption of man through the grace of God."
This is only the half of it however. In the Old Testament, the written law was the closest approximation to God's heart, but it certainly went deeper than mindless, rote obedience. If that were enough, Jesus would have praised the Pharisees, and David would not have written: "For You do not delight in sacrifice, otherwise I would give it; You are not pleased with burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise." in Psalm 51:17-18. It seems to me that God is more interested in where our heart lies: "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." - Matthew 6:21. God wants our heart, and when we lust, we give our heart over to another lover. God desires to give us good things, and to give us relationship with himself. He cannot give us good gifts if our hands are full of broken idols. So, what idols are you holding onto?
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. - Galatians 2:20
You’ve come a long way, and at this point we pray you are walking in freedom from sexual sin. If the struggle is still alive and well then perhaps it is a good opportunity to restart the lessons, carefully obeying the biblical wisdom given.
Day 75 Application
Have you relapsed into sin at any point during this course? How did it make you feel? What did you do about it? Deuteronomy 30:19 explains that God has set the choice of good and evil, life and death before us. What does this mean in the context of sexual purity?
What lessons can we learn from how the Israelites responded to God’s command to obey Him? If you’ve experienced freedom from sexual sin, write out your testimony here:
How would you respond to someone who said, "God created me with these desires. There's nothing ungodly about it."?
How does unchecked sexuality change the nature of our spirituality? How would you be able to help someone else define what is sexual sin is?