‘For this is the will of god, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality’ – 1 Thessalonians 4:3//#abstinence

Hello hi again, Willing Spirits !

I hope you have all enjoyed what we hope to be the last week of a harsh lockdown (please God!) and are ready for the outside world again. I know I am!

In a campfire, the fire is good because it warms us up. But if those flames were to be manipulated and spread elsewhere, they would burn the tents and possibly the forest itself. God created the campfire for sexual intercourse and called it marriage. Society has manipulated the flames, allowing them to escape the campfire. Consequently, we experience destruction in our relationships and our lives.

What’s important to remember, however, is that sexual intercourse is not the sin itself. Neither is the desire. It’s about the when and the who with that stirs up question. God created sex for healthy reproduction to create families. He understands the want and need for it which is why He stated that to avoid sexual immorality, ‘…let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband‘ [1 Corinthians 7:2 NKJV].

So what is sexual immorality and why is it so hard to rid of? It involves adultery, fornication, prostitution, masturbation, bestiality and anything sexually unlawful in the eyes of the Lord. Because of its manipulative nature, it is one of the toughest and damaging sins to exist. Tough because it derives from our good, biological sex drive and so can be easily manipulated for personal pleasure but sinful nonetheless. And damaging because ‘…every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body‘ [1 Corinthians 6:18]. It’s the reason why we sometimes tend to feel regret, guilt or shame afterwards.

Our bodies are temples of the Lord, so how we treat them matters. Sexual immorality is a fast ticket into defiling that temple. It isn’t a sin you can rid of by yourself (well that goes for any sin but this one especially) and so telling yourself you will stop is, unfortunately, not enough. The first step to overcoming is recognising that we have a problem with a certain sexual sin. Being aware of it and not denying it within ourselves. Even though God already knows what it is, go to Him and let Him know. Ask for His help in overcoming it. God knows our problems, He’s just waiting for us to come to Him with them. The next step is very important. Some of us miss it and many do not even know they have missed it. Let go of all guilt, shame and regret that we harbour in our hearts because of it.

Great men in the bible committed sexual immorality but overcame them and were forgiven. King David committed adultery and was swarmed with guilt and shame for a long time (provided he had other sins he was guilty for too). But once he acknowledged his sin and confessed it onto God [Psalm 32], he let go of that guilt and shame and allowed God to lift him up. David didn’t have what we have now. That is Jesus Christ. Recognise that once we follow Jesus ‘…there is therefore now no condemnation…’ [Romans 8:1], something we have talked about in a previous post.

In order for these to work and run smoothly we must guard our hearts by guarding our eyes. We know that our eyes are gateways into our souls and it is from there that thoughts and desires arise. One of the best non spiritual things we can do to avoid sexual immorality is to avoid viewing sexual things. These include: sexual movies, tv shows, videos, pornography etc. Watching these will fuel our desire so when we are faced with the temptation, it’ll be harder to overcome. Filling our minds with the things of God, whether that be reading His word, listening to gospel or watching God-related movies, will fuel the right part of us–our spirits. When the desire isn’t being fed, it will begin to starve and slowly die. So the next time temptation comes it won’t put up much of a fight. In fact, the devil may not even come to tempt us with that same thing again knowing that it no longer appeases us.

Doing all of this will take time and willpower but most importantly, it will require the help of the Holy Spirit. I pray that God will renew His spirit within us so that we may be able to overcome sexual immorality in Jesus’ name. I hope this helps you and have a lovely lockdown-eased week!

A Willing Spirit x

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