I'm proud to be a part of a church that will deal with biblical texts head on. Today was one of those days as Brad took a familiar text and called our people up to godly lives that honor Him with their sexuality. There is no more shameful or sad cycle in the Bible than watching God's people fail with regards to sexual immorality over and over and over again. So what do we do when we face our sexual sin head on?
There are people I talk to almost every week who struggle in this area. If there were an equation to fix the problem, I would love to know what it is. It seems to me that changing what we think about sexuality is the key to fleeing sexual sin. We have to come to grips that we have bought into a lie over the reality of what God has designed. We prefer our sexual appetites and impulses over the fruit of the Spirit manifesting itself in self-control. We impose "perceived drives" of other men and women to make ourselves feel attainable, loved and valuable. In the end we can errantly base our sexuality on feelings over thinking. This was detrimental to the people of God time and time again, and its detrimental to us today.
So what do you do when you come face to face with a sexual immoral decision? Here are some guiding principles that may help you practically flee.
1. Realize you aren't strong enough to beat it.
Over and over again we buy into what Chip Ingram calls the "Try Hard, Do Good, Fail" cycle. We try hard to flee sexual temptation, we do good (for a short while), and then we fail and feel miserable. Pretty soon we don't try so hard, don't do so good, and fake it to the world around us. God designed us to be in community. Honest, loving, and intentional community is a good place to bring your struggles to the body and rely on one another for greater strength. Christian community is a place where grace takes place and holiness is sought after.
2. Remove things that make it easy.
If you struggle with porn, turn off the Internet. If you can't stop watching movies, sell your TV. People have existed for many years without either of the aforementioned luxuries. Realize the problem isn't the computer; it's you. Sin is in you, not in your TV subscription. Knowing that should give you internal perspective, but there are times when removing "easy access" items helps clear the immorality fog that can cover a person's life.
3. Repent and trust in Christ.
Repenting from sin isn't about feeling sorry. It literally means to stop pursuing that action, reorienting your life and mind 180 degrees in the opposite direction, and pursuing God. Have we forgotten that Christ is in the business of redemption? Do you really think His death on a cross was good enough to be justified but not strong enough to conquer your sexual immorality? His death was sufficient to conquer all sin.
I heard a quote this weekend that has haunted me in the last few days. The speaker said, "In the Bible, we only obey what we really believe." He was making the point that there are many things God calls us to in His Word, but we change our life to accommodate only a select few of them. This cannot be for the people of God. When you give your life to Christ, you give all of it.
Let's be the people of God who make a stand to fight sexual immorality and fight it with every bit of grace and strength only God can provide.
For the body of Christ and for His Glory,
P.S. If you want a great current read about lies we believe regarding pornography, read Doug Wilson's post here.