I’ve contemplated plenty, before writing this post, how much is too much to share. Any one who knows me, can attest to the fact that I’m pretty straightforward and extremely transparent, in person…mainly because I’m just a real one. Something about writing this, sans the intimate experience of a face to face conversation, gives me pause.
So for starters.
I have NOT had sex in 7 years (May 2017 was the mark of SEVEN). Like for real. Not. At. All. IN SEVEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEENNN YEARS. Lord Jesus, ain’t that the year of COMPLETION. Is it over yet?! AM I DONE?! Side eye emoji. BUT in all seriousness, though this journey has not been easy, God has been faithful, He has filled me with PEACE every step of the way and has PROTECTED me, throughout the journey of honoring HIM with my body.
Abstinence has been choice on my part. I haven’t lived in a bubble in these past 7 years and temptation has been present throughout, but I have maintained a conviction to HONOR the LORD with my body and I want to discuss why and what God’s WORD says regarding sexual immorality.
What propelled me to abstinence?
Sometimes it saddens me that this question has to even be asked. Like the most obvious answer is because I am a Christian, read follower of Christ, and because God said so, through HIS WORD.
No discussion. No debate. That’s what it is.
Unfortunately the reality is, we live in a WORLD full of Christians and non-Christians alike who have created a culture where abstaining is perhaps recommended, sometimes necessary until an appointed time of comfort and trust, but where it is not REQUIRED. I lived in that understanding for a long time. I knew from childhood, based off of conversations with my parents, that sex was reserved for married couples and engaging in the act before hand was considered sin to God. I had a head knowledge of that reality for a long time. THIS KNOWLEDGE did not keep me from having sex. What my head knew to be wrong, my body felt was right. (cue R.Kelly, nawww turn that off). But this one scripture hit me like a brick one fateful day, as I was reading my bible. Before I tell you this scripture, I want us to have a fuller understanding of what sex is to the Lord.
What does God’s word say regarding sex?
So poetically the bible refers to sex as becoming ONE FLESH. The implications of “one flesh” are pretty amazing; the fitting together of the sexual body organs and the emotional and spiritual bond that happens during sex, is like some physical and spiritual jig saw puzzle that can not be taken apart again. There is a melding together, physically, spiritually and emotionally.
We can look to the account of the first man and woman to see how they responded to the call of becoming one flesh:
Adam proclaimed, after receiving a revelation that Eve belonged to him, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman’ for she was taken out of man.” THAT IS WHY a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his WIFE and they BECOME ONE FLESH. Genesis 2:23-24 (emphasis added).
Eve BELONGED TO HIM. And ADAM BELONGED TO HER. THEY WERE MARRIED.
In a MARRIAGE, when two become one flesh, God describes this as a BELONGING.
“The wife DOES NOT have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. IN THE SAME WAY (because mutuality people) the husband DOES NOT have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife.” – 1 Corinthians 7:3-4 (emphasis added)
Again in the marriage union two individuals now BELONG to ONE ANOTHER.
“And he answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be JOINED to his wife, and the TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH’? So then, they are NO LONGER TWO BUT ONE FLESH. Therefore WHAT GOD HAS JOINED TOGETHER, let not man separate.” – Matthew 19:4-6 (emphasis added)
“MARRIAGE should be HONORED by all and the marriage BED KEPT PURE, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral” Hebrews 13:4
Even if you aren’t a believer, there are plenty of culturally expressive verbiage that demonstrates just how people view their sexuality.
There is a sense that something BELONGS TO THEM that they are now GIVING TO ANOTHER. Phrases like “I GAVE her the D”, “I GAVE him SOME”, “I LET him HAVE it” “She LET ME hit” “She WANTS the D” make it very clear that there is something being BROUGHT FORTH, something being PRESENTED, something being OFFERED, and it is OUR BODIES.
The reality is: SEX UTILIZES THE BODY AND ITS ORGANS, God speaks about the flesh/our bodies, throughout the word. Sex is absolutely an ACT OF THE FLESH, which God pours HIS spirit on, during a marriage covenant.
God has even more to say about OUR BODIES, outside of marriage, as they relate to sex.
Using terms like sexual immorality and adultery, it is CLEAR that there are many sexual acts that do NOT HONOR God.
We don’t have to do a history lesson to know that temple sex read ritualist sex, pedophilia, bestiality, homosexuality, orgies and incest were a prevalent part of the surrounding cultures.
Galatians 5:19 says “THE ACTS OF THE FLESH are OBVIOUS: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies and the like”
God CONTINUED to remind HIS PEOPLE throughout the scriptures that they were to BE SET APART, a HOLY PEOPLE BELONGING TO HIM (Leviticus 20:26; Deuteronomy 9:29; Psalm 100:3; 1 Corinthians 3:23)
Colossians 3:5 “put to death, therefore, WHATEVER BELONGS to your earthly nature (my translation: those things you did naturally, before God’s SPIRIT made you new) SEXUAL IMPURITY, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.”
….and can I just drop the mic with a scripture that let’s us know God’s will regarding SEX plain as day:
“IT IS GOD’S WILL that you should be sanctified (made holy, separate, dedicated to God): THAT YOU SHOULD AVOID SEXUAL IMMORALITY; THAT EACH OF YOU SHOULD LEARN TO CONTROL YOUR OWN BODY IN A WAY THAT IS HOLY AND HONORABLE, NOT IN PASSIONATE LUST LIKE PAGANS WHO DO NOT KNOW GOD and that in this matter no one should wrong or take advantage of a brother or sister. The Lord will punish all who commit such sins, as we told you and warned you before. For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a HOLY LIFE. Therefore anyone who rejects this instruction does not reject a human being BUT GOD, THE VERY GOD WHO GIVES YOU HIS SPIRIT” – 1 Thessalonians 4:3-8
God desires that those who believe in HIM would avoid (steer clear and away from) sexual immorality and NOT TO REJECT HIM, by ignoring HIS desire, as if it were optional.
So what was the verse that changed my life?
THE ONE THAT MADE ME HALT.
THE ONE THAT CUT ME DEEP.
THE ONE THAT OPENED MY EYES TO JUST HOW SERIOUS THIS THING WAS….
Let’s just READ THIS SLOWLY TOGETHER.
“Do you not know that your BODIES are TEMPLES of the HOLY SPIRIT, who is IN YOU, whom you have RECEIVED FROM GOD? YOU ARE NOT YOUR OWN, you were BOUGHT at a price. THEREFORE Honor God with your BODIES.” 1 Corinthians 6: 19-20
Selah! For mad long…meaning pause, ponder, meditate, let it sit.
So prior to this, I’m out here giving away something THAT DOESN’T EVEN BELONG TO ME and LORD you are trying to remind me that my body actually houses YOUR VERY PRESENCE?! *somebody insert that krusty crab meme here*
The word BECAME LIFE to me when I read that scripture. Like EVERY TIME I HAVE GOD DISHONORING sex (outside of marriage) I am directly sinning against the HOLY SPIRIT that LIVES INSIDE OF ME.
The moment I said “Christ I will follow you”, I was held responsible by God to “Deny [myself] and pick up my cross daily” (Matthew 16:24, Luke 9:23) and to “die to self and live for Christ” (Galatians 2:20, Colossians 3:5, Romans 6:11, Galatians 5:24).
Translation: This life isn’t about me. This life is now DEDICATED to the Christ living THROUGH me. This takes a considerable amount of HUMILITY to put into practice, but that’s what it is.
Vs. 20 says I was BOUGHT at a PRICE.
That price was the DEATH OF JESUS CHRIST ON THE CROSS. The consequence of SIN is death and He PAID it (Romans 6:23).
God’s RIGHTEOUS judgment for man, that does not FOLLOW THE LAW (His standard of Holiness and Righteousness), is JUDGMENT and that judgement IS DEATH. Christ WHO HAD NO SIN, BECAME SIN SO THAT I COULD BE BECOME THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD IN HIM AND SPEND ETERNITY WITH HIM (2 Corinthians 5:21).
$$$$ God purchased me BACK on the cross, so that instead of BELONGING to the enemy of my soul, who desires that I follow every DICTATE of my flesh’s DESIRE (Galatians 5:16), I would BELONG to the LORD because of my faith in HIM (Philippians 2:13; John 3:16; 1 John 3:1-10).
God LOVES you, listening to Him is not a punishment.
Jeremiah 31:3 The LORD appeared to him from afar, saying, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore I have drawn you with lovingkindness.
Psalm 136:1 Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good, For His lovingkindness is everlasting. Give thanks to the God of gods, For His lovingkindness is everlasting. Give thanks to the Lord of lords, For His lovingkindness is everlasting
Proverbs 3:12 For whom the LORD loves He reproves, Even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights.
SO WHY ARE WE STRUGGLING TO ABSTAIN?
Scripture is clear about the reality that OUR LOVE FOR GOD IS DIRECTLY TIED TO OUR OBEDIENCE TO HIS WORD:
1 Samuel 15:22 “But Samuel replied, “What is more pleasing to the Lord: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams.”
John 14:23-24 Jesus answered, If a person [really] loves Me, he will keep My word [obey My teaching]; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home (abode, special dwelling place) with him. Anyone who does not [really] love Me does not observe and obey My teaching. And the teaching which you hear and heed is not Mine, but [comes] from the Father Who sent Me.
Proverbs 21:3 (NIV) To do what is right and just is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.
Luke 6:46 “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?
1 John 5:1-5 “Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well. This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.”
If we only believed God that His command was a delight and not a burden.
Questions that need answers:
- Do we really love Him?
- What are we doing that’s hindering us from SEXUAL PURITY?
God’s word to the church of Ephesus helps us to see a bit more clearly what can happen to the people of Godt, if not careful ( the book of Ephesians was also written to them by Paul).
Revelation 2:4-5 But I have this [one charge to make] against you: that you have left (abandoned) the love that you had at first [you have deserted Me, your first love]. Remember then from what heights you have fallen. Repent (change the inner man to meet God’s will) and do the works you did previously [when first you knew the Lord], or else I will visit you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you change your mind and repent.
If we are HONEST with ourselves, some of us were never here, this place of LOVE for God [a love that DESIRES to do HIS WILL above all] And a lot of us are struggling to stay in LOVE WITH GOD. Speaking from personal experience, seriously.
We have made it our subconscious mission to do what FEELS RIGHT and continue down paths that are self focused. We adopt cultural NORMS and no longer feel any CONVICTION for activities, that if God came and sat down next to us, we would feel ASHAMED about participating in -_- why man?!
Scripture tells us why, very plainly.
James 4:4-5 (AMP) You [are like] unfaithful wives [having illicit love affairs with the world and breaking your marriage vow to God]! Do you not know that being the world’s friend is being God’s enemy? So whoever chooses to be a friend of the world takes his stand as an enemy of God. Or do you suppose that the Scripture is speaking to no purpose that says, The Spirit Whom He has caused to dwell in us yearns over us and He yearns for the Spirit [to be welcome] with a jealous love?
That’s it, RIGHT THERE.
We are a bit too friendly with the world. Like imagine your boyfriend/girlfriend/spouse giving you a kiss and saying how much they love you, only to turn around and grab a hold of another person, squeezing them extra hard, kissing them on the cheek and being like I love you too! Besides your hands feeling a strong sensation to make contact with the back of their head, you would be like “ummmmm there is no REASON for my spouse to be THAT friendly with (whoever said person is)”.
So if we desire to be a FRIEND of Christ and break off our friendships with the world, what must we do?
1. Repent: meaning turn the other direction. Acknowledge your SIN to God. Mannnn, SAY SORRY! lol You now know that what you have engaged in has hurt Him, does not demonstrate your real heart for Him and was rooted in pleasing self.
1 John 1:8-10 says “ If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.
Confess MEANING, agree with God, by acknowledging YOU ARE WRONG and HE IS RIGHT. And TRUST THAT He has given you everything you need to DO RIGHT and HONOR Him with your body. (2 Peter 1:3)
2. Cultivate a sincere relationship with God. YOU CAN NOT LOVE, OR CALL SOMEONE FRIEND,YOU DO NOT KNOW.
“We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands” 1 John 2:3
This means DRAWING NEAR TO CHRIST.
I mean how do you come to love the people in your life? You hit them up to spend time; you talk on the phone; you are there for them; you are vulnerable and pour out who you are to them in conversation; you listen to them etc. God wants that same relationship with his children.
What does this look like?
Spend time with “friends”: reading His word, singing worship songs to Him, talking to Him about what’s going on, going to church to spend time with the BODY OF BELIEVERS He loves so deeply, meditating on scriptures that relate to your situation, keeping your mind focused on Him.
Being there for “friends”: Going to God’s word concerning the issues of culture, your life, areas where you are unsure about His standard and how you can overcome your natural propensity to do the opposite of what he says. You want to do His will, so ask God to teach you what that is and how to do it with the POWER of His Holy Spirit.
Being Vulnerable and Pouring out who you are to “friends”: God just wants you to TALK to Him about EVERYTHING. In Revelation 3:20 God says “Behold, I stand at the DOOR knocking, if you hear MY VOICE and OPEN the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends”. God is so near. He wants to sit at the table of our hearts and commune with us ALL THE TIME. So much so that HE placed His spirit inside of us to dwell with us at ALL TIMES. God has an answer for our DEEPEST longings, including our longing for sexual fulfillment.
Listen to “friends”: This is my favorite one. Who doesn’t love a good word of encouragement, blessing, counsel and correction from a LOVING FRIEND. God speaks people. He speaks through HIS written word, He speaks through prophecy, He speaks to our hearts, He speaks through dreams some times and speaks through His church.
Testimonial: I recall the first time I ever CLEARLY heard the Lord speak to me, in May of 2012. I was on a 3 day water fast, I was face down in my scriptures SEEKING direction and God answered me in faith. It was more like a stream of words being spoken to my heart/brain that I would NEVER think to say on my own. It was first person and IT CHANGED ME FOREVER.
The reality is God had ALREADY spoken to me, years before this, in HIS word. I was just too distracted by my friendship with the world, to really understand or hear.
God just wants our hearts. Sexual PURITY is not a burden. PLEASING GOD IS NOT A BURDEN. The enemy wants to convince us that we are MISSING out on something and that God is trying to keep things from us, when the reality is God is offering WISDOM AND PROTECTION.
This is the same lie, he convinced EVE of in the garden. Saying that the only reason God told you not to eat this was because He knew, you would be like Him knowing good and evil. What Eve sounded like “So God knew how bomb this tree was and what it would offer me… it won’t kill me, let me see what’s good!” STOP LISTENING TO YOUR FLESH.
What we sound like “God knows how close I will feel to my partner if we do this”; “we not married…but we are headed that way”, “Man! God knows I can handle having sex and not get in my feelings”, “God knows I’m super HORNY, we only gon’ do it once and no more”. “We are safe from consequences; I always use a condom” and the list of reasons why God should understand and why it’s OKAYYY goes on.
I KNOW WE CAN FIGHT THIS FIGHT. I know because I have fought it and the FIGHT OF MY LIFE IS AHEAD OF ME! *cue rocky theme song*
I’m in LOVE and in a long distance relationship. I wrote this out of a heart that desired to remind itself of who I BELONG to, why I am submitting myself to God’s word, why HIS WAY IS BETTER and what my responsibility is to HONOR His Spirit inside of me.
**I want to talk more about compromise in another post, because that’s A WHOLE other BATTLE that threatens to take from the foundation of OBEDIENCE in Christ**
I pray this word, CUT YOU AND HEALED you. That’s what my DADDY does for me and in a culture that seeks to soothe every wrong, I always WANT God to break my PRIDE, with what’s RIGHT.