See: Part 1
Sexual immorality is a temptation we all must face on a daily basis. God doesn’t forbid sexual sins just to be difficult. God knows its power to destroy people’s lives physically and spiritually. God wants to protect us from damaging ourselves with immoral desires. Sex outside of the marriage relationship always hurts someone. It hurts God because it shows that we care more about our own lustful and selfish desires than Him.
The key to faithfulness is putting Christ’s principles to work in our life and trusting in the Holy Spirit within us with our temptations. When we have temptations and ungodly thoughts we need to put our trust and faith in Jesus Christ. We have to communicate our burdens to God through prayer. Only when we put our trust in Him will He help us.
Basing Our Lives on Own Understanding and Wisdom
Do you see what happens when we lean on our own understanding when tempted with desire? We rationalize within ourselves that it’s ok to think these thoughts and to have these kinds of desires. Let’s take a look.
1) I can flirt with my boss, besides my husband will never find out
2) I can take my secretary out to lunch; after all it is business
3) I can take a small peak at pornography today, one time won’t hurt
4) I love all the stares I get from men when I dress like this
5) I love the show desperate housewives; the women are so glamorous
6) I can go dancing with my girlfriends to a nightclub, nothing will happen
7) I can look at my co-worker in that way, no one knows my thoughts
8) I can flirt with my friend’s sister, my wife will never find out
9) I can have a social networking account and find old school friends
10) I can talk, text, and flirt with her because I am not doing anything wrong
11) Looking at porn is ok; I would never commit adultery
12) I can have opposite sex friendships, nothing will happen
When we rationalize that these things are ok to think and do it means we are leaning on our own understanding and wisdom for our lives rather than Godly wisdom and guidelines. Many of us do this. Even though we sit in the church pews every Sunday we leave church and lead our lives as if there is no accountability in our life. But we are all accountable to God; even unbelievers will be accountable to God one day.
The Holy Spirit Teaches Us!
But look what happens when we pray about our impure desires and sincerely ask God to help us with our temptations. This happens because we have put our faith and trust in God rather than ourselves. The scenarios below are the same as above but with a new attitude and perspective.
Leaning on Godly Wisdom and Understanding
1) My boss is flirting with me I better quit this job
2) I don’t think taking my secretary out to lunch is a good idea
3) I can never look at pornography because it hurts me, hurts my wife, and separates me from God
4. I will never dress in a way that does not please God; that means I will not have to worry about all those stares from men
5) I feel sorry for those women and men who watch shows like desperate housewives; they are becoming brainwashed
6) Going out to a nightclub with my friends is a bad idea; why put myself in such tempting surroundings?
7) I need to respect women and look at them as if they were my own sisters
8) Flirting is wrong and leads to lustful thinking and adultery.
9) My wife and I have shared passwords to all online activities. We are accountable to each other
10) My wife and I trade cell phones often and on the spur of the moment. Accountability and trust is important to us in our marriage
11) Looking at porn is adultery!
12) My husband and I have friendships with like-minded couples for Christ centered activities and fellowship
Wow!! This is how God transforms our hearts and minds because of our faith in Him! We are literally transformed in our way of “looking” at life. We see situations not from the inside but from the outside looking in. We are not enslaved by the world any longer!!! Jesus Christ frees us from the worldly and selfish desires that enslave us and separate us from Him.
And be not conformed to this world: but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God! Romans 12:2
Many people believe they have the right to do whatever they want with their own bodies. And they think this is freedom, but really, they are enslaved to their own lustful and sinful desires – they are in bondage and slave to their desires. This is not how we are to live our lives.
Sexual Desires Must Be Placed Under God’s Control
It is God’s will that we put our faith and trust in Him and give our sexual desires over to Him and He will help us in our temptations. God created sex for procreation and for intimate and sexual pleasure between husband and wife in marriage. When we realize that God wants us to be sanctified and avoid sexual relations outside of marriage, it is easier for us to just say no and run from temptation. By understanding the Holy Spirit works in us to make us holy and pure, conforming us into the very image of Christ himself, we find it much easier to walk a life pleasing for God. Our bodies belong to God as well as our spirit.
It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in the passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God; and that in this matter no one should wrong his brother or take advantage of him. (1 Thessalonians 4:3-6)
The bottom line is God wants us to glorify Him with our relationships and to love our neighbor. That means we must know Him, love Him, worship Him, and imitate Him. As a result we will ultimately fulfill our intended Christ-centered purpose for our relationships and loving others.
Love vs. Lust
Remember, society has a superficial and selfish view of love, which has contaminated our understanding of what REAL LOVE is. Christian culture believes that love is something that makes us FEEL good and that it’s acceptable to sacrifice moral principles to obtain such love. But in doing so this culture IS NOT obtaining the love characteristics but the lustful ones.
LOVE is kind = considerate, caring, giving, thoughtful, understanding
Lust is envy = jealous, greed, spite, resentment,
LOVE is not proud = humble, submissive, meek, modest
Lust is self-seeking = selfish, rebellious, rude, egotistical, hateful,
LOVE rejoices in the truth = God is love, Love is God = Wisdom, Holy Spirit,
Lust delights in evil = Satan, sin, wicked, iniquitous, immoral, and dishonest
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22