Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Sinful Indulgences Will Cost Us

"God does not forbid sexual sin because he's a killjoy, but because he opposes what kills joy."  John Piper

Sex is a gift from God that when used in the context of monogamous marriage, can bring joy and intimacy between a husband and wife.  God's design for healthy sexuality excludes anything that deviates from marital sex between one man and one woman.  I would argue that as pleasurable as sexual acts can be (whether obtained through a dating relationship, one night stand, casual fling with a friend, homosexuality, consuming pornography, or engaging in masturbation), when taken out of their proper context (the only context that God blesses, approves of, and encourages - see First Corinthians 7) will result in nothing good.  It will destroy our relationship with God, remove our desire to be close to Him, steal our joy, and make us miserable.  Oh, it will be great for a time.  Similar to the fun having a credit card can bring because of the instant access to what you desire...yet just like using credit cards can incur debt, you also must pay them back with interest.  So it is with anything that deviates from God's plan of healthy sexuality as described in His word.  Payday will come and it will most likely cost you more than you initially thought.

"God's rules make a lot of sense.  They aren't harsh or inconsiderate of our needs, and by following them the quality of our lives can be greatly improved.  When God is not honored as God and we divert our worship to anything or anyone else, misery results."  Mary Hunt

We must cut off all sources which feed our addictions.  Otherwise they will continue.

What is your particular stronghold?  What do you find yourself returning to time and again?  Do you fear consequences or just assume it won't happen to you?  Always remember that living according to God's word will guard us from the unpleasant consequences of bad choices.  Anything that causes us to stray from God, His word, and His people must be eliminated from our lives to the best of our ability.

Gaining freedom entails many steps.  Are you willing to do whatever it takes to break free from destructive choices or will you carry on in being halfhearted toward God, distant from your responsibilities and relationships, and taking the risk with each new indulgence to bring on unforeseen consequences?

Ask God to show you what you need to start doing and what you need to stop doing.  Ask for His wisdom and guidance with implementing new routines and the know-how to go about it.

Don't fall for the lie that you are the only one battling addiction or living in secret sin.  If you haven't admitted your sin to others, odds are they haven't told you ways they're struggling either.  It's so easy to put ourselves down, beat ourselves up, and walk around in a depressing haze as we see other people who appear to have everything together and act so pure.  You don't know what they have struggled with throughout their life, nor what keeps them awake at night with the fear of never breaking free.  I have known people who have confessed secret sin, distorted attractions, and bad habits to me that if those words were left unsaid, I would have no idea those were issues in their lives.  So please, dear ones, reach out for help.  You can even write to me at: to share your story, unload burdens, and seek help.  I look back on the last 20 something years of my life and feel like I have committed sin of so many sorts and tried this or been in bondage to that, so I am certainly not one to judge others for how they are living.  If anything, I have compassion on people and will offer advice through the lessons I have learned and consequences I have suffered as to equip you to deal with your strongholds and avoid bad choices.  I understand that with any sin (aside from each of us being born with a sinful nature), there are always underlying causes which led to it and reasons why it currently remains.

"Sin thrives in secret."  Unknown

"God is merciful to reveal/expose our sin.  God is merciful to use us in spite of our sin."  Nancy Leigh DeMoss

By the way, watch the VeggieTales episode, "The Fib from Outer Space".  It has such a good lesson on how sin grows and what it could lead to if we don't take care of it when it is small.

If internet pornography is a temptation for you, sign up for the Covenant Eyes accountability report and filtering service.  It will block inappropriate content and send a report of the web sites you have visited (or clicked on) and keywords you have searched for to the person or people of your choosing.  This is a wise and simple way of being held accountable.  By signing up with my affiliate code, you will get the first month free.  Although using filtering software won't cure you of your porn addiction, it is a wise first step in making its accessibility less of a problem.  I highly exhort you to check out resources by xxxchurch and read E-Books by Covenant Eyes.  Studying such material has done wonders in my own pursuit of purity!

We need to BEG God to bring us to the end of ourselves, to show us the depravity of our sinful hearts, our need for genuine repentance, to give us a healthy fear of God, the diligence to pursue purity with all our heart, and a disdain for displeasing our Savior.  Please don't wait around until you feel like repenting, because that day might never be here.

Sin blinds people and fools us into thinking that a one night stand with several partners is better than surrendering your sex life to God and pleading for His refining work on your heart as He prepares you for your future spouse and your future spouse for you.  Many examples can be listed here.  The point being that the combination of a sinful & selfish heart, pride & lack of patience, and willful stubbornness to get our way no matter the cost will only lead to consequences.  We do not know what is best for us.  We think we do a lot of the time, but we don't.  God's rules are for our protection, safety, and long-term benefit.  They aren't a prison cell which keeps us from being liberated, but a fortress wall that is meant to keep evil out.

Read Psalm 62: 8 and follow its wisdom.  We must be honest with God in prayer.  It's perfectly fine to admit to Him how much you love your sin and if you were to tell the truth, you often don't want to repent.  Ask God to enable you to see sin through His eyes and to help you make a schedule of reading His word every day without fail, thus renewing your mind (Romans 12: 2).

Sample prayer:  "God, change me as only You are able.  Surround me with the right people and bring along the right circumstances to further Your work of sanctification on my heart.  Act on my behalf.  Intervene in ways needed.  Purge and refine me.  Don't allow me to destroy myself by continuing on the same path I've been on."

Please take it from me:  Sin is not worth it.  I understand how immensely pleasurable it is.  I really do.  But the consequences are not worth it.  When reality hits and we are facing the repercussions of our bad choices, we will cringe in regret as we look back and see how fleeting the pleasures actually were (even if we experienced pleasure daily or hourly).  Don't think consequences only happen to other people and won't happen to you.  Read Galatians 6: 7.  God's word assures us of His forgiveness made possible through the sacrifice Christ made on behalf of sinners (us all!).  Read First John 1: 9.  The Bible also makes it clear that God is not mocked and we shall reap what we sow.

Sin takes so much more from us than the pleasure it gives.  It can cost you intimacy with God, may be the end to relationships with those closest to you, or even lead to death within time.  For example, Herpes is incurable and AIDS is terminal.  Is it really worth contracting one or both of these all for the sake of sex?  No.  Drug use and alcohol consumption can ruin your health, harm your brain, and bring along many foolish and illogical decisions.  Being under the influence of anything which prevents us from being in our right frame of mind is dangerous.  The use of pornography can lead to erectile dysfunction and the inability to become/stay aroused or get off when experiencing a real sexual encounter.  Not to mention flooding our minds with lies and desensitizing us to the harmful ideas porn spreads through the very fabric of society; whether that be in commercials or casual sex being indulged in on any given show on television.  It's pretty crazy how everyone speaks so highly of sin, yet hardly anyone speaks of the heartbreaking effects of sin and how it has the potential to ruin us on every level.

Please, please, please seek help.  Don't let your sin continue to thrive in secret.  Bring it to light.  Confess it to trusted mentors and mature individuals.  You may even write to me at:

"...abiding in Christ means allowing His Word to fill our minds, direct our wills, and transform our affections."  Sinclair Ferguson

"No large growth in holiness was ever gained by one who did not take time to be often long alone with God."  Austin Phelps

"The battle for holiness is a battle to be fought mainly by fueling the fires of our passion for Christ."  John Piper

"The heart is made for God, and...nothing else will drive out the suitors of sin but the happiness of knowing our true Husband."  John Piper

"Loving God is being so satisfied in God and so delighted in all that He is for us that His commandments cease to be burdensome."  John Piper


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