I have so often gotten the wrong message about sex. I guess its not so much getting the wrong message; its more about believing the lie. I have fallen so many times into the trap of thinking that just a little bit of lust is ok. I have told myself so many times that looking and watching girls as they pass on the street is ok. Its just window shopping. Can it really be that bad?
We live in a society that has twisted what God has created. We now accept sex and its misuse as no longer wrong. We have found Gods standard a little too high and much too hard. I know that I have struggled with lust far too much. I have grown tired of the fight and in some ways accepted that this is just the struggle that I have to have. The truth is that God tells me that I am not to have even a hint of lust in my life. By the cross he has given me freedom. So its time I start living in that freedom.
Sexuality is Good
Sexuality is a God given gift. However it is perverted by Satan and distorted.
In Genesis we have the passages that most everyone is familiar with. Its the be fruitful and multiply passages. These are passages that talk about having children and filling the earth but dont really address the issues of sexuality. The Genesis passages really only address it in a round about way. We see what comes from sex and we know that to obey the command we must have sex. This lets us know that sex is not bad. God commands it. But he commands it with a purpose in Genesis 1:27-27 and Gen. 9:7. We also see reference to sex in Genesis 2:22-25. Yet once again its not directly addressed. We just get that one flesh bit.
Its not until we get into Song of Songs that we really start to see the goodness of sex. In Song of Songs 4:10 we read
How beautiful is your love, my sister, my bride! How much better is your love than wine, and the fragrance of your oils than any spice!
Here we see the man taking delight in his bride. He wants her love. We see the sense involved. We start to get a glimpse of desiring someone elses love.
Yet for some reason when I think of God-given sexuality, most of the time my mind thinks boring. I know that so often sex inside of marriage seems like it might grow dull. There all the jokes about not getting laid anymore when you are married.
We have the be fruitful bit. WellWhat if you dont want kids? What about if you and your wife just want to get it on? Is that so wrong? I know that I really need to work on seeing sex Gods way. I need to work on getting a Biblical view of sex.
Lust is Bad
Lust is the problem. Not sex. Lust stems from my desires. It comes from me wanting and desiring something that is not mine. It is important to keep this in mind while fighting lust. Those sexual desires are for things that are not rightfully mine. I need to fight off the desires that I have. I need to have them put to death.
The other thing to keep in mind is that God is offended by sexual sin. He hates it. It should have no part in my life. Not even a hint. This is what God calls me too.
And what does victory look like? What does fulfillment look like? Lets take a look at a few verses to find out.
They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. But that is not the way you learned Christ!assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.
And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.
The words that stick out to me are pure and blameless. Once again we see Gods standard compared to where we are. We are called to not even a hint. It seems so impossible. It seems so far off. Its a battle that only Christ can win.
Thats the other thing that I need to be reminded of. Christ has won this battle. I am a new creation. I am now able to die to myself and live to Christ. Lust has been dealt a deathblow. Its time to live in that victory.
Lust is something that can never be satisfied. It always wants more. Lust is the desire. The prize is not want is wanted but is the desire. As soon as we have the object of desire, we want more. We are left empty.
So What's the Difference?
Embracing sexuality as Christians is made up of two parts. We dont give in to every impulse nor do we deny that those impulse exist. We choose to exercise restraint and also to be grateful to God for sexuality.
Part of the way to fight lust is too look at our responses to lust. I think that largest temptation I face is my imagination. Its so easy for me to look at women and let my mind wander. I am thankful to God that I like women. I am very thankful that he gave me those desires. However I want to bring those desires in line with what He wants. I need to make sure that my desires line up with what is best for me.
In those times of temptation I need to seek Gods help. I need to go to my savior in prayer. I need to be grateful but I must ask for Him to make my desires new. I need Him to redeem my desires.