So this book is AMAZING. Where do I even begin?! There is so much wisdom on a subject that has been perverted by the enemy and hushed by the church.
Oh yes. We’re going THERE.
This is not a subject far removed from God’s heart. He created it! He CARES about it. If He didn’t, it wouldn’t have been addressed in the Bible at all. While I do feel it is talked about more and more these days in the church, I still don’t think we have a tight enough reign on it. Satan is having a field day with sex, perverting it in any way that he can, because we’re not fighting for it. That’s clearly evident in the world if you just look outside your window. Pornography is more readily available now than it’s ever been, whether it’s videos, photos, or in writing.
It doesn’t even matter if the people are fully clothed and it’s just a heavy make out scene in a movie, a Victoria’s Secret catalogue, an Ariana Grande song, or a romance novel (Even The Notebook. Sorry ladies, I know how heartwarming the ending of that story is) . If the intent is sexual arousal, by definition it is still pornography, and God tells us to flee from it (1 Corinthians 6:18).
While that may seem extreme, it is still the truth. You may be thinking “That’s ridiculous! It’s just a movie or a catchy song! They’re only selling a product.” Yes, and hell is just a sauna (if you know, you know). The devil disguises himself as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14) and boy is he good at it. He doesn’t need much to make us stumble. I’d be sitting in my room watching a movie or a show and think “I can watch this. This doesn’t make me want to cheat on my significant other, or sleep around, or kiss girls.”
WARNING: If you are internally justifying something you are watching, reading, listening to, or doing, and why you DON’T need to give it up…
Dump the movies, CDs and magazines. Delete the apps. Unfollow that account. Who cares if you spent money on it. It’s costing you your soul (Mark 8:36). If you’re having any kind of internal debate about whether or not you should be doing something, that is the Holy Spirit telling you that something isn’t right. Jesus said in Matthew 5:29 that if your eye causes you to sin, gauge it out! That’s a pretty serious statement! To me that says, it doesn’t start with what we are putting out into the world, but what we are taking into our hearts and minds.
“The devil will wait until you’re run down to bring you temptation that promises relief.”
I fell for the enemy’s lies for YEARS. I saw God through the filter of how others had treated me and not the truth of His word. Even after coming back to the Lord after 10 years of living my life how I wanted, I still struggled with sexual immorality. It didn’t matter that I was going to church, reading my Bible, and praying because I hadn’t dealt with the root issues that were a catalyst to my sexual sin.
I don’t mean to say that those times were wasted because I continued to stumble; God wastes nothing. The problem wasn’t what I believed about God, it was what I believed about myself. I still saw myself as unlovable and unworthy because I had been rejected by others. I saw myself as unforgivable because I had done things I NEVER thought I would do. God has done a great work in my heart these last few years, and the journey continues. Sometimes I still hear those lies whispered to me and wind up having an internal pity party, rather than running to the One who speaks truth and love over me.
So many of us have succumbed to the lies of the enemy, saying that “I don’t matter”, “God doesn’t care about my romantic life”, “I’ll never find someone”, “What if my future spouse and I aren’t sexually compatible?”, or insert whatever lie you’ve been hearing here ___________. When in fact, that could not be further from the truth. And we wind up selling ourselves short because of fears that the enemy has planted in our hearts.
So what is the truth?
The truth is God LOVES YOU. No matter what has been done to you or what you’ve done, His love for you has not changed, not even for a second. He cares about you. Your relationships (including sex!), your hopes, your dreams, your fears, your tears, your smiles. EVERYTHING. You are so precious to Him that even the hairs on your head are numbered! There is no detail that He does not care about.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” -Jeremiah 29:11
“If you walk out into the world without this knowledge of your worth firmly in your mind, you might think your value is vulnerable, which means you can be tricked by the first person to show an interest in you.”
What Satan intends for our shame and to keep hidden, God wants to expose for our healing and freedom and His glory. Darkness has no power over what is brought to light. As we take that step of sharing our burdens with others, we can learn to identify the roots of our sin and cut out those roots before they manifest in some other way.
We all have feelings. We feel the good and the bad no matter who we are and what our social media may look like to the outside world.
We are all the same in our humanity.
We all have felt sadness, loneliness, fear, insecurity, guilt, shame, worthlessness, joy, comfort, closeness, pleasure, peace, confidence. God is not shocked by our feelings. He understands them as He has felt some of those same things when He was here on earth.
Despite our feelings, God desires that we choose wisely and not live with regret. And He has given us everything we need to stand strong in those times of temptation. We will never outgrow our dependency on God.
Something I learned from pastor Sy Rogers is that there’s always a reason why we do something, and while it doesn’t make our sin justifiable, it does make it understandable and forgivable. No matter what you’ve done or what has been done to you…
“Your greatest days can come after your biggest failures. God specializes in redemption stories.”
YOU ARE SEEN.
YOU ARE LOVED.
YOU ARE UNDERSTOOD.
YOU ARE VALUED.
YOU ARE FORGIVEN.