Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. 1 Cor. 6:18 (ESV)
The number one topic plugged into search engines that leads people to the blog is sexual immorality of one kind or another. How about this for a shocker- immorality is not just for men any more. Women are also struggling in growing numbers with many of the same issues men do, and for the very same reasons.
These are matters of the heart.
Why is it that some people are not gripped by all sins to the same degree? What separates us? What makes one person what the world calls an addict, and the other a casual consumer? One day, science may have an answer, but to date there is nothing scientific that proves there is anything medical going on inside the body of an addict that makes them different than anyone else. What each of them has in common, is that their actions are revealing what is going on inside, in the inner man, what the Bible calls the heart.
Many Christians involved in sexual immorality genuinely want to stop. They know it is wrong, and when they are not tempted they want to stop. They also are disgusted by their behaviors when they are able to think about them objectively.
They have periods of what I call white knuckle flying- they determine not to connect to the internet, or pass by that store on the way home from work, or they disconnect their cable TV.
These are certainly a part of what needs to be done, but these actions address the fruit of the problem, the end result of what is really a much deeper issue, because sexual immorality is an issue of the heart. The heart is the biblical word used to describe the inner man. The heart is the immaterial, non-flesh part of you that includes your thoughts, beliefs, and desires, mind, feelings, intentions, will, and emotions.
The person that struggles with sexual immorality and sexual sin is revealing what is going on in the control center of their life. When a person is involved with sexual immorality, it is because their heart is focused on themselves.
“The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.”
"But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, and slander.” Matthew 15:18-19
When a person indulges in sexual immorality it is because their heart is focused on having their perceived needs met. The heart is set on self, getting what “I” want, doing what feels good to me, and fulfilling my desires. The thoughts, beliefs and desires are the most important thing to them, and for the one who struggles with sexual sin, their thoughts are focused on gratifying their immoral desires, or lust.
The motives are to satisfy their desires, and they believe they must do this. Their thoughts flow along the lines of I must satisfy this ache, this longing, and I also believe I am not hurting anyone in this process.
Depending on my upbringing, I may also believe that pornography and masturbation are ok and acceptable solution to meet my needs. All that is important to them is to have these things met and whether they realize it or not, they are placing the desires of their own heart above everything else.
When a person begins to live for the desires of their own heart a cascade of sin begins to take place. When the desires obeyed are those involved in sexual immorality we can easily see the results. Little thought is given to the damage there are doing to their conscience in this process.
All that seems to matter is satisfying the lust of the flesh.
Romans 1 is about refusing to honor God as God and the consequences of unrighteousness and ungodliness. In context, it is applicable to the unbeliever; however, we can still watch the same downward spiral take place in the lives of believers who indulge in various aspects of sexual immorality.
They did vile and degrading things with each other’s bodies
They deliberately chose to believe lies
Acted on shameful desires
Women indulged with sex with one another
Men burned with lust for each other did shameful things with other men
If you think these activities are not going on among Christians, especially teens and young adults you are mistaken. While God never abandons the believer, He does allow us to experience the consequences of our behaviors. Even in the area of sexual immorality.
Having counseled people who were involved in an immoral relationship they inevitably say to me that they can’t believe what they have done. That they never thought they could sink so low. The heart that is focused on self does not set out to be so depraved, but as my sweet husband says, “Sin always takes you farther than you ever want to go.”
These actions that you see are results. They are not the cause of the problem; they are what flow over from the heart of man into their lives. Every perverted and immoral action began as a thought, the thought was fueled by a desire or a belief, and the desire or belief began in the heart.
There is more here than can possibly be said in one post. I will continue next time.