I’ll be honest. There are days when the monster in me longs to break free. I mean, I want to be held lovingly; be pet; be told sweet things and possibly, have sex. In those times, I have to remind myself why I chose to honor God with my body but a voice in my head keeps telling, “Well, God knows you are human with feelings. Just do it and say sorry later. I’m sure He’ll understand that you needed to relieve yourself…” There isn’t much I can do to save myself so I just cry out to God to save me from myself.
Oh yes! This battle is real and I’m sure there are thousands of singles out there who can relate to this. Choosing to honor God with your body in a world that doesn’t care much about all of that, can be tough and challenging. It’s no small thing. In fact, it’s practically impossible if you think you can make it by your own strength, especially if you were sexually active before now. However, there are no impossibilities with God. The monster in me may be trying so hard to regain control but there is a way – the only way to keep him under. That’s what I’d like to discuss with you today.
You are not Carnal – The Monster in Me.
Do you know those desires are natural? There is absolutely nothing sinful about sex. The devil didn’t create sex. God did – it is His gift to the married. Those desires you have – the longing to be held, touched, felt and heard are all natural desires God put in you. But for a season! I like the way Paul likened sex to food. Here’s the scripture:
“You say, “Food was made for the stomach, and the stomach for food.” (This is true, though someday God will do away with both of them.) But you can’t say that our bodies were made for sexual immorality. They were made for the Lord, and the Lord cares about our bodies.” – 1 Corinthians 6:13
Those urges that surface each time you are around someone you are attracted to or alone and deep in thoughts, is similar to the hunger you feel when you see a sumptuous meal while on a fast. It is a natural response God put in us and not a burden to prayerfully get rid of or a reason to feel too dirty to approach God. However, even the best food becomes poisonous if mishandled. Sex can only be a sin when its purpose is abused and its season ignored.
When Your Desires Become Sinful – The Monster in Me.
Today, we see sex being used as a bargaining chip, a tool for manipulation/blackmail, a mark of love and trust in premarital relationships, something to be forcefully demanded [rape] amongst other variations. These are perversions of God’s plan for sex. I know you have decided to honor God with your body but you wonder why the desire to have sex is still there.
As mentioned earlier, those desires are God-given, however, they become sinful when you dwell on them so much that they start to dominate your mind and in no time, determine your actions. Your desires can be controlled when it remains unfed and you focus your attention on more important things. In a case where you deliberately choose to feed your desire by staying close to the source of temptation [say a friend of the opposite sex, books, romantic movies and songs that stir up the feelings], you are letting your desires become sinful and they will start to dictate your actions eventually.
Here’s how the Holy Spirit speaking through Paul, put it:
“The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions. When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures…” – Galatians 5:17, 19.
The Holy Spirit in you and the old nature – all you have fed your heart with, in the time past, are constantly battling for control. For instance, you know that going over to his place may get you back in bed with him. Yet, you ignore the leading of the Holy Spirit and go ahead to visit Him. After a while, you hear the Holy Spirit telling you that it’s time to leave because the atmosphere is slowly changing but you ignore the Holy Spirit because your desires are starting to be stirred up. Moreover, you already feel you can control yourself.
Before you know it, the both of you are already kissing each other. The Holy Spirit keeps screaming at you on the inside to break away but the “feel good” hormones running down your spine makes it hard for you to break away. Clothes start to go off and then, you are right back, rolling in the sheets, having your desires and forgetting your promise to God. That’s how much your sexual drive can control you if you let it. The longer you remain close to the source of temptation, the more you won’t be able to resist the temptation. That’s why Paul said: Flee!!!
How Do You Flee? – The Monster in Me.
Before you start to see a need to flee from sources of temptation, you have to know why you should flee. You know those sources. Mine may differ from yours but you know yours. If I choose to remain sexually pure out of guilt or fear, I’m making a huge mistake. This is because when someone comes and gives me a reason not to be afraid or guilty anymore, I won’t waste any time running off to please the monster in me. It’s the same for you as well.
So, how do you flee?
Have the right heart
You need to understand that the only foundational reason that would withstand any kind of storm is Jesus Christ. Your choosing to flee from sexual sin and all that stirs it up should be because you want to honor God, in view of all, He has done for you. Paul stated it correctly when he said,
“…I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him…” – Romans 12:1
Sex is an act of worship to God. He so honors it that He won’t have you fooling around with anyone. Your body is His temple. He honored you with your body and His presence through the death of Jesus Christ. It won’t be too much to ask for you to use your body in ways that honor Him. Make a decisive dedication of your bodies [everything you are] as a well-pleasing offering to God. Let God see you and be pleased with your actions. He looks at the heart and not the outward appearance.
Not by Power nor by Might but by my Spirit.
I mentioned this earlier. You’d be deceiving yourself if you think you can overcome this all by yourself. Truth be told, as long as we are in this body, there will always be temptations, trying to get us to focus on ourselves rather than on Jesus Christ. Which is why you need the Holy Spirit. Apart from being a comforter and a healer, the Holy Spirit is a friend and a teacher. You can talk to Him any day any time and anywhere. He’s ever ready to listen.
However, the reason we don’t hear is that we are in a hurry to talk and leave. How much time do you spend in meditation? I don’t mean eastern mediation – I mean pondering on what you read in the Bible [asking the Holy Spirit to reveal its meaning to you and wait to listen to what He has to say?] The power of the Holy Spirit cannot be felt from distance. You have to deliberately draw closer by prayer and study of the Word of God. He is the power that works with you, strengthening you to want to please God and to actually please God. Begin a relationship with the Holy Spirit.
The Word of God – Renew your Mind
Jesus said, “Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.” – John 15:4
Do you remember that Jesus is the Word of God? And the Word of God is expected to remain in you. If you want to take captive of those thoughts, let the Word of God abide in you. Honestly, I’m helpless without Him. Paul told us that the way to do this is to renew your mind daily. It means you should study the Word daily. That’s the only way not to give into temptations or follow trends. Consistent mind renewal brings about transformation. If you want to please God, know how you should do so by letting the Holy Spirit teach you through the Word.
Holding down the monster in me isn’t something I do once in a while. The times I forget to pray for days, I feel myself drifting away and compromising in little ways. You owe it to yourself and God to commit your ways to Him every day. You do so through prayers. King Solomon tells us to not lean on our own understanding but rather, we should acknowledge Him in all our ways and He will direct your path.
Prayer is talking to God. You don’t necessarily have to be shouting [although some situations call for that]. Talk to Him like you would a friend. He is the best Friend you’ve got. Please take advantage of that and pray.
Be Willing to Obey.
It won’t make any sense for you to hear and not obey. In those moments when you start to feel like your desires are trying to have their way, get up from that spot. Sing a song, say a prayer – ask God for strength. Just don’t stay in that spot. If you are alone and idle, you can even go read your Bible. It’s better you spend time in God’s presence, learning at His feet than sit at a spot and land back to where you were.
Avoid those things that lead you back to sin. If it’s visiting the opposite sex you are attracted to that makes you fall, a better alternative would be to see them in public. There are better and wiser ways to handle your desires and not let it control you. When you have avoided it all and you still feel turned on, take your emotions to God. He created them. Stay at His feet and ask Him for Grace:
“So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.” – Hebrews 4:12
Aligning your will with God’s will takes humility and discipline. You will need to be deliberate about this. Surround yourself with like-minded friends. You really don’t owe friendship to anyone who is taking you away from God’s presence. I’m not asking you to quarrel with them. Just put some healthy distance between you and them. Ask God to send you friends who’d build you up and also importantly, ask Him to lead you to a fellowship where you’d learn from other believers and grow in His presence.
God sees your heart. He knows you want to please Him. He will work in you if you let Him.
Father, I receive grace to please you. To honor you with my body. Teach your ways so that I may not sin against you or displease you. Show me where you walk and renew the right state of heart in me so that I may obey you all the days of my life. This I ask, in Jesus name. Amen!