Wow….what a month, right? Going into it, I really feel neither Kelly nor I had any idea where God would take it and just how much He would move not only in the hearts of some of you, but Kelly and I as well. It has been quite the adventure to say the least. We’ve covered, generally speaking, most everything we could think of that would allow you to embrace your own sin nature in the arena of sexual temptation. Our desire was that you would find hope, and most of all, the face of Jesus smiling upon you. I know, however, there are still some of you who may be left with some unresolved emotions. Thoughts like…”where do I go from here?” or “what now?” could be the common ones that could arise and are very valid to feel.
I am not a big believer in any type of twelve step model method that people relate back to our Christian life. No where in scripture has God ever said, follow this procedure and all will be well in your world. In reality, some might argue that he heads in the complete opposite direction. I mean look at some of the things he says..” Follow me” “You will suffer for my name” Kind of a stark contradiction, right? So honestly, I have really wanted to stray from a lot of the questions that have been asked as to “how do we do such and such?” when it comes to sexual sin not wanting to get into a list of do’s and don’ts that point us to our own validation and not our Father’s. But I get it. I get that some of you need a bit more direction than what we may have given you. So here is what I am going to do. Below is a list. A list of things that I believe scripture tells us is essential in our battle over sin. This list is by no means a cure to the problem and definitely not a guarantee that if followed all will be well in the world. Consider it a guide if you will. A guide that my hope is will continue to remind you of your desperate need for a Savior and your complete inability to ever overcome these battles on your own. Let’s dive in:
1. CONFESSION: Now we have already discussed the need for confession right here before on the blog, but let’s take another look at it again in the context sexual sin. This step HAS to be the first step before anything else can ever take take place. That is why James 5:16 says “Confess your sins one to another SO THAT you may be healed.” It doesn’t say,ladies, that you can start working at behaving better then confess when things are cool and all will still be well. Nope, confession comes first. Why? Because confession brings sin into the light and before the throne of God. Confession is admitting our need for salvation and showing ourselves, the world, and Jesus our undeniable inability to do it on our own.
What does confession look like, you might ask? I can’t really say. What I can tell you is what it does NOT look like. Confession is not anonymous. Confession is not meant to be done by email, text, or via “unspoken” prayer request. Confession is not about making you feel comfortable at all. In fact, if you don’t feel any sense of discomfort when confessing, then you aren’t doing it right. The night I told Jeff all about my past was a horrible night. I anguished over it for days, lost sleep, and cried through most of it. It hurt. It was supposed to hurt. I had wounded the heart of Christ and those I loved, and there is nothing comfortable and safe in admitting that. And that is what confession is supposed to be. It is one of the pure acts of total self-denial and utter humility before God and someone else. But it is also the one thing that allows you to remove the weight you are carrying off of your shoulders, into the light, taking away it’s power over you. This is why the enemy wants us to be so terrified of doing it girls. If we confess our sons to someone, he loses. And he hates to lose.
If you are truly serious about overcoming your battle with lust, sex, pornography, masturbation, or sexual abuse…it all begins with confession. It means finding that trusted friend or pastor or family member or even a counselor and speaking OUT LOUD that which is plaguing you. And then it is taking hope in the words of 1 John 1:9 that if and when we do confess our sins “He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us form all unrighteousness.” It will hurt girls, I can guarantee that. But the hope is…forgiveness and redemption wait on the other side.
2. ACCOUNTABILITY: Listen to the command in Galatians 6:1-2; “Brothers,if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness..Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” It is our duty as sisters in Christ to not only love each other for the fallen sinners we are, but to also come alongside in love and walk with you as we traverse the deep waters of our sin. This is why accountability is so vital. It provides us with a companion who can be there to lean on and encourage us, reminding us once again that we are not able to defeat our sin on our own. Accountability can come in many forms and fashions. With Kelly and I, it entails a lot of checking in with each other through out the week and asking the status of our hearts with the Lord. With my husband, it’s having monthly coffee meetings with the man who mentors him. With some it is a weekly phone call or meal with that person to talk about how things are going. Accountability can take on any shape you need it to be. The main thing, however, to take note of in this passage is the phrase “you who are spiritual.” This is important when looking for someone to hold you accountable. I know some of you may have a friend who also struggles with masturbation or whatever it is you are battling and you think it’d be great for you two to hold each other accountable. Nope. You both are transgressor, and you both therefore need someone who is spiritual (or should I say mature..grounded in their walk) to be that accountability person for you. Even look at Alcoholics Anonymous. They don’t have the alcoholics check in with the other alcoholics, they have a recovering addict who has been clean and sober to be the voice of comfort and accountability. This means again, finding a preferably older and trusted pastor, youth leader, mentor, counselor or family member to talk to and be that safe place for you.
3. SACRIFICE: Giving up any sin will automatically come with some sort of sacrifice, mainly giving up the sin itself. But to truly overcome the sin, there often is a lot of other smaller sacrifices along the way. Takes Lori who shared her struggled with pornography and masturbation. She admitted that she now has to give up watching certain things because she knows they could thrust her back into a tempting situation. We must flee and give up anything that can be a road block to healing and freedom. For some of you, this may mean getting rid of your computer or having someone put up firewalls and internet blockers for you. It may mean not hanging out with a certain crowd or going to certain places knowing they’d be triggers for you. And for some of you…it may mean dumping that guy, even though he may be a Christian because you two have fallen into sexual sin and once you go down that path..no matter how hard you try, you can NEVER go back.
4. SEE HIM: Ultimately, it all comes down to seeing Christ. Seeing him for who he truly is and what he has done to make you his. 1 John 3:1 “See what kind of love the Father has given to us that we should be called children of God; and so we are.” We can confess, have accountability, sacrifice everything…but if we do not SEE Christ and what we mean to him, none of it matters. This love that Christ has for you is ferocious. It is relentless and fierce. It stood at the gateway to hell without fear or trepidation and won the battle for your soul. This love, it is the most important thing there is about you and when you see that..it changes everything. Listen to this:
“So much of our lives as Christians is spent in futile doubt, weak questionings, and apathetic, self-serving strategies. In part, we fail in our war for purity because we spend too much time meditating on ourselves, our work, our growth. We have little hope for change because our hope is grounded in ourselves, in how we’re doing, in whether God is proving his love by granting us every trifling desire or delivering us from heartbreaking trial. We’ve been deceived into believing his love is passe’, something we’ve already comprehended. It bores us. See him. See what your adoption cost him. See his commitment to his family, to you. Steep your soul in the warmth of his desire to have you for his own, and after you have done that, pursue the purity that is a mark of this fierce love.” -Elyse Fitzpatrick
Girls, I pray that you would come to know the love of Jesus and that it would destroy you. That you would be broken to your core, ravished by the consuming power that his love brings. And then I pray that you would take that love, embracing it with all that is within you, and that you would fight. God has allowed us the privilege to open the door for you. To show you that you are not alone and that there is a name to your sin. But now, now is your turn. May you go forth in his grace and pursue confession, finding accountability along the way, while having joy in your sacrifice and hope in seeing Him and his tremendous love for you.