Thanks for joining me again. The Pursuing Passion series is well underway and this week we’re discussing a serious topics of sexual intimacy: deceptive desires. No matter what our intimacy level with our husbands none of us, not one, is immune to the schemes of the enemy. From pastor to plumber or, housewife to hairdresser, sexual temptation is a real thing.
Why Stan Attacks Sexuality
Take a good look at television, magazines, Facebook, Instagram, and your local high school and it’s not hard to see sexuality under attack. From those claiming our sexuality is independent of our gender to advertisers capitalizing on sex and misled teens bearing more skin than ever, it’s easy to get trapped in the world’s views of sexuality and sexual intimacy.
Satan is not going to attack us, he already has.
As we’ve already seen through scripture, our sexuality and the physical act of sex is a holy gift from God. It is meant for pleasure, connection and a physical display of a greater spiritual relationship between Christ and his church. This is why Satan attacks. If he cannot stop us from believing and finding salvation Satan twist and warp sexuality so that this intimate relationship between us and Jesus is not fully realized.
We’re not above temptation because we live in a fallen world with a selfish, self-seeking flesh. But temptation is not sin. Hear that! Being tempted does not mean you have sinned. Before we go further, we need to establish this truth.
God does not dangle sin in front of us like a carrot. When temptations come, and they will, He has provided a way out. Temptation is the on-ramp to the superhighway of sin and death. There are on-ramps and off-ramps on this highway. Temptation will come, but we choose how long we stay on the highway and when we exit.
The Wrong Journey
Thousands of men and women fall into sin when sexual temptations prove too inviting to ignore. Many of them didn’t realize they have begun a journey that does not end well. They set their GPS toward the easy life and somehow ended up down a long stretch of highway that leads to death with the promise of an amazing rest stop at the end, Starbuck’s and all.
Temptation Road starts as a lazy dirt road in the country. Windows down, feet on the dashboard and wind through your hair. It’s no big deal, being on temptation road. Then, suddenly you find yourself at a crossroads. It’s a busier two-way street now. The speed limit is increased and there’s so much to look at on this road.
You can feast your eyes on magnificent scenery, everywhere you look there is something to satisfy your desires. Yes, Consideration Court is just another leg of the journey and a pretty one at that.
At the corner of Consideration Court and Action Avenue, the rubber meets the road. Before you stands something you’ve been dreaming of for several miles now on Consideration Court. Now it’s time to choose. Action Avenue gives you everything you want, the grass is greener the smells sweeter, life happier.
Except Action Avenue quickly dog-legs and you find yourself racing a hundred miles an hour toward Death Drive. Death Drive doesn't in greener grass but just before it, the end is abrupt. The falling toward death that comes when you drive off the road doesn’t even seem that bad. The free fall only catches up when you realize there’s nothing you can do to save yourself. Only God can save you and you'll likely need healing.
The four roads we traveled are the four stages of falling into sexual sin:
This is the enemy’s plan, to mess with the good gift of intimacy by getting us on a journey that leads to death. The good news is, all along these roads there are exits, respite stops and safe houses you can turn to. You do not need to speed down this road on cruise control and drive off the cliff.
Let’s look at what scripture says about this course.
And remember, when you are being tempted, do not say, “God is tempting me.” God is never tempted to do wrong, and he never tempts anyone else. Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. These desires gift birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death. ~ James 1: 13-15
This is Temptation Road, my friend. It isn’t from God is it from our great adversary. And as you can clearly see, temptation is on the first leg of the journey.
When we are tempted we have a choice to make. We can get on the road or we can change direction. The temptation is not yet sin. It’s a thought we had, a book we saw, a sidebar add on the web or a lingering look from a coworker. At that moment we have a choice to make. We either change course or we quickly end up on Consideration Court.
Since we aren't immune to sexual temptation we need to know the exits before we even get on the highway. Your exits are the safeguards you have in your life to to guide you. These exits include:
- A list of non-negotiables – What do you purpose in your heart to do and not do? Write them down, memorize them and ask God to help solidify them in your heart.
- An accountability partner – Having a trusted female friend you can share struggles with is so important. You need to be able to share temptations when they come so they don't grow in the darkness (like mushrooms).
- A U-turn strategy – If you're involved in any sexual sins you need to flee from them. Run away from them as fast as you can. U-turn on that highway and hightail it to the nearest exit. You cannot have a thriving marriage if you're stuck in sexual sin.
- A guarded heart and a steady prayer life – A constant renewing of the mind. As we read in Matthew we must keep watch and pray so that we do not enter into temptation (Matthew 26:41). Our line of communication with God and Holy Spirit must be open so we can cry out to Him and hear His reply.
The truth is, temptations will come but we must recognize them as lies from the enemy and not allow ourselves to be led astray.