SEX, LIES AND DESPERATE LOVE LIVES PART III - FINDING FORGIVENESS
Sex is created by God for maximum enjoyment within the context of marriage by one man and one woman, but our culture is saturated with sex outside of God's prescription, in media, music, movies, and more. When misused, sex has incredible potential to hurt and scar people. What happens when I step outside of God's plan for my sex life?
There are some serious consequences when we miss God's mark as it pertains to our sex lives. We are left with 'dirty laundry' - physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual consequences. But, the greatest consequence of sexual sin is separation from God. "It is because of your sins that He doesn't hear you. It is your sins that separate you from God when you try to worship Him." (Isaiah 59:2 GNT)
But God has a powerful cleaning solution for dealing with 'dirty laundry' and healing the pain of these consequences in our lives - forgiveness. To receive forgiveness from God is the first and most important step.
"Forgive the rebellious sins of my youth, look, instead, through the eyes of your unfailing love, for You are merciful, O God." (Psalms 25:7 NLT). Only God can handle our sins. "Come now, let us argue this out," says the Lord. "No matter how deep the stain of your sins, I can remove it. I can make you as clean as freshly fallen snow." (Isaiah 1:18 NLT) God can remove the sin in your life as if it had never happened. He wants to enter your life, fill the emptiness, and heal your broken heart.
It's not enough, however, to receive forgiveness from God. You must also offer forgiveness to others. Colossians 3:13 (NIV) says, "Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you." Jesus not only has the power to forgive, but to grant us the ability to forgive others just as we have been forgiven. There are two specific reasons we forgive others: God commands it - when there is unforgiveness in your life towards another person, there remains a barrier between you and God. The second reason is for yourself - forgiving others releases us from anger and allows us to receive the healing we need. The reason God has given us this specific direction is because He does not want anything to stand between us and Him.
However, here is the real tragedy. If you are miserable because you are unwilling to forgive another person, it is self-imposed misery. When you don't forgive them, you give them the power to continue hurting you, even if they are no longer a part of your life. When we forgive others, even if they don't deserve it, we open the door for God's freedom and God's blessings to enter our lives. So, for God to clean our lives of sin, we must first receive forgiveness from God, then offer it to others.
After we have received forgiveness from God and have forgiven others, we must learn to stand strong in God's freedom. "We have freedom now because Christ made us free. So stand strong in that freedom ... ." (Galatians 5:1 ERV). Decide to walk in the way of the Lord because God has given us the power to do so. We are not talking about perfection, but an attitude of heart to please the Lord. We must also resist temptation and sever any unholy ties made as a result of sexual or emotional activities. "Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion ... Resist him, standing firm in the faith ... ." (1 Peter 5:8-9 NIV).
Choose now to present your body to the Lord as a living sacrifice, and to walk in holiness as the Lord Jesus enables you to do so.