Dwight Fletcher | Tempted by Sex
Today we are looking at navigating the temptation of sex. This area is one of the most challenging in many of our lives. You see, God created sex and has wired us to desire it, but His view of sex is that it is a sacred and private gift to married couples.
In 1 Corinthians 7:3 NLT, God makes it clear "The husband should fulfil his wife's sexual needs, and the wife should fulfil her husband's needs." Sex can be one of the most beautiful aspects of God's gifts for His children, but this is within His set boundaries. So, He says we are not to engage in sex with anyone before marriage; with anyone else once we are married, with anyone of the same sex; or with prostitutes, or with family members, or with animals because it is a sin and it destroys us.
God says that sexual purity is a treasure to be guarded and valued.
Today, we look at the biblical account of Joseph which deals directly and vividly with the pull of sex outside it's God-given context, and is a good example of a young man who endured sexual temptation and triumphed.
Genesis 39:6b - 14 NIV shows Joseph's intense encounter with a seductive woman, Potiphar's wife, and his victory over the temptation. I want us to examine the circumstances of Joseph's life while he has his encounter with Potiphar's wife. His experience represents three common sources of temptation that make us prime for sexual sin.
The awesome thing is that Joseph faced these temptations and walked away with victory! If we want to have victory, we should study Joseph's strategy and make every effort to respond to temptation in the same way that he did.
THREE SEDUCTIONS THAT RUIN LIVES
1. THE SEDUCTION OF SUCCESS
In Joseph's case, the seduction from Potiphar's wife came at a time when Joseph's life had turned from tragedy to success. After being hated by his brothers, he is now top dog in a large and important household. He is put in charge of Potiphar's household. Genesis 39:2-3 NLT. "The Lord was with Joseph, so he succeeded in everything he did as he served in the home of his Egyptian master...3 Potiphar..." Success has a way of playing on our brains, allowing us to let down our guard and believe that we are in control. But as King Solomon warned his son - giving in to the seducer will cost you your life. "...she seduced him with her pretty speech and enticed him with her flattery. He followed her at once, like an ox going to the slaughter... little knowing it would cost him his life." Proverbs 7:21-23 NLT. Sex seduces us without telling us the possible cost to our lives - STDs, unplanned pregnancies, violent death by the hand of a raging spouse. Like Joseph, we should recognise that success does not entitle us to relax our boundaries, but that obedience to God should be uncompromised.
2. THE SEDUCTION OF INVITATION & OPPORTUNITY.
Success also attracts people to you. In Joseph's case, "...after a while his master's wife took notice of Joseph and said, 'Come to bed with me!'" Genesis 39:7 NIV. Potiphar's wife took time in plotting how she might have Joseph and to him this might have felt good. Seduction does not come "all at once." Sometimes it is just flirting. It takes time to break down our defences. And when you match that with opportunity, your character will be the only thing that counts. John Wooden wisely said "The true test of a man's character is what he does when no one is watching".
When invitation and opportunity collide, we can get ourselves in so many problems. But Joseph had the common sense to steer clear of Potiphar's wife.
3. THE SEDUCTION OF ISOLATION.
Remember that Joseph was in Egypt alone and probably longed for the love of his father and the assurance of his family. This type of longing is where many of us confuse sex for love and compromise sex just to feel loved and accepted. In Potiphar's house, the seductive wife finds Joseph alone physically and emotionally. Genesis 39:11-12 "...when he went in to do his work. 12 She came and grabbed him by his cloak, demanding, "Come on, sleep with me!" Joseph tore himself away...ran from the house." But Joseph was a stronger man than that as he was guided by principle, not opportunity.
Sex is God's gift, and nothing God ever gives is casual. So He wants to empower us to avoid the land mines of sexual temptation, just like He did for Joseph.There are a number of steps you have to take to make this possible.
The first step is to have a relationship with Jesus Christ; to have his power within you to fight temptation and experience God's best for your sex life. If you want to begin a relationship with Jesus today, pray a simple prayer:
"God, I know that I have lived my life apart from you. I know that I've sinned. I know that I've messed up. God, forgive me of my sins. Today, I ask you to come into my life and forgive me of my sins. I believe that Jesus died on the cross so that my sins could be forgiven. I believe that, and I want to begin following you."
Then agree with his plan for your life, so you can experience God's peace, presence and power in your life.