Dwight Fletcher | Tempted by Sex Part 2
Last week, we looked at navigating the temptation of sex. We said that God created sex and has wired us to desire it, but that His view of sex is that it is a sacred and private gift to married couples.
We also looked at the three seductions that can ruin us i.e. success, invitation and opportunity and isolation. By looking at Joseph's experience in Genesis 39: 6-14, we saw that it is possible to deal directly with sexual temptation but to triumph over it.
This week we continue with some practical actions we can take to experience similar breakthroughs in our lives.
Consider these steps to navigating the landmine of sexual temptation:
1. Agree with God's plan for sexual purity.
God's plan for sex is for it to be a gift shared between a man and a woman within the context of a lifelong committed marriage. God will give you the strength to live up to that, but it's up to you to agree with it. In 1 Thessalonians 4:3 (NLT) the apostle Paul writes, "God's will is for you to be holy, so stay away from all sexual sin."
Joseph was obviously committed to God plan and he was content with God's provision for him at the time. He might have wanted more in his heart, but until God provided the person his commitment to God and His provision enabled him to remain pure.
DEAL WITH IT
2. Admit where I am tempted
In our lives, we must deal with the areas where we're tempted the most, whatever that may be - whether it is viewing pornography, an attraction to a married woman at work or a boyfriend with whom you can't stop having sex despite your commitment to God? You need to admit that it's a problem if you keep telling yourself that you can stop, but you never do. Be honest with yourself and God. This was the prayer of David, "Search me, O God, and know my heart; test my thoughts..." Psalm 139:23 TLB.
3.Aggresively guard my mind, my heart, and my free time
All sex starts in the mind, for both male and female. "Be careful how you think; your life is shaped by your thoughts." Proverbs 4:23 GNT. You have to control the images, words, and sounds that come into your mind, or you've already lost the battle to temptation. Also, guard your heart and your free time. We fall to our biggest temptation when we're feeling lonely and our mind begins to wander. "Turn your back on lustful thoughts and give your positive attention to goodness, integrity, love, and peace." 2 Timothy 2:22 Phillips.
4. Avoid unknown temptations and look for God's outs
The first step to defeating temptation is to avoid the things that you know tempt you.
In 1 Corinthians 6:18 (NLT), the Apostle Paul says, "Run from sexual sin!" He doesn't say, "Stand and fight." He says, 'Get away from it!' "No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does. For sexual immorality is a sin against your own body." Run from that sexual temptation because it's going to keep God's blessing for your relationships from flowing into your life.
5. Ask continually for Jesus' help to overcome temptation
Turn to Jesus when you're facing temptation, "Because He Himself suffered when He was tempted, He is able to help those who are being tempted." Hebrews 2:18 (NIV). Being fully human, Jesus experienced the temptations we do in much the same way. Being fully God, He was wise and powerful enough to guide us and help us defeat those temptations, so we don't have to fall to them again.
We all suffer from temptation, but God wants nothing more than for you to experience His forgiveness. We fall to temptation because we're not strong enough, and if we try to defeat temptation just through willpower, we will fail. But when you pray to God, Jesus who is 100 per cent God and has the power to help us overcome, is strong enough to see us through.
Maybe you're experiencing the consequences of living outside of God's best plan for your life. Today is not about guilt or for you to feel judged. God isn't mad at you. He loves you. Instead, feel free and excited about what it could mean for your life if you were to live by God's plan. No matter what your past looks like, no matter what mistakes that you've made.
He wants you to have a fresh start and to help you learn how to navigate sexual temptation. All you have to do is agree with His best plan for your life in every area.
worthy of praise.