Saturday, August 10, 2019

For Victory Over Sexual Immorality, Let the Love of the Father Inside You

Sexual immorality is a problem in the world, and even in the Body of Christ.

This matter needs to be confronted with the grace and truth of Christ Jesus.

Interestingly enough, Pastor Joseph Prince of Singapore released the entire video for one of his sermons:

I have watched this video a few times. I wanted to break free of internal sexual demands.

The sexual issues I struggled with, however, were not taken care of very well. They did not go away, as I had hoped they would, from watching the particular sermon above. It's interesting, too, because in this sermon I find that the pastor does not stress the power and glory of God's grace to help us all overcome these failings which all of us fall into.

I suppose that it is just as well that I differ with Pastor Prince on this matter. No one should be so keenly attached to one pastor and everything that he preaches. All of us have to grow in grace, even those who preach God's Word, especially those who preach God's Word quite well.

Pastor Joseph Prince makes a lot of comparisons and discusses sexual dynamics. He praises women and denigrates men sometimes--jokingly, of course, but sometimes it irritates me.

He also stesses extensively that single people should seek the blessing of getting married. That really bothers me--and that imposition is not scriptural. There is no reason for anyone to feel inadequate, lacking, or "less than" if they remain single.

Paul the Apostle said it best:

"Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman." (1 Corinthians 7:1)

and also

"Art thou bound unto a wife? seek not to be loosed. Art thou loosed from a wife? seek not a wife." (1 Corinthians 7:27)

It's beautiful to be celibate. It is beautiful to be single! I wish that Pastor Prince and other ministers around the world understood this revelation. I am not sure why so many do not convey this truth.

At any rate ...

In his sermon about Victory Over Sexual Immorality, he does not talk about "The Love of the Father." Yet those who struggle with temptations: pornography, masturbation (self-starting), fornication, multiple partners, adultery--fall into one of the three categories outlined by John the Beloved:

"15Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 17And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever." (1 John 2:15-17)

They are indulged, engaged in "lust of the flesh". They go for the lust of the eyes, and they have this pride of life, to feel like big shots in a world full of small people seeking to make others smaller.

Also, Pastor Prince's preaching in the above, to abstain from sexual immorality, stresses the following points:

1. Restraining yourself for sexual pleasure in the confines of marriage, which is more pleasurable
2. Avoiding fornication will make you smarter and sharper
3. Refraining from sexual immorality will give you greater spiritual expression --- Here, Pastor Prince wisely, wonderfully points out that Joseph, the son of Jacob and savior of his brethren and the Israelite nation, started interpreting his dreams after he refused Potiphar's wife and her perverse advances.

These are all great points.

However, these incentives do not entice or motivate people to abstain from fleshly lusts. If people think they can't have something better, they will settle for what is available. 

Let's return to what John the Beloved, the Disciple whom Jesus Loved, had to say in his First Epistle.

Why do people seek the lust of the flesh?

"The lover of the Father is not in him."

It's worth pointing out that Joseph the patriarch knew his Father's love--both his earthly as well as his heavenly Father.

He experienced God's favor throughout his life, especially when he was reduced to nothing, stripped naked, and sold into slavery:

"1And Joseph was brought down to Egypt; and Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, captain of the guard, an Egyptian, bought him of the hands of the Ishmealites, which had brought him down thither. 2And the LORD was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian." (Genesis 39:1-2)

Now that's AWESOME! That is God's love!

Joseph knew and believed in God's love for him.

Therefore, he could reject Potiphar's wife:

"There is none greater in this house than I; neither hath he kept back any thing from me but thee, because thou art his wife: how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?" (Genesis 39:9)

God the Father was blessing and fulfilling Joseph in so many ways long before all of this!

God was good to Joseph! 

God was blessing Joseph, watching out for him the whole time!

It's the goodness of God, the grace of God that leads us more into His holiness, and away from the world's sinfulness:

"11For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, 12Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;" (Titus 2:11-12)

This is the grace that sent God's Son to die for us, to be punished for all our sins, to take us from death to life, His life (Colossians 3:4)

Grace, God's unmerited favor helps us to "deny ungodliness and worldly lusts"!

When we know the love of the Father, when we allow His love to overflow into us, all that dead, boring, ugly, destructive stuff falls away.

Imagine what would happen if we started telling young people: "Daddy God is madly in love with you. He is madly in love with you, declaring your righteous, blessed with all spiritual blessings in Christ Jesus" (Ephesians 1:3-6)

He is in love with you, even if you engage in some strange sexual perversities. The more that you see how much he warmly, richly loves you--the less you will engage in other perversions, whether sexual or otherwise.

"Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?" (Romans 2:4)

When boys know that they are prized and loved by their Heavenly father, they won't try to find that love and acceptance in one-night stands. The same is true for girls.

They need to know the love of the Father, and they need to know that that warm, rich, satisfying love is already waiting for them. They just need to allow that love in!

Pastor Prince's most important revelation in the midst of these very personal, difficult, painfully intimate struggles?

"Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body." (1 Corinthians 6:18)


"10For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. 11But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness." (1 Timothy 6:10-11)

So what is going on for those caught in a cycle of sexual sin?

Pastor Prince delivers the problem perfectly!

If you do fail?

"1There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus" (Romans 8:1)

There is no condemnation! Jesus took all the condemnation for us! Therefore, even when we sin, fall, or fail, God's love does not go away! His grace never stops flowing into our lives. When we start relying on our efforts--whether to fulfill lusts or to abstain--we are set free!

No condemnation! We are accepted, fully loved and embraced in the Beloved!

There you have it.

The more that people understand how loved they are by God, why would they settle for the petty, temporal trash of one-night stands, empty sexual escapades, and shameful loss?

Final Reflection

The answer to sexual morality is not found in telling young people "Wait for marriage. It will be worth it." That does not work.

Why do these lusts in our flesh continue to tug at us, draq us into their net, whether we are young or old?

We do not know the Love of the Father. We have not allowed the Father's love into us.

Why do we not know the love of the Father?

We do not understand the Finished Work of the Son.

The answer to sexual immorality is divine intimacy. The answer to unhealthy desires is to know how much God the Father desires you.

If you feel like you are lacking something, look and see how much you Daddy God supplies to you--freely! (Romans 8:32)

If you think that your sins, your lusts and pride have separated you from the Father, consider that nothing can separate us from Him (Romans 8:38-39)

Don't focus on overcoming the sin. Be overcome by the Father's love for you!

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