I was presented with a challenge by a reader, in response to my post Ufuomaee’s Seven Reasons To Wait, which was recently posted on The Naked Convos. They thought that, more than dos and don’ts, what’s needed is advice for singles struggling to stay chaste in a sex-crazed world. I agree, and I’ve accepted the challenge to address this issue in today’s post.
Sexual purity is a calling for all who are in Christ, whether they be married or single. It is not simply a case of abstinence until marriage, but a state of holiness unto God that is preserved throughout our walk with God. Even in marriage, this holiness is seen in the honour we give to our marriage, by remaining faithful to our spouses, and keeping our mind on the things of God. As singles, who do not have spouses, you need to keep your mind, heart and body pure to God, by abstaining from pre-marital sex and fleeing from sexual immorality (1 Cor 6:18-20).
It can be hard to live holy to God when it seems everyone else is “breaking the rules” and getting away with it. You don’t even have to look to the world for examples. There are many who consider themselves believers who are not chaste, and may not even agree that they must honour their bodies by abstaining. But we are not to look to others for an example of holiness. We are to look to Jesus. Paul said: “imitate me as I imitate Christ” (1 Cor 11:1).
In our quest for sexual purity to God, we will be tested on what we truly believe about God, Jesus and our Salvation. Our hearts will be tested to determine who we truly love. Our minds will be tested to determine what we truly believe. Our faith will be proven by WHAT WE ACTUALLY DO (Jam 2:14-26)!
If you truly believe in God, and believe that Jesus truly came and died for you, and believe that you are now His child, gifted with His Spirit, you will live as one who believes…knowing at what great a price your liberty was bought (1 Cor 6:19-20). You will be moved with love in your heart towards the God who showered you with so much love, and will seek to please Him in every way. And as you walk in the newness of this life and understanding, you will mature into the image of God, as a baby matures into a man or a woman.
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:1-2).
It really starts with what you believe, and if you truly believe in the message of the Cross! You won’t see it as a burden, or as a series of rules, dos and don’ts. You will see it as a privilege. A blessed calling. A gift that must be rightfully used to bear fruit in your life! If you have this mind, the rest should be easy to guide you to walk in the liberty you have been called into.
- Change Your Focus. If you are fixated on what you cannot or should not do, what do you think you will eventually do? You will do what you ought not to do. Focusing on what you shouldn’t do is counter-productive. By so doing, you are keeping those things in your mind and in your heart…and you know that is where sin is begotten. Rather, we are told to MEDITATE on the Word. Paul counsels us that “whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things” (Phil 4:8). If we feed on these things, they change the nature of our mind, and our heart. If and whenever a stray thought or temptation arises, we are quickly able to disspell it with the truth. This is why David said: “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee” (Psa 119:11).
- Expand Your Interests. The saying goes that “an idle mind is the devil’s workshop!” It is indeed true. If you are lazying about, without meaningful pursuits, you will give in to mischief. If you don’t have a lot of interests, seek out and try out some new ones! Try volunteering. Try serving in Church. Try mentoring the children in your neighbourhood. Maybe further your education with some higher learning. Life isn’t just about dating! It isn’t just about sex! There’s so much more to do. As you expand your interests, you will see that there are many more things that make you happy besides being in a relationship with a boy (man) or a girl (woman). You will discover yourself more, and what truly makes you happy. And you may even discover your true purpose and calling. You are really no good getting into a serious relationship without knowing who you are or your purpose, because your partner is someone who ought to tie into God’s purpose for your life, and knowing your purpose is the easiest way of identifying who is meant for you!!! So, don’t worry about being in a relationship now, follow God, and walk in His will for you, and you will KNOW your mate, when you meet them, because you KNOW God.
- Draw Nearer To God. Nurture your relationship with God. He is after all the most important PERSON in your life. Whether or not you ever get married or ever have sex, you love Him and you want to honour Him. And in order to do that, you need to KNOW Him. You need to communicate with Him. You need to seek His face regularly, and enjoy His presence. There will be many things competing for your time and for your love, but you do what you really want…and you will never neglect what you most value. This comes with realising that your salvation didn’t end with Jesus dying on the Cross! That’s where it began (Phil 1:6). He now wants you to walk with Him and go deeper, and know Him intimately, and grow and mature into His likeness. This process of transformation is the marvelous work He wants to do with you. If you are simply content to be saved, but do not desire to fellowship with Him and know Him more…you really ought to question whether or not you TRULY believe in Him at all! If you had the chance to be best buddies with the Queen of England, would you really pass it up? I suppose you would only do so, if you thought the woman was an impersonator, or you really don’t appreciate the Queen and what she has to offer you… Drawing nearer to God is the JOY of your salvation, and this is what KEEPS you in Him, enduring all things until He comes and bearing fruit that will last. If you have such a relationship, sin can never have dominion in your life. “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh” (Gal 5:16).
- Choose Your Company Wisely. So if you are walking intimately with God, you will not be able to continue to fellowship with darkness! You really can’t be in both camps! They are going in different directions. If you continue to keep bad company, you won’t bear the fruit of the Spirit, but evil fruit (1 Cor 15:33)! Paul asks, “what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?” (2 Cor 6:14). And then there’s the wisdom of Amos, “can two walk together, unless they be agreed?” (Amos 3:3). If you are much more comfortable with the world, and with those who hate God…what does that say about who you really love? We ought also to know that “…friendship of the world is enmity with God…whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God” (Jam 4:4). Sincerity is important, but Wisdom is supreme!
- Be Guided By Wisdom. “Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding” (Prov 4:7). Resist the temptation of trying to see how much you can do and still be ‘safe’! That is not wisdom. And that is not even sincere. It doesn’t show that your heart or your focus is with God, but reveals that your heart and mind are carnal… Yes, everybody is in a relationship but you. So what??? Do you want to do what everybody is doing? Don’t you want to stand out? Enoch is the only man known to have been taken off the face of the Earth by God, and it was because he STOOD OUT from among his generation, and walked with God! Choose wisely! Do you want God as your portion, or do you want the world? Wisdom is not derived from a series of dos and don’ts, but from a living RELATIONSHIP with God. Wisdom loves righteousness and always chooses righteousness. If you have a relationship with God, His Spirit will convict you of sin, and as you take heed, you will be even more sensitive to His will and knowledgeable of His ways. You will have the mind of Christ (1 Cor 2:16). But if you deny the truth, you will sear your conscience, and God will give you over to the evil desires of your heart.
The main point I want to get across is that you shouldn’t be guided by FEAR (of sin or failure) but by LOVE. When you know the love God has for you, you can’t help but respond in LOVE. You can resist your sexual urges by KNOWING who you are in Christ, and knowing that God has given you a Spirit that has dominion over your flesh. As you meditate on Him, and you fellowship with Him, you will NATURALLY do what is right and pleasing to Him.
You need also to know that YOU CAN WALK IN HOLINESS TODAY. It is not a thing of the past. It isn’t an impossible calling. God, who lives in you, has empowered you to be victorious in this calling! Remember, who God calls, He equips (Rom 8:30)! So believe and say, YES I CAN! because as Paul confessed, “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me” (Phil 4:13).
God bless you and keep you!
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