I finally understood that God’s ways for sex to only be within the committed relationship of a marriage make sense, because outside of that, there were inevitable, continuous breaking of relationships. And the more you experience that brokenness, the more hardened you become towards the opposite sex, towards your relationships, and it’s easier it is to treat sex (and people!) in a casual way.
Going my own way (making decisions according to my own thoughts and wants) hurt me. There were times when I even heard the Holy Spirit say, “Don’t do this…”, but I did it anyway. I remember putting myself in danger by getting into cars with strangers after a night of partying, and I really believe that God spared me from harm more times than I can count. He protected me even in my wilful obstinance. I remember one time in grade 12, I had a date with a mysterious, older guy. My non-Christian friend said she felt uncomfortable about it, and advised me to cancel. I didn’t though, because he was hot and exciting. But he never showed up. The date never happened. I really feel that God protected me from something in that circumstance. The path I was heading down was getting more and more risky, though. I sensed strongly that, should I continue down this path, the ramifications would become dire.
This is what the Lord says:
“Stand at the crossroads and look;
ask for the ancient paths,
ask where the good way is, and walk in it,
and you will find rest for your souls.
But you said, ‘We will not walk in it.’
“Their hearts are always going astray, and they have not known my ways.”
“If my people would only listen to me,
if Israel would only follow my ways,
how quickly I would subdue their enemies
and turn my hand against their foes!
Before I understood how much my choices impacted everything, it was easy to choose the easier way. I couldn’t see it, but in each choice to sin I was being wrapped in captivity one chain at a time. I knew at every choice that Jesus was there, waiting, arms open, but I heard the liar say, “Take this way. You’ll get whatever you need. Jesus’ way will take too long. You’ve already gone so far, nothing more will happen if you keep walking down my road.”
When I realized that I was totally enslaved, I cried out to Jesus to save me. He swiftly came to my rescue. Because in reality, He was always with me, always there, but I was always turning to other things, so I couldn’t see how close He was.
“Lead me, Lord, in your righteousness
because of my enemies—
make your way straight before me.”
I had had enough of the devil’s ways. I had had enough of the devil masquerading sexual sin in pretty packages, only to unleash the chains of hell as soon as you open it. I never knew I was being wrapped in chains until I was fully ensnared! That’s the deceit of sin!!! There is pleasure in sin for a season. Full pleasure! You may think you have no consequences. But there will always be a day where the debt collector will come knocking. Letting you know what you owe for that ill-beggotten pleasure. And often, what you owe, will be your freedom in exchange for captivity. I became the slave of the one whose ‘choice’ I took (Romans 6:16). My resolve was chiseled away. I became so weakened that every wind of temptation blew me over. My self-worth, self-love, was chiseled away. I was marked. The same opportunities to choose sin kept coming to me at the most inopportune times.
“The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.” 1 John 3:8b
Jesus said, “You can have freedom instead of captivity. I paid your debt.” When I honestly never thought I could be free – overwhelmed by sinful thoughts, triggering dreams, feeling victim to my weaknesses… Jesus said, “I WILL WALK YOU INTO FREEDOM. EVERY DAY YOU WILL BECOME STRONGER. YOU WILL SEE THE DEVIL’S TEMPTATIONS FOR WHAT THEY ARE, AND YOU WILL STAND FIRM AND WILL NOT BE SHAKEN.” (What did Jesus come to do? Isaiah 61:1-4)
Once I was captive to sexual sin, and now I walk in freedom. Just like there is pleasure in sin for a season, there is hardship in the Path of Life. This path took me on a journey of singleness for the last ten years and counting. I have experienced deep loneliness and impatience and temptation. What I received from God, I am fully UNWILLING that anyone take it away. It was a gift, it came through great affliction, (both mine, and Jesus’!) and it IS my resolve to say no to anything but God’s ways. He taught me about the better way. I will never turn back to captivity again. It was horrible. Every single thing the devil offers comes with horrible consequences. Waiting (even when it feels impossible) for God’s ways is WORTH FAR MORE THAN GOLD. Even when I don’t understand, I will choose to trust Him!!!!!!! This has been branded into the depths of my being; won through many battles.