Saturday, April 28, 2007

desire & self-control

this is my 4th in a 7 part series on God, sex and sexuality i am writting for the family life at the church of Christ in falls church

04 desire vs. selfcontrol

Desire is like a coin. It is a coin with a positive and negative side. On the positive side you find healthy desire. Healthy desire generates commitment and propels accomplishment. It is healthy desire that causes us to be unsatisfied with the life we live and strive to live as the LORD desires. On the other side of the coin you find unhealthy desires. Unhealthy desires fuel lust, addiction and destruction! It is our own unhealthy desires that cause us to sin.

The authors of the texts in the Bible have a lot to say about how our evil/unhealthy desires lead us to sin. I feel that the letter written by James puts it best

"When tempted, no one should say, 'God is tempting me.' For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each of you is tempted when you are dragged away by your own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death." - James 1.13 - .15 (TNIV)

This text shows us the cycle that sin takes in our lives. Sin is started by our own evil desires. When we give into those evil desires it leads to sin. The sin grows and matures and gives birth to death! Sin is serious business.

So what can be done? Two things, first turn your life over to Jesus Christ and let him rule in your life. Let the blood of Jesus wash you clean of your sins. Let the Holy Spirit fill you and give you the strength to overcome your evil desires through self-control. The second thing you can do is to live that self-controlled life. The writings of Paul are full of encouragement to live a self-controlled life that will give glory to the LORD. We are not to live lives guided by our own selfish desires and wants but lives that are controlled.

In our discussions on Sunday Nights dealing with sex and sexuality, the importance of self-control is critical. It is easy for people to allow their sexual desires to control them. It is easy for people to allow a sexual situation to go farther than they intended by not staying in control. We are human beings created in the image of the LORD. We are not animals who have no self-control. God's intent for sex is not simply to make new human beings, but to bring a man and woman together into a union. This union is what we call marriage. Using our self-control to wait until we are married to have sex is what the LORD wants. We also use our self-control to keep our marriages pure by not committing adultery.

It is important to remember that if you have already surrendered to your unhealthy desires and committed sin that the LORD offers us grace and redemption. We have to repent of the sin we have committed and live a self-controlled life through the Holy Spirit.
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