Going Deeper

Going Deeper

The Spiritual Discipline of Chastity/Purity (2-25-17)

Genesis 2:24-25 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. 25 And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.”

There is an intimacy described here …. a joining of two lives to become one that is unlike any other in creation.

God’s design for a man and his wife to become one flesh and to be naked and unashamed is a beautiful and priceless thing. The problem is that sin and society have really stolen God’s intention for marital intimacy and made what is sacred impure and common in sin.

The world’s agenda when it comes to sex is to profane it.

Profane = to make it common!   To treat something sacred with irreverence.

So, profanity comes from the word profane.    So, when we say “Oh God” in just a flippant common way instead of exalting his name and worshipping the true God, we use it as a casual response to life and make it common.  Or we use it as a swear word to illustrate the emotion of disgust like “Jesus Christ”.   This is to profane the Lord’s name.

This is what our culture does with God’s design for sex and marital intimacy and God-honoring modesty.  The world wants to remove all mystery and holiness and sacredness and selflessness and make it common and casual.   They want to take purity and what honors God and exchange it for whatever satisfies man’s flesh.

Our culture wants to make sex simply about physiology and biology.  And so, they teach it to our kids in sex ED. It is all about mechanics. We have been convinced by our culture that they get it and we don’t.   This is why for far too many people they are captured by the world’s casual, mechanical, free market idea of sex.   I believe this is one reason why so many struggle with pornography.  Many have come to believe that it is purely mechanical and therefore harmless and acceptable.

But, we have to see that all of what God only intended to be enjoyed or seen or experienced in a committed marriage is undone when seen or experienced outside of marriage.   This is the reason for modesty and purity and chastity.  The goal must be to honor God and keep our minds and bodies pure in devotion and worship of him.

We have to understand that sexual intimacy is more than the physical.  The heart is so involved.

The emotional and spiritual scars that sex and intimacy outside of your marriage brings is as deep as it gets.  And I have never seen anything in my years of counseling to be more true.

1 Corinthians 6:18 says, “Run from sexual sin! No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does. For sexual immorality is a sin against your own body.”

When the Bible is so specific in its warning against impurity and immodesty, we need to slow down and really consider God’s will and ways so that we can have a spiritual disciplined life in this area.

According to the Bible, sexual intimacy was God’s creation.  The Bible starts by revealing that God made us male and female with bodies built for sexual pleasure within the context of marriage.   Not a man/man or woman/woman or man/goat.  Their bodies are not built to do what God gave for man and woman to do in marriage during sex for the multiplication of the human race.  Further, God’s design was not a man and a woman who are not committed for life in marriage.   Look with me…

Genesis 1:27-28 “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. 28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.’”

Genesis 2:24-25 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.  25 And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.”

Sex is not for love.   Sex is not for commitment.    Sex and intimacy is for marriage!

What this means is that intimacy and nudity is only to be enjoyed between a husband and his wife.  Everything outside of that must be modest and pure in order to honor God with our thoughts and actions.    Because God’s design for sexual intimacy is so potent, the reality is any engagement with these things outside of marriage can be extremely damaging to one’s life.

The analogy I find that helps us understand this goes like this:

A big burning fire in your fireplace is a wonderful gift of warmth and comfort and a beautiful sight in your home.  But, that fire burning anywhere else in your home other than the fireplace is utterly destructive and damaging to your home and life.

This is the case for sexuality and nudity.  Within the context of the covenant of marriage it is a wonderful gift and God-honoring. Outside of marriage, it is damaging and God-dishonoring.

So, this means we are to be pure and modest in every other circumstance.

The way we dress should not be revealing anything that God intended to be private and for marriage.  The way we talk should be pure and God-honoring and not making what God designed to be sacred common or casual.

The reality is that we live in a lost world that has a true and aggressive agenda to take all that God made holy and pure and profane it.  I can’t watch regular television with my kids anymore with out my hand on the remote not just because the programming might be compromised, but because the commercials are often explicit and profaned.

Just about everywhere we look we are inundated with sexuality and immodest images.    Song lyrics have come a long way from scandal of Elvis Presley and even the entertainers of a few decades ago. We have to practice the discipline of modesty and purity in the most practical ways.  The shows we watch or the music we listen to should keep our mind and eyes pure and not defraud our spirit unto sexual immorality.  If social media is introducing compromise, then we should have a discipline to step out of that environment in order to keep our mind and spirit focused on the Lord and not the temptations of the world.  What are you doing to practice purity and modesty?  What are you doing to fight in this area of life that is a very real temptation.

When Paul says in 1 Corinthians 6:13-20 that “the body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.”  We must realize that how we use our hands, our eyes and our minds is of the upmost importance in honoring our Lord.

He goes on to clarify that “You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your life.” 1 Cor. 6:19-20

Paul continues his plea with those who belong to God in 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8.

When emphasizing that we “ought to walk and to please God…for this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; 4 that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor,  not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God….For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness.  Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.”

The scriptures are clear that how we conduct ourselves-our thinking, our looking, our actions- must honor God.  But, how do we do this in a land full of sexual immoral people, images, songs, and movies?   We fight.  Meaning we work hard. Paul goes so far to say run away.  In other words, when you see immodesty on the horizon, we run the other direction.  We don’t put ourselves in those environments where temptation will be ramped up.  We keep our families from these places too.  This means a real and consistent effort to screen what they have access to.

So, how are you running form this devastating enemy?  How are you creating boundaries of accountability for yourself and your family?  Who is helping you fight your temptations and struggles?  Don’t wait to act on this discipline. Practice chastity, purity and modesty now and every day that the Lord gives you under the sun. I am praying for you as you consider this spiritual discipline and that you make a true effort to be accountable and sanctified in this area.  There is simply too much at stake to take it lightly.

God is worthy of all of our lives.  Let us honor him with them.

By His grace and for His glory,

Joshua “Shepherd” Kirstine

Soldiers for Jesus MC