We did it, guys! This is the last week in our sex series. I don’t know one person who hasn’t slipped up in the area. I told you that Jon-Michael and I were virgins on our wedding night, but there were plenty of other things that we did and justified. We told ourselves that we weren’t having sex so it was “ok.” Those choices made us feel gross and left us full of shame.
If you’ve ever felt gross or ashamed because of sexual choices you’ve made, I want to share the fourth and final truth in this series:
JESUS IS THE RESTORER.
1. Freedom from sin is Jesus’ responsibility.
“But now God has shown us a way to be made right with him without keeping the requirements of the law, as was promised in the writings of Moses and the prophets long ago. We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are. For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood, (Romans 3:21-25a NLT).
It is never too late. If you have made mistakes (and we all have) there is hope in Jesus. God is all about restoration and healing. Jesus took the sting and consequences of sin so that we wouldn’t have to face them. He paid for all of our sin, once and for all, so that we could walk in freedom. If you have a relationship with Christ, then that freedom belongs to you. If you do not know Jesus yet as your Lord and Savior, all you have to do is believe that Jesus Christ is God’s Son, died on the cross to take the sin of the world, and came back to life three days later. Then you need to tell someone that you believe that truth (Romans 10:10).
2. Walking out of bad habits is our responsibility.
My husband often says that Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, but it was the responsibility of his friends to set him free (John 11:43-44). Salvation and deliverance are Jesus’ responsibility. Forgiveness is free in Him. He starts the process of our healing, but we have to dig in deep and figure out the roots of those patterns. Breaking unhealthy habits and choosing to walk in freedom is up to us. I want to spend just a moment on the idea of confession and repentance.
Confession is when I tell God what sin I committed. Repentance is when I stop turning to that sin and trust God for my every need. Repenting doesn’t just mean apologizing to God. It means to turn around 180 degrees, and to think the exact opposite of the way we used to think. We acknowledge that we messed up (confession) and head the other direction (repentance).
If you are addicted to pornography, Jesus will forgive you and heal you. But you are going to have to learn not to cope in the same way. You’re going to have to repent.
What led you to turn to porn in the first place? Was it sexual desire? Loneliness? Stress? Figure out what the root is, create new thought processes, and discover freedom.
That being said, overcoming sexual sin and the shame attached to it, often times requires some help. I want encourage you to seek out pastoral and/or professional counseling to help you. Remember the story of Lazarus: You don’t have to face this challenge alone.
“But if we freely admit our sins when his light uncovers them, he will be faithful to forgive us every time. God is just to forgive us our sins because of Christ, and he will continue to cleanse us from all unrighteousness,” (1 John 1:9 TPT).
If you are in a committed relationship and have been sexually active, I encourage you to talk with your significant other about waiting to have sex again until you are married. Jon-Michael did premarital counseling with a couple who were not believers. They abstained from continuing to have sex until after the wedding, because they saw the value in waiting.
God has plans for all of us. He can take the yucky messes that we get ourselves into and make a beautiful masterpiece from them. Remember the picture that I showed last week?
This is what God can do with all of those holes.
We are God’s children. When we are wounded, He rushes to us, picks us up, and comforts us. He cleans out our wounds, fills them with His Spirit, and speaks truth to our identity. Then He shines His light out of our wounds and uses them for His glory.
“He heals the wounds of every shattered heart,” (Psalm 147:3 TPT).
“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me, for the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed. He has sent me to tell those who mourn that the time of the Lord’s favor has come, and with it, the day of God’s anger against their enemies. To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the Lord has planted for his own glory,” (Isaiah 61:1-3 NLT).
“Instead of shame and dishonor, you will enjoy a double share of honor. You will possess a double portion of prosperity in your land, and everlasting joy will be yours,” (Isaiah 61:7 NLT).
If you don’t hear anything else that I have said in the last month, I pray you hear and receive this: Regardless of how many mistakes you have made (or how many damaging things have been done to you), God has a plan to restore you and use you to tell His story of grace. You are NEVER too far gone for Him to make something beautiful with your life. Jesus says you’re worthy. Accept it and live like it.
“I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called,” (Ephesians 4:1 ESV).
Thank you for going on this journey toward healing and freedom with me. I hope it has been helpful and life giving. Let’s choose to walk in purity, liberty, and joy. It’s a lot better than shame.