Lest they think I never struggle, let me be real and accountable on this thang.
Hey guys, I’m a single 20something year old Christian woman who is working out my salvation with fear and trembling and working to experience full and complete freedom from lust.
Yesterday, I messed up. After a particularly amazing experience at a conference where the Lord set me free from all types of demonic oppression and unclean spirits, I came down from the mountaintop reality of God’s manifest presence and resolved in my heart to never struggle with lust and perversion again.
And then, yesterday I got hit with the WORST type of menstrual cramps I have ever experienced. I overloaded on medication, I tried to sleep. I prayed. And I felt no relief. In a moment of weakness, I decided to go back to something that brings me comfort (even though it makes me feel like complete crap afterwards). Erotica and masturbation.
LORD HAVE MERCY Y’ALL I WENT BACK TO MY VOMIT.
And afterward, I just felt….numb.
And the pain didn’t go away….it got worse. Lol.
So I asked God for forgiveness and decided to watch a few sermons by my sister friend Stephanie Ike. The two messages I watched were:
I was reminded of the following truths from these sermons and from my own reflections:
- The commitment to flee sexual immorality must be birthed out of love for God and a desire to preserve the relationship. It’s not enough to want to avoid sin for the sake of avoiding consequences or for the sake of being able to get what you want (oh I won’t sin because I need to hear from the Lord and I want Him to give me what I’m asking for). Those motivations will keep you for a season, but love is what sustains you. When you are in love with someone, you don’t want to intentionally grieve them.
- Love is an action and it goes beyond emotion. If I say I love God, my actions will speak louder than my “proclaimed and professed feelings”. I may not always feel head over heels in love with God, I may not have butterflies in my stomach, but I do love Him and I am grateful and honored to have a relationship with Him. As such, I must flee from all things that would threaten our intimacy. Point blank period.
- The two times you are most vulnerable to temptation as a believer are: when you’ve had a mountaintop experience and when you’re down in the dumps
- Mountaintop – After an amazing victory or incredible experience with God, the enemy comes in to steal our joy by catching us off-guard. 1 Corinthians 10:12 states “So if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!” (NIV). There is a tendency to feel an inflated sense of security and strength after a mountaintop experience with God. “I will NEVER EVER sin again” we think to ourselves. “I am on top of the world! I am the righteousness of God in Christ! I will not sin!” Meanwhile Satan is laughing at us, while we walk around resting on our laurels, instead of abiding in Christ. Jesus reminds us in John 15:5 that apart from Him we can do NOTHING. It is as we abide in Him, read His word and meditate on it, and communicate with Him through prayer and praise that we are able to stand securely. Sin isn’t fought by positive thinking. Temptation isn’t overcome by our own strength and willpower, but by our positioning in Christ and our commitment to love Him. Selah. Below are some examples of bible figures who fell to temptation after mountaintop experiences.
- David in 2 Samuel 8-11. David was on a ROLL!!! He was defeating ALL HIS FOES and ENEMIES. After several victories he was feeling pretty good about himself. And decides to rest on his laurels……. and then temptation meets him in the form of a beautiful woman named Bathsheba. You know what happens next y’all.
- Hezekiah in 2 Chronicles 29-32. Hezekiah purifies the temple of the Lord, destroying all idols and reinstating all celebrations and feasts as set forth by the Pentateuch. He’s being a faithful servant of the Lord and the Lord was pleased with Hezekiah. And then Sennacherib, King of Assyria starts talking smack and threatening Hezekiah and the children of Israel. And Hezekiah cries out to the Lord and the Lord sends an angel to SLAUGHTER the Assyrian soldiers. So Hezekiah is feeling really really good about himself, and becomes prideful…..as a result, the Lord gets angry with Hezekiah…..pride goes before a fall as we all know!
- Valleys: Jessica Harris once said “Discouragement is a fast track to sin” (you can read her post here). When we’re feeling down, and out for the count….when we feel like God has forgotten about us and when we feel like He no longer cares about us and our struggles, when we step outside of the will of God for our lives, we are ripe for Satan’s picking. He doesn’t fight fair and likes to kick us when we’re down.
- Jonah – Jonah received a word from the Lord to preach to a people that were on the fast track to destruction. God wanted to save these people from impending doom. Jonah said no. He ran away from God and from his calling and even asked for assisted suicide on the rocks!!! Don’t believe me? Read Jonah 1:11-12. Jonah was ready to die! But the Lord said NO! God saved Jonah so Jonah could complete his assignment. Jonah completed this assignment of warning the people of God’s coming destruction and then got angry when he didn’t get his way. The Lord turned away from His anger on the people of Nineveh because they repented before the Lord with prayer and fasting. Jonah got so angry about God’s faithfulness and compassion that he wanted to die. He even told God to kill him. I don’t know how God puts up with us y’all. I don’t get it.
- Judas – Judas was one of the 12 disciples who betrayed Jesus by turning him over to the Pharisees. Bible scholars speculate that Judas didn’t actually want to see Jesus killed…he was merely trying to force Jesus’ hand to reveal His true power and put an end to the Roman domination and humiliation of the Jews. But when Jesus was actually crucified, Satan whispered into the heart of Judas lies of condemnation. Judas thought he was beyond redemption and killed himself. His death is so tragic and honestly haunts me, because this was a man who experienced the beauty and majesty of the Lord Jesus Christ. And yet he got to a place where he felt that he was beyond the love of Christ. How many of us call ourselves followers of Christ and yet don’t really know His heart? When trials and tribulations come our way, we are so quick to forget and let go of the truths and life lessons that God has taught us…..
In any case, this morning when I was finally able to sleep a little, I woke up and asked God for forgiveness again and read scriptures on the consequences of sin. One particular scripture that hit me was:
Isaiah 59:2 – But your iniquities have separated you from your God, your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.
When I looked up the Hebrew word for hear, the equivalent was: pay attention….
And all of a sudden I got this image of God on His throne, hearing all the prayers of people all over the world. And sin acting like a muffler, whereby He can hear our voice, but it’s like “womp womp womp womp womp.” He’s not tuned into what we are saying!
It was a sobering thought. Habitual sin wreaks havoc on our relationship with God because He turns His attention away from us and our prayers UNTIL we repent and turn away from our sin. God is a holy God and He hates sin. We often forget the seriousness of God’s hatred for sin.
After reading that scripture, I read a few more scriptures on the importance of purity. And I made a commitment to fight the good fight of faith.
I didn’t feel the warm and fuzzies. I didn’t cry a river. I didn’t have a vision from heaven. I just made a decision to obey my God and to commit to loving Him not only with my words, but also my actions.
And so I begin this walk of purity anew and I endeavor to stay on it, not by my willpower, but by His grace. However, my will does play a role.
Psalm 119:11 – I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against You.
There is something powerful about reading the word of God and meditating on it in the battle against impurity of every kind.
When you have an intimate relationship with God and when you are committed to knowing His word, something happens to your heart and your mind. It’s called renewal. You see things differently. You experience things differently. Sin is no longer palatable. Sin is no longer an attractive option. Your love for the Lord and your commitment to holiness burns so much more intensely than your lusts.
That’s where I’m trying to be y’all. I pray that I get there. I pray y’all get there too.