In my current series on my weekly blog, I have been focusing on helping people find the will of God for their lives. In this series I’m not focusing as much about how to hear God’s voice for the specific will of God about our careers or who we are to marry, but instead I’m focusing on the general will of God that is true for all of us.
The premise is that many of us ask God His will for our lives about specific matters that we can’t find a scripture for, but often disregard the general matters of God’s will the Bible is very clear about. In my experience as we are learn and obey the things the scripture is clear about, many of the things that we can’t get a specific scriptural reference for such as the career we are called to become clear. In this article I want to look at a pretty touchy subject: sexual purity. Look at 1 Thessalonians 4:3:
3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality;
God’s will for our lives is that we maintain sexual purity. Unfortunately while many people will read that verse and acknowledge it as true, they don’t see its application to them finding the specific will of God they long to discover in terms of their future career or spouse. The two principles don’t seem related to a lot of people so I want to share some things the Bible teaches about why it’s important to walk in sexual purity (the known will of God) in order to find out His specific plan for our lives (the unknown will of God.)
As we explore this topic, my goal is discuss this issue in a practical, non-legalistic way. Before we get started, for anyone reading this who is struggling with sexual sin, I know what its like first hand to struggle in this area. I struggled personally in this area from my teenage years into my mid 20’s. There is no condemnation if you are struggling. Jesus loves you and will help you overcome. With that said, it is important that we pursue sexual purity if we want to know God’s specific plan for lives. There are three main reasons.
1. Why should He show us further revelation of His plan for our lives if we aren’t being obedient to the revelation we already have? Think about it, would you give an employee more instructions, if they were ignoring the instructions you had already given them? It would only make them more accountable.
2. Our sexual purity positions us to hear God’s voice. If we look at the life of Joseph, he had an opportunity to have an affair with Potiphar’s wife. If Joseph would have given in to her advances and Potiphar found out, he would have killed Joseph. If Potiphar would have killed Joseph, Joseph wouldn’t have been around to hear further revelation from God about Pharaoh’s dreams. Joseph’s purity positioned him to hear God’s voice.
Another example is King David. David gave in to temptation with Bathsheba and experienced a lot of negative consequences. God still used David mightily because he repented, but David still experienced a lot of negative consequences in his life because of his disobedience. His sin led to his son Absalom staging a coup and David spending a lot of time, effort, and energy running from Absalom and having to deal with the aftermath of the rebellion. Have you ever thought about what God could have done in David’s life if David wouldn’t have had to waste years cleaning up his family mess because of his sin? David missed part of God’s will for his life because of sexual sin.
Sin has consequences and when we intentionally and willfully commit sin, we often have to spend a lot of time, effort, and energy cleaning up the mess. Thank God for Jesus that He isn’t mad at us and will help us, but at the same time, wouldn’t it be better to get His instruction about His future for our lives instead of getting instruction about how to clean up the mess we we have created for ourselves. Intentionally and willfully disregarding God’s word will always produce negative consequences that will hinder our ability to get more revelation and walk in the fulness of God’s plan for our lives.
3. God cares about our character more than what we accomplish for Him. Many public figures have achieved great accomplishments only to fall through sexual immorality which tarnishes their reputation and undoes much of what they accomplished. He doesn’t want that for people.
To make this practical, I dream of one day pastoring a church of over 1,000 people, but if I live in immorality and cheat on my wife while pastoring a church of 1,000, I missed my destiny. If the affair came out, it would crush my family and a thousand people.
Even if everything remained a secret, it still means my life became more about my accomplishments for Jesus than about knowing Him intimately. What I do for Jesus is supposed to be a reflection of my relationship with Him. If I’m living in habitual sexual sin, it’s a sign that my relationship with God isn’t very vibrant or healthy and lacks intimacy. Revelation comes out of intimacy. If I want revelation, I must sell out to knowing His heart! And His heart is one of faithfulness and self-control.
As I close, I want to encourage each of us that God really loves all of us deeply. He longs to share His heart with us so we can discover His specific plans for our lives. I want to encourage each of us to endeavor to walk in sexual purity. As we keep our hearts tender and lives pure, He will be able to show us more of His plans for our lives.
I pray the Holy Spirit strengthens us and I also want to encourage anyone who stumbles, that God will forgive and cleanse you. His grace is there for any of is if we fail, let’s just not use grace as an excuse to not pursue character. Here is a message I taught about how to overcome temptation. It is really practical and I believe it will help anyone who is struggling.
I hope this article about living in sexual purity has helped you learn how to fulfill God’s plan for your life. If you would like learn more about how to discover God’s will for your life, check out the links below from our “How to Find God’s Will Series.”