We must not indulge in [nor tolerate] sexual immorality, as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand [suddenly] fell [dead] in a single day!
1 CORINTHIANS 10:8 AMP
There are few things in the history of humanity that has caused so much strain in a man’s journey with God like sexual immorality. It is one sin that had found a way to stir its head even in the greatest rank and file of the Christian faith and the Church. Most temptations Satan poses to believers are in themselves quite subtle and tricky. But in the matter of sexual immorality, Satan has brazenly displayed his glory without fail. There no sin being maligned and spoken against in the Church like sexual immorality, and yet there is no sin for which many in the Church stand condemned as this one sin. Paul listed it as one of the sins that deprived many of God’s best, that led to their death at the approval of God.
So, what is the matter with sexual sin? What gives it its power to control lives, even Christian Life? The power of sexual immorality stems from the fact that sex itself is an invention of the Almighty. It all started with Him, and He wired our bodies to acknowledge sexual realities for the purpose of fruitfulness and multiplication. Being a good God that He is, He ensured that this act itself carried lots of pleasure which makes the act something to look forward to, and not to disdain. However, like all divine inventions, the Almighty placed boundaries, and set rules and regulations around which the sexual act can be enacted. This is where the problem begins, and this is were the line between the God-ordained sexual act and sexual immorality is drawn. Man, in anticipation of the pleasures of sex, decides to go ahead and pursue the act regardless of God’s ordained patterns for it (bringing us back to the issue of lust). This is where Satan came in and muddied the whole water.
Now, enough of analysis: in the incident Paul referred to, the children of Israel had just survived a planned curse from Balaam and Balak unawares, simply because the Lord was pleased with them, and His hands of protection were upon them. However, following the advice of Balaam, young Moabite girls were sponsored into the camp of Israel, and this led many of the young men to begin committing sexual immorality and worshipping idols. That very day, 23,000 (twenty-three thousand) Israelites lay dead, slain by the wrath of God.
Now, these things were written for our learning. He who must not be cast away must guard his sexual appetites well. He must train his hunger. He must understand that having anything outside of God’s ordained timing and boundaries will not do him any good. We must flee sexual immorality.
These days, the temptations are immense and come in different shades and sizes. From pornography to masturbation, to lusting after the opposite sex, to inordinate words and touches, to the actual sex in itself; Satan continues to sponsor a campaign of impurity in the camp of the godly.
However, we must keep in mind the two commandments given us by Jesus: Love your God with all your heart, and Love your Neighbor as yourself. These two Loves will keep you from immorality. And remember, it is worth something to try and open up to others when you see yourself struggling with sexual sins of any form, and your are not overcoming it. Sometimes sin is better handled by exposure.
May God keep us pure in this generation, in Jesus Name. Amen.
PRAYERS: Lord, thank you for your love that made you bring me this warning. Forgive me in any way I have involved myself in sexual immorality, and I receive the Grace to walk in sexual purity, and to live a holy life. I receive the Grace to open up to other brethren whenever I notice that I am being overcome by any sexual sin. Have your way in my life, in Jesus Name. Amen.
For further reading: Numbers 25 vs. 1-9; 2 Samuel 11 vs. 1-27; Matthew 5 vs. 27-30; Acts 15 vs. 28-29; 1 Corinthians 6 vs. 18-20; 2 Timothy 2 vs. 22.