Paul has been expressing his love and appreciation of the Thessalonian church and then, BAM!…he starts talking about sex!
And as it is today, so it was then, sex was a stumbling block even for those who love Jesus.
Those early believers had stood strong in the face of affliction and persecution, but Paul felt it necessary to not assume they would not fall for sexual temptation.
So, friends, no matter how long you’ve walked with the Lord, or how old you are, let’s don’t assume, any of us are immune from this issue. (And I know some of you, who routinely study with me, are in your eighties and nineties! 😉)
Paul encourages believers, if they want to continue growing in the Lord, to “abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God; that no one should take advantage of and defraud his brother in this matter, because the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also forewarned you and testified. For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness”. (1 Thess 4:3-7)
God called us to holiness. …ALL of us, to holiness!
Paul says, He who rejects this rejects God. (1 Thess 4:8). So, let’s don’t breeze past this thinking this is not, or cannot be, our problem.
We may not be involved in physical affairs (if you are, flee!); but we may be forsaking holy living and stunting our spiritual growth by what we read, or watch on television, or click on a computer screen.
Let’s train our ears to hear the Holy Spirit cautioning us to choose better. Let’s focus on “ whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” (Phil 4:8)
Let’s fill our minds with good things because what we put in will eventually come out.
So, let’s just don’t think about sex, right? Well, not entirely.
Friend, if you are married, understand this — as much as the enemy wants our unmarried friends to be consumed by sex, he wants those of us who are married to ignore it, avoid it, and make every excuse to neglect it within our marriages. (God created it to be a great, strengthening thing within marriage)
Yep. I see it all the time. The unmarried want to have sex, and the married don’t. Both are a recipe for disaster authored by the enemy.
So what do we do?
Well, God tells us to pray about everything, and “everything” includes sex.
If you are unmarried, ask the Lord to help you take every thought captive and think about what He would have you think about (see Phil 4:8). Ask Him to direct your steps and so that you can conduct yourself in a manner worthy unto to the Lord (Phil 1:27).
AND, If you are married, pray the above, and pray for some “want to”. I’ve heard from many women who have prayed this way, who say God answered that prayer and used it to strengthen their marriages.
God’s way is best in every way, every day, all the time, and including when it comes to sex.
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