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When Temptation Comes Knocking

Let’s isolate the moment of temptation: Maybe it looks like your fingertips hovering to type in a string of words you know will lead you to that site.

Or maybe it looks like driving home a different route so you find yourself rolling slowly past that street.

Every bit of you pulses with energy in that moment of temptation. 

The world is encouraging you to say “Yes” to the urge. Giving in can leave you alone with shame and regret. So, let’s pivot to a different “yes.”

This is hard work but shift your heart, mind and body in that moment to a different option. God is inviting you to a bigger YES.

Let’s listen in for more.

Highlights:

The world tells you, “You can’t be yourself in holiness. You can only be yourself in sinfulness.” What if that is a lie from the pit of hell?

Christianity understands that human beings are not just disembodied spirits. Human beings are embodied creatures, embodied spirits.

We are each an individual, human person, hybrid spirit/body creature. So, in order to live-giving life, we need to live in accordance with that truth.

The world, with all its sexual promiscuity and permissiveness, ignores we are created as one individual person. Our bodies are designed for sexual union with one person.

To be a human person, to have sex with them is to become ONE flesh with that person.

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This Episode’s Transcription

Josh 0:02
One of the great ironies about wrestling with sexual sin is that it feels so natural, that resisting sexual temptation, trying to walk away from it can feel almost like we are denying ourselves something that we’re made for. And then you mix into that sexual fantasy. And it can almost be like, Man, this is just like tailor made for me. Can you relate with that? To saying no to sexual temptation for you feel like saying no to something, that it’s just a natural, normal, really good fit for you. Now, I know that many of us have experienced negative consequences from our sexual sin, whether it’s just the you know, the pangs of conscience and guilt afterwards, or if it’s destroyed marriages or other things that have been lost because of it. And you may say, no, no, this does not feel like it’s made for me. But I just need in that moment of temptation. Sometimes it you can just feel so good, promising, right? You know, it’s that old song, how can something that feels so right, be so wrong? I want to talk about that today on this podcast. Because I think that in the moment of temptation, you can often feel that way. But it is actually quite the opposite. We’ve actually been been kind of buying a lie, and maybe even repeating to ourselves a lie that the enemy is feeding us that this is actually what we’re made for. I mean, think about so many depictions of hell, for example, our hell is where the party is. Hell is where the cool people are. Hell is where we can have fun. But having is a constrained place and uptight place, it’s a place where you got to be on your best behavior. I mean, those depictions are kind of like, they just summarize what I’m talking about this idea that like, you can’t be yourself in holiness, you really only yourself in sinfulness. But what if that? What if that were actually a lie from the pit of hell? What if the genesis of that idea that sentiment actually comes from the evil one? I mean, first of all, it would be brilliant, be a brilliant move, right? But second of all, it would actually lead us away from what we’re actually designed for. And if we’re led away from or designed for, then we’re actually led away from full joy, full happiness, real fulfillment, real satisfaction. And what a shame that would be, how tragic that would be. And I’d suggest to you, that’s exactly the state that we’re in. I mean, both on an individual level as we wrestle with temptation, any kind of residual toxic fumes and our mindset that says, you know, Hell’s where the party is, or the earth where the party is maybe even, but having this kind of a more uptight place, might as well enjoy myself while I can while I’m on Earth, because I won’t get to heaven. I mean, if we, if we believed any of that, if we drank any of that Kool Aid, and it’s kind of residual in the fabric of who we are somewhere deep inside, then temptation is gonna have all the more power, right? And then on a cultural level, if we believe that if we, if we don’t have any sense that that saying NO to temptation noted, our sexual desires has anything to do with us. If it’s just like no, actually what you’re made for us is sexual desire. So just enjoy it. And there are voices that are unabashedly saying that like you’re a sexual creature, go out and have sex, all you need is consent. I mean, to resist is actually, that’s where the problem is. I dropped my my oldest daughter off at school this past year and went and visited her on her campus. Last weekend. I wasn’t surprised to find this but I was saddened to find it again, we’re checking in kind of the front desk of her dorm room, and they’re at the front desk. The there’s a pen and there’s a bowl full of condoms. Well, why do they have a bowl of condoms there at the front desk, they have a bowl of condoms, because they, they believe that all the men and women in the dorm are going to be having sex or most of them are and they need to do it, quote, unquote, safely. There’s an idea there that this is just the way things are. And that you know, you might as well we guys are gonna have sex or many we’re gonna have sex. So you know, do it, do it safely, do it with consent and do it safely. And then enter into this any kind of sexual morality, for example, Christian sexual morality, that says actually, God designed marriage God designed sex to be a part of only exclusively a marriage between one man and one woman for life. What a clash of worldviews, what a clash of ideas, right? But Christianity is actually offering more life because Christianity understands that human beings are not just disembodied spirits. We’re not just the some of our ideas of some of our feelings. Human beings are actually embodied. indeed creatures, that who we are is actually embodied our physical reality is a significant, substantial, eternal part of who we are. And likewise, the spiritual component of who we are is not an optional add on for those who decide, decide to be, quote unquote, spiritual in their approach to life. But to be a human being is to be body and spirit, we are embodied spirits. This is what we are. We are to put it in Paul’s words from the latter half of Roman, we are made to be spiritual bodies. And by that he doesn’t mean disembodied creatures that are actually spirits he means that we’re we are meant to be immortal bodies, that’s God’s heart has designed for us. So to recognize that each one of us is one individual, human person, hybrid spirit body creature means then that in order to live a fulfilling, life giving life, then then we need to live in accordance with that. We need to live in accordance with who we are designed, how we are designed. And I’d argue that the world with all its sexual promiscuity and permissiveness ignores the fact ignore ignores these following facts. Number one, it ignores the fact that we are created as one individual person. What how does it ignore that in the sexual arena? Well, when we have sex with multiple people, or we look at image after image after image or video after video after video of multiple people in a sexual way, we are ignoring the fact that we each of us individually is just one person. And our bodies, our sexuality, our sexual selves are designed for sexual union with just one person because we can’t be multiple places at one time. From the very beginning, Genesis two teaches us that that the that a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife and the two shall become one flesh. Judeo Christian thought for centuries has taught that to be a human person, and to have sex another is to become one flesh with that other person. Not multiple fleshes one flesh, one flesh. And so what happens when we become one flesh with one person here, and then become one flesh with another person there, and one flesh, another person over there, we end up tearing ourselves apart, we end up having parts of us over there and parts of us over there and parts of us over there. I mean, there, some of you are listening. There are parts of you that are with people you haven’t seen years and years and years. This is disintegration. God desires us to be one integrated Integris people of integrity, where we are whole, individual people. And when we are in a sexual relationship, we are whole, a whole individual person, united with a whole other individual person and one flesh. The two made one. And Jesus affirmed this in the book of Matthew and the Pharisees came to him and said, you know, Moses allowed us divorce. What about you and Jesus we reference back he said, he said, Yes, Moses allowed this because the hearts of your heart but in the beginning, it was not so. And he reiterated the passage that the man shall leave his father and mother and be joined his wife and the two shall become one flesh. So a bowl full of condoms, handed out willy nilly, at the at a at a residence hall on a college campus is ignoring the reality that each student there’s just one, they’ve only got one body to give away, you’ve only got one body, one body, to give to another. They are meant to be one gift, not multiple gifts. Because that’s their capacity. We ignore it in the present sexual era, when we ignore the fact that we are made male and female, that every man’s body, whatever his attractions are, whatever he’s drawn to, sexually male, female, both something else altogether. His body is biologically his sexual biology is only created only designed for union with a woman, not multiple women. He doesn’t have multiple penises, for example, he has got one he’s but he’s designed and that his sexual organs is designed for union with the sexual biology of a woman, not another man, not something else, but with a woman. And vice versa. A woman’s sexual biology is is hardwired is designed only for sexual union with a man. This is if we are our bodies. If this is a part of who we are, then we have to recognize that our bodies have a design, what they’re designed for, and other things they’re not designed for.

We also ignore God’s just hypersexuality when we pretend like we’re just bodies, there’s a song written years ago, you and me baby ain’t nothing but mammals. So let’s do it like they do on the Discovery Channel. If we believe that the, the idea of evolution, this idea that we are we just kind of evolved and we are just a more intelligent version of the of primates, then we’re just bodies. We’re just bodies. There’s nothing more to us than that. So why not just eat, drink, be merry have sex, it doesn’t matter. But we are not just bodies. Christianity, Christian thought is that we are body spirit creatures embodied spirits. And so our spirits matter here, our hearts matter here. You know, in all the sexual permissiveness of our culture, there’s so little conversation about broken hearts. But we meet regularly with men and women who come to our office whose hearts are not well, their hearts are are not well, they’re lonely and broken. Because they had sex with somebody and that person ghosted them, they had sex with somebody else, to try to get over that first person. And that person rejected them. Our hearts are not made for this, this kind of willy nilly, like, let’s just have Let’s just enjoy the night, you know, tonight’s the night, it’s the only night we’ve got like, whatever pop culture sings about it isn’t true. We’ll wake up tomorrow, and whoever we gave our, our body to last night will walk away with part of our body. And we’ll walk away with part of our heart. No matter how hard we how hard hearted we become. That fact it cannot be cannot be muted. It is active in our bodies. It’s active in our hearts, to active in our minds. And we see the fallout of that every week at regeneration with men and women who walk through our doors. Now, why do I share all this, I don’t share any of it listeners, please, I don’t share any of it, to hurt you to point a finger at you to tell you to stop doing the bad behavior you’re doing. Look, I get sexual desires powerful. And it’s it is hard to master. So please, please receive what I’m seeing with grace. There’s grace for you, as you’re seeking to learn to walk in sexual integrity. There is grace for you as you’re seeking to heal from past broken hearts, and from wounds that your body has experienced because of the sexual permissiveness and the sexual exploitation in our culture. But what I’m trying to highlight is simply this that when God says no to sexual expression outside of marriage, when he says a resounding yes. To sex reserved between one man and one woman in the covenant of marriage for life, in that loving context, that safe, secure context. It’s not because he’s against what our what we’re for. He’s not because he’s against us. It’s not because he wants us to be lonely. It’s not because he’s trying to make things hard on us. It’s certainly not because he’s a killjoy, who doesn’t desire for us to build a party and have fun? It’s because he desires real heaven for us. He knows how we’re designed. He knows how we’re designed. And he is in fact, saying yes, to us. He is saying yes, to you, my brother and my sister. What the world is saying, is yes to a version of you that doesn’t exist. The world is saying no to who you really are, and yes to some fiction of you. And when we feel tempted to act out sexually, when we feel tempted to do what what Yes, feels in this moment, natural and, and tailor made for us. When we feel tempted to act out sexually in some sinful way. We’re actually being tempted to say yes to a version of us that is a fiction or a fallacy or a fraction of who we really are. While God all along is saying yes, to who we really are. Yes to the fullness of who we are, yes to the fullness of who we are designed to be as men and women, designed by love, from love, for love, to love the spirit body creatures specifically designed for love. So as you face temptation, either individually in your life or you face temptation to kind of shrug off the the sexual permissiveness and the sexual ideologies of the culture. Let me let me please plead with you. Let me plead with you simply to say no to that and yes to God because he’s got something bigger and better in store for all of us. When you say no to sexual temptation, when you say no to sexual sin, you don’t do it as a part of cutting part of yourself off. You are saying no to those things, and yes, to who you are really designed to be, even if that means you live a celibate life, you are saying yes, I am made for wholeness, not to be a fraction, not to be split apart. That part of me over here and part of me over here. I am made to be whole. And ultimately, all of this is pointing to our our final destiny which is to be in a loving, unified relationship with God forevermore. Let me close with this I said earlier, the lie that’s been sewn into our culture is that Hell’s where the party is, and haven’t where’s everyone is uptight or maybe the party is here on Earth, we better have fun now, you know while we can, because heaven is going to be boring. Well guess what? Scripture doesn’t actually teach that we leave Earth and go to heaven. Or if we do, it teaches that that’s only temporary. Because what Scripture teaches is that heaven is actually coming to earth. It’s it was inaugurated when Jesus came, and it will be finished when he returns. Heaven and earth are made for one another, and heaven, where the where the true life true party true joy, true living and aliveness is is coming to earth. It has begun and it is not yet fulfilled but it will be fulfilled. And we will find our fullness in him because that is what we’re made for. Don’t believe the enemy’s lies brothers and sisters, you are made for more


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