My wife and I have been watching the show Lost, which follows a group of plane crash survivors as they try to escape from the mysterious island where they’ve found themselves.
One of the most captivating elements of the show is also one of the most disturbing: it’s incredibly difficult to know who the good guys are. Season after season, those who seem like allies end up being enemies.
And each time, as difficult as it is to discover that one of the survivors’ “friends” is actually a foe, it’s also good news. When their enemies are exposed, they’re no longer able to covertly stop the survivors’ attempts to go home.
The same thing is true in our individual battles for sexual purity.
There are two primary “friendly” voices competing for our attention when it comes to sexual desire. The first is the voice of indulgence: Your desires tell you who you are. Don’t resist. Enjoy!
The other voice is the voice of suppression: Your desires are bad. Repress them. You’ll be a better person if only you can resist.
I’m guessing one or the other of these voices has sounded like a friend to you, probably both at different times.
Which one is truly your friend?
They’re both versions of what the New Testament calls “walking in the flesh,” and they don’t work. Well, they do work (together) to keep you captive to your cravings. They don’t work to set you free.
Here’s a better way: rest and receive.
Resting means you let go of your own attempts at being your own savior, of earning the love, forgiveness, and purity you need. Instead, you let Christ save you, and you choose to receive him as a gift from God.
Receiving means you open your hands and accept the gifts God gives. It’s not a passive activity. It’s saying yes to God’s grace when you least deserve him, and it’s saying yes to God’s grace when you think you most deserve him.
If these sound relational to you, then you’re getting it. They bring you face to face with the One who is the Rescuer and the Giver of all good gifts. In union with him, freedom will come. And along the way, you’ll discover He’s the friend you’ve been needing.
Question: Obviously, there’s so much more that could be said. Add your ideas and experience! What helps you rest in Christ and receive his grace for dealing with habitual sin? Leave a comment below.