This is where an understanding of who you are meant to be and the story your life can tell is powerful. If Satan has taken over as the role of co-author, you are believing a false storyline.
Don’t let his whispers sabotage the purpose you are meant to live out.
Dig deep into the story you’ve been living to discover where the lies are. God wrote your story with love and friendship and honor and dignity in the details.
Begin your next chapter with the truth as “it is written.”
Growing in sexual integrity includes: 1. Unearthing those subtle stories we are living. 2. Unearthing the faulty role we believe we have in that story.
A person who sees themself living a bigger story, playing a more important character sees alone time as different kind of opportunity. Alone time becomes an opportunity for advancement, for rest, for self-nurturing, for connection with others, for aspiring to reflect God.
Scripture pulls down the veil to reveal a reveal a bigger story of what God has for us. The choice for us is whether we’ll dare to believe this narrative, that we have a better part to play and that we are actually in a better, bigger story than what we’ve been living.
Where you have sexual sin in your life, is it possible you’ve allowed the serpent to rewrite your story and the role you play? What is the story you are living? What is your role? What does your Heart say about you in your challenging moments?
After reflection, try using scripture to combat Satan’s whispers and affirm God’s design for you:
- 1 Corinthians 3:16 I, myself, am God’s temple and God’s Spirit dwells in my midst.
- Ephesians 2:10 I am God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for me to do.
- 2 Corinthians 10:5 I demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and I take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
- 2 Timothy 1:7 The Spirit God gave me does not make me timid, but gives me power, love and self-discipline.
“A Million Miles in A Thousand Years: How I learned to live a better story.” By Donald Miller
If you want to learn more, check out Josh’s latest musing on this topic at, If You Want Sexual Integrity, You Need a Better Story
Click for Full Podcast Transcription
For the last several weeks have been talking about growing and sexual integrity as we often do on this podcast. And today, I want to talk to a little bit about story, the role of story in cultivating sexual integrity. Because in my experience, oftentimes, I would suggest maybe even all the time, we are all wrestling with a version of our life, that is a faulty story. Specifically, we’re living in a story that’s not actually the real story we’re living in. And we’re living as a character or role in that story that is actually not the real character or role that we’re designed to be sad again, most of us are living in a story that is not real, it’s not the real story that God has written for us, or is writing for us. And most of us are living as a character in or in a role that God did not actually design us to live. And when we’re doing that, we cannot be living a life of integrity, in general, and we cannot be living a life of sexual integrity, specifically, because as I’ve said, to be a person of integrity is to be a person who is whole, all the parts are working together correctly, as they’re meant to as their place to what we do, flows out of who we are, and what we do flows out of who we think we are. So to get us started off, let me just say, a couple things that might surprise you about me, if you know me, and maybe they won’t. But I would say that that in my life, and it’s kind of a later in life discovery. But as I thought about the things that had shaped me, as a Christian, as I thought about the things that had really been the most profound for me, outside of relationships outside of individuals, the content that had been most kind of formative for me, and transformative for me in the area of my own Christian walk was fiction. Not nonfiction books, not books had read about how to become more holy not books had read about how to abstain from sexual sin, not books or podcast, it was about becoming sexually in person of sexual integrity. But fiction, there was specially especially one movie that was very profound for me, the fictional movie sci fi thriller. And there was a couple books that were really profound for me, both fiction that really spoke to me because of the characters in in the books and because of the characters in the movie. Specifically, in each of the these fiction pieces of fiction, these works of fiction that I’m talking about, there was a transformation in the character’s sense of who they were. And if you think about the movies that you love, and the stories that you love, I’d suggest that a lot of them probably have an element like this. There’s some character development where someone is either living less of a life, then then there they can, and they run into some difficult circumstance that calls them up higher calls them into something bigger than themselves. Think about the hobbit here or Lord of the Rings, these small literally small little creatures called Habits that just kind of love the Shire and never stray far from there are called into this, this huge life or death battle against evil itself. I think about epics like Star Wars going back to the 1970s here when this farm boy Luke Skywalker is kind of thrust into this epic battle against the evil empire and finds that his pardon, it is not just inconsequential. It’s actually a central part. I think the the current craze with with Marvel movies, superhero movies, is probably largely in part because these, there’s the especially some of the characters that are most attractive to us, are most attractive because they’re people who are like us who discover who have some kind of experience where they become super powered, doesn’t just, you know, beyond the adventure genre, I think that I think about, you know, stories like Little Women, where we watch these young women grow up, we watch virtue and character modeled for them. And we’ve watched them walk through very, very difficult situations and circumstances where they have to make decisions about the lives that they want to live, regardless of what others are telling them they ought to do. And I think these stories compel us because there’s something in us that wants to live a meaningful story. I’m indebted here to Donald Miller in his book 1000 miles in a million miles in 1000 years. He was on a journey himself where he was, he had written his first bestseller Blue Like Jazz. And a while later, these film producers show up at his door and they’re like, hey, we want to do a movie about your life because we you know, we like the book so much and he’s like, fantastic. And they start falling around. And in essence, what he says in in a million miles in 1000 years is they found my life to be unworthy of money. Movie unworthy of actually putting into a script. And so they started fictionalizing his his life a bit. And so that sent him on this journey Donald Miller on this journey where he really began to explore, like, why is my life so meaningless, he was really kind of drifting. And his conclusion, the the thesis of the book in general is, what makes a good life is the same thing that makes a good story. And I kind of want to flip that over to say, The reason a good story is a good story is because it’s made up of the stuff that makes up a good life. And then to Christianize that explicitly, is to say, the life that God has for you, and for me, and the role that he has designed for you. And for me, is actually a really good thing. It’s a really worthwhile story. And your part to play is really worthwhile. So let’s come right back to the topic of integrity here, specifically sexual integrity. What does this have to do with sexual integrity? In my experience, so many of us when we are living lives of, of sexual sin were involved in in ongoing, habitual, addictive, unwanted sexual behavior. Much of that is because somewhere deep down, we have an idea about the story that we’re living in, that is woefully inadequate. I’d suggest even that it’s, it’s a story that’s not really meaningful for us and we longed for meaning. And so we’re left spinning a bit, or we’re living in a story that that perhaps does have some meaning does have some challenge does have some invitation in it. But the the role that we’re playing in it, the character that we believe we are, is insufficient for the job at hand. And we feel like it’s too much for us. And so we end up sabotaging our own integrity, sabotaging the journey that we’re on in some ways, or running off and having a secret life apart from the life we’re living because that secret life is a respite for the character we believe we are. So it’s, it’s it’s like the you know, I don’t think that I’m really worthwhile to be part of the Avengers. And so when the Avengers go to battle, I slink away or after the battle, I slink away, and I don’t act like an Avenger there, I don’t act like the superhero that I am there because I can’t handle that kind of pressure. This is something of what happens for us in the realm of our own journeys towards sexual integrity. And growing in sexual integrity means one an earthing, what those subtle stories are that we’re living in and unearthing the role, the faulty role that we believe we have in that in that story. So letting it out, putting away the, you know, the correct Christian Answers, answering not with our head theology, but with our heart theology, answering with our, with our head, sense of who we are with our heart. What does your heart say about you? In the moment of difficulty in the moment of challenge, what does your heart say about you, in those moments when temptation comes, you know, I remember for me, coming home, when I used to be single man coming home to my apartment, and if my roommate wasn’t there, the words that would go through my head were, this is an opportunity. This is an opportunity. And what I meant by that, or what those words meant was, this is an opportunity for you to act out sexually, because no one’s going to know. And that kind of opportunity, quote, unquote, opportunity would appear in different places in my life, you know, when I was there, you know, there’s some access to pornography somewhere, there was someone, you know, not wearing much clothing or you know, quote, unquote, just my type walking by or I was in a situation or in a setting where nobody knew me. And those kind of, quote, unquote, opportunities, would would mean something to me. They would mean like, Aha, I can do no, that’s just a word opportunity. But what’s the underlying message about the story that I’m living in, and the person that I am, in relation to that word? Dig deeper, and you can recognize even even though this isn’t your story, like you can recognize in my story back then, for me to believe that was an opportunity, that those alone times where opportunity for sin suggests that on some level, deep level, I believed myself to be a person who always wanted to sin. And who would sin if no one else would know about it? That that was my default mode. That’s what I really wanted. That’s what I was really looking for. That was the most important thing to me. That’s all that was all part of the story. And when I when I would even dig deeper than that, I could begin to uncover like, why would I believe those kinds of things about myself? Where did I Where did I come to believe that I was so wrong, so evil, so unworthy of a better life than that unworthy of a better part than that? And if you begin on that kind of journey yourself, you’ll recognize there’s there can be a rabbit hole to follow there some deep, deep waters to get into when it comes to recognizing who you are, what you believe about yourself what you believe about the story that you’re living in. In contrast, when I began to face that part of my story, I began to recognize, like wait a second, when I would come home, and it was an and there was no one else there. It was no longer an opportunity to sin. I mean, of course, it was that, but more so I would reframe in my mind, this is an opportunity for me to fill in the blank. What really brings Josh Glazer joy, what really is the story I’m living in? Who am I really, and when I recognize those things, and I can begin to say, this is an opportunity for me to read that book that I’ve been wanting to read, this is an opportunity for me to take a nap, because I’m really tired. This is an opportunity for me to reach out to a friend I’ve been wanting to see or for me to write, because I love to write, or for me to go for a run because I love to be active. This is an opportunity for me to worship and spend time with God. This is an opportunity for me to cry a little bit because I’ve been feeling sad recently and haven’t really had the space to do so. Whatever the true story is, and whatever the true role is, now the opportunity becomes something different because a person like that, in a story like that sees opportunity differently than that. So again, a person who sees him or herself as a sexual sinner, or as an unworthy person, a person unworthy of love, person unworthy of friendship, a person unworthy of, of honor and dignity, will see alone time as opportunity to do something hurtful, do something that lowly people would do to to, to sin in some secret way, you know, binge on alcohol or drugs or food or sex. But a person who sees themselves living a bigger story, and who is a person who is playing a more important character and is able to designed by God to live that kind of story, sees alone time as a different kind of opportunity, an opportunity for advancement, opportunity for rest, for self nurture, for nurturing somebody else for connection with people for aspiring to greatness to aspiring to, to imaging God in a great way on the earth for the good of others in the good of themselves. So many different places, we can go with that. But I hope you get get my point there. Let me close with this story. In the beginning, and you know, I love talking about Adam and Eve. But one of the things that strikes me about Adam and Eve story is, Look at Genesis three, when the serpent begins to speak to the woman, and pay attention to how he subtly points to the different characters in the story, and tries to portray them as something different than they are. Specifically, how does he portray himself in the story? The servant portrays himself as the wise one as the the one who was in the know about God, about the fruit of the tree, about Adam and Eve. And what role does he does he place God in? What’s the role he tries to suggest that God isn’t? Well, God is the villain, God is the is the one who looks benevolent on the outside, but really is holding out or is really he means to be stingy with Adam and Eve. And then what about the role that the serpent tries to suggest that Adam and Eve are in? He never says it outright. But in essence, what he what he communicates suddenly to them is, you have a bit part. I mean, really, like, God hasn’t given you much, you’re not much of anything. And if you want a better part, then you have to eat this fruit, then you’re going to be something? Well, so one way to think about this is that, that God had placed them into a story, a beautiful story. And he made them central characters to image him on the Earth. Even to steward the garden, and to have dominion even over the serpent. The serpent told them a different story, and mysterious story that the serpent told them was the one they ended up believing. They bet it go to, so to speak. And when they did, all hell broke loose, in a literal way. All hell broke loose, which is, of course, what the serpent wanted all along. Where you have sexual sin, ongoing, unwanted sexual behaviors in your life, on going sin in your life, in, in the area of sexuality or whatever else. Is it possible that same kind of hell has broken loose, because the serpent who is who has done this from day one has been telling you a story about the story that you’re in, and the role that you play? And he’s, he’s created a secondary narrative, a second narrative, he’s plagiarize the story, and that you’ve been reading his story and believing It is it possible that God has a different story for you. Now fast forward to the New Testament, with a second Adam who shows up on the scene, He’s baptized, and he goes out to the wilderness to be tempted by the by the serpent. And in many ways, the serpent does the exact same thing to to Jesus that he did to Adam and Eve, he begins to challenge the story that Jesus is living in. And he begins to challenge the roles that the different characters are meant to play, including the role that Jesus meant to play. And again, and again, Jesus rejects the story that the serpent is telling. And he reframes, he goes back to Scripture, and he says, It is written. In other words, this is the true story. The true story is this. He combats Satan’s counter narrative, by referring to the true story. Okay, I said, it being this podcast that that many of the influential works that have really shaped me in my life, including in the area of sexual integrity, worse stories of fiction, there’s one movie least one movie and at least a couple books, fiction books. The reason they were so profound is because because they helped to pull away the veil to pull away this the false narrative that I’ve been living in, and give me a glimpse of a better story that God had for me. And I’d like to suggest to you that that’s what great stories do. That’s what great film does. So great music does so great. Books do. It’s also in a powerful way, super powerful way, something that Scripture does for us, it pulls down the veil, and reveals a bigger, better story. And the challenge for us, the choice for us is whether or not we will dare to believe this narrative this that we actually have a better part to play, and that we are actually in a better bigger story than the one we’ve been been living. In Listen, there’s so much more to get into when it comes to really uncovering the story of been living in and where those stories have come from in our lives. And that’s a big part of what regeneration is about. So reach out to us, we’d love to walk with you in your journey. But in either case, let me let me pray for you, Lord, each one of us has has heard the whispers of the enemy is trying to convince us the story we’re living in, is not the real story. And that his story is the real one. And the part we’re here to play is much worse than we would hope for. I pray as my listeners listened today that you’d stir something in their gut. They’d have some sense or that you yourself have been speaking to them. And they would dare to believe that they’re to pursue that dare to tug on that thread, and to see where it might lead them. Where would you increase our faith? Give us eyes to see you the story we’re living in, and who we are and that story? Are we ask it for our good? Yes, we also ask it Lord for the good of the world. And we ask it for your glory in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.
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