Tempted by sex

Jamaica Gleaner - - FAMILY & RELIGION -

TO­DAY WE are look­ing at nav­i­gat­ing the temp­ta­tion of sex. This area is one of the most chal­leng­ing in many of our lives. You see, God cre­ated sex and has wired us to de­sire it, but His view of sex is that it is a sa­cred and pri­vate gift to mar­ried cou­ples.

In 1 Corinthi­ans 7:3 (NLT), God makes it clear, “The hus­band should ful­fil his wife’s sex­ual needs, and the wife should ful­fil her hus­band’s

needs.” Sex can be one of the most beau­ti­ful as­pects of God’s gifts for His chil­dren, but this is within His set bound­aries, so He says we are not to en­gage in sex with any­one be­fore mar­riage; with any­one else once we are mar­ried, with any­one of the same sex; or with pros­ti­tutes, or with fam­ily mem­bers, or with an­i­mals be­cause it is a sin and it de­stroys us.

God says that sex­ual pu­rity is a trea­sure to be guarded and val­ued.

To­day, we look at the bi­b­li­cal ac­count of Joseph, which deals di­rectly and vividly with the pull of sex out­side its God-given con­text, and is a good ex­am­ple of a young man who en­dured sex­ual temp­ta­tion and tri­umphed.

Ge­n­e­sis 39:6 - 14 (NIV) shows Joseph’s in­tense en­counter with a se­duc­tive woman, Potiphar’s wife, and his vic­tory over the temp­ta­tion. I want us to ex­am­ine the cir­cum­stances of Joseph’s life while he has his en­counter with Potiphar’s wife. His ex­pe­ri­ence rep­re­sents three com­mon sources of temp­ta­tion that make us prime for sex­ual sin.

The awe­some thing is that Joseph faced these temp­ta­tions and walked away with vic­tory! If we want to have vic­tory, we should study Joseph’s strat­egy and make every ef­fort to re­spond to temp­ta­tion in the same way that he did.

THREE SEDUCTIONS THAT RUIN LIVES

1. SE­DUC­TION OF SUC­CESS

In Joseph’s case, the se­duc­tion from Potiphar’s wife came at a time when Joseph’s life had turned from tragedy to suc­cess. Af­ter be­ing hated by his broth­ers, he is now top dog in a large and im­por­tant house­hold. He is put in charge of Potiphar’s house­hold. Ge­n­e­sis 39:2-3 (NLT). “The Lord was with Joseph, so he suc­ceeded in ev­ery­thing he did as he served in the home of his Egyptian mas­ter ... Potiphar ...” Suc­cess has a way of play­ing on our brains, al­low­ing us to let down our guard and be­lieve that we are in con­trol. But as King Solomon warned his son – giv­ing in to the se­ducer will cost you your life. “... she se­duced him with her pretty speech and en­ticed him with her flat­tery. He fol­lowed her at once, like an ox go­ing to the slaugh­ter ... lit­tle know­ing it would cost him his life.” Proverbs 7:21-23 (NLT). Sex se­duces us with­out telling us the pos­si­ble cost to our lives – STDs, un­planned preg­nan­cies, vi­o­lent death by the hand of a rag­ing spouse. Like Joseph, we should recog­nise that suc­cess does not en­ti­tle us to re­lax our bound­aries, but that obe­di­ence to God should be un­com­pro­mised.

2. SE­DUC­TION OF IN­VI­TA­TION & OP­POR­TU­NITY

Suc­cess also at­tracts peo­ple to you. In Joseph’s case, “... af­ter a while his mas­ter’s wife took no­tice of Joseph and said, ‘Come to bed with me!’” Ge­n­e­sis 39:7 (NIV). Potiphar’s wife took time in plot­ting how she might have Joseph, and to him this might have felt good. Se­duc­tion does not come “all at once.” Some­times it is just flirt­ing. It takes time to break down our de­fences. And when you match that with op­por­tu­nity, your char­ac­ter will be the only thing that counts. John Wooden wisely said, “The true test of a man’s char­ac­ter is what he does when no one is watch­ing.”

When in­vi­ta­tion and op­por­tu­nity col­lide, we can get our­selves into so many prob­lems, but Joseph had the com­mon sense to steer clear of Potiphar’s wife.

3. SE­DUC­TION OF ISO­LA­TION

Re­mem­ber that Joseph was in Egypt alone and prob­a­bly longed for the love of his fa­ther and the as­sur­ance of his fam­ily. This type of long­ing is where many of us con­fuse sex for love and com­pro­mise sex just to feel loved and ac­cepted. In Potiphar’s house, the se­duc­tive wife finds Joseph alone phys­i­cally and emo­tion­ally. Ge­n­e­sis 39:11-12 “... when he went in to do his work. She came and grabbed him by his cloak, de­mand­ing, ‘Come on, sleep with me!’ Joseph tore him­self away...ran from the house.” But Joseph was a stronger man than that as he was guided by prin­ci­ple, not op­por­tu­nity.

Sex is God’s gift, and noth­ing God ever gives is ca­sual. So He wants to em­power us to avoid the land­mines of sex­ual temp­ta­tion, just like He did for Joseph.There are a num­ber of steps you have to take to make this pos­si­ble.

The first step is to have a re­la­tion­ship with Je­sus Christ to have his power within you to fight temp­ta­tion and ex­pe­ri­ence God’s best for your sex life. If you want to be­gin a re­la­tion­ship with Je­sus to­day, pray a sim­ple prayer:

“God, I know that I have lived my life apart from you. I know that I’ve sinned. I know that I’ve messed up. God, for­give me of my sins. To­day, I ask you to come into my life and for­give me of my sins. I be­lieve that Je­sus died on the cross so that my sins could be for­given. I be­lieve that, and I want to be­gin fol­low­ing you.”

Then agree with His plan for your life, so you can ex­pe­ri­ence God’s peace, pres­ence and power in your life.

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