Today’s devotion builds on the thoughts from Sunday’s Sermon – Week 3 of “Fan or Follower – Practice Purity” (LISTEN HERE).
It won’t happen to me.
“You shall not commit adultery.”
Check. Got that commandment, just like I got #5, “You shall not kill.”
“I’ve never murdered anyone and I’ve never committed adultery.”
Here’s the warning: “So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! 13 No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it” (1 Corinthians 10:12-13).
No one is immune to the temptations of adultery or other sexual sins. We are sexual beings and our sinful nature wants to move and use those urges for selfish, sinful purposes.
Never underestimate what your sinful nature can lead you to do. Here’s some eye-opening statistics from a 2022 report from the LA Intelligence detective agency:*
– 30 to 60 percent of married couples will cheat at least once in the marriage
– 74 percent of men and 68 percent of women admit they’d cheat if it was guaranteed they’d never get caught
– 60 percent of affairs start with close friends or coworkers
– An average affair lasts 2 years
– 69 percent of marriages break up as a result of an affair being discovered
The cause: Often the reason is deficiency in marriages. The other person paid more attention. They were bored in the relationship. The spouse stopped paying attention. Questions and doubts arose relationship.
The door was open for Satan to get a foothold. Is your door open for temptation?
How does the temptation come: As one author put it, the main reason people in relationships cheat is “when one’s need for self-gratification outweighs their need for intimacy.”
“In other words, the desires of the moment and lust for immediate satisfaction temporarily outpaces their desire to be respectful and loyal to the love and relationship they have waiting at home. It’s not always some big problem going on: in many cases it’s plain temptation and the heat of the moment.”*
Jesus understands that the door doesn’t start wide open with an adulterous relationship. He alerts us that the door gets open when we lust at a woman or man not our own.
Matthew 5:28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
While the temptation is perhaps greater for men, women are not immune from it. Our world understand the power of sex to sell in advertising, to solicit in entertainment districts, to look at online, to arrange with an app, and to find readily available online or at the stops along the interstates. 1 in 20 websites are pornographic. What was once covered with cardboard on a magazine rack is readily available at the click of a button. In 2019, 115 million people visited a single pornographic website…in one day! The door gets cracked open and Satan gets a foot hold. Lusting at an image is the same as having sex with that person.
Sex is a great blessing from the Lord. He created us to have it and enjoy it in the context of a committed lasting marriage relationship. One need just look at the consequences of one committing adultery, addicted or recreational porn use, and other sexual perversions from God’s standard and norm.
King Solomon put it this way:
Proverbs 6:27 Can a man scoop fire into his lap without his clothes being burned? 28 Can a man walk on hot coals without his feet being scorched? 29 So is he who sleeps with another man’s wife; no one who touches her will go unpunished.
Proverbs 6:32 But a man who commits adultery has no sense; whoever does so destroys himself.
So it is great advice from God’s Spirit to your soul:
1 Corinthians 6:18 Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. 19 Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.
God has given us a sexual body to enjoy with the spouse he has or will chose to give us. Flee from temptation. Don’t give Satan a foothold. Run to the Spirit of God for strength to live in purity over perversion.
Apply: What sexual temptation is readily available? What must you do to flee from it?
Prayer: Spirit of God, thank you for dwelling in my heart and soul…my body. Strengthen me with the love of the Father, the forgiveness of Jesus, and your power to flee temptations to sin sexually and life a life of purity to the honor of my God. AMEN.