The Power of Sex
1 Corinthians 6:18 Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.
A few years ago, during hunting season, my father and I sat in my pickup at dawn and watched a buck, in rut, chasing a doe. That buck acted like no deer I had ever seen. He jumped up and down, prancing around the doe, as she just kept walking, ignoring him. Driven by the stupefying need to reproduce, that buck appeared to have some disease of the brain. He was a crazed deer.
I imagine our behavior looks similar from above. Though I use food most often as an example of our destructive flesh nature, sex is probably a better example, often leading to much more obvious disaster. In our pursuit of sex, lust and pornography, we must often appear mentally ill to anyone watching from the outside.
Whenever I see repeat offenders return to jail, I always ask what brought them back. They invariably describe some criminal charge involving drugs. Then, I ask them to go back to the beginning. What was the first step you took in the wrong direction? The answer is always the same. It started with a girl…
They all tell me the same story of the desire for sex. In that desire, they first started to compromise. They began drinking with the girl as she drank and in the end, they traded their sobriety and their freedom for sex. It is not the girl’s fault, and none of them blame the girl. Sitting in jail, they can see it was only their own stupidity that brought them back, but at the time, the call of sex was irresistible.
Paul, in today’s passage, exposed our persistent tendency towards destructive sexual practices. It is not that sex is inherently wrong of course. God is the author of sex and intended it for both reproduction and pleasure, within the confines of his boundaries. If we want to know God as we should, we are not to live enslaved to destructive sexual desires. When we pursue anything that controls us, it becomes our god, removing the God from his place in our lives.
Paul insisted that if we want to know God, we must flee sexual immorality. This includes sex outside of marriage, pornography and apparently even lustful fantasies (Matthew 5:28). Sex, outside of God’s boundaries, by definition, distracts us from God. In our pursuit of it, we often participate in toxic behaviors, betraying trust and destroying relationships, all for that high. Sex can be as destructive as any drug, causing us to sacrifice that which is most important to us.
I have seen many men pursue God for help with sobriety while they continue to live however they want in their sex life. They see God as useful in helping with sobriety but they have no desire to allow him to invade all of life, so they remain in their destructive sexual practices. Then, they wonder where God went and why He did not keep them sober.
If we want sex more than we want God, he allows that. We just need to understand the consequences.
The truth is, I cannot push God out of my life in one area and then demand his help with another. If I turn my back on God, He allows it. If I am pursuing sexual immorality, lust or pornography, I should not wonder where God went when I beg for help with my drug addiction. God wants all of me.