But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world. 1 John 4:4
I don’t know what happened yesterday and this past weekend…but I experienced a lot…great things. So many things that I had a semi-clear understanding of became clear. God pressed my heart to finally reveal an area of struggle with you all and to talk about how He’s delivered me.
For many years I struggled with the concept of celibacy…of choosing to turn away from fornication. With this being one of the biggest issues that the church faces, it’s shocking that it is seldom discussed and most ministers are mum about it. Why you say, I honestly believe that many people don’t really see it as a sin. Or if they do, they don’t see it as a big sin. But see here the very contradiction to that way of thought:
“I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but I will not be mastered by anything. 13You say, “Food for the stomach and the stomach for food, and God will destroy them both.” The body, however, is not meant for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 14By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also. 15Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never! 16Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.” 17But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit.
18Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. 19Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. 1 Corinthians 6:12-20
We are told to flee sexual immorality. But clearly that ain’t happening anymore. With the highest numbers of children being born out of wedlock and the resulting single parent homes, people are having plenty of unmarried sex. I know because I was one of many in the number. Yep people with callings and practicing ministers fall into this too.
At the point I came to terms with the assignment that God was calling me to, all I had left was a broken and tattered heart. I was single and not really sure I wanted to be and because of how I saw myself, I was not sure I was of any use to God. 1 Corinthians 7 provides a wealth of clarity on the benefit of being single and I suggest you read that to maximize your time and life in a period of singleness, but the passage above from 1 Corinthians 6 is the passage that convicted me. I’ll be honest, I’ve been celibate many times until I would get involved with someone, and like many in my generation, I fell into the habit of giving myself to that person, who was not my husband (clearly because I’m single) even though that person was someone who I wasn’t sure I would be with forever. If I’m honest, I hoped that God would bless the relationship despite my disobedience. And sometimes God does that. It became a means of validation for me; it was a stupid lie that tricked me into believing that my giving my gift away would somehow help us to stay together. Nevermind the fact that the mole hills of problems that were budding always grew exponentially into mountains after that. My worth as a woman was measured by my ability to be able to please a man sexually or worse, to wait around for him to stop lying and become the man I saw he was supposed to become. I can’t say that all people who fall into this pattern and view have the same root cause — for me it was molestation and a need to be accepted and a desire to be loved — but we all have been attacked by the same root spirits, perversion, lust and bondage. Perversion comes into play because the world told us and still continues to tell us that waiting to stir our passions and awaken love is played out…all the while opening the door for even worse things to come along. Lust comes along for the ride because it attacks our eyes by almost creating a hunger for the object of our affections and makes us victims to the whims of the flesh. Bondage seals the deal because we think we cannot break free, and so we have to keep doing the same things. Sex is a primary selling factor for everything from cakes and cars to the wildest of our dreams. The world promotes our compromise, our defiling of our temples. And because we buy into the lies, we cut more and more of our spiritual umbilical cord.
Now I’m not sharing this to condemn anybody. In fact, I want to help you and save you from making the same mistakes I made. If you can learn by reading my testimony, then read and get your freedom.
So I don’t really know how to start. My truth is that I’m not a virgin. I’ve been sexually active in the past, and my promiscuity used to be an area of shame for me. I’ve been involved with different people since I lost my virginity which caused me to pick up tons of baggage I didn’t want or need. It’s taken me years to heal and let go of the wounded-ness I’ve received as a result of choosing to get outside of God’s will. It was like books stacked upon books, and boxes stacked upon boxes because I would go from relationship to relationship, compressing my pains and compounding it like interest on stocks. People talk about “soul ties” but they don’t break it down for you. I had them. I was still caring about people who trampled on my heart and feelings, lied, manipulated and cheated on me after saying they loved me. I was bamboozled with talks of marriage and forever. I was still sticking around at times like a puppy wanting the skewed and distorted perception of love I thought I was receiving from these people. It wasn’t until I started asking myself very pointed questions about why things were happening to me and what was it about me that attracted those types of people that I experienced a shift. It was at these times, often points of breaking and intentional consecration that I was able to understand what was going on in me. It was the sex, or at least the Pandora’s box that opened after it, that kept me in that cycle. It was giving away my treasure to men that may have loved me in that moment and expecting them to fill a God-sized void. How foolish of me.
I remember a conversation with a former mentor; it actually has been heavy in my thoughts lately. She described our bodies as treasure boxes. Each time we got involved with someone who wasn’t our husband (or for you men, your wife), that person would take and take and take, not depositing anything but their issues (transferal), until all you had left was brokenness, heart ache, and a plethora of other issues. That resonated with me last night, and it happens across the board in all relationships, but especially sexual. I ask you today, what do you have left to give? You can’t love yourself properly, or anyone else for that matter, from brokenness. When I realized this, I knew it was time to change.
This was heavy on my heart last night and honestly has been a recurring press over the last few years. I started to write about this topic back in 2012 and even before then but truthfully I wasn’t ready because I hadn’t allowed God to pour back into me. Two songs were on my heart last night, All I Have To Give by Mali Music and Fill Me Up (sung by Casey J, Tasha Cobbs, and Jesus Culture)…and this was what I needed. All I had to give God at the beginning of this journey, several years in the making, was a broken, wounded heart. I needed God to pour back into my empty treasure box. I needed HIM to love me, to validate me, to love me, to assure me that it is okay to go against the norm, to trust His voice and words to me, His instructions and His guidance. I needed to know true love. I won’t say that it’s easy living this way. In fact it’s hard because it is a call to surrender yet again. The wonderful thing about this though, is that I know if no one is here with me, God is here. I know that if no one sees me or loves me, God does. I know that if no one appreciates me or validates me ever again, God does. I’m grateful for His press in this area, because I have so much clarity now. I have so much peace and it is truthfully very comforting to know that I don’t have to compromise any more. Making flesh-based decisions, whether sexual or in any other manner, leads you off and onto unknown tangents that ultimately steer and take you away from God. Today, I encourage you to take a long look at yourself, especially in this area, and see if you want your life to change and be different. Trust God to fill your box again, to make you whole. He will make all things new. ❤️