Tuesday, June 14, 2011

I walked into Chipotle

for lunch yesterday and was immediately confronted with a sight that men have to deal with a lot now that summer is here. Yes, there she was, standing at the counter. I saw her in a flash before I brought my attention directly ahead to the back of the man's head in line in front of me. Even in that brief glance I knew that there was going to be a temptation. I felt it. The pull. All of you men know what I am talking about. In that moment, I knew I had to act quickly before sin grabbed a foothold. So, I brought to my mind two truths from Scripture. First, that my wife is a gracious and perfect gift from my heavenly Father (James 1:17). I thanked Him for her. Then I thought this thought; "God has so, SO much more for me than this fleeting sinful pleasure that I am tempted to enjoy. I am going to trust you, Lord, that what You have for me is better, way better, oh, so much more better, than that. " And I was able, by His grace, to rest in that trust and continue to battle. I won and walked out of there, pure in thought, with my burrito. Over the last few years, I have noticed that I am winning a lot more of these battles, by His grace, than I am losing. I want that to continue because I have experienced the goodness of knowing Him more.

Here it is:

"For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
the Lord bestows favor and honor.
No good thing does he withhold
from those who walk uprightly
.
O Lord of hosts,
blessed is the one who trusts in you!"
Psalm 84:11-12

When we sin sexually what we are saying to God is, "I don't believe that you have something better for me, so, this looks good to me right now, I'm not waiting, I am going to take it." The way to break this temptation is to bring in the truth from the Scripture above and believe it, that God is not withholding good from you, He wants to bless you and He wants you to trust Him. Even if you don't understand all of the reasons why, God is asking you to trust Him. He knows about your sexual desires. He created them. What to you is a source of frustration, is a good gift from God. But sin has tainted that gift, corrupted it, dehumanized it. He wants you to use His gifts to glorify Him, not to indulge your flesh in rebellion and disobedience. Single man? God has called you to be sexually pure. Will you trust Him, that He will not withhold from you and will bless you? Married man? God has called us to be sexually pure in our marriages. That means any sexual enjoyment apart from my wife is sin. Will you trust Him, that He will not withhold from you and will bless you?

The gift of sex is great, but the Giver is oh so much greater and more desirable than the gift. The good thing is the Lord. We should desire Him, not His gifts. He is our treasure and our great reward.

"No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly..."

That's a promise from God. If you read Psalm 84 you can see that the Psalmist is saying that God is the good thing and He will not withhold Himself from those who are His:


How lovely is your dwelling place,
O Lord of hosts!
My soul longs, yes, faints
for the courts of the Lord;
my heart and flesh sing for joy
to the living God.
Even the sparrow finds a home,
and the swallow a nest for herself,
where she may lay her young,
at your altars, O Lord of hosts,
my King and my God.
Blessed are those who dwell in your house,
ever singing your praise! Selah
Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
in whose heart are the highways to Zion.
As they go through the Valley of Baca
they make it a place of springs;
the early rain also covers it with pools.
They go from strength to strength;
each one appears before God in Zion.
O Lord God of hosts, hear my prayer;
give ear, O God of Jacob! Selah
Behold our shield, O God;
look on the face of your anointed!
For a day in your courts is better
than a thousand elsewhere.
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
than dwell in the tents of wickedness.
For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
the Lord bestows favor and honor.
No good thing does he withhold
from those who walk uprightly.
O Lord of hosts,
blessed is the one who trusts in you!

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