The Secret Struggle Everyone Knows

THE $14 BILLION DOLLAR SECRET 

You watched the Superbowl right?.  Maybe not, but there is a good chance you watched a football game last year at some point.  How do I know?  Football rakes in 9.3 billion dollars a year.  Everyone is watching it.  You've at least seen the fans right?  Shouting for their team, wearing the jersey of their favorite player.  It's everywhere.  Same thing for basketball.  The arguments rage for days on who the best player is: Lebron, Kobe, or  Durant.  NBA All-Star weekend is a gala event, the finals are heavily watched, players are making millions.  Basketball rakes in 4.3 billion dollars a year (this is why they were arguing so much about money earlier this year.)  Everyone is watching it.  How about that other big industry being watched?  The one that secretly has your attention more than basketball or football.  You know.  The 14 billion dollar secret.  Your secret.  Pornography.  Everyone is watching it.  Men are watching it in droves.  You may not have a t-shirt with your favorite porn star, but there is a good chance that you have a tough time maintaining a serious relationship with an actual woman because the 2-D image on the screen doesn't argue with you.  Oh my bad.  Am I only talking to men?  Women are watching it too.  The combination of seedy websites and a personal computer has invited both men and women into a very addictive hobby.  The porn industry is a clear indication that our culture is awash in sex.  Strip clubs, adultery, homosexuality, and all other forms of sexual stimulation outside of marriage have become the norm.

HOW DID WE GET HERE? 

"As long as it feels good do it."  My mom never told me this growing up.  When I was growing up,  media, music and friends all promoted this notion that each urge I had from within was actually a command.  "Feel = Do."  When it came to sexual urges, the principle remained the same.  If I felt an urge, fulfill it.  I wish I could say that this was a unique experience to myself. Today young men are failing to connect with the real world more than ever before because many are slaves to what they crave.

[pull_quote_left] Media, music and friends all promoted this notion that each urge I had from within was actually a command.  "Feel = Do."[/pull_quote_left]These thoughts, though, of reacting immediately to our sexual urges is not new at all.  There was a group of people who felt the same way thousands of years ago.  They felt like their bodies were subject to their impulses.  As far as they were concerned, sex was like eating.  When you get hungry you eat right?  That's why God have you a stomach.  When when you have a sexual impulse you ought to fulfill it right?  Would you starve yourself if you were hungry? NO!  So why starve your sexual cravings.  That's why God gave you sexual organs in the first place.  This is exactly what the church at Corinth was saying in 1 Cor 6:13.  At least this is what they thought was right.  Is sex like eating though?  Not exactly.

YOU'RE UNITED WITH SOMEONE 

Sex is much different.  I love the cold cut combo sandwich at subway.  Add a little oregano, mayonnaise, and black pepper.  Amazing.  Though I crave a sandwich, I've never stared at it thinking, "when are we going to get serious about this relationship?"  The sandwich is in me, but not apart of me.  Sex is different because it creates a connection with the other person.  Mentally you think about the person.  You feel deep emotions within your soul about them.  Physically you allow them to touch the intimate parts of your body. And though pornography only takes in 2/3's of the powerful combination of the mind, the body, and the soul, the images that linger in the mind can become addictive like a drug.  And when all three come together in a relationship, the Bible says you not only are connected, you are one with that person (1 Cor 6:16).  This is why God created sex for marriage.  It was meant to be the completion of two people becoming one. Buildings are built with a combination of materials.  Once its built its not meant to come apart.  Not so for my daughters crib.  We've moved several times and I've had to take it down and put it back together several times.  A sexual relationship is not a temporary structure being put together and taken apart.  It is intended to be built to last.  God made sex to be within a relationship that will last.  Sex means you are one with that person forever and you were to never be apart from one another (Matt 19:4-6).

If you aren't married, you still are one with someone.  You are one with the Lord (1 Cor 6:17).  If you are reading this and you have trusted Jesus as your savior then the third person of the trinity, the Holy Spirit lives inside of you (Eph 1:14).  Instantly you became one with the Lord.  If you don't have the Spirit of God inside of you, burdening you to live out Christ ways, then you should take a second to examine the authenticity of your relationship with God (Rom 8:9-10).  Your union with Christ means that God not only lives inside of you, but he wants to use you for his glory.  You are his dwelling place on earth (1 Cor 6:19-20).  He intends to let the world know about himself through you. This is God's plan.  Its amazing that he would use us right?

CAN WE HAVE VICTORY OVER SEXUAL URGES? 

If you want to be who God has intended for you to be, there are some things to consider.  First and foremost you have to come to the place in your life where you are willing to surrender all of your life to Jesus.  Totally surrendering your will to Him.  Sexual purity is not about you being stronger then your sexual urges.  You maintain sexual purity by constantly running to Jesus, as you run away from the temptation that can easily destroy you.   Jesus is your only hope to fight sexual temptation.  Jesus does save you from the penalty of our sins, yet he also preserves us by leading and empowering us into a righteous lifestyle (Matt 6:13).  Paul told the Corinthian church their only hope was to run away from sexual sin (1 Cor 6:18).  The word he uses for flee is the same word used of a fugitive on the run.  The fugitive runs away for fear of incarceration.  The believer runs away from sexual sin, because it has the potential to master us (1 Cor 6:12).

[pull_quote_right]The fugitive runs away for fear of incarceration.  The believer runs away from sexual sin, because it has the potential to master us.[/pull_quote_right]Running away from sin and running to God means you begin to live a lifestyle of worship (Proverbs 18:10).  Here is a thought.  Do you believe that God's presence is more satisfying than the touch of a woman/man, or the images on a screen?  Now answering that is hard, because you know the right answer is always Jesus.  Yet based upon the many times some of us have failed regardless of our intense resolve we know the spirit is willing and the flesh is so weak (Mat 26:41).

The fact of the matter is that Bruce Marshall gets it right when he says, "The young man who rings the bell at the brothel is unconsciously looking for God."  What Marshall is saying is that sex at its root is a desire for intimacy, and intimacy at its root is fully accomplished in Christ.  Every time we click on a image, every time we touch a woman or man outside of marriage we are seeking oneness outside of a marriage.  A oneness that was fully accomplished already on the Cross.

God will satisfy your heart far more than the instant rush of porn filled images in the mind, or the electric touch of a boyfriend or girlfriend.  Run to him and you will find what you are truly looking for.  Blaise Pascal says it better than I ever could:

"What else does this craving, and this helplessness, proclaim but that there was once in man a true happiness, of which all that now remains is the empty print and trace?

This he tries in vain to fill with everything around him, seeking in things that are not there the help he cannot find in those that are, though none can help, since this infinite abyss can be filled only with an infinite and immutable object; in other words by God himself..."