Admitting one's own sin is never easy. I've been on a road that has led far from the Lord. It's a road I put myself on, choosing to follow a long desired sin rather than serve the Lord with all my heart, soul and mind. I'm not going to get into graphic detail, but I'll have to share some things in order for you to understand my almost year-long journey.
I had not had any "intimate moments" with anyone for almost 20 years. I met someone on a dating service who I will call "A." It got very explicit and I even met and had phone conversations with "A," but it never went beyond a kiss and a few quick gropes in public. I found this person to be too needy and emotionally immature, so after a few weeks, I did what I could to end the "relationship" amicably. This will become relevant later.
Weeks later someone appeared in my life that seemed to be sending me signals which led me to believe that I had the opportunity to fulfill my sexual desires. So, what did I do? I did the unthinkable... I pushed Jesus aside. I mean that I spiritually felt myself push Him away, out of my sight, so that nothing and no One would come between me and the fulfillment of my sexual desires. Of course, this was just a symptom of my slow spiritual decline, but I wasn't looking at it that way at the time.
It was November 2015 when my passion for physical pleasure overshadowed my passion for Jesus. In my head I was telling myself that if I just got it out of my system, I'd be okay. Just this once. Just to re-live the pleasures of the past this one time. Yeah... well I can tell you something from experience... sin only produces more sin. This experience only made me want more, and that became my new mission in life, more sex.
Every encounter created even more desire along with a new desire to step it up a notch each time I had an encounter with "B." I found myself plotting and planning ways that I could exploit the situation and push the envelope. I took the skills that God gave me to be a peacemaker and used them in an unholy manner to fulfill my own deep sexual desires. To be clear, although I wanted to push the envelope, I never, ever, forced "B" to do anything "B" didn't want to do. There were lines that I never crossed.
This went on for a few months, but through it all I felt the conflict. I knew I was sinning. I even tried to stop, even expressing my need to stop when I spoke with "B." Unfortunately, my resolve didn't last long. Ultimately I fell again to desire as I brushed up against "B's" body or touched "B" in sexually suggestive ways when no one was looking, giving "B" the signals that I was looking for action again. I brought the sin back upon myself with no regard to the spiritual implications.
It eventually all ended, fading away to a mutual friendship. I had again decided to try to put this behind me and take up my cross again.
So now we return to "A." I heard that "A" was in a relationship, so I visited "A" about a week ago to congratulate "A." This visit ended up turning into something I really and truly didn't expect. That's right, I started receiving those signals again and even though I reminded "A" about "A's" new relationship, we ended up in a back room in a rushed search for pleasure.
It was after that incident when I realized that if I didn't stop, do a 180 (repent), and seek a renewed relationship with Jesus now, I was going to keep sinking deeper and deeper into sexual sin which, when it was all said and done, would lead to my spiritual death. I had to change directions.
This road that I selfishly and foolishly traveled this past year has hopefully come full circle. I'm still walking tentatively on the narrow road because I still feel that at any moment I could fall. The desire is still there, the temptation is still there, the opportunity is still there. The only difference, is that now Jesus is there too. I guess I never realized how close to falling we all are. It only takes one thing to knock us off that road that leads to salvation. Now I am more conscious of my thoughts when I look at people. I try to take captive those thoughts and give them to Jesus, instead of meditating on them and bringing more sin into my life.
Here's a lesson for all you boys and girls... Once you consciously push Jesus out of the picture, it can be difficult to get back what you lost. It's been difficult trying to mend my relationship with the Lord. It's not His lack of responsiveness, it's my own spiritual laziness. I've grown used to praying sporadically or not at all. I've grown used to letting my bible gather dust on my bureau. I've grown used to letting my tract cards speak for me instead of using my lips to proclaim the Truth. Spiritual laziness and apathy will kill you spiritually, there's no doubt about that.
Here's another lesson... You think you can control sin, but that's just an illusion. Your body and mind (along with the enemy's words of encouragement) will come up with logical reasons why you should do it again... reasons that sound convincing, but are only poor excuses for continuing on in sin.
I thank the Lord that He has me firmly planted in the palm of His hand and that He is there to be the Mediator between me and our Father, because if that weren't the case, my entire life would be worthless. Without Jesus, I have nothing.
Why did I post this on Tribulation Harvest? I wanted everyone to know that as born again believers, we need to remember that behind the smiles, behind the normal Christian banter and phrases, beyond the couple of hours we are together worshiping God, there could be someone in a lot of pain, experiencing a lot of temptation, being riddled with a lot of doubt or guilt, going through a lot of stress... all things that the enemy wants to use to destroy and distract us, but something that God intends to turn around to strengthen us and bring Him glory. Never assume that your brothers and sisters are in a good place. Be ready to share their burdens and to pray earnestly for them. What's on the outside doesn't always reflect what's happening inside... in their heart. We all have the potential to fall, and that fall can be fatal.
If you're reading this and you've fallen away from the Lord, I'm here to tell you that that there is still hope. Yes, it's difficult to turn from sin when you've once again become comfortable living in sin, but you and I both know that although God is a God of love, patience, forgiveness, mercy, healing and restoration, He's also our Judge. Turning away from the sin of my youth all those years ago was easy compared to repenting now. The gravity of the situation makes it even more difficult and urgent. I'm still working it out with the Lord. I still haven't wrapped my mind around what's happened. For some reason, God didn't allow my life to end and I have absolutely no idea why. I know He loves me, but I have no idea what purpose He has for a man like me. I guess I'll find that answer when my life begins anew in His kingdom.
Repent and be forgiven! Believe and be saved!