"Sex can bring us immense pleasure, and we are often tempted to misuse it and forgo God’s exhortations."

There are a lot of obstacles to God-glorifying sex in our lives. As we saw in a previous post, we live in a fallen world, and that has drastic effects on our sexuality and sexual experiences. However, this is not the only problem. We also live as fallen people, whose motivations for sex are muddied by our selfishness and idolatry. Sex can bring us immense pleasure, and we are often tempted to misuse it and forgo God’s exhortations.

Because of our selfishness, we tend to view our sexuality as (a) something we own, and (b) something we "need," like food or water. Because we need it, and because we own it, it is our responsibility to make sure we meet that need in marriage as we see fit. And if we’re not married, we pine away for the day when we can have our sexual need met and be completed. But this is simply not the biblical conceptualization for sex.

As I’ve mentioned before, sex isn’t about us. Sex is about God. As such, our sexual desires can be a prominent battlefield in the war between God-worship and self-worship going on in our hearts. Much of our lives, especially in the area of sexuality, has been lived from a place of self-worship. We are preoccupied with meeting our own desires, and whatever does that most is what we pursue. Whether it is pornography, a person who is not our spouse, a person of our same gender, a certain version of our spouse, a fantasy, or anything else, our self-focused hearts fixate on whatever we think will bring us the sexual pleasure we want.

We think that our self-focused sexual pursuits will bring us the pleasure we're looking for. However, every pleasure available in creation, including sexual pleasure, can only be experienced at its height when God is infused within it. Yes, you hear me right: God-glorifying Christians have the best sex! Our fallen nature deceives us into chasing after a mirage. True, we may find some sort of physical enjoyment in chasing after our desires, but we will never experience the true ecstasy God has designed for us in a covenantal sexual union. But, as God redeems our sexuality and reshapes our desires through the power of the gospel, we can begin to experience the unimaginable joy of what God designed lovemaking to be before the fall.

When we experience God glorifying sex, we experience a physical, emotional, and spiritual union with another person that is unique in this world. We experience an expression of love that God designed to powerfully and compellingly teach us about his deep and intimate love for us. We experience a secure place, where our complete vulnerability is met with absolute safety. We experience mutual, self-giving love.

Now, this may be difficult for some of you to imagine. For you, sex might be a place of insecurity and fear. It might be a place of hurt and seemingly inescapable memories. It might be a place of disappointment and frustration. It might be a place of guilt and shame.

But—whether this negative view of sex is the product of your living in a fallen world or living as a fallen person, or (as is the case for most of us), both—the one thing I long for you to hear loud and clear is this: there’s hope. The greatest sexual temptation you will face in your life is to believe the lie that responds: “there may be hope…but not for me.” Whether your hopelessness stems from past sexual abuse, present sexual frustration, habitual sexual sin, or debilitating fear, God, in Christ, desires to powerfully and decisively redeem your sexuality. You are not beyond his reach, and your situation is not beyond his power.

This is why we’re hosting a conference on the topic of sex: to help renew your mind with truth about sex and to show you the powerful implications of the fact that God created sex and, ultimately, sex is about God.

Scott Mehl

Scott serves the church by overseeing leadership, development, global ministries, and counseling/discipleship.

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