Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – December 31, 2018
Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen. Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error. Romans 1:24-27
I have a male friend in another state who has sexual feelings for men. Thankfully, years ago, he submitted his feelings to his faith in God to keep him from living out his inordinate desires. Once he gave over his feelings to his heavenly Father—his heavenly Father refused to give him over to his sinful desires. My friend’s sexual feelings, harnessed by the Holy Spirit, kept him from a wild journey to find himself that he would one day regret. Desires need to be domesticated by God. The gospel is the power of God to protect us from our sinful impulses. Faith tames our feelings.
Paul outlines with clear logic and compelling love God’s heart for those with distorted affections. Generally speaking the Lord protects us from ourselves, unless we demand to act on our sinful desires. He could have been addressing a contemporary audience when he described a group who exchanged the truth about God for a lie. Truth: “Since God loves us”, Lie: “He will allow us to exchange natural sexual relations for unnatural ones: women inflamed with lust for other women and men inflamed with lust for other men”. Because of their rebellion—like a prodigal child—God gave them over to the sinful desires of their hearts, degrading their bodies with one another.
“It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God” (1 Thessalonians 4:3-5).
Are your feelings submitted to your faith in God? Grace is not a “get out of jail free card” to act out inordinate affections. Sinful desires like greed, anger, selfishness, sexual lust and pride need the governor of God’s grace to protect you from yourself. Trust in the Lord is able to tame your feelings over time. When you don’t get your way, you are able to see anger coming. Instead of getting mad at another who got their way—you trust Christ will have His way in the long run. When lust disguises itself as love, you expose its hypocrisy and have faith to wait on God’s best. Feelings led by faith in Jesus are embraced by the grace and truth of Jesus—His authentic love.
How do we love well those being led astray by their untamed feelings? We lovingly lead them back to the truth of God—discovered and understood by their faith in God. Yes, it is a relational risk to remind someone we love that their heavenly Father’s greater love does not condone affections that conflict with His holiness and compete with His purity plan for His creation. Prayerfully administer truth as a serum to restore a soul to its senses. Faith tames feelings.
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith” (Romans 1:16-17).
Heavenly Father, harness my desires by Your grace, love and wisdom, in Jesus’ name, amen.
Whom do I need to lovingly and prayerfully remind what it means to have faith in God and not in feelings?
Feeling led by faith in Jesus, are embraced by the grace and truth of Jesus—His authentic love. #WisdomHunters #feelings
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