The Toxicity of Sexual Sin Day 5: Honoring God with Our Bodies
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20, ESV)
Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19-21, ESV)
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. (Romans 12:1, ESV)
Often when we read a devotional entry we skip over the Scripture passages and get straight to the message from the author. Don’t do that today, friends. The passages above are so important that we don’t want to skip over them. In them, we find specific instruction for exactly how to honor God with our bodies; anything else I might add by way of devotional content is secondary, at best.
When we think of godliness, we envision having simple habits: reading and daily prayer, involvement in church, and living a life that is morally acceptable to those who know us best. But it’s really much more than that. It’s a submitted mind and body, eager and willing to follow the pattern laid out for us as believers, with a testimony that reflects that pattern, portraying an authentic testimony that demonstrates Christ-likeness.
If we were to filter all our thoughts and actions through the truth of the Holy Spirit indwelling us, we would likely live much differently. Our lives wouldn’t be about following rules without feeling, but rather we would be enraptured with our Savior, and our bodies would be a place in which His Spirit feels welcomed and is acknowledged, respected and obeyed. Our consciences would be acutely aware of sin, and our hearts would readily confess, repent and seek restoration.
And yet how often do I forget He’s in me? When life is hard and I need His help, I never forget this; in fact, I heavily lean on Him to see me through. But far too often, in the days when life isn’t as stressful, I forget He’s living inside me, and I find that my behavior and thoughts greatly dishonor Him. But when I’m dishonoring Him in this way, my heart should feel broken for my disobedience and my betrayal of Him.
If we want to know how we can honor God with our bodies, we need to look at how we dishonor Him. What areas need change? Most of us, if we were to closely and honestly examine our thoughts, would find that sexually impure thoughts have settled in. The body obeys the mind, so if we want to clean up the mess in our bodies, we must go back to purifying our minds.
Just as we clean and prepare our homes and continue to maintain them for the comfort and enjoyment of our family and guests, we need to show even greater respect to the Holy Spirit, the One who inhabits our earthly bodies. If we sin sexually, the Bible states that this particular sin dishonors our own bodies. Sex, enjoyed within the confines of marriage between a husband and his wife, is beautiful and brings joy to God when He sees it purely demonstrated to honor His design.
If you’re not yet married, I encourage you to look to Scripture for guidelines regarding your sexual conduct. If you’re a Christian, this should be your go-to Source for all that you allow to be a part of your earthly experience. Whatever pressures you feel from friends—even Christian friends—are not to be what govern your choices. Our bodies are to be holy. What does that look like in your life? This should challenge all of us to make necessary changes in order to rid ourselves of the impurities we’ve allowed to take up residence in our bodies. Let’s finish today’s study with this sobering Scripture:
Do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own. (Ephesians 4:30, NLT)