In The Dark

Topics that have recently been discussed with me by those in college small groups:

Sex.

Skimpy clothes.

Cursing.

Whatever you desire.

Drug and alcohol abuse.

Cutting.

All Hidden.

In the dark.

Why in the dark? Well, most of you wouldn’t bring this up at Thanksgiving dinner, or on your mom and dad’s couch, so where’s it done?

Away from people, especially those who might talk you out of it or hold you accountable, so it’s typically done in secret and in the dark. Whether that darkness is the absence of light, or the absence of those who try to light the way for you.

This is an open letter to the precious teens who hung out at my house, caught rides in our car during middle school, talked to me about the Lord, attended Bible studies, dinners, sleepovers, laughed, cried and prayed together for the last 2-9 years. It’s to my own children, old friends, or new friends, or someone I don’t even know.

Because I wish someone had been this straightforward with me when I was your age. I️ challenge you to keep reading. To stop now is to say you’d rather stay in the dark…You don’t want to know what Jesus requires because you might have to change and give up something you’ve elevated higher than your relationship with Christ.

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crifice. Dying to self. Being renewed into His creation.

As I️ sat here for hours last night thinking about the many different conversations we have had since you went to college, and how we are praying for how many of you feel overwhelmed… and are struggling… I️ feel it is important to talk about sin – straight on – no flowery words.

You see, most of you have the freedom to do whatever you want.

The problem with “experimenting,” and the thrill of getting away with something you could never do at home, shouldn’t feel right in your heart.

Your prince, the one you want to be beautiful for, and have him be so captivated with you, that he prays God would make you his forever… do you greet him with f bombs and sleazy talk? Is it more comfortable trying to be like the world, when you’re called to be set apart from it? Because you’re attracting filth and not purity. I’m sorry. It’s not love. It’s attraction. It’s lust, and it’s not filling the void in your heart.

I told you over and over that I made these similar mistakes and it only brought me shame, temporary pleasure, a broken heart and a defiled body, with an ungodly soul tie to someone I️ did not marry. I️t broke me eventually, at the foot of the cross. I wanted to start over and be washed as white as snow. I️ felt disgusted when I️ realized my body was a temple for the Holy Spirit, even if my parents never knew. God knew.

I’ll be honest, if you aren’t convicted by sexual sin or a filthy mouth, then are we sure you’ve accepted Christ and His spirit lives within you to guide you? Because to continue to sin over and over willingly and knowingly – is to turn your back on what God says.

Sometimes girls (and guys) are miserable and stressed because they are tangled in sin, hiding it from whoever they can and the guilt you feel on adds to the bad attitude.

This. Is. For. A. Reason.

God is trying to get your attention.

I️ never point blank asked any of you about your salvation, but it’s not enough to just believe in Jesus.

The Bible says even the demons believe.

So, what makes a follower of Christ different than any old demon who fights against Him?

You surrender to Him. To His will. To His rules. To His Plan.

But, you want to be in charge. It’s your life, your freedom. My darling, it is not. And this is our problem. God’s word is in conflict with what you want to do, or what you are already doing, and you have a decision to make.

You’re not little girls anymore making crafts with beads. You’re in the real world of money, seduction, temptation, drugs, alcohol, cheating, lying, profanity…

What fruit do your new friends see hanging on you? Do they see Jesus at all, or have you tucked Him away in your room or left Him at home?

I️ love you all. I️ love you more than you will ever know. I️ love you enough to bravely and tenderly help a brother/sister caught in sin be restored, brushed off and set on the right path.

Don’t you dare let shame and guilt keep you hiding in the dark. Do not let the enemy tell you it’s okay to keep walking that path because you’ve already done it, so what’s the point? You can’t do back? That’s a lie.

I’m going to put some verses below.

Stop.

Pray.

Confess to Jesus. He already knows. He is just waiting for you to say it. Get alone. Say it out loud. There’s something about speaking to Him that makes I️t more powerful and real than uttering a few words in your mind.

Pray for each other, old friends, new friends, roommates – they need our prayer cover and intercession to fight this current battle that seeks to rip them away from the arms of God.

Because what separates us from God? Sin.

I️t doesn’t matter the age. We are constantly asking forgiveness and for restoration and He gives it.

Every. Time.

But, just because there’s no limit to His forgiveness, doesn’t mean you use that knowledge to sin freely knowing you can toss up a prayer at night… that would be another lie from the enemy and a pattern of life that keeps you in the dark.

The truth about Sexual Sin? Do you want to know?“No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does. For sexual immorality is a sin against your own body. Or don’t you know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.” (1 Corinthians 6:18-20)Does it really matter about your speech?James 3, oddly enough, addresses not only our speech, but the recent phrase of being “salty.” I️ thought this last verse was funny.7People can tame all kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and fish, 8but no one can tame the tongue. It is restless and evil, full of deadly poison.9Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image of God.10And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right! 11Does a spring of water bubble out with both fresh water and bitter water?12Does a fig tree produce olives, or a grapevine produce figs? No, and you can’t draw fresh water from a salty spring.(You can’t be salty and also profess to love Christ while cursing like a sailor, maybe?)

Why should you change? Ephesians 2:

1And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, 2in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.

3Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.

4But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

8For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.

10For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

————————–

Set Godly Limits; Don’t Awaken Sexual Desire with Anyone Besides your Spouse

“Promise me, O women of Jerusalem, by the swift gazelles and the deer of the wild, not to awaken love until the time is right.” (Song of Solomon 2:7, repeated in 3:5 and 8:4)

“God wants you to be holy, so you should keep clear of all sexual sin. Then each of you will control your body and live in holiness and honor–not in lustful passion as the pagans do, in their ignorance of God and his ways.” (1 Thessalonians 4:3-5; See also Proverbs 5:15-21, 6:24-25, Acts 15:20, Romans 13:13, 1 Corinthians 6:12-13)

Verbalize your Sexual Purity Commitment

“Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. “ (Ephesians 4:15)

Be Modest and Focus on Inner Beauty; Don’t be a Lust Object

“Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty that depends on fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should be known for the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.” (1 Peter 3:3-4; See also 1 Samuel 16:7 and Matthew 6:25-34)

Realize that Sexual Sin is Exciting for a Moment but Painful for a Lifetime

“The lips of an immoral woman are as sweet as honey, and her mouth is smoother than oil. But the result is as bitter as poison, sharp as a double-edged sword. Her feet go down to death; her steps lead straight to the grave… To those without good judgment, she says, `Stolen water is refreshing; food eaten in secret tastes the best!’ But the men don’t realize that her former guests are now in the grave.” (Proverbs 5:3-5, 9:17-18)

(Credit this last section from soul shepherding.)

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