Day 24: “Patience is a Virtue”

Audio: Malik Ewan
Hebrews 12:1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 

So you’ve found the one whom your soul longs for. You find that their voice is as lovely as the chimes of a skilled musician upon the harp. You are just about ready to sweep away or be swept away. You feel like you could just fly.

Next you want to just hold hands a little longer. You want that hug to linger. Your hands feel like they want to start to wander… *SCREEEECH!!* Hold up young sir! Hold up young lady! Hit the breaks!

You’re not married yet!

It seems sexual urges are harder to control the closer you get to that wedding day. After all, you’ve spent months and even years waiting to be one with this person, and the day is finally almost here. One must never forget though that until that marriage is solemnized your body does not belong to your spouse-to-be.

So how does one tame the flames of affection and passion during engagement or courtship?

Watch the temperature. Don’t turn up the heat too hot too early!” Those were the words of my father to me when I was pursuing marriage with my wife. And I am thankful for those words every day. So how did my wife and I monitor the sexual thermostat? For one, we both agreed that we would not kiss at all, so our first kiss was at the altar. Next, every now and again we would remind each other that we didn’t belong to each other as yet. And we kept our physical boundaries to a safe distance. “How safe is safe?” you may ask. I think “six feet apart” has been trending!

Patience is key. Yes, there are sins that can easily beset you while you are courting and during engagement. There are sexual weights which can hamper your walk and tarnish your purity. But as my mother-in-law would often warn us, “Don’t lose your testimony.” You must be prepared to ward off the deceptive whisper of emotions which comes to make you fall. The mindset that your body does not belong to that person until you tie the knot will help save you from much regret.

Hold out until the end.

Prayer Starter

God, give me the strength to preserve my sexual purity always. I commit my body to your keeping again and my heart into your hands. Watch over me gentle Shepherd, lest I go astray blindly.

Day 23: Good Things Find Each Other

Audio: Malik Ewan
Proverbs 18:22 Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the LORD.

Many are called to a life of singleness. But I wasn’t. Now I am happily married to my “good thing”. My time as a single young adult however, were most crucial in preparing me for this stage of the journey. And so too is yours.

Even before I found a wife, the first thing I had to find was myself. For how could I love another human being and expect her to love me back unconditionally if I had no clue who I was in God. And I find that this blunder is one which many make while waiting for marriage. They forget to get to know the one human being they can never get away from – themselves.

And so many of those identity issues show themselves up in marriage. Marriage is like the glass that shows you who you truly are. If you were harbouring thoughts of sexual perversion then in marriage that may manifest in infidelity. If you thought pornography was a light thing while single then in marriage you may find your spouse sexually unattractive because of the lies you’ve been fed. A false sense of who you are as a sexual being – one built on worldly principles – will contribute to much hurt and lack of intimacy in marriage.

To find a good thing, you must also be a good thing. Instead of asking God why it is taking so long to be “free from singleness”, why don’t you take the time to be free in singleness?

Singleness is a precious time. Use it wisely!

Prayer Starter

Lord, help me to find your will in every season. I will wait on your timing and delight myself in You while I wait. The world may portray a false sense of bliss in immoral living but I trust in You God.

Week 4 – Sexual Purity in Relationships

Day 22: Why Wait?

Audio: Malik Ewan

Ten Reasons to Wait Until Marriage to Have Sex

  1. Your soul is more important than sex

Matthew 16:26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

  1. Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit
1Corinthians 6:18  Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. 19  What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 
  1. You will have to give account to God why you disobeyed Him.
Ecclesiastes 12:14 For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.
  1. Once you get started, it’s hard to stop and it cascades into deeper sin.
James 1:15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. 
  1. Virginity is what brings the honey to the moon.
Proverbs 5:18 Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth. 19 Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love. 
  1. You avoid the risk of pregnancy with someone who has no intention of a lifelong relationship.
Lamentations 5:3 We are orphans and fatherless, our mothers are as widows.
  1. The pleasures of sex will not expire before your wedding day.
1Corinthians 2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
  1. It’s the Bible way from the beginning.
Genesis 2:24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
  1. You avoid the baggage of previous sexual encounters and failed sexual relationships.
1Kings 11:1 But king Solomon loved many strange women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites. 5 For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites
  1. What the world has told or shown you about sex is laced with lies.
Genesis 3:4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: 

Prayer Starter

They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. Jesus, I know your word promises strength to those who wait on You. Teach my heart to wait on you in this walk of sexual purity.

Day 21: Sometimes There’s No Going Back

Audio: Malik Ewan
Proverbs 5:3 For the lips of a strange woman drop as an honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil: 4 But her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a twoedged sword. 5 Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on hell. 

Sadly, not all will recover from sexual failure even though we all have the opportunity to, through repentance. For example, while witnessing to one young man on campus he told me, “once you get started fornicating it’s hard to ever stop!” I’m not saying God cannot deliver the worst of sinners. But I do warn that sex can be one of those “snares and cares of the world” that steals away the word of God planted in one’s heart. This represents one instance in which it is even more important to abstain. Prevention is the best cure for these situations.

For me, throughout university I felt like if I gave even an inch to the devil’s lusts I would become so wrapped up in sexual perversion that it would forever take me over. So for me, avoidance was key. I avoided all the parties on campus and all the fetes. When it was carnival time I found myself off campus or around my Christian friends. I tried to avoid everything that looked immoral even to the point that I got to thinking that maybe I’d have to walk with my eyes looking up the heavens to avoid seeing the skimpily dressed females.

Yet, try as you or I might, the sexual immorality all around us will show itself to us. This is called temptation. The way you respond to that temptation determines the outcome of your story.

Here is wisdom, if you will receive it. Turn not into the way of sexual lust for the end is bitter. It leads down to death and binds the one taken by it in the jaws of hell. Who knows how many chances you have been afforded to recover from a fall? Who knows even if the Lord will put in His appearing right after a foolish act of disobedience and failure?

Let us not go the way of sinful man. Instead, let us maintain the sanctity of our souls.

Let’s pray…

Prayer Starter

Lord, how can I maintain my garments spotless and white as you require? How do I gain that consistency to always resist sexual lust, resisting even to death? Show me how today.

Day 20: Where is the presence of the Lord when you are doing wrong?

Audio: Malik Ewan
Proverbs 15:3: The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.

It is a puzzling, mysterious and marvelous fact that God is all-knowing and present everywhere in a world so full of wickedness. It should tell us certain things – firstly, that God is extremely merciful in the way He does not always exact judgement the moment you sin, and that we may not ever fully understand the depths of His love that He took the punishment of all these wrongs upon Himself in order to save us – the wrong doers. 

The important thing to know is that even though we aren’t always aware of His presence, God IS ALWAYS there. God is there present in the bathroom, in your room at 2AM in the morning. He is there when you have the house all to yourself. He is there when you’re locked into the screen of your phone or TV. And He is always there!

God’s longsuffering is what allows Him to delay a just judgement in favour of offering the opportunity for repentance. This must never be taken for granted! Soon enough, if you do not take the time to make it right with God, His righteous hand will show up in judgement and you will have no defense in that day.

To embrace God’s love will mean you do what is pleasing Him every day, whether or not you are consciously aware of His presence. However, we must endeavour as youth to develop that constant God-consciousness that allows us to say when we are by ourselves in a sticky spot, “How can I do this thing and sin against my God?!!”

It’s time to pray.

Prayer Starter

Jehovah Shamma – the Lord is there. Even though we cannot comprehend your long-suffering at times, Lord we have to thank you for your mercy. God, we want to please you and make our hearts right with you before you appear to judge this world. Help us Jesus to bow before You each and every day.

Day 19: Recovering from Sexual Failure: Biblical Examples

Audio: Malik Ewan
Judges 16:20: And she said, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And he awoke out of his sleep, and said, I will go out as at other times before, and shake myself. And he wist not that the LORD was departed from him.

God is not unaccustomed to dealing with sexual failures among his servants. Samson and David are two famous figures we must look at when considering how you and I must respond after sexual failure.

Unlike Joseph who from the outset thought “how can I do this thing and sin against God?”, Samson and David seemed to have dropped their guard when they went astray. Today, many of us look on and say, “How could such righteous men do such a wicked thing?!” 

It seems Samson did not make one correct choice with women, though he received Godly counsel time and again. David, on the other hand, was doing a good job at it then it seems he found himself outside of God’s presence and will for a period. What these two men lacked, you have an opportunity to assess yourself if you have it right now – and that is an absolute conviction of the truth of God’s word. 

They were both surrounded by Godly advisors. Yet, sometimes we find even ourselves pursuing the wrong thing even though our leaders warn us directly against it. If you are like that, now is an opportunity to change your thoughts toward this. Failure to heed both the Word of God and those who minister the word to you will lead you down a treacherous path.

At the end of it, they both faced dire consequences. For Samson it was his life and the freedom of the nation of Israel. For David, the consequences of his actions are so heart-rending sometimes it pains to think about – death of a faithful soldier and husband, death of the child that came from that encounter, his own son rising up against him in rebellion – a whole lot of tragedy that could have been prevented. 

For you also, there are consequences for sexual failures of all sorts. Despite this, the last point of their story teaches how merciful and forgiving our God is. They were both forgiven when they came to a place of repentance. Even so, you must also come to a place of repentance and receive freely the forgiveness of the Lord.

Let us pray…

Prayer Starter

God you have given us great examples how to live sexually pure lives. You have also shown us how we must return to you after failing. Help us to walk more perfectly day by day by your grace.

Day 18: Purity – God’s Plan for the Fallen

Audio: Malik Ewan
Titus 2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; 14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

Purity. That is God’s ultimate plan for you. Yes, He wants you to be pure in all your ways. It’s the reason Christ died and rose again. It’s the reason you must repent of all your sins. It’s the reason you must be born again through the blood of Jesus Christ. Other words to describe purity are sanctification, separation, holiness. That is God’s plan for all mankind.

Recognizing that purity is God’s plan for my life has kept me through some difficult periods of temptations, especially while boarding on campus in university. I believe university is one of the most testing times for young Christians in their walk with God and even more so their purity. Society today is already flooded with sexual perversion and it seems to me that it is even more concentrated on the college campus. 

But with God’s plan comes an identity which will guide you through the roughest times when it seems like you’re alone in the fight to maintain sexual purity. You recognize that the purity in Christ sets you apart and makes you a “peculiar people” before God. In fact, when you embrace this you begin to stand out like a big dazzling diamond among the rest. 

Embrace God’s plan for your purity today. Be bold in going against the grain of a morally depraved society and be that light in a dark world. 

Let’s pray…

Prayer Starter

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of sexual immorality, thou Lord art with me. Let your rod and staff guide me, showing me that you are there. I commit the keeping of my soul to You.

Day 17: The Pleasurable Death Trap

Audio: Malik Ewan
James 1:15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.

Sexual lust starts with a pleasant stroke and ends with a deadly choke.

It is important to nip it in the bud. To preserve sexual purity you must be of the mindset to “give no place to the devil”. Young Christians are warned to “flee youthful lusts” and to “resist the devil and he will flee”. When it comes to lust, this is a constant charge to us in scripture – Run! Brother Joseph is a great example to us and thank God that he ran so that we can see how God worked things out for him in the end.

Lust will indeed lead to death. And resisting lust will lead to life. There is no better life than a pure life. Like the great men of old, it is better to suffer affliction with the righteous than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season.

We many times can recognize lust when it comes. And like Jesus in the wilderness being tempted we have been empowered to withstand the devil’s tricks. God has already made a way of escape for the temptations of lust that we will go through. Furthermore, even if you failed yesterday, today is a fresh start in which you can re-commit to the purpose of God in you and never go back to sexual immorality.

Let us endeavour to deal with lust before it conceives and brings forth sin. The longer it stays alive the harder it is to quench. The longer it stays alive the deeper the roots reach into our hearts. Some persons will need to cut off some relationships. Some will need to delete some videos and websites. Some will need to stop listening to certain songs. 

Whatever it is you must do to break the grip of lust, know that eternal life is worth it and that hell is much worse. Let us no longer live in sinful lusts.

Let us pray…

Prayer Starter

Jesus, you see every seed of lust within me. You know also every trap that the enemy has set for me. Lord, lead me not into temptation and deliver me from evil. Guide my steps so that they do not slip.

Day 16: Such Were Some of Us

Audio: Malik Ewan
1 Corinthians 6:9  Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10  Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 11  And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. 

I like to think that before addressing your present, you must first address your past. An unresolved past holds the key that locks the door to victory over present failures. 

It may be difficult however, for someone to look back on their past. But it is necessary. If you are burdened by guilt and shame from what happened before you came to Christ then it means you have not totally surrendered it all to Him.

Yet while all the guilt of your past may be resting heavily on your shoulders, let’s acknowledge that the fault may not be entirely yours. I know not all have failed to live sexually pure lives by their own intentional actions. Today however, is dedicated to unearthing where it all started. Now some of these circumstances unfortunately cannot be fixed. But all of it can certainly be confessed to the one with highest compassion. Neither is it entirely possible to resolve whose fault it was or the chain of life’s experiences that have led to who you are today, but with the Lord’s help you can resolve the guilt, the consequences and the future of your life from here on.

The word of God reminds us today that you are now washed, you are now sanctified and justified in the Lord. Release yourself from the guilt of the past so that you can enjoy what God has for you in this new life. Now, if any man be in Christ he is a new creature, old things are passed away, behold all things are become new! (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Jesus has redeemed you from your sexual failures. Forgive yourself! And forgive those who caused you hurt in this area. I know it is a hard thing to ask you to do but this may be the release that you have been waiting for.

Let’s pray…

Prayer Starter

Oh Lord, my restorer and redeemer, thank you for saving me from sin. All my past failures to walk in purity you are able to wash away. I lay them all before you now. Just as I am without one plea, Jesus I come to thee.

Week 3 – Restoration after Sexual Failure

Day 15: Rebound Righteously

Audio: Malik Ewan
Ezekiel 16:8  Now when I passed by thee, and looked upon thee, behold, thy time was the time of love; and I spread my skirt over thee, and covered thy nakedness: yea, I sware unto thee, and entered into a covenant with thee, saith the Lord GOD, and thou becamest mine. 9  Then washed I thee with water; yea, I thoroughly washed away thy blood from thee, and I anointed thee with oil

The nation of Israel is a prime example to us of how loving and long-suffering God is towards mankind. No matter how many times they failed, He always found a way to redeem them back to Himself. It is God’s goodness that leads men to repentance. 

To overcome sexual failures, you must grasp the depth and breadth and height of the love of God which is in Christ Jesus. Scriptures put it this way – while we were yet sinners Christ died for the ungodly. Yes, He already paid the price for your sexual failure even before you failed Him. “Such love, such wondrous love that God should love a sinner such as I!”

This means that after faltering – whether by fornicating, or adultery, or meddling in pornography, masturbation or other sexual immoralities – the first step in overcoming is realizing the reason Christ had to die. It was for you to be delivered once and for all from these sexual failures. Yes, Jesus Christ died so that you can be released from the cycle of sexual immorality.

Still think it is too hard a burden to be released from? Well, the burden of the cross was heavier for it bore the sins of the whole world!

So yes, you can rebound righteously after sexual failure because of the blood of Jesus Christ. You can be redeemed from this bondage and be set upon a firm foundation to stand. Accept the Lord’s offer of redemption today.

Let’s pray…

Prayer Starter

Lord I ask you to restore me. I have failed. I have slipped up. Help me Father. I commit my ways to you, to never go back down the road of sexual immorality. I die daily to the desires that lead me away from you.