Day 31 – Finally, Brethren…

Audio: Malik Ewan

Philippians 4:8: Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. 

We conclude this devotional with this charge from Philippians which we all must adopt. We must endeavour to have our minds occupied with purity. Not that we are idolizing purity, but we are keeping out every seed of impurity and unrighteousness from our heart.

This is how we will maintain what we’ve spent so much time getting right – by keeping our minds stayed on good things. Our minds are so programmed that we become and portray anything we meditate on. Therefore, we should fill our thoughts with the Word, spiritual songs and spiritual content. 

We can’t predict what curve balls the devil and this world will through us in this life. We can however decide what we will allow our thoughts to entertain and thereby emulate. 

Sexual purity is possible. You can be restored if you have failed. You can maintain when you are purified in Christ. What’s left is to always abide in Jesus for apart from Him we can do nothing.

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are pure, think on these things.

Day 30: Affairs of the Heart

Audio: Malik Ewan

Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? 10  I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings. 

It will ride with you

It will die with you

It’s your best friend

And your worst enemy –

The heart

How can you believe with all of it

When it is full of deceit?

Why does your praise cease

When it gets down with defeat?

Only one thing is sure –

God’s word is truth

So trust God’s word

More than the heart within you

When it comes to sexual purity, our human hearts cannot be trusted. Our heart finds every way of convincing us that it is okay to sin, that we will get back up after this one time, and that we will never do it again. So devious can the thoughts of our hearts be, for Jesus warns that from the heart proceeds adulteries, lasciviousness, fornications, and all sorts of evils.

So singles please think twice the next time you feel so in love that you want to say, “You have my heart.” If the Holy Spirit is not both resident and ruling there, then that heart is a trap to everyone involved.

Instead, God’s word is truth, and it is His word that must try our hearts until it becomes like His. Then we can safely offer our hearts to that special one. Is your heart under God’s control today?

Let’s pray…

Day 29- Stewardship of the Body

Romans 14:12: So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.

Audio: Malik Ewan

Sexual purity is a delicate fruit. God is the one from whom it springs up in our lives but we are like the hired servant who is entrusted to take care of it.

My grandfather was a lover of flowers and a farmer. From my holidays spent there I remember he would be up early tending to the plants, pruning them, watering them and eventually waking me up out of bed to rake leaves. Now raking leaves under six to eight mango trees is no mean feat. It would leave me feeling as if I had earned a month’s wages in one day.

It is that same kind of stewardship that is needed to maintain our bodies and minds in a state of sexual purity. Day to day we must go and pluck out the weeds and remove the pests that come to destroy. We must put a fence around our minds and bodies that will keep out all invaders. Maintaining sexual purity is hard work but it is necessary.

Now imagine if you gave your friend your favourite fruit to keep for a short while. You go about your business and when you come back eager to partake of that fruit you are presented with something that’s bruised, tarnished, eaten out and full of maggots. None of us would be pleased! And neither will God if when He returns He finds our bodies filled with impurities in our flesh. Surely, he will be angry against the one to whom He has entrusted this treasure.

What account will you give of yourself before God? Let us maintain and preserve our sexual purity.

Day 28: One Wife, One Husband

Audio: Malik Ewan

Ephesians 5:22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 25  Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 

Sexual purity is not discarded at the altar, it is as much relevant for married couples as it is for singles.

Scriptures teach time and again that it is God’s plan for one man and one woman to come together in sexual union in marriage. So important is this institution that it is likened to the love that God has for the church.

Growing up and reading this verse often made me wonder who had the greater charge – the husband to love his wife as Christ loved the church, or the wife to submit to her own husband and honour him? When you look around though it seems that husbands tend to shrug off this commandment while wives seem to wrestle with submission.

It is needful for husbands and wives to remind themselves of these Godly principles regularly to guard against sexual immorality. When this pure love is not exercised and experienced by both parties, it becomes the soil for the seed of immorality to set in. Many marriages have failed because one or both stopped loving as Christ does.

When you love your spouse as Christ does: you resist the sexual temptations of all others, you do not turn to someone else when your spouse causes you some hurt, you do not deprive or spite your spouse by withholding sexual pleasure, you simply do nothing to grieve their heart.

Marriage is the most sacred place of expression of sexual purity. Let us maintain the highest standard in marriage.

Day 27: Plan for Marriage Before You Plan Your Honeymoon

Audio: Malik Ewan

Song of Solomon 2:4 He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love.

A part of what makes for a successful marriage is the time spent understanding what true intimacy is. It is not just sexual, it is emotional, intellectual and spiritual. When you recognize that there is more to marriage than sex, you prepare yourself to reap all the benefits of sex.

It’s easy to fantasize about how good you will feel when you reach a sexual high. But it is almost impossible to predict you will react if that high is not reached, or if for whatever reason the body parts don’t function like they are supposed to. What do you do when the man has challenges having an erection, or the wife has challenges having an orgasm? Do you just call it quits, pack them back up and go back to the store for a refund?

Truthfully, you have no control over what sexual challenges may arise in marriage between you and your spouse. However, the right view of intimacy will prevent and resolve most or all of those engine failures. On the other hand, the grip of lust and sexual immorality will lead the unsatisfied spouse into adultery and unfaithfulness.

Intimacy is the bed upon which the best sex happens in marriage. It is the knot that ties man and wife together after they have tied the knot. So spend time learning how to build intimacy and you can prevent the evil tentacles of sexual immorality from raising its head in your marriage.

Day 26: Strange Women and Strange Gods

Audio: Malik Ewan
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.

Your sexual relationship is closely linked to the God or gods you serve.

Abraham warned his servant, “Don’t take a wife from this idolatrous nation for my son!” Isaac gave the same charge to Jacob. We see these two men becoming patriarchs of Israel and serving the One True God. However, on the contrary were Ishmael and Esau, they blatantly ignored this admonition and took wives of the heathen nations for themselves. We see how they went into idolatry and became fathers of wicked nations.

King Solomon’s legacy with women teaches us that we can have all the wisdom in the world and still choose the wrong partner. As soon as he went after strange (idolatrous) women, his heart soon started following after strange gods (idols).

Choosing the right partner must be done prayerfully and with guidance from elders and counsellors. If you seek with your eyes and with your ears you will end up just like Solomon. Instead seek with the Spirit of God. Let Him be your matchmaker and find you the right one who will please you all the days of your life while keeping you in His will.

Beware also, because an ungodly sexual relationship will bear children. No, these are not the children which are an heritage unto the Lord. These are the fruits of bitterness, hurt, depression, and suicidal thoughts to which you can be driven by opening up yourself to the wrong person. And no matter how much you think you’ve gotten over the past relationships, you’ll be surprised how many “Ammonites” will spring up repeatedly if you persist in the wrong way. The best way to avoid this experience is to avoid an ungodly sexual relationship. However, we will look at how to rebound righteously after sexual failure for those who may have faltered already.

Today, consider how that romantic relationship will help you to serve God better and help you to remain pure before Him.

Let’s pray…

Prayer Starter

Day 25: Pursuing the Honourable Marriage

Audio: Malik Ewan
Hebrews 13:4 Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge. 

Many young Christians think that marriage is the ultimate escape from sexual immorality. After all, you and your spouse can now have all the sex you want without guilt right?

The sad truth though is – that mindset sets a number of traps for those seeking marriage as the escape from their sexual urges. Blinded by the pursuit of fulfillment of this desire, one may ignore obvious warning signs that indicate this person is not the right one for you. You may even be so enamored with this person that you fail to realise that spiritually the relationship is already draining you. But it’s better to be alone than to be spiritually trapped. The need for sex should not be the main driving force behind one’s desire for marriage. Instead, let God’s purpose for your life guide your decision to pursue marriage or not, and guide to whom you choose to commit your life.

If you are caught up thinking only about the physical in regards to marriage, maybe this is your chance to shake things up. Get yourself to a quiet place and pray. Ask God what is His plan for the marriage you want to pursue. Do your utmost to ensure God is with you in this. It is the most important decision you will make in your adult life. And God wants you to get it right in all areas.

Let’s pray…

Prayer Starter

I want to be led to the right person you have for me Jesus. Let me not look only with my physical senses, but follow the Spirit’s leading throughout this process. Even if it hurts me, Lord help me continually abide in your will.

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.