When you set limiting boundaries around you, where you go, who you get close to how you get close to them, you will be on your way to being delivered from the strange women or men who come with the intent of getting you sexually entangled with them.
Note that Joseph was rarely alone with the adulterous wife of Potiphar, his master (Genesis 39:1-20). That may not be by happenstance. It may be that Joseph protected himself from being found alone in compromising situations with her.
The only time that it did not work out, and he was alone with her, at the end he want to jail. When they were alone, the woman wanted to force herself on him but he did what was recommended by Paul: flee every appearance of evil. The woman was evil, had evil intention. It’s of no use negotiating or reasoning with her.
He did not try to prove his manliness, nor did he wait to find out if he could resist being sexually stirred by the woman, trying to prove his self-control. He did not try to see if he was going to be strong-willed enough to not have sex with her. He ran away from her. But she lied against him, that he wanted to rape her, hence he was put in jail. That is a strong message that you must do everything you can to not be found in a compromising situation, or you might end up in jail based on no fault of yours. And I am serious.
Some may not be active in fornicating, but they are active in pornography. They deceive themselves by saying they are not harming anybody. They forget that Jesus gave another definition of adultery. He added the thought dimension (Matthew 5:27-30). Some hide because of the shame of it, doing it secretly; if you have tried to break from the pornographic chain on your own without success, how about seeking for help?
The bible says confess your sins one to another that you may be healed (James 5:16), there is no healing and prospering (Proverbs 28:13) when you hide your sin. Can you be delivered on your own? Yes you can. Who am I to say there is a limitation with God!
So from Joseph’s story it is clear that there are sensible things we should do to put both a psychological distance between ourselves and those of the opposite sex that is not our spouse, without exception.
David fell into adultery and that led him to committing murder (2Samuel 11). From Joseph we learn what not to do, what to avoid, but from David we learn what we should do. We learn that being idle is dangerous.
The bible noted that it was when kings were on the battlefield, that David committed adultery. Because he had competent men, he decided to take it easy. He rose from his bed in the middle of the day and he saw Bathsheba. Because he was not “seeing” battle being his purpose, he “saw” adultery being the one big distraction in his life. Because he was not pursuing the right thing, he pursued the wrong thing.
One thing that God uses to immune us from falling is the pursuit of our purpose. When Solomon was concerned about his purpose he asked God for wisdom to be a good king (1Kings 3:9, 11:1-13). But when his appetite for women became unrestrained, he lost the kingdom he built with that wisdom.
If purpose is lost (or not fully grasped and pursued) then the devil can have the space to preoccupy us with adulterous affairs. No wonder Jesus said: be occupied till I come (Luke 19:13). Recognise your mission. When you pay enough attention to it, it has the power to fully preoccupy you to the absence of any other evil thing.
So we have learnt two things: what not to do to avoid falling into the laps of strange women, and there is also what to do. These are two sides of the coins. If we merely pay attention to one side of the equation, we may be blind-sided by sin.
It is not enough to just be anti-sin (active resistance), what about being active in pursing the purpose of God (passive resistance).
Conversely, it is not just enough to pursue purpose, what about being practically resourceful in making sure in the use of our time, we are putting a guard on our heart.
It is not enough to know what to say no to, what about what to say yes to? It is not enough just to know what to avoid what about what to embrace (Ecclesiastes 3:5)?
When it is just about what to avoid, then there is a tendency for the Christian to gain the identity of the weird, the queer, the antisocial, the holier-than-thou (Isaiah 65:5), the strange-looking, focused-on-physical-appearance group. It is the Christianity that is about how you appear, but not what you possess in spiritual understanding and embrace of grace. It is about striving with human strength and not resting in Christ.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, it is just about knowledge, about purpose (activity). That is the recipe for the formation of a group of Christians that are loose, without character, without self-control. There will be no behavioural difference between the children of darkness and the children of light. It is the Christianity that is merely professed but not expressed.
The people on both side of the spectrum see themselves with suspicion; but both are reactionaries. The latter is based on being anti-legalism, which is actually anti-sensible behaviour, while the former are reacting against the looseness they see in the world, so the people have a tight rope of rules, dos and don’ts, on, some of which do not have anything to do with righteousness.
The problem with the first group is that there is limit to legislated holiness, if not backed by the core understanding of the purpose of God; there is limitation of holiness by rules, if not flowing from the core of the life of Jesus on the inside.
For the other group, they will discover that the purpose without a strong sense of sensible self-restriction is a mess waiting to happen. Esau was a man of purpose; he had the identity as the firstborn, but due to lack of self-restrain, he lost everything. The bible warned against us losing out birthright, the way Esau lost his, though he had the right to an inheritance at birth (Hebrews 12:16).
The Pharisees were those who were always about appearance, they were the kings of dos and don’ts. But Jesus says they are like whitewashed sepulchre, full of dead men bones (Matthew 23:27). With too much focus on appearance, it is likely we overlook deeper issues of life and godliness (Mathew 23:23).
Most people are probably on one of the two sides, and neither is necessarily wrong, they just need to be aware and know in what direction they are wrongly tilted and make necessary correction.
Know what your emphasis should be for you to move towards the middle of the road, without which there is a tendency to fall into the ditch on both sides. And the ditch could be the laps of a strange man/woman.
We need to have agreement that what is done in private must match what is said in public. That is the challenge of the first group (pro-legalism), while the other (the anti-legalism) need to understand that wisdom is profitable to direct (Ecclesiastes 10:10), practically sensible, that choices have consequences, and that being a Christian does not immune us from repercussions (Galatians 6:8).
- “The Love Of Christ Jesus”/Warning Against Adultery (robertadennisblog.wordpress.com)
- Disarming Adultery: Gen 20:7 (realisticimaginations.wordpress.com)
- 100th day of Bible blogging (oneyeardevotional.wordpress.com)
- Wisdom not hard to find nor hiding in remote places (fromguestwriters.wordpress.com)
- Ecclesiastes 1:16-17 – I said to myself, “Look, I have increased in wisdom more than anyone (church4u2.wordpress.com)
- Bible Book Report (coffeeclatter.com)