In recent weeks, I've been focusing on the danger of mislabeling the poison of sin. if you think about it, no one will run the risk of shortening their life by dosing themselves with a poisonous substance of any kind. Our desire to live disregards that foolishness without hesitation, at least in the minds of most.
However, when it comes to the pleasures of sin, the same is not always the case even though sin carries a devastating effect on the soul. The poison of sin will weaken you spiritually and potentially cut short your earthly purpose. Just look at Samson--'the weak strong man'. He was blessed by God with great physical strength to destroy the enemies of God's people and yet he demonstrated very little spiritual strength. That left him vulnerable to the enemy of the flesh within. That 'weakness' would lead to the destruction of his life on earth.
The same might be said of the poison of impurity. It is a poison that is often mislabeled in our society today. Even within the ranks of the redeemed, this poison is having a lethal effect on marriages and ministries alike.
It is no secret that we live in a society saturated with sexual impurity. So much so that adultery is no longer looked upon with a serious warning (Exodus 20:14). Consequently, adultery is paraded in front of our eyes almost every day in some way. Adultery is prompted by the flesh when the relationship a person finds themselves in is no longer fulfilling. And most of the time, this dose of poison begins to destroy what is sacred through an emotional connection that leads to a physical one. Many today simply don't think 'connecting' with someone emotionally is off limits SO LONG AS they never 'connect' physically.
The Word of God is consistent on the deadly impact of this poison. Matthew 5:28 says, "the one who looks upon a woman with lust has already committed adultery in his heart." Subsequently, the poisonous influence of adultery takes effect long before anything physical happens.
The poison of impurity is not restricted to adultery. The act of adultery happens in response to the desire for pleasure that was caressed in the soul days, weeks, or months earlier. In God's all-seeing capacity, impurity is a revolting sin. Sexual impurity is repulsive to God because it takes what God provided perfectly--human love--and distorts it for one's own selfish pleasure.
The Apostle Paul writes these words under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit in Ephesians 5:3, "Among you (the redeemed) there must not be even a hint of sexual impurity, or of any kind of impurity...because these are improper for God's holy people."
Note Paul's reference of the word 'hint' concerning the poison of impurity. Just the slightest hint of impurity can cause a lot of soul sickness that robs a person's potential to be used for godly purposes.
The presence of God produces purity from God in order that the power of God might accomplish the purpose of God in our life and through our life. 'Dirty' instruments must first be properly sanitized by the Spirit of God before they will be used by the Great Physician. In that there is absolutely no exception or exclusion. And if you and I would think about it, we would not want a surgeon operating on us with a 'dirty' instrument. That can easily produce an infection that leads to complications and even death. And yet, many simply dismiss the importance of being pure before God.
Impurity presents itself in many ways--filthy jokes that are intended to be funny are not funny to God. Fifty years ago, the filth of impurity was largely confined to back alleys in big cities or establishments that profited from it. In the years since, TV has come to be a large promoter of impurity as has the internet. Today, you don't have to go anywhere to be exposed to impurity. The world system has made this poison easily available to anyone with a mobile device. Case in point--pornography. This poison is spreading like a prairie fire throughout our society. So much so that it is estimated to be a ninety-eight-billion-dollar industry world-wide. What is troubling is that in our society, only forty-three percent of teens believe porn is bad. It gets worse, among young adults only thirty-one percent believe porn is bad for society. Among millennials, the number is fifty-one percent. For Gen-Xers--the number comes in at forty-four percent and for Boomers, the number is fifty-nine percent. In every category but one, more believe this poison is acceptable than don't. What is even more troubling are the latest numbers that are coming from within the Church. It is estimated that over fifty percent of ministers who lead churches view porn occasionally and over seventy-five percent of male church members 'take in' the same poison.
There's more that could be said but that's enough to make you 'sick' in your soul. Like Samson, a growing number of God's servants are choosing to lay their head in the lap of impurity and when called upon to serve His purpose they arise from their sleep, shake themselves as before and do not recognize that the power of God's Spirit has been compromised by sin (Judges 16:20).
It is no wonder the Church has limited power to confront the darkness and decay, especially as She once did. As the old gospel song says--'we've gotten used to the dark.' And the consequences remain just as deadly as they have always been.
There is an antidote for the influence of this poison. God's power is available to counteract the poison of impurity. He will heal and help souls to recover from this sickness when there is a willingness to confess sin and a desire to forsake it. God will cleanse the heart and clear the head. As He does, the benefit of His blessing of forgiveness will be reinforced as the hands begin to work differently.
Seek pureness daily and you will see His power demonstrated.