The great Spiritual Teacher Richard Foster once said this “A farmer is helpless to grow grain; all he can do is provide the right conditions for the growing of grain. He cultivates the ground, he plants the seed, he waters the plants, and then the natural forces of the earth take over and up comes the grain…This is the way it is with the Spiritual Disciplines – they are a way of sowing to the Spirit… By themselves the Spiritual Disciplines can do nothing; they can only get us to the place where something can be done.”As I talked about yesterday, when we notice the deep spiritual implications of sex, then to harness the energy of this spirituality must not only be found in the sexuality itself, but also in the discipline of sexuality.
I don’t think the Bible is joking around when it mentions sexual immorality so much. And, while I don’t think this is the end all, be all of sin, nor is it the worst, there are severe damages that can be done to us spiritually, psychologically and emotionally. This is why spiritual disciplines are in place. They are there to help us strengthen the places where we are weak. Every man I know, has fallen into some form of lust in their life and often frequently recurring. Rob Bell writes about lust this way in his book Sex God “Lust can drive us to do frightening things. It can own us, it can take up massive amounts of head space, and it makes us miserable.” Lust makes us want what we can’t have in life. We are desiring what is not ours. That’s why in the 10 commandments, when we lust, we are actually breaking several commandments. The first of sexual idolatry and then coveting what is not ours. Bell once again says this about lust “Lust comes from a deep lack of satisfaction with life. This is why we have to slow down and reflect on our lives before we’ll even begin to sort out the significance of this. Lust often starts with a thought somewhere in our head or heart: “If I had that/him/her/it, then I’d be…..”. When we learn to love and respect what we do have, then lust doesn’t consume us as frequently as someone who is always wanting more. This is why to find the peace, respect and love of ones self and to be content with who God is and with what God has given them, it takes radical discipline.
Paul makes it very clear, it’s better to get married than burn with lust. This is why sex is clearly a part of marriage and why Eros, albeit a temporary form of love, is still a form of love. But Paul also makes it clear that it’s a blessing to not be married because they are able to fully serve God. This is the beauty of chastity and celibacy. And, even once a person gets married this discipline doesn’t end. The Bible calls married people to fast from sex. God really is at work in forms of human sexuality. He understands the unquenchable desires of human beings, because he created that in them. But, he also knows that if we do not learn to quench them, they consume us, they destroy us, they empty us. The discipline of the heart, the mind, the soul and the body will always be a part of our sexuality. It’s there to protect us and others. Sometimes, we need limitations so we can fully taste the goodness within them. This discipline is what preserves the beauty of the human body and soul.
Day 1: The State of Sexuality- http://nblo.gs/jHYh6
Day 2: The Dangers of Sexuality- http://nblo.gs/jKKzr
Day 3: The Goodness of Bodies- http://nblo.gs/jNvwt
Day 4: The Spirituality of Sexuality- http://nblo.gs/jQdbA