“I know Ephraim, and Israel is not hidden from Me; For now, O Ephraim, you commit harlotry; Israel is defiled.
“They do not direct their deeds toward turning to their God, for the spirit of harlotry is in their midst, and they do not know the Lord.
The pride of Israel testifies to his face; therefore Israel and Ephraim stumble in their iniquity; Judah also stumbles with them.
“With their flocks and herds they shall go to seek the Lord, but they will not find Him; He has withdrawn Himself from them.
Thankfully, I haven’t come across a church that has this name stated in the title of this blog, but in some places, it might as well be. The condition of some places in the corporate church is what it is. To be in denial is to look at God, spit in His face, and call it rain.
Thankfully, there are pastors that are making great strides in dealing head on with this issue of sexual immorality in the church. Over the years, there has been an effort to talk about the Goliath of our times but when you take a closer look, it seems that we haven’t gotten the message.
One of the things that I learned while taking the course on Way To Purity by Mike Cleveland’s “Setting Captives Free” is that we must be vigilant.
Paul said in Colossians 4:2, “Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving,”
Peter said in 1 Peter 5:8-9a, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith.”
To be vigilant means to “keep awake…give strict attention to, be cautious, active to take heed lest through remission and indolence some destructive calamity suddenly overtake one.”
One of the things that we sometimes neglect to understand is that sin brings destructive calamity.
We don’t see it this way because the pleasures of sin or the pleasures of this life obscures the real intent of sin.
When it comes to sin, we reach a point of no return. Meaning that we cannot stop what comes out. Meaning that we are so far along in the process that to stop now, it would rob anyone of the euphoric reward.
Remember what James said in James 1:15, “Sin, when it is finished brings forth death.”
Paul said in Romans 6:23, “The wages of sin is death but the git of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
No matter which way you look at it, sin brings death. Death is the end result after a destructive calamity. But we do not see it this way because of this Scripture in Ecclesiastes 8:11 (NLT).
“When a crime is not punished quickly, people feel it is safe to do wrong.”
Sin is a crime against the righteous and holy God. When judgment doesn’t fall swiftly, we foolishly assume that it is safe to sin again and again.
However, we know that a crime against God was committed because the conviction of the Holy Spirit immediately reminds us of the wrong we’ve committed.
Jesus said in John 16:8 “And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:”
The word “convict” means to convince the world of sin.
Paul said Romans 8:1, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit.”
The opposite is true. There is condemnation for those that walk after the flesh and not after the Spirit.
Paul said that if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged so we wouldn’t be condemned with the world (see 1 Corinthians 11:30-32).
Then John said in 1 John 3:18-22, “My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. And by this we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him.
For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things.
Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God. And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.”
When we pay attention to the inner man being affected by the way we treat the Lord, when we become sensitive to the Holy Spirit, we will do everything possible to avoid feeling condemned. When we refuse to repent, we are deliberately suppressing the convicting power of the Holy Spirit to turn from sin.
One of the things that I’ve noticed is that when we stop talking about this area, we find ourselves indulging in it, bit by bit. That’s what the enemy is searching for. He is lurking to see who is not watching diligently. The devil is waiting for that one moment when you turn off or temporarily suspend watching.
Just because we rest, it doesn’t mean we turn away from God. When we take a rest from God and His Word, we make the mistake of resting from the work of the ministry and include resting from obedience to God and His Word.
One of the things that I’ve learned when I stood watch in the Navy on board ship is that at anytime the enemy can come. They “case the joint” to see how you are watching. They are looking at your habits, patterns, and cycles of watch standing.
Over the course of time, the enemy already knows your preferential sins. He sets you up with a series of small tests to see if the last level of diligence is the same. When you are regularly watching, it gives the enemy no place. It’s the moment that we stop watching that he detects an opening.
Inconsistency is what he is counting on. That one moment when you sneak a peak at a woman’s breasts and behind. Checking her out and lusting after her beauty. That momentary lapse of judgment is the door he’s been waiting to walk through. For women, it is no different. When you are checking him out sexually, you are doing the same thing. When you dress provocatively, you are opening yourself up for sins of the flesh.
Seductive dressing is a fatal attraction for men and dressing that way is an open invitation by you for him to lust after you. What you are doing is part of the spirit of harlotry in the Christian church. Passive hunting is part of the feminine power executed by sexually immoral women to exercise sexual power over weak willed men. To be in denial about this is a curse of epic proportions.
Before you know it, you are back to your old tricks and habits. Porn becomes easy to watch again because you’ve had enough of substitute porn on the magazine stands. You’re back to releasing sexual tension through masturbation or committing adultery, or soliciting prostitutes. It turns into a large scale conflict where the Spirit lusts against the flesh and the flesh wars against the Spirit.
Returning to sin deliberately is an indefensible position allowed by a willingness to compromise the Word of God.
You search for younger and younger flesh. You even consider homosexuality to satisfy a seemingly insatiable desire to fulfill the lusts of your flesh.
It turns into suppressing conviction because of losing the small, low intensity battles of compromise that easily flares up into a major theater of operations. The objective of darkness is to reestablish a better, defensible evil stronghold.
As soon as it is reestablished, the enemy raises his flag over the newly established stronghold and calls it “The Spirit Of Harlotry Temple Of Worship.”
Is there any hope of a return to righteousness? Is there any chance of returning to the Lord and remain faithful to Him forever? Can we see that sin hurts the heart of the Father? Is there any way that we can recover from the snare of the enemy?
The answer to this question is always “Yes!!!”
We must change the way we do business.
We must recognize that we are weak and powerless without Jesus and His Word. We cannot survive, let alone overcome when we open ourselves up to the small little foxes that spoil the vine.
Diligence can return when we repent and seek the Lord diligently. Yes, we can overcome and triumph when we make a stand no matter how deep in the pit of sin we are.
If sin is like dog’s vomit, would we eat it or pass up this nasty meal? If sin is like a nuclear fallout zone, would we breathe its deadly air? If sin is like sewage, would we swim in it?
Let our houses of worship be a righteous temple of the Lord. Let our physical bodies be the temple of the Holy Spirit, bought and washed by the blood of the Lamb. Sanctified, tried and true for the eternal habitation of God through the Spirit.
Photo above is courtesy of Rhett A. Butler, copyright 1994-2006. (It is not to be connected or assumed in any way that the image above is actually the Spirit of Harlotry Temple of Worship, neither is it to be assumed that the image above is a place of Christian worship).