By Mr. Dennis Owen
When God has asked you to do something, what has your response typically been? If you struggle to obey, what hindered you? Did you lack trust in God’s love? His wisdom? His power?
Knowing and doing God’s will depend on how well you know him and his nature. Because God is love, His will is always best. He wants you to live an abundant life (John 10:10). So when God gives you a command it is to protect you and lead you toward His blessings. He does not want you to miss out on the fullness of life He wants you to experience. God’s instructions regarding sexual purity do not restrict; they free you. God’s purpose is that you prosper and live:
“When your children ask you later on, ‘What are the stipulations, statutes, and ordinances that the LORD our God commanded you?’ you must say to them… ‘The LORD commanded us to obey all these statutes and to revere him so that it may always go well for us and he may preserve us, as he has to this day. We will be innocent if we carefully keep all these commandments before the LORD our God, just as he demands‘” (Deuteronomy 6:20 -21, 24-25).
Suppose the Lord says, “I have a gift for you — lovely, pleasing expression of what love is. I will provide you with a wife who will love you. Your relationship with this woman will bring out the best in you. It will give you an opportunity to experience some of the most genuine and important dimensions of human love that are possible. That woman will walk alongside of you to inspire, challenge, and strengthen you when you lose heart. Within that relationship, your wife will love you, believe in you and trust you. Out of that relationship, I will bless you with children, and those children will grow up to love you with all of their hearts.”
But then He cautions, “You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to desire her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Matt 5:27-28). Is this command meant to limit your happiness? No! It is to protect you so you can experience love at its human best. What happens if you begin to view your marriage vows as restricting, choosing instead to ignore God’s command and to be unfaithful to your spouse? The love relationship in your marriage will be ruptured. Trust will disintegrate. Guilt will set and bitterness will fester. Your children will feel the pain as well. Emotional scars may severely limit the future dimensions of love you and your family could experience together. God knows what the terrible effect of sexual immorality, so He clearly warns you not to succumb to impurity of any kind as these are not fitting for the saints.
Dare to trust God! His commands are designed to guide you to the best He has to offer. You will struggle to obey Him, however, if you do not trust Him. You will not trust Him if you do not love Him. And you will not love Him unless you know Him. But if you come to know Him as He reveals Himself to you, you will love Him, trust Him, and obey Him. The Bible is clear at this point: if you love God, you will obey Him! If you do not obey Him, you do not really love Him, regardless of what you may claim (see John 14:24).
So, how do we get trust? Let me challenge you with an honest wager. Dare to trust God, and the Spirit of God promises to bear witness with your spirit that you are a child of God (Rom 8:16). If you are willing to risk believing (committing all that you know of yourself to all that you know of God as the ultimate leap of faith), the Spirit of God guarantees an inner witness that sets our minds at ease. As you meditate on this truth, ask God to reveal His nature to you. Ask Him to develop in you confidence to trust Him anytime He has an assignment for you. Then as you follow and obey Him, He will direct you in ways that are best for you and for the situation into which He calls you. Since God is all-knowing, you’ll never have to question the wisdom of His directions — even when they don’t make sense to you. His plans are always right. God is all-powerful, so you need doubt your ability, strength, or resources to complete his assignments. He will keep you pure and will equip you to accomplish all he calls you to do.