Just Say NO!

Some of you may have wondered why I do what I do, day in and day out, i.e. why I write these devotions, and why I talk so much about walking in the Spirit and not walking according the flesh. You may have wondered, too, why I am so passionate and so persistent in getting out the true message of the gospel, not so much to the world, but to the church, i.e. to those who profess Christ Jesus as Lord and as Savior of their lives.

Well, first and foremost I do this because God called me to do this thirteen years ago. These past 11 years he has led me to write what he teaches me daily from his Word. Each day he puts a song in my head, and he leads me to a passage of scripture, which fits perfectly with the song, and then he opens up his Word to my heart, and he teaches me what he wants me to get from the passage, and what he wants me to share with the world and with the church via the internet. And, so I obey him in doing what he has called me to do.

But, that isn’t the only reason I do this. The Lord has given me a lifetime of preparation for this ministry through the things he has allowed me to experience in my own life so that I would feel what he feels about sin, and so I would love what he loves and hate what he hates. Through the things I went through, most of which was not of my own making, but some of which was, I learned to see sin through God’s eyes in a powerful way, and to also see, from his perspective, why he hates sin so much, and that is because he loves us, and he hates what sin does to us – it destroys us!

The Lord Jesus led me to read Ephesians 4:17-24 (ESV).

Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. Vv. 17-19

Since God called me to this ministry, I have found myself identifying with Hosea of the Old Testament. Hosea was a prophet of God. [I make no such claims to prophet status, although I am the Lord’s servant.] God told Hosea to marry a harlot (a whore). But, it was because God’s people had forsaken him, and they were living in spiritual adultery against their Lord. Thus, since God had chosen Hosea to give out his messages to these adulterous people, he wanted him to feel what God felt from the depths of his own soul, and that is why he told Hosea to marry a whore.

Now, God did not tell me to do that. But, unknowingly, I married a man who professed Christ as Savior of his life but who was a sex addict. And, we have been married 45 years. He has made this public now, and he states that he now wants to be delivered from this, and thus he has given me permission to tell our story publicly, in hopes that it might help others who are now in similar situations. As well, I believe God is directing me in what I am sharing with you here, because he wants each and every one of us to truly be free!

Sexual Abuse

I will state here that I had been physically, emotionally and sexually abused by my father. The sexual and the physical abuse stopped after I told our pastor, and only because my aunt set up that appointment, because my father was beating my mother nearly to death. My dad went into a mental hospital for 1.5 years, I think. But, no one talked with us kids about what just happened or about what we had gone through, and then they sent our father back home, and he tried it again, but I told my mom, and it stopped.

But, that only angered my dad, that he could not use me, and so the mental and emotional abuse only got worse. [He was still abusing my mom, and trying to abuse me verbally, up to the day my mom died in the year 2000.] But, I lived with my parents until the age of 22 and then I married my husband, thinking that he was different. I didn’t know. I was clueless.

But, then stuff began to happen, and I began to see that my husband really wasn’t all that different, but I kept holding out hope that I was wrong. My husband was a very good actor, and very convincing, and so I had a tendency to believe him when he said something was an isolated incident and that it was over. But, then all that changed.

Moral Failure

Thirty years ago we moved to a small southern town. It was a closed community, i.e. if you weren’t from there, they did not accept you. We had moved from a large city, with a wonderful (but not perfect) church family and friends and neighbors, and now it seemed that we were in a desert.

We made friends with a man locally with whom we worked in a local volunteer organization. I was lonely and hurting. My husband was traveling about half the time with his new job. I had had a hysterectomy 8 years prior, and I was now going through an early menopause and my emotions were going crazy. I was attracted to this man. I told my husband, and I asked him for his help, so that I would not yield to that temptation. Instead of helping me, though, he pushed me that direction. He handed me over to the guy, and the inevitable happened, one time only.

I was so crushed that I had succumbed to this temptation, but more so at the fact that my husband, the one who was supposed to love and protect me, would push me to do that, and that he had no conscience about it, but he used me to feed his own sexual addiction. And, that devastated me!

I repented of my sin, and I got back on the right path with God, and then we moved again, and at a weak moment, my husband pushed me to sin again, to feed his sexual addiction, but with no conscience whatsoever that what he was doing was wrong. This happened several times over a period of about five years. And, all the while he claimed to be a strong Christian, and was even a pastor of a church during part of this. And, I succumbed to that temptation, too, and I sinned in this way, while I was a Christian.

Grace and Mercy

But, then God, in his grace and mercy, lifted me up out of that slimy pit and he set my feet on a rock and he gave me a firm place to stand. Yet, it did happen one more time seven years later, under similar circumstances, but this time I finally said “NO” to Satan, and to my husband, and I said “YES” to God, and it has been “YES” ever since. That was seventeen years ago.

But, now, not unlike my father, my husband was angry with me that he could no longer get me to sin sexually, and against God, and so he took his anger out on me verbally, as he continued on his path of sexual addiction. But, the closer I got to my Lord, and the more serious I became about purity, righteousness and holiness, in all aspects of my life, the more that angered my husband, and the persecution began big time. And, I am not certain, yet, that it has stopped or that he has truly repented. Time will tell.

But that is not the way you learned Christ! — assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. Vv. 20-24

This is ABSOLUTE TRUTH! This, what I described above, is not the way we learned Christ, at least, I certainly hope not! The truth that is in Christ Jesus is that Jesus set us free from slavery (addiction) to sin, that Satan no longer has power over us, and that God has all the power we need to live godly and holy lives, pleasing to him. We don’t ever have to give in to sin. Jesus already won this battle for us with his blood shed on a cross for our sins.

Addiction to what is sinful is just another word for slavery to sin. And, it is not a sickness. We can stop it in the power of the Holy Spirit, and we can say “NO” to ungodliness and worldly passions (lusts) and live self-controlled, upright and godly lives. We just have to take the way out which God provided for us, through the cross of Christ actualized in our lives.

We have to deny self and die to sin daily, by the Spirit, and walk according to the Spirit so that we do not gratify the sinful cravings of our flesh. We can’t do it, but God can, in and through us, if we are yielded to him, and if we will put on our spiritual armor and live like Jesus truly did set us free!

Living Water
An Original Work / November 21, 2013

Based off Various Scriptures

My people have forsaken Me,
Their Savior, who died on a tree;
Made idols, and they worshipped them;
So empty, they will ne’er fulfill.

Lord, You are the hope of Your chosen ones.
Those who turn away from You will be shamed;
The Spring of Living Water left behind.

Living Water satisfies.

The thirsty, let them come and drink;
Believe in Jesus as their King;
The gift of Jesus given them,
So they will never thirst again.

Indeed, the Living Water flows within.
It springs up like a fountain cleansing sin.
Eternal life in heaven promised them.

Living Water glorifies.

Oh people, won’t you come to Him?
Obey Him and repent of sin.
Let Jesus come and live within.
Surrender all your life to Him.

My people, won’t you turn your hearts to Me?
Forsake your idols and then you’ll be free.
Won’t you come now to Me on bended knee?

Living Water sanctifies.

Saturday, December 16, 2017, 4:28 p.m. – Thank you, Jesus, for delivering me out of that pit, and for helping me to say “NO” to sin and “YES” to Jesus.

6 thoughts on “Just Say NO!

  1. I have a daughter that went through some of the same things that your husband put you through. She turned to alcohol and it almost killed her. They divorced but the ramifications of what she endured ran deep. God in his mercy introduced a young Christian man into the equation that stood by her for years, while my daughter went deeper and deeper into her attempts of escaping the mental anguish and pain of what had transpired. My wife and I literally put our life on hold and took care of the two children and held together what was left of her family. We are talking years. It was terrible. The police called us one night (we were on a first name basis by this time) and told me that our daughter was in the hospital. I went but my wife stayed home with my daughter’s children. My daughter was unconscious, had tubes in her throat and the Doctors said that her organs where shutting down, they thought she had overdosed on drugs but it was alcohol and I thought the end was near. She was our first child and I loved her more than life itself. I cried like a baby and it was one of the most terrible experiences that I have ever known. I had given up all hope, because in spite of many tears in prayer, it only kept getting worse. Years, thousands and thousands of dollars, court cases for the children and on and on. She literally could not stop drinking or hurting herself (cutting etc). And then God moved and through a series of events delivered her from alcohol and she became a Christian. The young Christian man and her are now married and they have a third child. I cried like a baby at her baptism. She has been walking with the Lord for almost 14 years now. I thank God for saving her every day. She and her husband and their 3 children are such a joy in our lives now. It’s pretty well impossible to recount and put down in words what we all went through, yet our wonderful God did what I couldn’t believe was possible, when the darkness went so deep that the light wasn’t visible anymore. Heaven only knows why we all went through that terrible period but we did and someday I am sure we will know why. I suspect that it is preparation for what is to come in our future with God. Hard, hard life lessons, like your’s. I also suspect that our recent exchanges facilitated both of us becoming more aware of one another’s perspective but that’s just a guess. I know I definitely felt led to go a little deeper with you. And I can honestly say that my eyes have been opened to what I did not previously see, something which incidentally I have been praying about lately. And the thing is, it’s still not over because there are other hard life lessons still going on with others within our family, maybe like yours. And then there are the memories, the experiences and what that does to us inside, in our hearts and minds and how God heals even that. Thank you so much for sharing from your heart. I do know this Sue, I listen with more intent and clarity to what you say now and I value your words more than I did before. Not that I didn’t value your words before but I am sure you know what I mean. Like you have said, we all have a story and the beauty of God’s love towards us is that as His word says, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Be blessed my sister. – Bruce

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow! Thank you so much for sharing that with me. I appreciate it so much. Yes, I am all too familiar with life’s hard lessons, but God allows them in our lives to mature us, to purify us, to make us holy, to strengthen us in our faith, to make us strong in the Lord, to teach us endurance and to prepare us for ministry. Through all that I suffered, and through all my pain, and even through my own failures I learned to trust in the Lord and in his sovereignty and to be determined to not ever go that way again, but only by God’s grace.

      We have a son like your daughter. He is our youngest. He got into drugs and alcohol probably in 8th or 9th grade, but we didn’t know. We knew he was smoking cigarettes and that he would try to cover that up, but it was much later when we learned about the drugs and the alcohol abuse. I think he flatlined once, at least. He had an alcohol overdose. He seemed bent on destroying his life. He is like the cat with 9 lives, I think.

      But, then he joined the army, got married and had 4 kids. He had 4 deployments, 1 to Iraq and 3 to Afghanistan. He saw a lot there, and he went through a lot there, and he came home from the second to last deployment and told his wife he had been faking his Christianity and that he did not believe in God or Jesus and he has held to his agnosticism for about 6 years or more now, though, in reality, as he stated, he never was really a Christian. So, we pray for his salvation.

      Yes, when we share our stories, it produces understanding, doesn’t it? It helps us understand who we are, what our journey has been, and where God has brought us and why we do the things we do, and why we have the passions we have, so this is good to open up, to a point, in sharing our spiritual journeys with others. There are obvious risks involved here, as well as we must exercise godly wisdom in what we share, but I so recall how the apostle Paul would always share his testimony, and tell people of the things he did, but that how God rescued him. If we all appear perfect, how can anyone relate, right?

      Well, thanks, again, for sharing. I am sorry for your pain and suffering, but I rejoice with you in what God has done! Amen!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Sue, what you shared I don’t have a lot to comment on because words fall short. I am so glad God reached out to you in a time when you should have been protected and supported. All of this will speak to others, and I pray it does ❤ I pray people are convicted and moved to get closer to Christ through your words.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, T.R. I appreciate your compassion. I share this testimony out of obedience to my Lord, and because I know there are others out there who have had experiences, perhaps not just like mine, but similar, and I pray this will touch their hearts and that they will be moved to repentance and/or to forgiving themselves and those who hurt them, for this is essential.

      Liked by 1 person

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