Giving It Up!

Giving It Up! (Sexual Endurance 6 of 6)

  • “You know you want it.”
  • “C’mon if you love me you’ll let me.”
  • “I promise, we won’t go all the way.”
  • “It’s not really sex.”
  • “Everybody’s doing IT.”
  • “You have needs and I have needs… right?”
  • “I really do love you.”

Guys are known for saying anything to get a woman to “give it up.”  They will say anything and do everything they can to wear down the woman’s resistance until she has no more endurance and finally gives up the fight. (I am not insinuating that all situations are this way, I am just going with the stereotype).

Sexual endurance has several sides:

  • Men need to have it to control (put to death) their sinful passions
  • Women need to have it to withstand the sinful efforts of various men
  • Churches need it to stand strong against outside pressures

It appears to me that society has lost most sexual restraint and is giving into sinful passions and at times it appears that society has declared war on sexual integrity in a schizophrenic manner (a state characterized by the coexistence of contradictory or incompatible elements—

On the one hand, society is somewhat outraged at people like Tiger Woods, Jesse James, Former Senator John Edwards, Former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer, and Former President Bill Clinton for their sexual “mishaps”.  On the other hand, society is overwhelmingly sexualized with television & movie content, commercials, musical lyrics, and the percentages of cohabitation & adultery.  This sexualized mentality trickles down to little children.

4th and 5th graders are teasing each other for being virgins; middle schoolers are actively having sex with each other, while others are proud to say they’re homosexual or bi-curious; the number one users of internet pornography are boys 11-17 years old.  And though people are shocked when faced with the reality of this, what is more shocking is Christian denominations debating whether to approve sexual sins, just to increase attendance.  

The General Assembly of the United Methodist Church had such a debate this past month.  The idea of sexual endurance is a concept that the church needs to have.  I do not see any where in the Gospels where Christ gave in to popular pressures, be it from general society or the church.

When churches are debating to endorse or at least remain quiet about any form of sex outside the sexual expression between a man and woman in the covenant of marriage, then one can conclude that the members of the church lack sexual endurance or at the least lack a knowledge of what Scripture teaches concerning the expression of sex.

I suggest that we lack in sexual endurance when we neglect the Scriptures and focus on our own logic and understanding, and focus on our own brokenness. 

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.  We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.  Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.  Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up.  After all, you have not yet given your lives in your struggle against sin.  (Hebrews 12:1-3)

Don’t give up!  Run the race with endurance.

I Have No Name (3 of 3)

Would you like to no longer be known as a(n):

  • Drug addict?
  • Dirty old man?
  • Adulterer?
  • Abuser?

Are you ready to bring glory to God with your life?

Let’s find who we are as we finish our series “I Have No Name.”

Immediately the bleeding stopped, and she could feel in her body that she had been healed of her terrible condition. (Mark 5:29)

This woman who had lost her money, friends, family, freedom, and identity to her issue, this woman who experienced twelve years of embarrassment, this woman who developed the faith within her that one touch of Jesus’ robe would heal her issue, finally had her faith and her reality meet face-to-face.   

In this situation the healing was immediate.  There were no special prayers; she didn’t make an appointment with Jesus, nor did she go to him for repeated sessions. Jesus didn’t advertise a huge “healing revival” and intentionally heal her in front of thousands of spectators.

But there was no doubt that she was healed, this woman known as the woman with the issue of blood, no longer had the issue—her issue had stopped.

Jesus realized at once that healing power had gone out from him, so he turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my robe?”  (v.30)

There was nothing special about the actual healing (other than being healed).  Though it was Jesus who healed her, the work was done before the touch as she developed the faith within her heart and mind.

This woman knew what she was risking.  Her culture and her religion were against her.  She knew that if she were to be found out that she might be killed for her actions.  She touched many people making them unclean, and due to her reputation that may have developed over the 12 years of town gossip, her perceived issue may have been greater than her real issue.

I think she was hoping to sneak up to him, touch the bottom of his robe, be healed, and sneak back to her home for the past 12 years and anxiously wait for the priest to come and declare her “clean.”

But after the main prayer she had hoped in her heart for twelve years was answered, her worst fear was occurring: Jesus stopped everyone by asking “who touched my robe?”

But he kept on looking around to see who had done it. Then the frightened woman, trembling at the realization of what had happened to her, came and fell to her knees in front of him and told him what she had done. And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace. Your suffering is over.” (v. 32-34)

Can you imagine having had such a serious issue for twelve years that had cost you everything and you are hearing the words “go in peace, your suffering is over.”  Each word in that phrase has so much meaning: GO-IN-PEACE-YOUR-SUFFERING-IS-OVER.

The Learning

I took one verse out of order to apply to our learning for this post.

His disciples said to him, “Look at this crowd pressing around you. How can you ask, ‘Who touched me?’” (v. 31)

The disciples were not crazy with their comment.  There was a large crowd all around Jesus, as in any crowd people most likely were bumping against him, but the woman with the issue of blood touched Jesus in a way nobody else there was touching him.

Think about all of the people (the crowd) who attend self-help groups, counseling, Bible studies, and even churches hoping to be healed of their issue, only to continue in the troubles of the issue.

What if you relate to the crowd of people?  What was it that made the woman with the issue of blood special?

  • She developed faith in her mind that Jesus could heal her
  • She developed faith in her heart that Jesus could heal her
  • She didn’t stay in her room saying, “If it is God’s will, I will be healed.”
  • She sought out Jesus
  • She was willing to be embarrassed to be healed
  • She was willing to die, if need be.
  • She was at “rock bottom.”

Are you there?  Are you at rock bottom?

Some healings are immediate and others are not.  Either way, I encourage you:

  • To say in your mind that Jesus can heal your issue
  • Say it until you believe it in your heart
  • Then seek Jesus: read his Word, tell him how you feel, learn to listen to his voice
  • Come out of isolation into community
  • Don’t stop crawling through the crowd until you reach him

It is possible to no longer be known for your issue, but to become known as a man or woman who was changed by God and known as:

  • A man or woman of God
  • A person of faith
  • An inspiration for others
  • A person with integrity

Find your name and your identity in Christ.  If we can help you as you work your way through the crowd to Jesus, contact us and we will do what we can.