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Without Restraint

Romans 1:26-28
Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error. Furthermore, just as they did not think it worth while to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. (NIVUK)

Every design has its constraints.  A chisel cannot be used as a screwdriver without damaging it. A petrol car will not work with diesel fuel, and a smartphone fails without power.  It is the same in God's creation.  Global warming demonstrates the principle well.  Whenever we despise God’s design and 'exchange the truth of God for a lie, and worship created things rather than the creator' (Romans 1:25), we are working outside of God's design.  If we do that, we cannot expect God to support us.

There is a difference between love and lust.  'Love' is about giving what is right and appropriate according to God's design; 'lust' is about using God's gifts to get what we want for ourselves.  How we use the gift of sex highlights those differences.  There are many ways to depart from God's design, and whole industries have made much money from them.  But people forget that when they abandon God and despise His creation design, He lets them believe that they are right and leaves them to the consequences of their desires.

To be 'given over' by God is a very strong concept.  It should stop us thinking that we can do whatever we like, and God won't mind … believing that God just wants us to be happy.  'A depraved mind' is equally strong: it means distorted, disfigured or crooked ways of thinking.  But God's truth is still available to us.  His Word is still able to cut through the tangled web of distortions in our minds (Hebrews 4:12) and show us how to cooperate with God and His design.

C S Lewis, one of the most influential writers of the 20th Century wrote: there are two kinds of people: those who say to God, ‘Thy will be done’, and those to whom God says, ‘All right, then, have it your own way’.  The King James version of  Psalm 106:13-15 says: “They soon forgot his works; they waited not for his counsel: but lusted exceedingly in the wilderness, and tempted God in the desert. And he gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul.”  Those who claim to be in fellowship with Jesus and do not do what He says are living in a darkness that will seek to overtake them (1 John 1:5-6). 

God of all purity and love. Thank You for the perfection of Your created design and I am sorry for my desire to distort it. Thank You that even though the world makes up its own idea of what is right and wrong, Your Word is still true and righteous, and Your Holy Spirit still leads me to understand what is true. Help me to invest in my relationship with You by studying Your Word so that I may know the truth of Your character and how to work with You in a world full of distortions. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams