Drew Spanding has been doing a talks at Chosen for a few years now. I have to say that the talk he gave at Grand Rapids on Saturday was one of his best. I didn’t take notes through the whole thing, but here was a point that has been stuck in my brain since then.
I’ll start with a story that Drew has told in these sessions before. There was a kid in a small group that he ran who once called to ask him if it was a big deal to smoke weed. Drew said it wasn’t a big deal. The kid asked, “so it’s okay to smoke weed.” Drew replied, “It’s not a big deal.” The kid was about to say good by and hang up when Drew said this, “I want you to be a big deal.” I’m paraphrasing this, but the point was that God created you to be a big deal. When you go off and do the stuff like everyone else, then you diminish who you could be.
So what does that have to do with sex and God’s plan? As Drew put it, and I agree, if you are avoiding sex, so you don’t get pregnant (or getting someone pregnant), or to avoid an sexually transmitted disease, then you might as well grab some condoms and go forth. However, if you have faith in God, then don’t, and realize that God has faith in you. In fact, to drive the point home, let’s look at what Jesus did.
First, think of the woman caught in adultery (John 8:1-11), the Pharisees and others drag her in front of Jesus. After Jesus tells them that he who is without cast the first stone, they all leave and he then has the following conversation (NIV):
Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
11 “No one, sir,” she said.
“Then neither do I condemn you,”Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”
Jesus doesn’t condemn her and tells her to leave her life of sin. We never hear any more about her. However, in a way He has faith in her to go forth and follow Him. Some think that this woman was Mary Magdelene although the passage is unclear.
Here’s a more direct story. Matt 14:28-33. This is where Jesus walks on the water. Now, Peter asks if he can walk on water. Why, because Jesus is his rabbi and the disciple wants to be like the rabbi. So Peter walks out there. However, he falters as he looks at the winds and waves. So what happened? did Peter lose faith in Jesus? No. He lost faith in himself to be like his rabbi. Drew’s point is this, Jesus has faith in you, but you need to have faith in yourself to be like your rabbi (Jesus).
Are you or have you been in relationship? Does it have to be sexual before marriage? You think that this person is the one, but are they? We often, in the church, fall back on the shame and honor culture of the Old Testament, when we need to introduce people, especially teens to the New Testament. If we do, the doubt they often experience comes from their own self image, and not their doubt in Jesus to forgive. They don’t think that they can be like their rabbi (Jesus).
Remember this, Jesus has faith in you to follow Him. The disciples often messed up, but Jesus always brings them back and they follow. So you think that there is no way for you to get into a relationship without sex? Think again. God will bring the right one. You have to have faith not just in God to do bring the right one, but also you have to have faith in yourself that you can hold on until He does.