Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body.
–1 Corinthians 6:18
Imagine you are in a footrace, and the crowd is packed with people cheering you on. It is a hot, humid July day. You are exhausted when you round the bend for the final lap. As you run toward the finish line, something catches your eye: a person on the sidelines is motioning for you with one hand and holding up a pitcher of iced tea in the other. You are tempted to go off the track to satisfy your thirst. But your coach sees what is about to happen, and he yells, “No! No! No!” What do you do? Do you obey your coach, or do you follow your desires?
That is what the Christian life is like, isn’t it? The writer of Hebrews compared the Christian life to a race, and he said in order to win the race, you have to keep your eyes on Jesus Christ (12:1-3). But in this race, there are detours that will get you off track in your relationship with God if you follow your desires instead of obeying Him.
One detour that will destroy your relationship with God is sexual immorality. Hebrews 13:4 says, “Marriage is to be held in honor among all, and the marriage bed is to be undefiled.”
As a pastor, I see single adults who profess to be Christians disregarding God’s commands for purity and instead living together. I see married men and women engaging in adulterous relationships as if God does not care. They act as if God is more concerned about their happiness than their obedience to Him. But here is the irony: when they disobey God, it does not lead to happiness; it leads to despair, loneliness, and depression.
That is not what our society today would have you believe. Our society says there is nothing wrong with sex outside of marriage, that our desire for sex is a natural bodily function that needs to be satisfied, just like getting thirsty when you are running a race. But the Bible says sex is more than just a physical act–it is an emotional act, a spiritual act. That is why Paul said in 1 Corinthians 6:18, “Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body.”
When you join yourself to somebody you are not married to, you are not just joining your bodies together; you are joining your souls and your spirit together as well. And it can have devastating consequences–for you, for your family, for anybody you have shared the gospel with, and certainly for your relationship with God. The writer of Hebrews was saying, “Avoid the detour of immorality. Instead, revere the concept of marriage.” That is how you stay on track.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Detours That Destroy” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2020.
Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org