Saturday, November 24, 2012

Ecstasies & Intimacies

SEX…That word always gets your attention doesn’t it?  Yep…I bet you read to the very end of this blog with no problem.  America was rocked once again recently by a tawdry scandal reaching the uppermost ranks of our military.  What powerful force would make someone destroy a 38-year marriage and face total public humiliation along with a dramatic fall from a stellar career pinnacle for just a few clandestine moments?  I guess we’ll have to ask General Dave Petraeus that question.  God only knows, right?

My mom has always said that when she gets to Heaven, she has a few questions for the Almighty.  For now she has to just accept certain things on Faith.  I got to thinking if I had any unresolved questions for God also.  Not that we should have the impertinence to question His Authority, but simply “Enquiring Minds Want to Know”.  Since He was the one who gave me such an inquisitive mind, I figured He would not be surprised that I DID, indeed, have a question that has always bugged me. 

As my kids are now entering the tumultuous teenage years, I began to wonder about the How’s and Why’s of God-created sexuality.  Specifically my questions is:  “Why oh Why did God make the sexual drive so strong in mankind when it seems to lead to most, if not all, of our major problems?”.  Now I’ve said in previous blogs that God is more than willing to give us wisdom if we simply ask for it.  Wisdom is promised to us in scripture upon request.  So, I asked Him this very question.   

First, let me state, that the Enemy seems to have worked overtime in this area.  If you look at the monumental Social Issues of our day, they all seem inextricably linked to an “out-of-prescribed-bounds” sex drive.  Think of it:  Abortion, Teen Pregnancy, Marriage Redefinition, Pornography, Child Molestation, Sex-Trafficking, Prostitution—the list of sex-related problems just goes on and on. 

The answer may shock you because it is really so simple.  God created this urge so powerfully because we are Beings created with an overwhelming desire for intimacy.  Yeah…DUH…we already know that.  No…hear me out.  INTIMACY is not the same thing as SEX.  Unfortunately, we try to obtain intimacy by means that are out of the bounds that God designed and this gets us into deep trouble.  We crave intimacy—it’s coded into our DNA by God.  Really, ALL sex dysfunction is our attempts to take our deep need for intimacy out of God’s realm and into our own hands—sometimes literally. (Please pardon the horrible double entendre, but I’m letting the message stand for those that have serious addictions in this area).

What we REALLY, TRULY desire is intimacy with God.  Now, many of you might be thinking Ewwwww…… at this point.  Well, here’s the Bible’s very clear perspective on this issue.  These are the words of Jesus Himself in reference to our marital status in Heaven: 

“We’re beyond marriage” [at that time] “all our ecstasies and intimacies then will be with God”
~Matthew 22:30 (The Message)

The most famous scripture from the Song of Solomon is:

 “I am my Beloved’s and my Beloved is mine”.
~Song of Songs 6:3

This is quoted often at many an earthly marriage ceremony.  If read on a surface level, Song of Solomon appears to be the story of two lovers.  However, it is an analogy of GOD speaking about his BRIDE (the Church). 

I know this is difficult to grasp, but once truly understood, it is much easier to keep this area from spinning out of control in your life.  God desires to be in an intimate relationship with us.  If you don’t believe me, go and read the Old Testament.  When Israel “messed around” with other idols and gods, Yahweh reacted like a jealous lover.   It is interwoven throughout the entire story of God chasing Israel after their “unfaithfulness”.  God even commanded the Prophet Hosea to marry Gomer, the prostitute, as a symbolic example of Israel’s unfaithfulness.  Here’s a couple of particularly GRAPHIC (remove the children from the room) Old Testament scriptures:

You are a restless female camel, desperate for a male! You are like a wild donkey, sniffing the wind at mating time.  Who can restrain your lust? Those who desire you do not even need to search, for you come running to them!
~ Jeremiah 2:23-24

Yes, you are an adulterous wife who takes in strangers instead of her own husband.  Prostitutes charge for their services—but not you! You give gifts to your lovers, bribing them to come to you.  So you are the opposite of other prostitutes.  No one pays you; instead, you pay them!
~Ezekiel 16:32-34

Take note of Obama’s desperate sex-related campaign ads as the election drew nearer.  He likened voting for him to the experience of a young virgin and her “first time”.  He realized the power of this urge and exploited it.  Unfortunately, it appears it was quite successful in getting him re-elected.  Once again, humankind was thinking with the “lower brain” behind the zipper as the “upper brain” was disengaged. 

So what does this tell us?  We need to be on “high alert” as we monitor and guard ourselves in this area.  When you feel frustrated in any relationship (friend, spouse, child), scratch the surface and you will find unrealistic expectations.  You expect them to fully satisfy your craving for intimacy.  They cannot do that.  NO ONE can do that except God. 

I will conclude with a “recipe” for Relationship Success:

1)      Acknowledge your completely normal God-given need for intimacy.
2)      Study the 3 appropriate expressions of Intimacy:
a) Body to Body:  Man/Woman Marriage
b) Mind to Mind (aka Soul):  Fellowship/Friendship
c) Spirit to Spirit:  Humans to God
3)      Guard against inappropriate searches for intimacy (flirtations, extramarital affairs, pornography, deviant desires)
4)      Enjoy!

“But then I will win her back once again, I will lead her out into the desert and speak tenderly to her there.”
~Hosea 3:14


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