“I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but I will not be mastered by anything. You say, “Food for the stomach and the stomach for food, and God will destroy them both.” The body, however, is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. By his power, God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also. Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never! Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.” But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit. Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” 1 Corinthians 6:12-20 NIV
Wikipedia defines immorality as the violation of moral laws, norms or standards. It refers to an agent doing or Immorality is normally applied to people or actions, or in a broader sense, it can be applied to groups or corporate bodies and works of art.
Prior to the age of twenty-six, I really did not think that there was anything wrong with having a sexual relationship outside of marriage. I opened up the sexual door early, and had my first child out of wedlock at the age of 14. If you have been following my life narrative, you may know that I have shared that as I progressed to my early young adult years, I came to the ways of Jesus at the age of 26. I was dating a wonderful young man who treated me really special. He indeed was the perfect gentleman. He bought a ring to signify our love and engagement. He did not just get any kind of ring; it was a special made, no jewelry store brand, hand designed. It was beautiful. He was an awesome guy. When I accepted Jesus during the course of our dating, one night while in my spiritual study class in church, a lesson was taught on “fornication.” I was thinking to myself, “What in the world is fornication?” I believe that I whispered to the person who was sitting next to me, “What is fornication?” The person shared that it was engaging in sex with someone that you are not married to. I said, “What? Get out of here and stop yo lying.” I learned more from the teacher as the evening progressed.
I went home that night, and I could not get that lesson out of my mind. I was restless because I knew that I was living and enjoying sex outside of marriage, Lord have mercy! It took me about a week before I could have the conversation with my male friend after this class. I said to him, “You know, I am saved now, and I just learned something about sexual relationships that is new to me. I think that you and I need to refrain from having sex.” Needless to say, we both struggled after this conversation with putting abstinence in place. However, I was still under heavy conviction. I was no longer comfortable.
I shared with him again that I knew that God had something planned for my life, and I had to live life to follow God’s plan. I could not continue this lifestyle, and I was not ready for marriage at that time. I had come through a difficult and painful relationship prior to him. The conviction in my heart was so strong. It almost seemed unreal. It was painful and heart breaking to end this relationship, because he and I both wanted it; but, there was no agreement about our progress. He and I departed ways in peace, but sadness. Even though I made the decision to end the relationship, my commitment to abstinence was a work in progress. I never looked back.
I ultimately made a vow of abstinence until my current marriage to allow God to cleanse my body, retrain, and renew my mind about sex, my life, and the direction that God was leading. I put in place an accountability partner who was much like an AA sponsor who walked with me through some difficult and heated moments. I had lots of offers (cars, rent, trips, jewelry, furs, houses, money, plush hotels) from many suitors after making this decision, and I stayed the course of my decision. God provided a way of escape. (1 Corinthians 10:13) After some years of living in the plan of God and abstinence, God brought a wonderful man in my life who I have been marriage bed undefiled faithfully to now for twenty-five years. (Hebrews 13:4)
What I came to understand during those early years was that God has a standard for holiness. I was being set apart for a work, and the integrity of his will had to remain pure in my life. He opened up my understanding to show me the church at large, and the impure state that it would progress to. God said, “My people are not faithful; they are going to sleep with many lovers, and contaminate the house that I desire to live in.” I did not quite understand this message during that time. I was still young in the faith, and was trying to get a handle on the visions of seeing so much uncleanness and vile things entering the church. God continued to say, “I desire purity, but you are going to see an impure generation that will teach and model uncleanness in my house. Immorality in all forms is going to become a normative culture for my people.”
The vision that I saw that day is now here. There are people, leaders, and churches that have not made a quality decision about getting out of bed with immorality in all forms (not all of them). Many are promoting immorality, and training a new generation of leaders that it is acceptable behavior in God. The church is now lukewarm about teaching and dealing with immoral lifestyles and behaviors that have contaminated generations. It is now acceptable culture to practice unholiness and still lead in the church with celebration. There are instances when I have witnessed leaders in the Body of Christ having a wife/husband, and two or more bed partners in the congregation or community at the same time, and these leaders were being celebrated in the religious community as heroes/sheroes. People were praising their peaching and teaching gift above the lifestyle. (Revelations 3:14-22)
Violations of pastoral ethics, and abusing authority against vulnerable persons in congregations is now becoming a common place for extracting sex and money with no conviction, and many are sadly deceived that these leaders still have an anointing on their lives. Many in the Body of Christ, God showed me, will not be able to distinguish the presence of the Holy Spirit from charismatic counterfeits, and witchcraft spirits that are going to hit the church in record numbers without conviction due to the fact that there is no solid biblical teaching protocol to bring clarity on this subject. (2 Timothy 3:16)
Many needy and weak-willed woman are going to prey on male leaders and dishonor devoted and committed wives with no mercy or correction. (2 Timothy 3:6) The Jezebel spirit is going to get bolder, brasher, and stronger in male or female personalities who are going to disrupt whole churches with the spirit of seduction, and have no mercy for the damage that they commit. Families and marriages are going to be destroyed by this spirit. (1 Kings 19:1-18, Revelation 2:20-23)
Some are going to enter marriages, both male and female, under pretense to hide same sex attractions while engaging in the lifestyle secretly in the marriage, and upon exposure or coming out will leave a broken family behind who had no idea of the lifestyle until it came to the light. I have had to counsel many through this level of brokenness on both sides without judgement. Just human beings who desired healing and restoration.
People in the church are going to find it comfortable to persecute preachers and teachers who come with a pure message of holiness, healing and deliverance because the church has gotten addicted to spiritual contamination (not all of them). Even the spirit of fear is going to be so great that people are going to be afraid to connect with truthful messages because the enemy has built into the fabric of the church, and leadership a spirit of fear, control, manipulation, and brainwashing (coercive persuasion). There will be the fear of loss of leadership, membership, livelihood, and positions in the church so people will bow down to this spirit. Immorality is the spirit that will be in the atmospheric realm of many out of alignment with the Holy Spirit churches in cities, states and regions where immortality has been sown into the mind, hearts and behavior of leaders and people. (2 Timothy 4:3, Ephesians 2:1-2 NKJV)
God revealed the illicit course of my early life to show me the depravity of the church. God will withhold power from the church until the church cleans up immortality. It has to get out of agreement with unholiness.
The lesson that I learned about my own life so many years ago in that spiritual class was not being screamed or yelled at me by the teacher. The Word of God was taught with such gentleness, compassion, lack of condemnation, and judgement that I was able to see the error of my living through the narrative. My heart was changed, and my mind was corrected in truth and righteousness. (James 3:17)
It is time for the church to get out of bed with immorality and stop making excuses for staying connected to anything that is not going to lead to the will and heart of God’s power and blessings over the church. Good preaching and teaching without holy living only creates an atmosphere where people are more focused on the gift of the preacher or teacher, and not on the power of living a clean and set apart life. In fact, the spirit of immortality flows down from the leader to the people when this spirit is in the church. The river of the Holy Spirit flows in purity and abstinence from unrighteousness. The church has to get back to teaching holiness and holding the Body of Christ accountable to the Holy Spirit and the Word of God. The church has to get out of bed with immorality, and say, “it is time to depart ways and not look back.” (2 Corinthians 4:2)
I offer ideas that can help the Body of Christ to examine the ways that immortality has entered the church, and move towards repentance, purification, and to have conversations about creating holy standards personally and corporately.
- Don’t live any longer in fear of dealing with your sin. Find a trusted friend that you can talk to or seek professional counseling. Your issues could be rooted in a deep emotional trauma, wound, struggle or soul tie.
- Find an accountability partner who has been healed and delivered who is not actively engaging in intentional sin. People who share the same sin will not have the power to break that sin from your life.
- Don’t allow anyone to convince you that you don’t need to name and acknowledge your struggle. You will stay as sick as your secrets. A person who holds a lot of secrets holds a lot of sin in their spirit, soul, and body.
- Recognize a Jezebel spirit by reading on the subject and understand that this spirit moves in quickly to get close to the leader at the highest level of the church. It needs to get in at this level to infiltrate the entire church. Don’t mistake this spirit only operating through a woman, men carry this spirit too.
- Engage in a season of individual and corporate reflection and cleansing through confession prayer services.
- Learn to recognize the fruit of the Holy Spirit and the fruit of immortality. The enemy can manifest in contaminated signs and wonders appearing like light.
- Declare and get in agreement with a lifestyle of holiness as the only way for a child of God to live.
- Don’t condemn and judge others. You don’t know the whole story. Walk a child of God through any restoration or healing that they may desire.
References for Further Study and Reflection:
Eckhardt, John. Deliverance and Spiritual Warfare Manual
Greenwald, Gary L. Seductions Exposed
LeClaire, Jennifer. The Spiritual Warriors Guide To Defeating Jezebel