The last two sermon series at North Creek were some heavy hitters…money and sex. As we have navigated through those topics, it has been interesting to see the reactions of different people. Some have told us that they began tithing after realizing what the scripture said about finances. Some have made choices that reflect change in their sexual purity. Here’s a quote from one person:
I wanted to let you both know that I absolutely loved this series! I actually feel stronger because of it. Living in the ‘post-marriage’ world is hard, because you know exactly what you are missing, so to speak. I’ve even had people tell me ‘Oh, well that’s different. You’re older and as long as you’re in a committed relationship’. Well, I’ve burned down enough houses in my life and now am ready to build a house that will stand strong against the flames! Thank you both for being bold enough to face such a difficult struggle head on.
That type of life change is exciting for me. It’s people saying that they choose OBEDIENCE. If you study scripture you will find it full of issues of obedience and disobedience. God prospers the obedient. It’s just that simple. The Bible talks about King Hezekiah in 2 Chronicles 31:20-21 saying:
20 This is what Hezekiah did throughout Judah, doing what was good and right and faithful before the LORD his God. 21 In everything that he undertook in the service of God’s temple and in obedience to the law and the commands, he sought his God and worked wholeheartedly. And so he prospered.
When you look at your checkbook and write out a check to God for 10% of what you earned that month, I guarantee that every possible justification will pass through your mind. “God would want me to get out of debt first.” “It’s tight this month and we just can’t tithe.” “God would want me to pay my bills, wouldn’t He?” While all of that sounds good, it is just flesh talking. By giving away a piece of what you earn, you actually train yourself to be conservative…and smarter…on a bigger picture. It actually teaches you about how to prosper with what you have been given.
Sexual obedience is the same story. Abstaining from sex before marriage or pornography or lust isn’t going to feel good. It’s going to feel like awful deprivation of what your flesh is telling you to do. But that’s the point. God said, “Obey at all costs.” He did not say, “Obey, when it’s convenient or it feels good.” That’s just not obedience.
Seriously, write the check this month. Be pure in your sexual life. Just do it. Stop coming up with justifications. God wants to pour out His blessings on your life, but He cannot honor disobedience. And His church will never be what it was intended to be if the people of His church have disobedience lodged tightly around their pocketbook and their purity.
Let’s raise up a generation of people who prosper.