“Friends with benefits”
That is a popular term today – describing a man and a woman who are not at all committed to each other in marriage, or even planning on heading toward marriage, but who are there for each other simply as “platonic friends” who have sex with each other. Honestly, I’m not even sure that they are actual “friends.” Because true friends would care about each other’s hearts and souls and about each other’s needs. And they truly are not benefiting each other in the long run. This whole term seems to be a misnomer in my mind – but I digress…
They meet each other’s selfish, sexual needs and desires for sexual gratification – without taking on any of the responsibilities, commitments, benefits, challenges and blessings of marriage.
Of course, when we twist God’s plan for marriage and sex inside of marriage into something we want it to be apart from His design, we make a HUGE mess. Anytime we forfeit God’s wisdom and design and choose our own, we will suffer severe consequences. The spiritual, emotional, mental and physical fall-out of this casual attitude toward sex is catastrophic. We are seeing the consequences in our culture today.
I had never thought about this…
“ARE WE TRYING TO BE ‘FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS’ WITH GOD?”
Greg asked me that yesterday after Sunday School. His question rocked my world.
Do we want the blessings of God, the stuff that “feels good,” the love, the mercy and grace, the joy and peace – all the fruit of the Spirit… without taking on any of the responsibilities or commitments of becoming devoted disciples of Christ?
- Is it possible that we want to accept Jesus’ death for us and His blood that was shed to pay for our sins so that we can have abundant life and have heaven – but we don’t want to die to ourselves for Him?
- Is it possible that we want the “stuff” God can give to us (a husband, a family, a home, a job, money, electricity, safety, protection, healing, blessings, food, medicine, friends, happiness, etc…) – but we are not willing to live with Him as LORD of our lives?
- Do we want to continue on, living as “friends with benefits” with the world at the same time as we try to be “friends with benefits” with God – unwilling to break our ties with the world and to commit ourselves wholeheartedly to Christ alone? Do we want to cling to the stuff the world offers to us and all the benefits of following Christ at the same time, which is, in God’s eyes idolatry (equivalent to adultery in marriage)?
- Are we reducing the holy, omnipotent, omnipresent, just, mighty, eternal God of the universe to a “genie in a bottle” Who exists only to give us what we want when we want it?
- Do we just want to focus on the parts of God’s character we like, and ignore the parts we don’t like, thereby creating a “god” that is more palatable to us? Do we want to ignore God’s wrath, judgment, justice, holiness, righteousness, punishment and power? When we do that, we have a small, little, wimpy God – that we don’t have to have any real fear of, that we need not tremble before, and that we don’t really have to obey.
We fear someone who is much bigger, stronger and more powerful than we are. If I have no fear of God – it is because I do not know the real Him – I think He is not stronger than I am. If we know the real God of the Bible, we will tremble in fear, reverence, adoration and respect before Him, humbling ourselves and exalting only Him.
God gives me my purpose, I do not give Him His purpose. He has His own purposes and He will fulfill them with or without my cooperation:
- My purpose is to do God’s will. It is not His purpose to do my will.
- My purpose is to bring great glory to God, not to have my selfish needs met.
- My purpose is to live by faith in God, to become one Spirit with Him, to be a vessel willing to be used by Him to accomplish His will in this world, in my family, at my work, in my neighborhood and in my church.
- He is the Head of the church. He gives us the directions. We obey Him. Not the other way around. We submit to Him. He does not submit to us.
GOD ASKS US TO ENTER A COVENANT RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM, MUCH MORE BINDING THAN MARRIAGE
This is not something to enter into lightly.
- This covenant was sealed with the blood of Jesus.
- Jesus is MORE than WORTHY of all of my devotion, worship, adoration, obedience and service.
- If I choose to be in a covenant with Christ, I cannot also have the world. I must be faithful to my covenant with Him.
- He gave up His life for me, now I lay down my life for Him daily as a living sacrifice.
- He died for me, now I die to myself and crucify my sinful nature on the cross with Him.
- He took on my punishment so that I could have His right relationship with God.
- I find contentment, purpose, identity, peace and joy in Christ alone now if He is my Lord and Savior. He is more than all I could ever need or want.
- I forsake all other sources of contentment and set my heart on Him alone as God. If I allow my eyes to wander or my heart to be taken by other things or other people, I am committing idolatry, which is like adultery against Him in God’s sight.