When Fleeing Becomes A Weapon Against The Enemy
THE Christians in Corinth were surrounded by sexual temptation. The city had a reputation even among pagans for sexual immorality and religious prostitution. It was to this kind of society that Paul delivered his instructions on sex and marriage. His understanding was for one to glorify God in body and spirit. It, therefore, demands that to any and every defiling situation, the best attitude for the Christian is to flee the situation.
One can argue that Christians are free to be all they can for God, but they are not free from God. God created sex to be beautiful and essential ingredient of marriage, but sexual sin — sex outside the marriage relationship — always hurts someone. It hurts God, it shows that we prefer following our desires instead of the Holy Spirit. It hurts others because it violates the commitment so necessary to a relationship. It often brings disease to our bodies. And it deeply affects out personality, which responds in anguish, when we harm ourselves physically and spiritually.
Therefore, Christians need to stand their ground and know that the enemy is out to stain, pollute and damage their faith in Christ. Yes, we may talk of sexual harassment in offices, homes, schools, even in the society but the believer should know that his/her body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, (1 Corinthian 6:19). He/she should, therefore, take to heart that no matter how tempting or challenging the situation might be, the best solution is to flee.
We recall Joseph’s bold action against Potipar’s wife. According to the Bible, Potiphar’s wife was noticing Joseph’s good looks. Soon, she moved from looking to seducing, but Joseph continually resisted her advances. Denied the thrill of chasing and capturing her prey, of feeling a few moments of illicit pleasure, Potiphar’s wife became angry and hurt. One day, after she had been scorned again, she accused Joseph of attempting rape. Since she couldn’t have Joseph, she decided to punish him. However, Joseph’s faithfulness and dependence on God emboldened him and he was able to run out and abandon his garment. Yes, he suffered momentarily, because his master listened to a faithless woman and put him in prison. Yet, God came to his rescue to the shame of Potiphar’s wife. For further illumination, read Gen 39.
Interestingly, St. Paul in his admonition to young Timothy had this to say: “Run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts. Instead, pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love, and peace. And enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts”, (2Tim 2:22). Understandably, Paul was aware that this was a great weapon the enemy uses against the believer and that is why anytime the enemy comes knocking at the door of the believer, he/she should not give in.
People of God, wherever we may find ourselves today, let us ensure that we resist the enemy by fleeing from all appearances and enticements from the pit of hell. Remember, the enemy wants to pull us down and damage our faith, but God will not allow him to achieve his mission in our lives. This time therefore calls for fervency and watchfulness in our prayer lives because the days are evil.
Ven. Ernest Onuoha
Rector, Ibru International Ecumenical Centre,
Agbarha-Otor, Delta State.