I had a friend years ago whose brother was considerably older. Whenever questions arose about the difference in their ages, he would say that his mom always called him her “little surprise.” We hadn’t been exposed to a barrage of reproductive information back then like today’s kids are, but we knew what his mom meant. Creating another mouth to feed wasn’t the objective of their intimate moment, but in spite of that, life was initiated anyway. Multitudes of moms have echoed their stories of being “surprised” by the outcome of some romantic interlude. A shared element in every story is that the surprise always comes later, and it isn’t always greeted with a hallelujah chorus.
Longing for Connection ~
All of us come into the world with an innate desire to know and to be known, to love and to be loved. We were created with a longing for intimate contact, and the drive to engage at that level is both natural and compelling, but the God who designed us and who made intimacy possible warned us that such contact carries risks. Though our sexually obsessed culture is quick to deny it, intimate contact always invites consequential reactions, and unintended outcomes on numerous levels are experienced every day. Multitudes have been dismayed to discover that an isolated and ostensibly private episode of spontaneous, irresponsible intimacy refused to remain either private or isolated. Well after the passion has subsided, many learn that an unexpected process was set in motion and that life-changing repercussions were already unfolding. King David made that discovery, and his testimony stands as a perennial warning.
Satan corrupted more than the paradise of Eden when he introduced the lie to Eve. There was nothing left untouched by its influence, including the most powerful drives God had built into those created in His own image. Thus, the powerful longing for intimacy and connection that God granted us has become one of the enemy’s most destructive weapons. The belief that removing all restraints and freeing our passionate urges will lead to some kind of utopia has been the downfall of multitudes. New victims plunge headlong into that perilous territory every day, choosing to believe the seductive lie that they are clever enough to escape any consequences.
Different Level – Similar Process ~
Given the volume of human debris left in the wake of our unrestrained passions, it isn’t surprising that God uses terms associated with our reproductive process to warn us of the danger of intimate contact on a spiritual level. The implications associated with irresponsible, unrestrained intimate contact in that realm has been a harbinger of national destruction more than once. Consider, for instance, the language used in a declaration made by Isaiah:
No one calls for justice, Nor does any plead for truth. They trust in empty words and speak lies; They conceive evil and bring forth iniquity. (Isaiah 59:4 NKJV)
His words suggest that another kind of intimate contact was going on with reproductive potential. His people had abandoned truth and allowed themselves to embrace deception. They exposed themselves to promises of pleasure, disregarded protective restraints, and responded passionately to lies. It should have come as no surprise then, that all of that intimate contact with forbidden practices produced something they didn’t expect. “Iniquity” was “conceived.” Evil was given life, and it ultimately manifested itself in the form of toxic and destructive behaviors. The evil filling the land in Isaiah’s day didn’t just happen. It was the end result of a process God’s people set in motion when they chose to ignore His warnings and expose themselves to concepts that give iniquity a living, breathing host.
Recurrent References ~
David also recognized the implications of intimate contact on a spiritual level: The NIV relates his words this way: Whoever is pregnant with evil conceives trouble and gives birth to disillusionment (Psalm 7:14).
Peter includes an allusion to the same concept in the New Testament. In his confrontation with Ananias regarding his false claim regarding a financial contribution in the early days of the Church. Peter asked, Why have you conceived this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God (Acts 5:4 NKJV). The suggestion, again, is that Ananias allowed himself to “embrace” an idea based on a lie, and his irresponsible episode of “intimacy with evil” gave birth to a scheme that ultimately cost him his life.
James also makes use of the analogy in his warning about the dangers of temptation. He says this: Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death (James 1:15 NKJV). The offspring of temptation will never be pretty.
Obsessive Sensuality ~
We live in a culture obsessed with sex. Sexual suggestions are found in even the most mundane situations, from coffee commercials to ads for toothpaste. TV sitcoms are full of sexual innuendo. It’s in our music, and it’s woven into apps on our phones. Some “educational” content being forced on our kids borders on pornography. The fact that we slaughter over 3,000 babies every day has nothing to do with women’s health. The abortion industry exists as a by-product of our national demand to be free to engage in sexual contact free of restrictions, responsibilities, and consequences, especially living ones.
But it’s not just a physical issue. Toxic ideas, empty words, false promises, and demonic philosophies reach out to us in forms designed to disarm our defenses and seduce us into their passionate embrace. That intimate engagement with evil is full of unintended consequences.
How to Respond ~
So what do we do? First, we recognize that our deep longing for intimate contact was built into us by God. He put in us what He longs for, as well, and apart from establishing that connection with Him, nothing can satisfy that craving. Every example of intimacy that God approves among men and women is an extension of His desire to be connected with us. Paul admonished us this way: Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good (Romans 12:21 NKJV). That begins with opening our hearts and minds for intimate contact with the One who personifies love and who alone is “good.”
In addition, it’s time we acknowledge that the “iniquity” permeating our country is the end result of a willingness to embrace temptation and cohabitate with evil, just as it was in Isaiah’s day. The moral carnage won’t stop spreading until we stop opening our minds and hearts to toxic garbage disguised with enticing words and wrapped in arousing packages. We’ve played a rigged game of “Russian Roulette” with spiritually lethal concepts and discovered that every chamber was loaded. As long as we keep offering our children and our financial support to institutions whose idea of “higher education” is a refined ability to regurgitate liberal ideologies and deny freedom of expression to those with oppositional views, the legacy of violence and pain will continue. Until we stop supporting “comedians” and “entertainers” whose material is based on hatred and laced with filthy language, the proliferation of evil will go on. And we won’t see a lasting downturn as long as we keep voting for those whose primary objectives are to suppress truth and divide the nation into races, classes, ethnic origins, and special interest groups.
Given our tendency to close our eyes and jump in bed, as it were, with ideas and practices that God condemns, the ugly things we’re giving birth to should come as no surprise.
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- Toxic ideas, empty words, false promises, and demonic philosophies reach out to us in forms designed to disarm our defenses and seduce us into their passionate embrace.” @GallaghersPen Quote (Click here to Tweet)
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As the song goes, “there’s a God-shaped hole in all of us.” He created us for intimacy. How amazing is that? However, if we don’t fill that hole with Him, we are in grave danger as you have so eloquently pointed out.
The hypersexualization we see in our culture is the byproduct of sin resulted in desperation for intimacy. In my opinion, the most heartbreaking byproduct is the innocent unborn babies who are “sacrificed” daily.
I love your solution: recognize our need for intimacy with God, then respond with repentance and surrender to His ways.
God bless your courage to tackle difficult subjects with love and grace.
I think I like your comments better than my writing, Beckie. I love the way you succinctly condense my articles into a few sentences. I probably have readers out there who have learned that they can just skip over to the comments section to read your stuff and avoid having to wade through my whole article to get the point. In any case, thanks again for all the reasons to smile and feel hope that always weave into your responses. I hope your ministry is continuing to grow out there. You’re one of the few things I really like about CA. 🙂
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Ron, your comment made my heart smile. But I laughed out loud about that last sentence! Praying for a full and speedy recovery, dear friend 🙂
Ron, this is spot on! Blessings!
I’m finally beginning to catch up, Martha– thanks for hanging in there and being patient with my slow responses lately. I’m praying that God will use you to brighten other lives like He’s used you to do here at the Gallagher compound.