Helping men and women find hope, help, healing, restoration and redemption
leading to lasting victory over sexual addiction through a growing, vibrant, powerful relationship with Christ.
Shame comes when you turn away from God in favor of worshiping a false god. Shame comes when you choose to disobey God's commands - going against His will in favor of the whims and wishes of King Me.
In today's episode we discuss "The Shame of Sexual Sin" and how to be free from experiencing that shame by living in victory over lust, porn addiction, and masturbation!
In Psalm 25:2 David cries out to God, “let me not be put to shame.”
Have you ever felt shame? Have you ever experienced that painful awareness that you just dishonored God by choosing to give in once again to your lust, to once again look at porn and then give up and give in yet again to the powerful desire to masturbate?
“Shame” is that negative, agonizing feeling or emotion that arises from an awareness of having done something wrong; something dishonorable, disgraceful, immoral, or improper – IOW: something sinful.
Shame ... even the word itself leaves a feeling of heaviness.
And out of that shame, have you ever begged God not to punish you, not to be angry with you, not to hold it against you - but instead to be forgiving and merciful to you? And have you ever promised Him that if He’ll let you off the hook this time, you’ll never do it again? C’mon – be honest now ... you know you have. I know I have.
Then, when it does happen ... again (because you and I both know that without God’s help it will happen – again and again and again), then the shame rushes back in and floods your soul – it drowns your heart in agony and misery ... again - and you go through this cycle over and over and over. Been there? You know what I’m talking about.
Furthermore, when you are feeling that shame, you have a tendency to hide; to create walls of protection behind which you hunker down and hope that no one will see the true you. Think about this: that response to shame, that desire to hide yourself, to protect yourself, that hope that no one finds out what you did - goes all the way back to the garden of Eden.
Genesis 3:7-8 tells us that “at that moment (at the moment Adam and Eve willfully chose to disobey God, at the moment they worshiped themselves instead of God, at the moment they sinned) their eyes were opened, and Adam and Eve suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. So (what did they do? How did they choose to deal with their shame? How did they respond?) they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves ... and they (tried to hide) from the Lord God among the trees.”
Shame ... even the sound of the word leaves us destitute and without hope.
And typically, along with the shame comes the fear that your true self will be seen and known by others, by those who are the closest to you, by those whom you care so deeply about, by those whose opinion you value and treasure the greatest - and being terrified that once they know what you have done, what you have become, what you are – they will rejected you ... so, you choose to stay hunkered down, to stay in the shadows of your sin, to put on a mask of holiness and an air of “I’ve got my act together and all is well” around those crucial people in your life so you can continue to hide your sin, your misery, your fear, your shame.
Shame ... a powerful weapon in the arsenal of Satan.
Shame ... a powerful tool in the hands of our loving, forgiving, kind and merciful God. A tool that God wants to use in your life – not to condemn you, but to rescue you. Not to hurt you, but to heal you.
So, what do you do with your shame? How do YOU handle it? How do you typically respond to it?
Often ... way too often, instead of facing the guilt of your sin head-on, instead of turning to God, claiming the forgiveness and mercy that He has already promised to give you when you confess your sin to Him – instead, you hide and you put on a false face.
We’ll talk more on that in a moment.
Right now, I want you to listen to the words of Isaiah 42:17 which says, “They are turned back and utterly put to shame, who trust in carved idols, who say to ... images, ‘You are our gods’.”
I don’t want you to miss the point here. Isaiah is saying that when you worship an image, when you bow to an idol, you have turned your back on God and THAT is a wicked and shameful thing.
Let me speak clearly here (as if I haven’t been already): When you trust in lust, when you pursue after porn, and when you turn to masturbation to satisfy, when you engage in an adulterous relationship, you are trusting in and you are worshiping an idol (a false god) – namely, King Me’s ability to satisfy your sinful, sexual desires.
You have carved and shaped it into something essential in your life, something you cannot live without. I want, I need, I desire, I deserve, I have to have, I cannot live without! You are choosing to worship that idol as your god.
Psalm 97:7 warns, “All worshipers of images are put to shame, who make their boast in worthless idols.”
Did you catch what I just read? “All worshipers of images are put to shame.” Is that not what is happening when you look at a person lustfully? Is that not what is happening when you look at porn and masturbate to it? Are you not worshiping an image? Are you not boasting in a worthless idol? Is it not a shameful thing?
Every time you give in to your sexual temptations, you are declaring (by your choices) that you believe God is not the true and only God. Your actions, your sinful choices are clearly and definitively saying that you are convinced God cannot, or God will not, sufficiently meet ALL your needs. Your sinful actions are asserting that you believe the image on the screen is more qualified and more capable of satisfying you than God is. Again, I ask, is that not a shameful thing?
Isaiah 44:9-11 says, “All who fashion idols are nothing, and the things they delight in do not profit ... that they may be put to shame. ... They shall be terrified; they shall be put to shame.”
I want you to notice that Isaiah said, “the things they delight in do not profit” they are “profitable for nothing.” Do you realize, do you recognize, will you acknowledge the truth in those words? What profit have you gained from your shameful practice? What has worshiping a false god done for you – not for your flesh, but for you ... the real you – your soul? Oh sure, you get a momentary burst of pleasure. Yippee! You receive a massive dose of hormones that give you that pop, that rush, that “ahh” feeling. Congratulations. But then what? What benefit, what profit, what lasting value has it given you? Now understand here that I’m not the one asking you this question – God is!
Here is a verse I would challenge you to memorize. Romans 6:1 asks, “What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death!” (Romans 6:1)
After the rush is gone and after the hormones have subsided, you are left with nothing but an emptiness that is begging to be filled yet again. Please hear the heart of God speaking through the words of Jeremiah 2:13 when God says “My people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and (have dug) out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water.”
What about you my friend? Have you forsaken God, the fountain of living water, the only true source of satisfaction and fulfillment ... just so that you can “drink” the tainted, poisoned water from the cistern of lust and self-gratification?
Let me ask you what I believe is probably a rhetorical question. Would you like to live the rest of your life without shame? You can! Listen to what God says about the removal of your shame.
Is that powerful or what? When your focus is on God, when you are moment-by-moment choosing to dethrone King Me and you are willfully surrendering your soul over to the Lordship and leadership of God in every aspect of your life, you will experience no shame ... because there is no shame to be experienced! Why? You are choosing to live for God instead of King Me. Therefore, you are not sinning. Now get this: No sin – no shame. Instead of being filled with shame over your ungodly behavior, you are experiencing a fullness of joy resulting from your unimpeded relationship with your Creator, Savior, and best friend.
In Psalm 34:4-5 David says, “I sought the LORD, and he answered me and (He) delivered me from all (of) my fears. Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be (covered in shame).”
We will invest more time focusing on Psalm 34:5 in an upcoming podcast, but for right now I want you to understand that when you are looking to God for everything, when you are lifting up your soul to Him and fully trusting in Him to meet all of your needs – all of the time; when God and God alone is on the throne of your heart - there will be no shame because there will be no sin.
OK, now here’s the perfect time to take a look at Psalm 25:3. David says, “Indeed, none who wait for you shall be put to shame.”
The word David uses for “none” (none who wait for you) – that word is an absolute negation. In other words, absolutely no one, not a single one who waits for God will ever be put to shame. None. That’s a powerful promise. There is not one ounce of shame ever felt by the one who waits for God. Never. Ever.
Awesome! Great! Fantastic! Only ... what does it mean to wait for God? How do I do that? And how does that guarantee I will have no shame?
The idea behind this word “wait” (this, waiting for God) is not what we, in our 21st century western culture, typically think the word means. In today’s world, we see “waiting” as anticipating (or possibly even dreading) something that is yet to come. We wait at a traffic light. We wait in the doctor’s office. We wait for a phone call. We wait to get the results of a test. We wait for the arrival of a friend. It gives the concept of the passage of time before something (good or bad) is going to happen.
That misunderstanding of the word “wait” in Psalm 25:3 contributes to our anxiety over surrendering everything over to God. We are concerned that He might take His time responding to us. We worry that He will take our sexual passions away from us and then we fear we might have to wait for an indefinite period of time for Him to give us something in return – something (we fear) that might be of lesser value; and so, we wait, and wait, and wait.
But that is not the meaning of the word David uses here in Psalm 25:3. We aren’t waiting for God to do something so that we won’t feel shame. Here the word “wait” refers to looking at, focusing upon, placing your attention upon someone.
Think about it this way: when you go to a restaurant and sit at your table, a person comes up to you, welcomes you, and asks how they may serve you. We often call that person our “waiter” or our “waitress” – they are there to wait on you. To serve you. Their primary focus is on meeting your needs.
So, what David is telling us in Psalm 23:5 is that you are to put God first in everything! Wait – not FOR Him, but ON Him. Place all of your attention, all of your trust upon Him all of the time Your primary focus must be on serving Him – waiting on Him. When you do that. When you faithfully wait on God, you will not be put to shame. No sin – no shame.
I Samuel 12:24 says you are to “fear the LORD and serve him faithfully with all your heart. For consider what great things he has done for you.” And as you wait on Him, “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men ... You are serving the Lord!” (Colossians 3:23-24)
When you wait on God, when He is number one in your life, when you live in complete surrender and servitude, and you choose daily (moment-by-moment) to walk in total obedience to Him you will not be put to shame. No sin – no shame.
Malachi 3:18 tells us that there is a distinction “between (the) one who serves God and (the) one who does not serve him.” Why? Because as Matthew 6:24 reminds us, “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other.” You cannot wait on, you cannot serve both God and King Me.
The point David is making here in Psalm 25:3 is that when you put your hope in God, when you rely upon Him, when you lift up your soul to Him and fully trust in Him – in other words, when you choose to make Him Lord of your entire life, you will not experience shame. No sin – no shame.
Paul tells us in Romans 5:5 that “(focusing your attention upon God) does not put (you) to shame.”
Oh, my friend, when you have Christ as Lord over all of your life you - will not sin. Seriously.
No self-centeredness means no sin ... and no sin means no shame. “None who wait for you shall be put to shame.”
In next week’s podcast we will take an in-depth look at Psalm 25:4-5. All too often we tend to lean back in our spiritual Lazy-boy and relax while expecting God to do all the work. We assume that the Wizard of the Word will just wave His magic wand and either make all our temptations vanish before our eyes, or at the very least give us super-spiritual strength to vanquish the foe in one fell swoop.
Letting go and letting God sounds nice (maybe even easy at times) - but you are responsible for maintaining your walk with God. Join us in next week’s podcast as we learn how to live life God’s way!