Test #1 - Adultery
It is no sin to be tempted. It is a sin to yield to the temptation. Resist the devil and he will flee from you; he must by Gods command. Up until my time of temptation for adultery, I couldnt forgive anyone elses adulterous actions. I judged my sisters and brothers unrighteously. I had no compassion for them, but I learned by my own experience just how easily and innocently a person can get trapped.
The following two experiences are shared in detail for the express purpose of bringing to light the subtle way Satan works to trap the young in spiritnaive, in my case. Adults know what adultery is, but the youth are being brainwashed through the television to accept fornication and adultery as experiences in living, rather than sin. Satan has made evil look good, and good look evil in society. But adultery is a sin that will sin-d the soul to hell.
Too Timid To Say, "No!"
Just prior to typing the manuscript I had a conversation with Judy, my teenage daughter, which convinced me of the need to share our experience with this temptation. This is what she related to me.
Judy had been attending meetings with other gifted young people who were interested in astronomy. They gathered at the home of a young male school teacher, whom they called Mr. Joe, in the evenings to study the stars with his telescope. Judy soon found out he had more than his telescope he wanted to share. She learned he was fired because of his involvement with another female student. It was then she confessed to me that she had always felt uncomfortable around him, but didnt know why. She hadnt told us about him or her uncomfortable feelings. If she had, she knew we wouldnt let her attend the meetings again.
Judy looked back and was relieved that she hadnt been the one to get caught in the trap. There were times when Judy was alone with him and wanted to get away, but didnt want to hurt his feelings. As we discussed it, I explained to Judy that her uncomfortable feeling was a warning from the Spirit that she was in danger, and it is far better to hurt someones feelings than to become involved in sin. She didnt understand that Mr. Joe was flirting with the spirit of adultery. He was married. How deeply he was involved was not our business, but Jesus said to have nothing to do with the least appearance of evil. Walk away from it! Judy was able to without being hurt, and we praised God for that.
Youth, be on your guard! Be sensitive to an uncomfortable, weird, or strange feeling. Have the courage to walk away; its your soul thats in jeopardy. Protect it at any cost. Its the temple of God.
This testimony is written for Judy and other tender precious souls like her.
A surge of joy come into my heart when I saw my little brother, Byron, marching by playing the drums with the high school band that day. I was low in spirit at the time, and watching Byron setting the beat gave me delight. When we had eye-contact, he broke into a big grin and a burst of sunlight came though the clouds over my heart. Its strange what a smile can do to lift a drooping spirit. I missed seeing my four brothers so much.
We lived about two houses down from the corner, and the high school was just across the street. About the only time I got to see Byron was when the band went marching by, and Id listen for it to come. There are no words to share how deeply I loved my family, but they made it plain they felt Satan had great influence over our lives and nothing we did or could say would convince them otherwise. So we stayed away to keep peace.
After the band passed, I cried. Satan knows when we are at our lowest ebb and then he goes for the throat. Michael had just died, and Gene and I werent happy campers. And speaking of the devil, here he came walking so casually beside that Fuller Brush man. Good morning, he said. I looked up to see a handsome young man standing before me. Black curly hair and allhandsome as the devil, you might say, and a perfect ambassador for him. We spoke the usual generalities, and I invited him in. We began to talk about religion, and he seemed interested. He said he wanted to return and hear more. (Look out, Stupid! Here is Satans cunning. Hell use any subject to destroy a soul; hes not choosy. As I look back I can imagine him whispering to Larry, Yeah, thats good. Pretend youre interested in the gospel. Youll get her with that one; thats her favorite subject. She wont even know what hit her.)
I dont know how I could have been so dumb. I guess I was born that way. I was just so happy to know Jesus, I was naive enough to think that anyone who would listen, really wanted to know about Him. But I found out Larry was only biding his time, waiting for the opportunity to move in for the kill. Later I found out that I was not the first on his list. There had been others.
When Gene came home that evening, I shared with him my excitement about this newfound friend. Larry and his wife invited us to dinner one evening. While his wife was up getting the dessert, with my husband sitting right beside me, Larry was brazen enough to blow smoke in my face in a macho gesture. Embarrassed, I looked at Gene. I saw anger prick him, but he said nothing. That was the first and last time we saw his wife. (By the way, macho means mule in Spanish. Theres another name for mule in English slang that fits here very well.)
The encounters multiplied. I heard a knock on the door. There stood Larry. Gene was gone...we were alone. (Danger!) Reluctantly I invited him in, not feeling totally assured this was the proper thing to do. (Clue No. 1) We chatted about the gospel and religion a little, and I became uncomfortable. (Clue No. 2) I started perspiring from nerves and found it hard to concentrate on what I was talking about. (Clues No. 3 & 4)
That power of pulling by the evil spirit of adultery in my dream was being put upon me, but I didnt recognize it yet. But, even not knowing what it was, as in the dream I resisted, in real life I was doing just as I had seen. Common sense told me something was not quite right. I hung in there because I really hoped Larry was sincere about wanting to hear the gospel. There was my weakness...turned into a Satanic trap. Larry picked up on my uneasiness and commented, with a knowing smile, Dont you know what it is? I retorted,No, I dont, and wanted to drop the subject. But he wasnt about to drop it. I was sitting in a chair, and he came over and knelt before me as if he were proposing (a better word is propositioning). However, I was very trusting of everyone. I needed to wake up! He took my hand and spoke of things in common about us...our birthdays were in the same month and year...both had Cherokee blood in our veins, of which we were proud, both loved Jesus (or so he said)...both had a little girl the same age. It is strange how many things people can find in common when they have a reason. By now I was extremely uncomfortable. Larry left without further advancement, but it was coming. My human nature made me curious enough to want to see what would happen. I was walking a dangerous path, but I had to pass through this fire to prove me either gold or dross. I didnt see Larry for a few days after that and didnt care. The power over me wasnt that strong yet.
That day Larry walked up on the porch was in the fall of the year, and now winter was setting in. The first snow of the season was falling, and by dusk the ground was blanketed in pure white. Gene and I were returning home and as he was heading up the steps, for some reason I paused and looked up toward the high school. There under the glowing street light, dimmed by the softly falling snow stood Larry just watching us. I must admit there was a strange drawing toward him. Satans evil spirit was working for all it was worth. I could feel the curiosity of the unknown, the inexperienced, taunting me.
I looked down and a big snowflake floated gently onto my hand. How I loved nature and those big snowflakes, the delicate patterns, no two alike. I wished I could see this one with my naked eye, but all I saw was it melting. It made me think of how God designs things so beautifully and then heat melts it before His eyes... Us...were like that snowflakecreated to be beautiful, and then in the heat of passion we melt our own cleanliness before Him. What a shame we are so sinful, I thought.
I knew I loved my husband, and our marriage had been designed to be something uniquely beautiful like a snowflake, even though the excitement was dulled by the trials we were having. But I wasnt going to melt it! I made a commitment to the father of my child, and I was determined to keep it. I looked up at Larry, still standing as if waiting for me, then turned and walked up the stairs behind my companion.
For some reason the mystery and enchantment I'd felt when looking at Larry in the falling snow didnt leave. It kept creeping back into my mind, tempting. It was the following Saturdays activities that finally caused Larry to make his move. Lee and Lucille, our neighbors across the hall, moved out leaving Gene and me alone on the top level. Sunday the move was completed and how Larry found this out, I never knew. Early Monday morning he was at our door, only we had moved into their apartment, and it was there he came, knowing I was alone. I answered the door in my bathrobe...not very smart. The trap was sprung, and he came in. (Trouble!!)
The apartment had two rooms, one for living and sleeping, the other a kitchen. The bed served as a couch so it was there that we sat. Satan had maneuvered the situation just as he wanted it. I was helpless, except for the Lord.
When Larry gently pulled me backward on the bed and made his intentions known, I was shocked because I didnt expect him to be so bold. As I lay wondering what to do, I looked up at Genes portrait above the bed and cried out in my heart, Gene, help me. My Lord was right there, for He knew I was being swallowed in the gaping jaws of Satan against my willful consent. I chose not to betray my marriage vows no matter how intrigued I had been. Here again, temptation is no sin, yielding is.
As I lay calling Gene, the Savior said by the Still Small Voice, Gene cant help you now. I heard and wondered what to do. I knew Larry could force me and my heart would be broken with shame. No one would ever believe that I had not deliberately asked for this to happen just for the thrill of a few minutes of excitement, but Jesus knew. I had been stupid, not wicked.
Stupidity / Unrighteousness
Stupidity and unrighteousness go hand in hand. The Lord explained the difference between unrighteousness and wickedness to me one day in an impression. This is what I understood: "Unrighteousness is sinful thoughts kept within the heart. Wickedness is sinful thoughts revealed by deeds."
Larry, I said, What if Gene would walk in?
Hes at work, he answered.
Well, how would you feel if Jesus came in right now?
You know that isnt going to happen, was his answer.
Jesus spirit was always present with me. I sensed it and communed daily with Him. I was never alone, but Larry didnt know that, or believe that.
I couldnt reason with him so I turned to plead with Jesus. Lord, help. I prayed silently.
Ask him to leave, I heard the Spirit say.
I obeyed and although I spoke very gently, it was a rejection that shattered his pride. A change of attitude immediately enveloped him and he apologized emphatically. As he hurriedly exited down the stairs he implored me not to tell anyone. I would not agree. This was something my husband would have to know. His home was being invaded!
I uneasily watched the clock tick away the rest of the day until Gene came home that evening. As he walked through the door, I greeted him with a kiss and said, Youll never guess what happened to me on the way to the kitchen this morning. He was in no joking mood when I finished the story. I had to remind him that he was an ordained minister before he would calm down. When we were able to discuss it rationally, he decided to call Larry over to see if maybe he had some marital problems Gene could help him with. He did.
Larry married young, shotgun style. He said he was not truly in love with his wife, but felt obliged to remain with her. A simple case of immature teenagers partaking of things they have no right to (becoming sexually active), getting in too deep (she got pregnant), and thus bringing upon themselves and others, a multitude of sins in later years.
Gene counseled Larry with a genuine spirit of brotherhood, and he left our lives having gained a glimpse of what Jesus Christ is all about. His parting words as he descended those stairs were, If I can ever do anything for you two, please just say the word. We never saw him again.
Satan had failed, or rather his evil worker had failed and that devil had to leave. The pulling, enticing feeling I had felt in the dream imitating love was like counterfeit money...it takes knowledge of the real thing to detect it. I know because Ive felt them both. And if one had never experienced the real thing in a God-chosen companion, the fake one would seem like the real McCoy. But it isnt. Emotions are a great deceiver.1
Jesus said man and woman should cleave to each other, and let nothing separate them, keeping themselves wholly for each other, regardless. When a couple is married, they become one flesh in the eyes of God.2 Satan is the great deceiver and tries to copy the real things, but as all copies are fake, neither would his copy of love pass the test of fire. When the trials come against it, if it is not built on the rock of Christ, it will crumble. But you cant burn rocks.
Many marriages pass through the fire at about five to seven years. It is no mystery. The excitement has generally worn off and the pressures of sustaining life are usually in the forefront. Tender romance has taken the back seat with the kids. If young people will pray for God to direct their choice of a companion, He will help them, and as many can testify, these mates remain true through the fire. Marriages that are built on The Rock foundation (Christs laws) have a far greater chance for survival through the storm than those built upon the sands of emotion. TO BE CONTINUED...
And The Rain Came
"Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of Mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock. And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was grounded upon a rock.
And every one that heareth these sayings of Mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house, and it fell great was the fall of it. 3
1. You Light Up My Life is the testimony of a mother whose received a message from God for her daughter explaining the difference between true love and the deception of "feelings."
2. Mark 10:7-9
3. Matt 7:24-27 (HSIV- Matt 7:34-35)