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December 14, 2017

Adultery is the one expression of ‘self’ that is the most destructive to a marriage relationship. It is a sin that affects our physical body when it moves from the realm of thoughts to the act itself. As it eviscerates relationship after relationship, it is not hard to understand why our society has degenerated into a loveless, cold environment; sexual appetite, lacking appropriate boundaries, has consequences. For the Bride of Christ, who is called to an intimate relationship with Jesus, dealing with the sexual betrayal within us is the hardest lesson of ‘self’ to learn and overcome.

It is not our desire to excoriate those who have fallen sexually. Very few haven’t. Remember King David? We have the utmost empathy for those hurt by lust; we understand how powerful and dangerous it is. Physical adultery, however, is a symptom of a much deeper problem; spiritual adultery. We are all born with the ‘self’ nature, with its innate desire to lust and betray. This was not the original design when Adam was created. Originally, God’s intent was that all humans would enter into a legal loving relationship with their Creator through the Bridegroom Jesus; similar to marriage on earth. This loving intimacy would be mutually beneficial to both God and us. Satan disrupted this beautiful, loving design by planting the seeds of destruction within; the ‘self’ nature. The enemy’s goal was to thwart and hurt God by denying Him that intimate love relationship with His creation. This unfaithfulness is also called spiritual adultery.

The ‘self’ nature can be accurately called a mistress, or a lover; an illegitimate paramour that takes our time and attention away from our betrothal to Christ. Our ‘love’ affair with ‘self’, or spiritual adultery, begins at an early age and will lead to two outcomes. First, ‘self’ will demand more and more of our time and effort. The ‘self’ in us will insist that we satisfy it’s every lascivious whim; from the beginnings of lustful thoughts and words right up to the act of physical promiscuity. This full blown expression of ‘self’ will consequently harm our relationship with others. They will cease to exist as God’s creation and be reduced to mere objects in our sight. Second, because of these choices, we will voluntarily remove ourselves from God’s presence and legal protection. We will be led into ever increasing dangerous situations by keeping company with the ‘self’ of others and the demons of lust lurking behind it. Manifold emotional and spiritual trauma will follow. The protection that a spiritual wife would enjoy from her God and Husband will be lifted, exposing our souls to unnecessary peril.

To understand adultery from God’s perspective, one must look deeply into His word. First, adultery is so damaging that it stands apart as the only allowable cause for divorce written in scripture. Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.” Matthew 19:8. The reason for this injunction is that adultery, at its very heart, is really about betrayal; it is about unfaithfulness. Betrayal is the core of our ‘self’ nature. Our ‘self’ nature came from satan; he is the original betrayer. It makes sense that everything that comes from the hand of the enemy would betray. Lust and adultery are integral parts of our ‘self’ nature which originate from satan. We want to emphasize that all physical adultery begins with spiritual adultery first; which comes from our ‘self’ nature. It is the opposite nature of God’s loyalty and faithfulness.

God is telling us, in His written word, that spiritual adultery or unfaithfulness can be committed daily; 1 John 1:9. This attitude is an affront to the legal relationship we are to have and enjoy with Him through Christ. By catering to ‘self’, we are denying and separating our substance and being from the One who created and loves us deeply. God rightly calls our love affair with ‘self’ what it actually is; adultery. “Lift up your eyes to the bare heights and see. Where have you not been adulterously lain with? By the wayside you have sat waiting for lovers [eager for idolatry], like an Arabian [desert tribesman who waits to plunder] in the wilderness; and you have polluted the land with your vile harlotry and your wickedness (unfaithfulness and disobedience to God). Therefore, the showers have been withheld, and there has been no spring rain. Yet you have the brow of a prostitute; you refuse to be ashamed.” Jeremiah 5:3-6.

God does not want us catering to our lustful and adulterous ‘self’ nature. He knows it will eventually destroy us. He is jealous for all believers to leave their illicit love affair with ‘self’ behind, and turn instead to a faithful commitment to Jesus; and eventually become part of the faithful and loving Bride of Christ. This is hard. Our inclination will be to continue to waste our time with ‘self’. Although ‘self’ is illegitimate, it will still act like a jilted, forsaken wife. God knows this. That is why He admonished Cain, in Genesis 4:7, to master the sin/’self’-nature. He takes us on a journey into the wilderness to strip us of ‘self’ so we can mature and learn to be committed. He tests our faithfulness many times; until He and we know that the power to hurt and betray within us has been dealt a mortal blow. Only then will we be allowed into that ratified spiritual marital intimacy with our Creator; through Jesus the Bridegroom. We have to grow from the stage of a child, passing through the time for love (see Ezekiel 16:7), and into full grown spiritual maturity.

Recently, God has been giving us more lessons about our reactions from ‘self; a euphemism for spiritual adultery or unfaithfulness. Through these lessons, He is reminding us again of what we learned during our journey through the wilderness. We are beginning to understand that when the ‘self’ nature is repulsed, we make room for the union and communion with Jesus in our soul; (see 1 John 4:17 AMP). There is a new dynamic in our relationship with Him; and a new dynamic in our marital relationship on earth. God has been communicating in these recent weeks that He does not want us to be hurt. The Father wants us to be in an intimate relationship with Jesus the Bridegroom. In the midst of this blessing, He can legally cover us from our ‘self’ nature; (see Psalms 91). This jealous love of God protects us from the egregious acts of spiritual adultery.

This same principle is laid out in the book of Hosea. Hosea, a prophet, is called to marry an adulterous woman; Gomer. Although Gomer strays, Hosea purchases her back with a price. She spends many days with Hosea as his wife; but without marital intimacy. She has to learn to stay faithful to her husband from her heart. This is the same faithful, sacrificial love that Jesus showed to us. However, to be truly safe from ‘self’-inflicted harm and to appropriate the full benefit of the eternal cross, our lustful, betraying ‘self’ must be brought to heel; it must be mastered. If this does not happen we, like Gomer, will never be safe from the ravages of spiritual adultery.

Even after a wilderness season, our ‘self’ nature will still act jilted and spurned; demanding our obeisance. ‘Self’ will take every opportunity to thwart and damage intimacy with Jesus. The words of Proverbs 5:3-6 clearly lay out the nature of ‘self’ and the physical and spiritual prostitute that it truly is. “For the lips of a loose woman drip honey as a honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil; But in the end she is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged and devouring sword. Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold of Sheol (Hades, the place of the dead). She loses sight of and walks not in the path of life; her ways wind about aimlessly, and you cannot know them.” Remember this Scripture is both physical and spiritual when you view it from God’s perspective. ‘Self’ is the adulterous woman within each of us that calls us to waste our most intimate appetites and desires. It prefers illegitimacy rather than a loving, legal and protected relationship with God. ‘Self’ will interfere at every turn; trying desperately to make itself relevant. To those that have walked the desert paths with the Beloved, there can be no turning back. How can the Bride return to a life of harlotry? She has all the protection and love that comes from a legal intimate relationship with the One who has saved her from herself. She has become the Bride and she has nowhere else to turn but Jesus; and she does not want to go anywhere else because she has discovered He is enough.

The core of the forsaken life is to walk away from the delicious lies of ‘self’; to turn instead to the solid foundation of love, commitment and loyalty to Jesus. This is the true path of becoming part of the Eternal Bride. She learns in the wilderness that renouncing ‘self’ and following God will bring her into a legal, protected relationship with Jesus; spiritual marriage. Her choice of the forsaken life will be her crown of glory. We urge you today to renounce spiritual adultery with your ‘self’ nature and turn instead to the One who gave up all for you. Jesus is looking for His faithful Bride.


Homer and Wanda