On October 12th, Columbus Day, we honor a brave ship captain. Shouldn’t we also celebrate the faith that Columbus’ sailors had in his leadership? By his calculations, their little ships had enough food and water to cross the Atlantic to Asia. He was off by 9000 miles, but fortunately, there were some islands and a couple of continents in the way.
Back in those days, ship captains would say, “Trust me. I calculate that (assuming we have decent weather) we’ll get there in XX days, and then we’ll be okay. Meanwhile, keep sailing, and trust me.” Most sailors believed, while some others doubted, turning to mutiny. On an ocean, trust was literally a life or death matter, and mutineers were sometimes executed.
Our Captain, Jesus, says, “Trust Me--I’m the Way, the Truth, and the Life. If you trust Me, I WILL take you Home. All your needs and longings will be satisfied. Meanwhile, keep going. This voyage will test your faith, and the enemy will tempt you to doubt that I am God, or even that I am good. But believe in Me and my promises. All will be well.”
Every temptation is a call to mutiny. Satan uses every possible means (TV, friends, even education) to tempt us to rebel against our Captain. “You can’t trust Jesus--he’s just a legend—plus he’s dead. His promises are useless. Heaven? Forget it. Go ahead, grab some fun here and now. You’ll be happy.”
Greed, revenge, bitterness--every sin implies that God cannot be trusted to keep His promises to care for us. Case in point: lust.
God invented sex and made it pleasurable, but He also set conditions (only between one man married to one woman). Few biblical teachings are clearer than that. And God promises that He WILL satisfy our longing for real love, even for pleasure (Psalm 16:11, 37:4, 103:5).
But Satan and his brilliantly effective media constantly lie about sex: “God didn’t really say that. It’s just a cultural thing from 2000 years ago. Everyone deserves pleasure--it’s your right. God doesn’t want you unhappy, does He? Everybody watches pornography. It doesn’t hurt anyone.” In a million ways they say, “God isn’t trustworthy. The voyage is too long. You’ll never make it. Mutiny.”
Down deep, the sinfulness of extramarital sex is not about pleasure, nakedness, pregnancy, or broken promises. It is actually about insisting on getting what we want in our own way—it’s mutiny. And Satan’s mutinous lies always destroy joy.
But the Bible says that our Captain is trust¬worthy. He will keep His promises and more than meet our needs. His design for sex is best for us. And if we fail to obey, and then we repent, He forgives us.
God says that trusting Him enables us to resist temptation (2 Peter 1:3-11, Heb. 3:12-19 & 11:25-26, Eph. 4:17-24). He also says that we don’t have to manu¬facture this faith all by ourselves--faith in God is a gift from Him (Eph. 2:8-9, 2 Peter 1:1).
We are often tempted to mutiny. But when this happens, we must train ourselves to rely upon the Holy Spirit (disciplined dependence) to turn us away from lies to trusting our Captain, who always keeps His promises. “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful” (Heb. 10:23).