OK: Even for me, this is LOOOOOONG, but please stay with it.  Even with all that I know/study on the issue, God revealed some things to me in this message!

two of them,
Man and his Wife
were naked, but they felt no shame.”—Genesis 2:23 (Message)

benefit consists not in what is done or given, but in the intention
of the giver or doer.”—Seneca

something that promotes or enhances well-being; an advantage; help;
aid; be beneficial for; to derive benefit or advantage; profit; make
improvement; be of service to.

Synonyms: advantage,
blessing, DESERVE, enhance, improve, privilege, rewarding, welfare

too long ago, one of my loved ones said something that was so funny
to me: “I guess I just need to accept that you work in the sex

it a newsflash to you that I talk about sex…
Shoot, if you think you’ve got it bad, you should hear what my
friends put up with! You know, I’ve never really felt all that bad
about it (even when people have tried to make me), but it was once I
met my author friend, Tim Alan Gardner (“Sacred Sex”) that I
really understood what was going on. The person who penned his
foreward said that when he met Tim he also thought, “Man, this guy
talks about sex
I’m introducing this message in this way because while God does call
us all to have (and please pray that I do), as the Amplified Version
puts it, a well-balanced mind…and discipline…and self-control (2
Timothy 1:7), all of us have a purpose. I’m very clear what mine is
and I am at peace—no, I actually am starting to have real
joy—about it. As a matter of fact, the healthier I become, the
more I embrace it!

love that while on the Earth, the Godhead was able to understand and
clearly articulate Christ’s purpose for being here as well:

God did not send His Son into the world to condemn [to judge or
pronounce to be unfit for use or service] the world, but that the
world through Him
be saved
3:17 (NKJV)

(Umm, the side note to
this is if God did not send Christ to condemn, then those of us who
claim to be followers of him should not be doing it either, right?

when it was day, He departed and went into a deserted place. And the
crowd sought Him and came to Him, and tried to keep Him from leaving
them; but He said to them, ‘I must preach the kingdom of God to the
other cities also, because for this purpose I have been sent.’ And He
was preaching in the synagogues of Galilee.”—Luke 4:42-43 (NKJV)

think one of the biggest problems that people have is not so much
their battle with sin, but their ignorance surrounding their purpose.
(Because trust me, your purpose tends to keep you pretty busy.)
Ecclesiastes 3:1 tells us that
everything has
a time and a purpose (that would include you) and Ephesians 1:11
states that IN GOD, we all have obtained an inheritance “
predestined according to the
purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will”.
(That would also include you.) I think if a lot of us spent more
time pursuing the reason for which we exist rather than how to occupy
our time while we exist, we—and the world for that matter—would
be a lot better off. (Matthew 5:14)

for myself, I recall telling my mother as a preteen that I was going
to break the generational curse of sexual addiction in my family. At
the time, I was upset with her about something and so I thought what
I was saying was the persuasive words of human wisdom, but I am
realizing that it was really a demonstration of God’s power. (1
Corinthians 2:3-5) Even before I knew that I had the gift of
discernment and wisdom, God was preparing me and the Enemy was
plotting to attack me…in the very area I was called. (John 10:10)

this morning, as I was praying, after thinking about my teen moms
coordinator gig, my writing/blogging/speaking ministry with
X3Church.com, the book that I am currently working on (“Eyes
Opened; Legs Closed”) and a lot of the writing assignments that I
receive surrounding the issue of sex/relationships, I found myself
thinking, “Gee, I really do deal with sex a lot”, only to hear
the Holy Spirit say, “No, you deal with the
consequences of sex a lot.” Wow. Even with all that I do and all that I know
surrounding my purpose, this morning, that indeed was a revelation
and began to even further broaden my perspective surrounding my

of consequences, before I continue, especially to my sistahs
(although guys, this message is for you, too), let me share with you
some verses in scripture that I have never seen before, but the Holy
Spirit (Luke 12:12) led me to as it relates to this message:

your stand, indolent women! Listen to me!
listen closely to what I have to say. In just a little over a year
from now, you’ll be shaken out of your lazy lives. The grape harvest
will fail, and there’ll be no fruit on the trees. Oh tremble, you
indolent women. Get serious, you pampered dolls! Strip down and
discard your silk fineries. Put on funeral clothes. Shed honest
tears for the lost harvest, the failed vintage. Weep for my people’s
gardens and farms that grow nothing but thistles and thorn bushes.
tears, real tears, for the happy homes no longer happy
the merry city no longer merry. The royal palace is deserted, the
bustling city quiet as a morgue, the emptied parks and playgrounds
taken over by wild animals, delighted with their new home.
weep and grieve until the Spirit is poured down on us from
32:9-15 (Message)

know, it tickles me how we, as believers, will speak against some of
the very things we ourselves do. The Bible says that in wisdom, we
should also get an understanding. (Proverbs 4:5-7) Well, one thing
that I think we fail to understand is that when we speak against the
world and it’s obsession with numerology, you do know that it is very
similar to what we preach when we talk about what numbers symbolize,
right? Yes, we are to stay away from sorcerers. They are considered
to be false prophets because they try and discourage us from our
faith walk (Acts 13:6-8) and without faith it is impossible to please
God (Hebrews 11:6). Therefore, horoscopes, fortune tellers, palm
readers, tarot cards—all of that is something that you should steer
clear from. Why? Because when things are not operating within the
Spirit of God, they try and compete with our ultimate purpose, which
is to always put God before man. (Luke 4:8) If you find yourself
dependent on these things, you will soon find that your need for God
is not as strong as it should be and you put yourself at high risk
for being led astray. (Proverbs 3:6)

when we say, “8” is the year of “New Beginnings” and “9”
is, for one, the year of “Judgment”, you also are predicting
what’s to come
Now, I’m not saying anything is wrong with that; as a matter of
fact, I have never taken any real issue with it, but I just want you
to be aware of what you are doing and why sometimes we confuse the
world with what we preach against.

on, did you catch what Isaiah spoke on? Trust me, I had no plans on
including it, but
God wanted me to, especially since this time next year, it will be
2009 and one of the things “9” does symbolize in the Hebrew is
judgment. It blew my mind what the scriptures were really saying
when I went and looked up the definitions of “indulgent” and
“indolent”. Are you ready?

characterized by or given to
to the wishes of someone.

disinclined to exert oneself; habitually lazy;
to heal, grow, or develop

prophet, Isaiah told the women of that time that in a little over a
year women who “yield to the wishes of someone” and are “slow
to heal, grow and develop”, which is amazingly the way he defines
“lazy”, will have their lives shaken. Do you think that just
applied to those women of that time? I wouldn’t be so sure,
especially since 2 Timothy 3:16 (NKJV) states that ALL SCRIPTURE “
given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for
reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the
man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work
I am very confident and completely at peace when I say that those of
us who continue to stay in a place of complacency will, at the very
least, reap the consequences of the kind of laziness that Solomon
speaks about in Proverbs 13:4; the kind that
a soul desire
and yet
have nothing

brings me to the title of the message for today. Whenever I spend
time with my teen mom “daughters”, one of the things we will talk
about is what good they got out of the relationship (and I use that
word lightly) they had with the fathers of their children, especially
since most of them don’t have a clue where he is now. Some of them
will say, in hindsight, “nothing” or “not much”, but some
will be as bold to admit that the sex is what they appreciated most.

I will often respond as I reminisce on the days when I used to feel
the exact same way. So what I was spending 20% of my income on
pregnancy tests? So what my uterus was about to fall out from my
umpteenth abortion? (Check out www.cupcakesforlife.com) So what I
couldn’t even see straight for looking around for where “he” was
and who “he” was with? So what I was crying more than I was
smiling? The sex was off the chain…that is the bottom line.

Recently, I went to speak to a youth group and one of the pregnant
teens said something that broke my heart (mostly, because I also
could relate). As I was talking to them about their worth and what
they deserved, while sitting next to her boyfriend she said, “I
don’t even know what a date is.” Family, that’s not because she’s
young. I know far too many older women, women who
should know better (Titus 2), who can give the exact same testimony. Here
she was giving one of her most prized possessions (Proverbs 31:10)
away and for what? Not even dinner and a movie? And now, she is
bringing an innocent life into the world who had absolutely nothing
to do with her lack of revelation when it came to her self-worth.
When it all shook out, did she really benefit?
she really?

but it’s not just the ladies who fall into this trap. Just last
week, I got an email from a guy who was responding to a devotional I
posted (on a website). Here is an excerpt:

got close to this girl
who was supposed to be fixed to me in marriage (as the custom in
India is) and we loved each other so much, and
one of the occasions we had sex

next morning, I told her sorry
and asked God to forgive me, because I knew I had committed a mistake
and I had broken a covenant that I have with God.

few days back, she said she didn’t want to be with me anymore
I pleaded, cried, still cry, sitting broken, and feeling so useless.
How can I proclaim God’s word when I have sinned, and broken the
essence of my relationship with Him.

pleaded with her to come back,because I would be the laughing stock
of people around me who knew we were going ou
I accepted her with all my heart, she had had relationships with
other men, but I still took her, because I loved her. And never took
into account anything from the past.

I only wanted us both to
live for God, and be an impact on this world. I
am feeling so bad, my parents don’t know and my heart is aching so
badly that I just cannot sleep
or think about how I can take any person into my life knowing that I
have sinned.

I want to be a complete witness, because I cant
hide my hidden sin, it aches my heart to the core. I wake up in the
middle of the night, thinking about how I am, and sometimes, I just
weep. Maybe for some,it might be just another relationship. We all
prayed about our relationship, we all submitted to God, and all of a
sudden she doesn’t want it.

just cry everyday…It definitely is going to take some time for me
to come back to myself
And I hope that I will be able to come back soon.

is definitely going to take some time to come back to myself.
I don’t think he realizes just how eloquent he is. (I’m going to tell
him, though.) I mean, isn’t that really the truth (John 8:32) of
what irresponsible sex—whether it’s a physical act or an emotional
preoccupation (Proverbs 23:7)—does? IT TAKES US AWAY FROM
OURSELVES. I mean, really. How can you love your neighbor as
yourself (Mark 12:31) when you don’t even really know yourself
because you are letting someone—or something—else define you for
you? The more time I spend in exile—I mean, abstinence (smile),
the more I Corinthians 6:18 makes sense:

sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but
who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body.

I really love how the
Message Version breaks it all down:

more to sex than mere skin on skin.
Sex is as much spiritual mystery as physical fact.
As written in Scripture, ‘The two become one.’ Since we want to
become spiritually one with the Master, we must not pursue the kind
of sex that avoids commitment and intimacy, leaving us more lonely
than ever—the kind of sex that can never “become one.”
There is a sense in which sexual sins are different from all others.
In sexual sin we violate the sacredness of our own bodies, these
bodies that were made for God-given and God-modeled love, for
“becoming one” with another. Or didn’t you realize that
your body is a sacred place, the place of the Holy Spirit? Don’t you
see that you can’t live however you please, squandering what God paid
such a high price for?
physical part of you is not some piece of property belonging to the
spiritual part of you. God owns the whole works
So let people see God in and through your body.”—I Corinthians

of my “keep me in daily check” scriptures is James 4:17. If I
know to do good and don’t do it, for me (and you), it is sinning.
Taking preventative measures to protect my holy trinity (mind, body
and spirit)
a good thing
Ecclesiastes 7:17-19 encourages us not to be overly wicked or
foolish, that in doing so, many of us die before our time
good that we grasp this…that
many of us die before we should because of our wickedness
and foolishness. If you need another warning, all you have to do is skip
on up to I Corinthians 10:8 where it speaks of 23,000 Israelites
dying in
because of their sexual immorality. If you need more examples, all
you have to do is go to X3Church.com and read all of the comments
that we get on our blog posts. Oh, how it must hurt God so to see
how much suffering we are doing at the hands of a GIFT that he gave.
When God introduced the concept of sex to Adam and the Woman, he said
that they were to be naked and not ashamed. Think about the last
time you had sex. Can you honestly say that you were naked and not
ashamed? (In both the short and longterm?)

me also pause right here and say that while I know a message for
married folks and their sex life is brewing, yes, Hebrews 13:4 says
that the marriage bed is undefiled, but you and I both know that not
every husband and wife have a pure sex life. Two definitions of
“immorality” is “
quality of not being in accord with standards of right or good
conduct”, and “morally objectionable behavior”, so when you
read all of the scriptures about sexual immorality, don’t assume that
it’s just for singles. If you
or your partner is “feeling shame; distressed or embarrassed by
feelings of guilt, foolishness, or disgrace”; if you or your
partner are “unwilling or restrained because of fear of shame,
ridicule, or disapproval”; if you or your partner are “feeling
inferior or inadequate”, then this message is for you, too. You
also are abusing the gift that God gave, and that’s really a mess
being that the gift was created

God and I had one of our most recent chats about this journey that I
am on, one of the things that he conveyed to me, through the Holy
Spirit, was that one of the reasons why he wanted me to wait until
marriage was because he wanted me to be naked and not shamed; that I
have had enough shame in my life,
especially surrounding this issue. Do you know what the Word says about shame?

it’s the legacy of fools (Proverbs 3:35).

it follows pride. (Proverbs 11:1)

it could plant ill seeds that would prevent me from being a crown to
my (future) husband. (Proverbs 12:4)

it is often linked to poverty. (Proverbs 13:18)

it’s used to teach the world a lesson. (I Corinthians 1:27)

note: How
deep that I would tell my mother that I was going to end GENERATIONS of
sexual addiction
and that God would call me to abstinence, with one of the main reasons
being that he no longer wants me to be living a shameful life; that
he no longer wants it to be a part of my LEGACY!)

of my favorite promise scriptures is Ecclesiastes 3:14 (NKJV):

know that whatever God does, it shall be forever. Nothing can be
added to it, and nothing taken from it. God does it, that men should
fear before Him.”

Proverbs 1:7 tell us:

fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise
wisdom and instruction.”

let me show you how they both work together. Do you want to know how
you can know that sexual immorality is outside of God’s will? I
don’t care who you are, if you have a knowledge of God’s power and
desire for your life, every time you partake in an act surrounding
the issue, something is immediately taken from you. When you fear
God, when you adhere to and respect his Word, you know this to be
100% true. People who try and say otherwise are being foolish and
while things may seem “off the chain” now, there’s not much that
a fool has to look forward to. As a matter of fact, according to
Proverbs 1:32, it’s the
complacency of a fool that will destroy him. Do you know what it means to be complacent?

Complacent: pleased,
esp. with oneself or one’s merits, advantages, situation, etc., often
without awareness of some potential danger or defect; self-satisfied.

people are so self-satisfied with their sexual relationships (which
by the way, a
healthy sex
life ain’t just about you and your satisfaction, anyway—I
Corinthians 7) that they are not taking the time to see that they are
destroying themselves, and by their own hand, no less! How can you
love yourself and destroy yourself at the same time? This is why I
think the term “make love” is a crock of bull. If you’re in
love, you can’t “make” it. It’s already there…even and
especially outside of the bedroom! Besides, Romans 13:8 says that if
you love there is no need for the law. The 7
th Commandment speaks against adultery, right? (Sleeping with someone’s
current or future spouse.) If you
really love, you won’t break that commandment, which means you won’t sleep
with someone that God has not joined you with for the purpose of
marital covenant. (Matthew 19:6) When God instructs that no man is to
separate a “one flesh” partnership, that is also a command.
Again, if you
really love and you just have to use the phrase, you will “make love” by supporting unity and
not being an agent of separation. (Whew! I know, right?)

brings me, once again, back to the title for today. One of the worst
and irresponsibly-used phrases (next to “make love”) is the term,
“friends with benefits”. For young people, it is basically code
for “perks without a commitment”. I have fallen for that
foolishness, too. (And, ladies, if you settle for being one of these,
so degrading…whether
it was his idea or yours.) Do you remember several messages ago when
I shared my revelation that when we were told not to give what is
holy to the dogs (Matthew 7:6), one definition of “dog” was to
“make an investment and not get a return”? Matthew 7:6 also says
that we are not to cast our pearls before swine. I love the parable
of the man who wanted ONE PEARL so badly that he SOLD ALL THAT HE HAD
to get it. (Matthew 13:45-46) You see where I am going with that,
right? OK, I can move on.

as I was praying about how to illustrate just how purposeless being a
“friend with benefits” is, the Holy Spirit reminded me of the
last corporate job that I had. Corporate America is
not me
(can you tell?), but I must admit that it can, or at least used to
be, tempting because of the benefits. The job gave me one thing, but
the benefits gave me something extra; not just “something” extra,

of the sweetest things one of the male friends has ever said to me is
that he doesn’t want to just be good
to me, but for me. He doesn’t just want to be a friend, but a REAL friend with
benefits. He wants to be someone who promotes my well-being. He
wants to be someone who is an aid and beneficial. He wants to be
someone who can help in improving me…someone that he can be of
service to.

plainly as I could, I tried to show you just how sex outside of God’s
will is the exact opposite of being beneficial. Just recently,
someone asked me if I had a boyfriend. (Is it just me or does it
sound crazy to be in my 30s and even use the term “boy”
anything?) I date…I have friends and you know what, during this
season, I’m having a ball doing it because Proverbs 12:26 says it’s
the righteous who choose their friends wisely while it’s the wicked
who will be led astray. When you are caught up in wickedness,
because again, it’s the fear of the Lord that brings forth wisdom,
and wickedness and wisdom cannot properly coincide (John 12:46), you
can’t properly discern who your friends really are and so yes, it’s
easy to be let someone lead you away from understanding your value
and God’s purpose. One HUGE BENEFIT to having “just friends”
(especially since friendship should be the basis of a romantic
relationship) right now is that I am able to see a man’s
character…what goes on beyond his flesh. (I Corinthians 2:14)
Because the law of sex states that it makes two people one, when I
was sexually active, I tended to only “see” one person…whether
he was holistically good for me or not was not a priority to me. It
wasn’t so much about if he was
benefiting me so much as I was joined to him. When man does the joining, it is “to participate with
(someone) in some act or activity ”, but when God joins it’s to
“bring together in a particular relation or
a specific purpose
action, etc.”

Which brings this message
full circle doesn’t it? (2 Corinthians 13:11) I started out this
message saying that most of us get ourselves into trouble when we
don’t understand our purpose. The purpose of sex is for marriage.
If you are not yet married, God still has a purpose for you in mind,
it’s just something different in this season. However, you serve a
God who makes everything beautiful in its time. (Ecclesiastes 3:11)
Let him make what you desire beautiful for you (so preaching to the
choir, here). And ladies, please don’t forget the warning shared in
Isaiah. God is merciful and so he was forewarned you, but I know
that it was for such a time as this.

you are married, spend some time studying the purpose of marriage. A
lot of marriages are suffering because the two people involved don’t
have a clue! When the purpose
outside of the bedroom starts to make sense, what goes on inside will start
to as well.

And no matter what
category you fall into, please spend some time asking God to reveal
to you what really is beneficial to you at this stage in your life.
As my friend so sweetly stated, you don’t just want what’s good to
you, but for you as well.

it’s in your personal or professional life, because you are a child
of God, you don’t just want the “job”, but the
real benefits…at
least I do!

©Shellie R.