[forthright] The Devastation of Adultery (4)

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From: "Forthright Magazine" <forthrightmag@...>
Date: Tue, 03 Jul 2007 12:59:16 -0300
Forthright Magazine
Straight to the Cross

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The Devastation of Adultery (4)
by Richard Mansel

The wreckage of adultery is everywhere about us
like the twisted, fiery metal from a downed
airliner. Death and destruction litter the entire
area. Its impact is generational in scope.

Despite this readily apparent imagery, we do not
see the devastation of spiritual adultery until
much later. With no blood shed nor vigils and
funerals officiated, the entire effect is somewhat
less dramatic. It never occurs in one cataclysmic
moment but is instead gradual and almost
imperceptible. Spiritual adultery happens in
private unless it spills over into public view
through our actions and words. Yet the carnage is
no less real for its victims than that of physical
adultery (Ezekiel 16).

Jesus promised, "Be faithful until death and I
will give you a crown of life" (Revelation 2:10,
NKJV). These words would ring false if uttered by
an earthly huckster. However, this is an absolute
guarantee from the Creator of the Universe who
cannot lie (John 1:1-3,14; Titus 1:2).
Accordingly, they are the fuel for faithfulness
that we need. Motivated by these words we must
stay focused and remain grounded in Christ. There
is no other avenue of survival (Matthew 25:31-46).

Physical marriages are in danger when the husband
and wife lose their connection and cease to become
one flesh. Returning to their selfish selves, they
seek only that which pleases them. Their spouses,
no longer of their flesh, become immaterial or
even an obstacle. Adultery violently breaks this
bond and places its resolution in doubt. It is the
right of the innocent party to dissolve the
marriage because of the violence of adultery
(Matthew 19:9). Only by mercy can resolution

Spiritual adultery, likewise, is a violent act
that brings pain to God. God gives up his only son
to the cross and sees Jesus' sacrifice ignored and
ridiculed by men (John 3:16; Hebrews 10:26-29;
John 15:13).

Avoiding spiritual adultery is much the same as
avoiding its physical counterpart. We must
remember the commitment made before men to remain
faithful against all odds (Acts 8:37). No matter
the temptation to stray, we resist because we see
the bigger picture of what it would do to our
souls (Ephesians 6:10-13). We weigh our hunger for
heaven against any spiritually salacious offer
that arises.

"Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that
friendship with the world is enmity with God?
Whoever wants to be a friend of the world makes
himself an enemy of God" (James 4:4, NKJV).

We stay connected to God like a child to a father
through Scripture and prayer. "Incline your ear,
and come to Me. Hear, and your soul shall live:
[a]nd I will make an everlasting covenant with
you" (Isaiah 55:3). When we listen to God through
his word and stay tethered to him through prayer,
we find our commitment perpetually before our
eyes. An immersion in Scripture will prevent the
withering of faith that comes to so many who lose
sight of Christ, his cause and his blessings.

Jesus is the Word of God (John 1:1), the bread of
life and the living water that forever satisfies
(John 6:35; John 4:10-14). Finding fulfillment in
Christ will prevent the wandering heart who seeks
answers elsewhere as the Israelites gave up on God
and sought solace in the golden calf (Exodus 32:1-

The words of Peter must be our clarion call of
faithfulness. When asked if the apostles were
going to leave Jesus and go after another Savior,
Peter replied, "To whom shall we go? You have the
words of eternal life?" (John 6:68).

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