The final face we need to explore is obviously the most important-that of God’s. As bizarre as it may sound, I believe that if we peel back every layer of every fantasy, what we will discover at the core of our sexual longings is a much deeper spiritual longing.
What we ultimately crave isn’t an intimate encounter with flesh and blood that will eventually age and rot. That’s a poor substitute. What we ultimately crave is an intimate encounter with the eternal life-giving spirit of God. We simply will never be satisfied settling for less.
Yet sometimes we do. We settle for what this world has to offer us in the here and now, because we lose our vision of what the next world will be like-our perfect heavenly home, where unresolved pain will no longer exist and the gravitational pull of sin and separation from God will no longer have any effect on us.
And when we do settle, what is God’s attitude toward us? As He witnesses the plethora of provocative images that prance through our brains, trying to medicate the pain of being a fallen creature living in a fallen world, does His face possess a look of shock? Horror? Disdain? Disgust?
Absolutely not. To get a crystal clear picture of God’s face as we wrestle with our sexual thoughts and temptations, we need only look to Hebrews 4:14-16:
Since we have a great high priest, Jesus the Son of God, who has gone into heaven, let us hold on to the faith we have. For our high priest is able to understand our weaknesses. He was tempted in every way that we are, but he did not sin. Let us, then, feel very sure that we can come before God’s throne where there is grace. There we can receive mercy and grace to help us when we need it. (NCV)
Did you catch that? Jesus has walked this earth, wrapped in the same hormonally charged flesh as God has wrapped us in. He’s been here, experienced that gravitational pull. He understands. He sympathizes. He welcomes us into His presence. He offers mercy, grace, and unconditional love. The look on His face is that of sheer compassion.
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Excerpted from The Fantasy Fallacy: Exposing the Deeper Meaning Behind Sexual Thoughts by Shannon Ethridge. Copyright 2012. All Rights Reserved. Published by Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, TN. Used by Permission. Not to be copied without Publisher’s prior written approval.