Revival. It sounds like an old-fashioned word, doesn't it? Maybe that's because we've never seen one in our lifetime. Revival is when God's Spirit is poured out on his people and many, many are changed. It happens when we commit ourselves to earnestly seek the Lord and obey him 100 percent. Revival is what happens when the church stops playing only defense and determines to play offense—to take ground back from the enemy.
There is no battlefield fiercer than sexuality. Satan has his claws in every area of sex from the little girls abused by their fathers, to the millions of men and women hooked on porn, to the wife who resents her husband's sexual needs, to the woman who constantly feels sexually rejected by her husband.
This was key for me to understand: Satan doesn't just want to destroy marriages by tainting sex—he wants to destroy the holiness of God.
Sexual intimacy between a husband and a wife is the primary metaphor the Bible uses to express God's desire for his people and their holiness. From the "leaving and cleaving" in Genesis to the wedding feast in Revelation, the marriage covenant sealed by sexual fidelity is present throughout all of Scripture. When we understand sex as it is meant to be experienced, we will have a deeper understanding of God. Did you know that the Hebrew word for sexual intimacy, yada, is the same word used to describe the deep "knowing" God wants to have with his people?
Psalm 139 speaks of this knowing:
"O Lord, you have searched me and yada me. You yada when I sit and when I rise.
Before a word is on my tongue, you yada it completely."
Every time a husband and wife have sex, they have the opportunity to celebrate God's passion for his church and to share in his holiness. When a couple works toward faithfulness, passion, and pleasure, they are doing more than enjoying sex. They are sharing a piece of the Gospel message.
Unfortunately, the vast majority of Christian marriages are too shackled by wounds, guilt, and lies to even consider that their sexual intimacy is a form of worshipping the Lord.
I am praying and fighting for a sexual revolution—a sexual revival. It's time to stop just playing defense and assuming that the best we can do is hold our ground. Now is the time to beg God to equip us to kick the enemy out and to take back what he has stolen.
If you are wounded—God is the Healer.
If you are guilt-ridden—God is the one who has covered every sin.
If you are damaged—God is the Redeemer.
If you are addicted—God can release you from captivity. He is your Victory.
If you are discouraged—God is the God of all compassion and comfort.
When God calls, he also equips. He is calling you to share in his holiness, to be set apart from this world, and to be a spiritual warrior who refuses to accept defeat. It's a joy for Authentic Intimacy to be partnering with Today's Christian Woman to equip God's women in this complicated and beautiful area of sex. May we see the Lord bring revival to individual marriages and to his people!
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Juli Slattery is a widely known clinical psychologist, author, speaker, and broadcast media professional. She co-founded Authentic Intimacy, and is co-author of Passion Pursuit: What Kind of Love Are You Making?