A Sojourner was walking down a narrow path when he stumbled upon a woman who stood in his way.
Woman: Good evening, good sir, my name is Si. I was wondering if you could accompany me to the town that resides behind you? For I am on my way there, and I fear for my life, for I will be attacked if I travel there alone. I see your armour, your sword and shield, and I perceive that you must be a man of nobility, chivalry and strength, so I ask of you can you please protect and accompany me until I have found an inn in the town? The traveller looked, and recognised who this woman was. She was very well-known and incredibly famous woman throughout the world. Many considered it an honour and a thing of boasting to meet her. She was considered the most beautiful and elegant in the world by many and she was able to speak every language that exists. Numerous travellers, kings, rebels, peasants and the like, have all praised and gloated of her presence, intelligence and beauty.
The woman indeed seemed beautiful. Her hair flowed, her eyes were painted, her head was adorned with gold, jewels and pearls, and she was arrayed in purple and scarlet clothing. She was often associated with much wealth and wore a very common perfume, that was even worn amongst peasants. Nevertheless, the perfume was one of, if not, the most popular in the world. Her fragrance, however, was considered of the highest quality (for the perfume had degrees of quality). The perfume had two scents, an initial sweet fragrance, and an underlying strong bold aroma, and both scents the traveller was extremely familiar with. This woman also went by the name of Lust.
Sojourner: Madam, I will not be accompanying you to this city. For I, myself, had just escaped there for my very life. I had to humbly crawl through a narrow gate bowing my head to the ground as I did so, in repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Some would even say I desperately went through the gate with force. And I recognise you, I used to associate myself with you very intimately. Your name is Lust and although we used to walk together, I do not wish to associate with you any longer, please step aside and go to the town alone. For I do not wish to see you now or ever again.
Si: Lust is just one of my many names I go by. Your voice is one I recognise, and in fact, my heart is fleeting and skipping a hundred beats knowing it’s you. Fallen Man, for that is your name, I missed you, for you were once my best friend. Come, let us walk along the path and reminiscence and talk of the times that we've had together.
Sojourner: I formally was known as Fallen Man. I go by many names now such as: Christian, Child of Light, God's Elect, Friend of God, and many others, all names better than my previous name, and all names are of high status not because of me, but because of the One who changed my name. The King of kings has given me His covenant with His eternal seal on it, that my name is to be changed forever and ever, for His glory. Drawn by the Father, I am now a new creature in Christ, regenerated from the inside by the work of the Holy Spirit, and I will not associate with you! You are dangerous and deadly to kingdoms and marriages. You once had bound me with your chains of spiritual bondage, but now you shall not even be named amongst my presence. Now flee, before I lop off your head with my sword!
The woman smiled coyly at the sound of her potential death.
Si: Oh Fallen Man...
Said the woman while inching her feet slowly towards the Sojourner,
Si: ...why must your words be so strong? Why don't you join me for my lips drip with sweet honey for you, and my speech will sooth your soul. Don't you know I will show you the way to life? Don’t you know that where I will lead you, will satisfy your soul? Come let us delight ourselves with love. Come lie with me.
All the while the woman continued to talk, ever so slightly, was her steps were coming closer to the Sojourner. It was only when Si was considerably closer to the Sojourner than previously, was when he noticed.
Sojourner: Back Lust back! For the same Father who sent His Son, my Lord Jesus Christ, to die for me so that I may be an adopted son, is the same One who warned me of you and your devilish schemes. You go by other names as well. Not only Lust, but also Folly, Passion and Impurity these are all yours, but your real name is not Si, but Sexual Immorality. You always try to deceive others by veiling your real name behind a false one. Often, you are referred to as Love, but that couldn't be farther from the truth. My Lord warned about you, and so did my brother Paul. I will not fall for your schemes. The perfume you wear is named Death, and death you bring to all, and all that accompanies you reeks of death, for there is no life in you. You shall not manipulate me like you used to, in fact, you falsely acted as if you just happened to meet me. You knew whom I was and where I was going, I spotted you lying in wait around the trees. The Lord's enemy, named Satan, knew I was on the narrow path and thus, sent you, Sexual Immorality, since you were once a weakness of mine, to lure me to look back and to put my hand back on the plow – where I used to work. However, Satan, the deceiver, will be judged with the bottomless pit and the lake of fire, and what a glorious day when my King, the Lord of Glory, will inflict righteous judgement upon yours. Now, none of you can stop me from finishing the race with endurance, for the Lord is with me and has gone before me. I will continue to journey forward without your company, and if you are in my way, your head will roll at my feet.
Seeing the resilience and zeal for holiness in the man, fury started to well up within the woman.
Sexual Immorality: Aren't you meant to be peaceful? Are you like Zimri, that you dare murder your master? How dare you defy me! Don't you know who I am, and what I am capable of? Do you not see how the I have changed the Noahic covenant to celebrate me when it was originally against me? Do you not see half of married couples get divorced, and thus allows me to gain easy access and wreak havoc in their lives? I have been strong all throughout time. Must I remind you of the cities and nations of old? Do you forget Sodomites, the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah? Do you forget how I took over them all, and look how they turned out! All of Sodom and Gomorrah and their inhabitants was destroyed in flames of fire. And even one who tried to escape, Lot's wife, was judged! I know your types. You respect and hold in honour supposedly godly and holy men. You hold up high the patriarchs, the judges, the kings, the prophets, the apostles and the saints. Yet you all seem to forget how I overpowered them! Do you forget how I enticed Abram, through Sarai, to lie with her maid-servant, Hagar, and how that caused his offspring to war until the end of time? Do you forget how I sung sweet music in noble king David's ear, and how he listened to my song and committed adultery with the lovely Bathsheba? Have you not read that murder and much judgement followed? Men such as Reuben, Absolom, King Solomon, Lot and his daughters, Herod, the Benjaminites and even the nation of Israel fell to me multiple times. Haven't you ever saw how I influenced Delilah and Jezebel? Have you forgotten how, with my power, they influenced others to demise, thwarted God's plan and destroyed His elect. Surely, you don't realise how powerful I truly am. Not one person from the race of mankind has been able to look at another person without me, thus violating the laws and standards of God in their hearts. You will not be able to even count the people that are held prisoner by my chains of spiritual bondage. Oh, Fallen Man, how you are yet to realise how pitiful you are. However, if you walk and accompany me now, I will forgive you and still lavish my love upon you. I will not desecrate you. Don't make me your enemy, but join me and let us eat, drink, marry and be merry together, lest you fall to my power and be judged along with many others. Sexual Immorality continued to make her way to the Sojourner, however the Sojourner drew his sword of the Spirit from the sheath and yelled:
Sojourner: Get back you abomination before God!
Now the sword had the engraving 'Word of God' on the hilt, and looked as if it took a master blacksmith's entire life to perfect and create such a weapon of beauty, elegance, finesse and danger. It was certainly sharper than any other two-edged sword, and it undoubtedly was a weapon of magnificence and glory. And as the sword came out into the light, it shone with such a great light. The light was incredibly blinding to the woman and she shrieked a blood-curling scream as one of the sword's ability was to reveal the hearts and it's intentions and dissipate deceitful disguises. The Sojourner watched as the skin of Sexual Immorality started to peel, shrivel, deteriorate and burn into the air. Her hair started burning up, her tongue became forked, and the stench of her perfume was getting stronger and more fragrant. Her high-pitch scream started to lower in tone and pitch, and the so-called beautiful woman started to grow scales where skin would be, claws where fingernails should be, horns where hair should be and a deep voice to accompany all the newly revealed features. And as her disguise started falling away to reveal her true self, the Sojourner started to speak.
Sojourner: Your true self is being unveiled before my eyes. And if only men of this world would see your true self through this sword, and be disgusted by the sin of this world, Satan and what man's flesh offers. Sexual Immorality, you once entangled me with your chains, yet once I cried to the Lord, He broke the bonds apart by His grace and power. I am no longer a slave to you, but a slave to righteousness and a bondservant of God. And although you are one of wickedness, I will not lie, it was me that enjoyed and found pleasure in being wrapped up in your chains. Man does not and will not let go of sin, and this shows the power of my God even more, for once a man is born-again, how his pleasures and desires will change. So thus, I loathe you and will not be with you. And although your words to the natural ear sound sweet, I know who you are and the consequences you bring about. I will not fall for your verbal trap of death. You shall not intimidate me with your accusations and lies. You speak many truths in what you have just said, yet you speak many lies. Satan's ploys never change, mixing in truth and lie to deceive. So, your lies will be exposed by my sword: Lot's wife was judged, not because of you, but because of her own heart which is desperately wicked, and is the same with many other men and woman who, for a time, seems to run with God’s elect. However, those who knows the Lord, and is known by the Lord, aren’t fazed by such accusations you make against God's elect. For our boast is not in man's strength and man’s holiness, but in complete assurance in the God of Israel, His Word and His faithfulness. Don’t you see Sexual Immorality? Although David committed adultery, murder, theft, lying and idolatry, the work of God is shown in the king's wicked heart and evident by David's humility and repentance after sinning against the Lord. Although Abraham committed adultery with Hagar, failed to lead his family with him as the head, and decided to take the God’s sovereign unbreakable promise into his own hands, God was still faithful to His promise, and Isaac was born through a supernatural means, foreshadowing my Lord’s birth. Although, Israel constantly forsook their Creator and sought-after idols and indulged in yourself, God has never forgot them and has promised, near the end of time, that He will completely redeem them and for all Israel to be saved as the Messiah shall be revealed in full to them. Though you look to men and point to their failings, I look to God. If I am faithless, He remains faithful - for He cannot deny Himself. Yes, the Lord judges and rightfully so, yet when Adam, Abraham, Moses, David and all of God’s saints sinned against the Almighty, the Lord graciously did not righteously slaughter on the spot, yet He sent His only begotten Son so that whomever so believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. So, Sexual Immorality, you twist and misinterpret the Word of God for no one’s good, and fail to understand that stories of godly men’s failing and sinning eventually showcases God’s glory, sovereignty, justice, holiness, power, faithfulness, love, mercy and grace! Not only that, while you take advantage of man’s weak flesh, the Lord of hosts shows that He is infinitely more powerful than you, for He enables the mankind a life of holiness despite man’s weak flesh.
When the frustrated woman realised her manipulative and intimidating words were having no effect and that the Sojourner was speaking truth, she screamed:
Sexual Immorality: Treason! Treason!
And in her rage, she started spitting out a barrage of heart-shaped darts of fire at high speeds towards the Sojourner. Though somewhat new in the Way, the Sojourner’s hands were trained for war and his fingers for battle, because he often practices with the sword and shield. So, the Sojourner was quick to raise his shield of faith so that the flaming darts of the evil one was extinguished. Sexual Immorality, while holding on to the end, let the chain of spiritual bondage dangle from her hands, and attempted to whip and strike the Sojourner’s head, or at least latch onto the shield of faith or sword of the Spirit to steal it off the warrior. Seeing the danger ahead of time, the Sojourner hastily and clumsily backed off just as the sharp end of the chain was about to strike the helmet of salvation. There was a silence and a wide gap between the two beings, as the Sojourner attempted to regain his balance. The Sojourner was looking at how to approach or attack the opponent in front. At the same time, it was clear that the bloodthirsty woman, who had her forked tongue slithering out of her mouth, had already concluded how to take the man down. There wasn’t much time for the born-again one to think as the woman, once again, closed in at the warrior spitting out more fiery darts and buffeting with the chain. The shield of faith was holding up well against the attacks well, however little by little the warrior started to get weary of putting up the defence and dodging the attacks. Sexual Immorality was also out of the attack range for the sword, and frustration and regret started to stir and well up within the heart of the Sojourner. While enduring and dodging the attacks, the Sojourner prayed:
Sojourner: Oh Father, like Moses, my arms seem to be getting tired. How I wished I had taken more time to spend in your Word and in prayer daily. How I wished I practiced more with the sword you have given me. Please give me the wisdom in accordance to your Word on how to take this deadly foe down. Lord, how I wish to vanquish this monster once and for all. Please lead me by your Spirit through the Scriptures and reveal your Word to me. Let my pride, feelings and heart not dilute the interpretation and revelation, but let my heart and life be conformed to your Word. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
At once, the sword of the Spirit starting shimmering, and whilst the Sojourner was using both sword and shield to defend. The sword shone light at the warrior’s feet and only slightly ahead as if to show a dim path to walk. Words faintly began to appear at the tip of the sword and ran down the blade, once it was read, the Sojourner instantly knew the meaning and how to conduct himself. And after pushing off the attacks, the warrior leapt away a great distance.
Sexual Immorality: Why do you keep backing off? Do you intend to run away? Would you mock God with your cowardliness?
Unshaken by accusations, the man started to swiftly dart forward in the direction of the towards the woman. The woman smiled and posed to strike with the chain. However, the Sojourner wasn’t directly aligned with Sexual Immorality, and it became clear to the woman that the Christian was by-passing the woman and running straight ahead. Sexual Immorality, in her haste and recklessness swung the chain with heavy force to ensnare the Sojourner, however, the blow was defended by the shield of faith. And as the warrior passed by, he heard the woman scream ‘NO!’, and chased after him whilst swinging the chain getting ready to grasp the fleeing man. With a thrust of her wrist, the chain lethally flew towards the runner, however the Sojourner parried the blow with the sword. The warrior was evidently struggling as running and fighting wasn't his strong point. Perceiving his weakness, the Sexual Immorality cackled and began to swing the chain knowing eventually she would break through the line of defence, however, her laughter abruptly ceased when the Sojourner started picking up speed at a rapid pace and supernaturally sped off into the distance. Minimum time had passed, when Sexual Immorality’s frustrated screams could be heard no more and she was no longer in sight. However, the Sojourner refused to look back like the one who turned into a pillar of salt, and continued to journey on with the sword readily and firmly grasped in his hand. And all the while his mouth praying and praising the Lord. Sojourner: Thanks be to God through Lord Jesus Christ my Lord, for once again, He has delivered me from the cords of death. My Lord is faithful to me, just as He was to the prophets and saints of old, for He has given me the same supernatural stamina and speed that was granted to Elijah the Tishbite. Oh Father, forgive me. How could I have been so foolish to think my zeal and passion for You is enough to take down my spiritual foes? I must always be looking and practicing with the sword of the Spirit (which is the Word of God), that I will not fall and be ensnared by the trap of relying on myself. I must always rely on Your grace and strength for without You, I am and can accomplish nothing. Though I am called to resist the devil, I am not called to resist Sexual Immorality, but rather, I am to flee and abstain like Joseph son of Jacob. I should have done that the moment I saw her hiding behind trees. I should not have given any opportunity to her. Father, may I learn from king David to stay spiritually active and disciplining myself to humbly glean from Your presence and wisdom in Your Word and prayer daily. Thank you, Father, for being merciful and showing me amid the fierce battle, the truth and wisdom on how to obey your Word. Father, you have called my body the temple of the Holy Spirit (for my body is Yours), and if I was to engage in battle much longer, I would have surely lost and thus sinned against my body and more importantly, You. Lord, keep me humble and my heart soft to Your truth, that I never take warnings in Scripture lightly. If I want to abide in the Way, I must not associate at all with Sexual Immorality lest I not inherit the kingdom of God. I must have a pure heart lest I not see You. Surely there will be more trials and tribulations ahead, and though they be difficult, help me to remain joyful throughout, as know I will be refined and most importantly You will receive the glory. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
And thus, was the Sojourner’s first encounter, as he continued down the narrow path.