An abridged version of this great post.
Consider the story of the “woman with the issue of blood.” (Mark 5:24-34) Though driven to Jesus primarily by physical need, her situation is very comparable to the person who struggles with habitual sexual sin. In the Jewish culture of Jesus’ time, this woman was considered unclean. In fact, anyone who touched her would have to undergo an elaborate ceremonial cleansing.
For twelve long years, she suffered with her affliction. Having already visited all the “professionals,” she had tried every remedy offered by man.
And who had endured much suffering under [the hands of] many physicians and had spent all that she had, and was no better but instead grew worse. – Mark 5:26
Her story closely resembles those of sexual addicts who typically exhaust man’s wisdom before finally turning in desperation to God.
I was there once myself: unclean with no hope that anything could ever change. I too tried the “experts” with letters behind their names—all to no avail. Once my uncleanness became real to me and I realized man could not change me, there was nothing I could do but throw myself on the mercy of God. It was then, in my spiritually weakened condition, that I reached out and took hold of His garment.
As she approached, she saw a vast throng of people surrounding the Savior. In her weakened condition it must have seemed impossible to reach this Man. Imagine if, in the process, this poor woman would have come across someone like the faithless therapist mentioned above. She probably would have been told, “There’s no sense in going to this Jesus. He can’t help you!” Perhaps these words of empty counsel would have provided just enough discouragement to paralyze her. Isn’t that exactly what the devil would want?
But she had heard the reports about Jesus and she believed. Having tried all the self-appointed specialists, she instinctively knew that only God could help her. A singular thought compelled her: “If I can just touch His garments, I will be healed.” It was faith that drove her to the Redeemer, something this therapist apparently could not understand.
Desperate people like this woman learn not to be denied. She was determined to persist, regardless of the obstacles. It’s very possible that the prayer of the Psalmist energized her that day: “I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” (Psalm 27:13)
This is the kind of determination that men in habitual sexual sin need to find their deliverance. By simply refusing to be denied, this woman both learned and demonstrated the secret of tapping into the power of God: faith.
Charles Spurgeon speaks of this:
“If it had not been for faith, she would not have been earnest and importunate. Faith hangs on to Christ in the dark, it holds to a silent Christ, it holds to a refusing Christ, it holds to a rebuking Christ, and it will not let him go. Faith is the great holdfast that hooks a soul on to the Savior…
“Faith is like the Greek in the days of Xerxes, who seized the boat with his right hand. When they chopped off the right hand, he seized it with the left hand; when they cut off the left hand, he laid hold of the boat with his teeth, and did not let go until they severed his head from his body.
Soul, if thou canst lay hold of Christ with thy right hand, or with thy left hand, it will be well with thee. Cling to Christ, and say to him with that holy boldness that is the result of faith, ‘I will not let thee go except thou bless me.’”
Then He said, Let Me go, for day is breaking. But [Jacob] said, I will not let You go unless You declare a blessing upon me. – Gen 32:26
I have noticed that as I stand and refuse to be moved, I get the promises, I get the reward, I get the change, I get what I need. It’s a simple truth and it works.