Praise the Lord!
I am 25 years old and hail from a Christian family. I knew and understood the Lord Jesus Christ with his spirit from the age of 16. After three years of proper confession and sanctification, baptism was given to me. It is not that I was leading my life as per God's will and desire perfectly, but I had never committed adultery in my life because the Lord has helped me to understand his love and grace and have experienced his love and peace with the Holy Spirit many times.
About a year ago I became very cold spiritually and stopped going to church. I became astray and worldly-minded. I did not realize that slowly I was being trapped in a dangerous sin before Lord. Recently two friends of mine from school, a boy and a girl -- both not Christians, went for a long drive in a car. Sitting in the back I asked the girl to touch my penis and play with it under a shawl. The other boy could not notice it as he was driving the car. As it says in James, it did not happen suddenly because I used to chat sexually with her over the phone.
Now I am completely shattered since that incident. I have lost all faith in myself and feel like I can't walk spiritually on the right path -- it seems impossible for me. I want to turn back, but feel like the Lord won't forgive me.
Please counsel me.
I'm sorry that you value your personal feelings over what God has said. "He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, but whoever walks wisely will be delivered" (Proverbs 28:26). Faith isn't a feeling. It is a choice made to trust what God said. "So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God" (Romans 10:17).
You've been going your own way for a while, ignoring God, so why does it upset you that you continue to pile sin upon sin? I'm wondering what has changed. Is it how far you see that you are in sin? Or is it that you want to be told that it is hopeless so you don't have to make an effort to come back?
"But if a wicked man turns from all his sins which he has committed, keeps all My statutes, and does what is lawful and right, he shall surely live; he shall not die. None of the transgressions which he has committed shall be remembered against him; because of the righteousness which he has done, he shall live. "Do I have any pleasure at all that the wicked should die?" says the Lord GOD, "and not that he should turn from his ways and live?"" (Ezekiel 18:21-23).
The only one holding you back is yourself. God is definitely not stopping you from turning around. He wants everyone saved, and that includes you. "The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance" (II Peter 3:9). Yet, He won't force you to return. It has to be your decision, your desire, and your effort.
Nor can you continue to play games of being a partial Christian, doing what you feel like doing while continuing to sin. "What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?" (Romans 6:1-2). God wants your whole heart.
"Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, "The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously"? But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: "God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble." Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up" (James 4:4-10).