I’m a 26-year-old female. I got saved at the early age of 10. My grandmother is the one that first took me and my sisters to church, taught us how to pray and read the word of God. I learned from that early age that as a woman I had to stay pure until I was married. I didn’t start dating up until the age of 17. I only dated because all my friends had boyfriends. By the time I completed my high school year I had dated two guys. Both relationships didn’t last longer than two months. At the age of 18 at varsity, I kept my distance from relationships or dating.
This went on until I was 20. I dated a guy who was 29. The relationship was just odd for me. It went too fast and his demands were more than the ones I’ve had in the past. I had kissed a guy before but never been touchy to the point of wanting to have sex. At this time my closest friends broke their virginities and I thought I guess it’s not so important to keep pure. I went on and had sex with this guy. It was the worst time of my life. It was painful and I felt so terrible. I knew I wasn’t supposed to do that but I did. I couldn’t go on with the relationship; I ended it soon after this incident. At this time I didn’t know for sure what repentance was and I didn’t understand the extent to which I had shamed the cross of Christ; therefore, I believe I never actually repented.
A year went by. I met a very gentle and kind guy at school who just adored me. I couldn’t fathom this because my father never showed me this kind of attention and care, not even to my mother. He just beat her up and cheated on her. I fell for the guy though I had my guards up as I did on every other relationship. Not long after dating, we started being sexually involved. This relationship felt great and he wanted to marry me. He even got saved during the time we dated. This happened though because I was part of a Christian society at varsity and my pastor met him and shared with him.
A year and a half into the relationship, after coming back from a wild drinking spree and partying with my cousin and a housemate, God did something incredible. We had just walked into our house and into our friend's bedroom recapping what happened at the party. My cousin went to the bathroom and quickly came back. She was in tears and hysterical. For a moment I thought to myself, ”she's still high from the weed she smoked.” However, I realized that she was under the power of the Holy Ghost. She started speaking in tongues and couldn’t stop. She just shouted “pray”, as I started praying. I couldn’t believe what was happening. I interpreted everything she spoke in “tongues” the rest of the night. This experience went on for a period of time. God started revealing things to me and my sister through dreams and visions, in our personal lives, and in the church.
This whole ordeal totally changed my life. I had no desire for all the sinful things I did before and I started seeking God through prayer and His word. It was so fulfilling and I just couldn’t go on with the relationship I had with this guy. We ended the relationship and I kept going with my God.
A year later I made friends with a guy from church who was also very passionate about God and the work of God. We started dating a few months later and we kept our boundaries. We prayed to God that our relationship may bring Him glory in all we did. However, a year and a half into the relationship we fornicated. I was so guilty and couldn’t bear it. We both repented and prayed about it. We decided we needed to get married very soon because we love each other very much and desire to be together for the rest of our lives. However, due to financial constraints, we couldn’t marry at that time, and the fornication keeps going on. It's been four years of dating now, planning to get married next year, and we are still constantly fornicating, though repenting.
Recently I just feel empty and just dead. I feel I can't go on like this and honestly believe God will forgive me or has forgiven me because in my understanding repentance is turning from your sin and never ever doing it again. However, I keep going back into this sin. I don’t know what to do anymore. What makes it worse is that I'm part of the worship team at my church. I think one of these days God will strike me dead in front of the church because I'm so disrespectful and shaming His Son as I stand upfront leading His church in worship.
My question: What do I do? How do I really repent? How do I stop, because I want to, I really want to? I feel I fall into this sin over and over again because we both have given up. We just don’t know how to stop anymore.
You won't like what I have to say, but since you asked ...
First off, you need to become a Christian. All that you have written only describes a person playing at Christianity and living a lie. "Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God" (I Corinthians 6:9-10). You described yourself as a fornicator and a drunkard, yet you claim to be Christian, a leader in a church, and that God speaks through you with miraculous gifts. Peter said, "Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God. For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles -- when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries" (I Peter 4:1-3). Again, you describe yourself as being involved in everything but idolatry, and yet you lie to yourself that you are serving God.
Paul said that miraculous gifts, such as tongue-speaking and prophecy, came to an end when the Bible (the perfect) was completed. "Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away" (I Corinthians 13:8-10). Your cousin wasn't speaking in another language, which is what "tongues" means. She was babbling in reaction to the drugs she had in her system. Since God said He isn't using prophecy now, I'm positive that your "revelations" were not coming from God.
The reason you haven't been living righteously is that you have been chasing after the world. The flesh doesn't produce the righteousness of God. "For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God" (Romans 8:13-14). You know, at least in part, what the Spirit teaches in His Word, but you don't follow the Bible and, thus, you don't follow the Spirit.
You are correct that you have not repented of your many sins. You feel guilty, you are sorry about it, but you make no changes. In other words, all you have is a worldly form of sorrow. "For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. For observe this very thing, that you sorrowed in a godly manner: What diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what vindication! In all things you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter" (II Corinthians 7:10-11). For example, in regards to your fornication, you excuse it because you plan to get married next year. The fact that nothing stops you from getting married tomorrow or next week, doesn't enter your mind. The fact that "next year" hasn't come in four years only mildly bothers you.
Then there is the problem that you are a part of a church that is ignoring I Timothy 2:11-12 and I Corinthians 14:34-35.
Basically, it comes down to a simple choice. You have to choose to submit yourself to the will and teaching of God, or you'll continue to follow your emotions into sin. "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 4:7-10).
Wow! Okay, I'm out of words. So do I have to accept Christ afresh as my Lord and Saviour? What do I do?
My difficulty is that I don't know if you truly entered into the covenant with Christ. So many of the denominations teach the wrong things about how to become a Christian. Therefore, start with How to Become a Christian and What Must I Do to be Saved? If you find things that you have not done according to God's teachings, then the first thing to do is correct the matter.
If you have done as God required to become one of His children, then you've gotten severely off track. Accepting Jesus as Lord means that Jesus rules your life. "But why do you call Me 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do the things which I say?" (Luke 6:46). It starts with getting your Bible out and actually learning what God requires of you. "So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God" (Romans 10:17). It means that when you find that you are doing wrong that you make corrections. "For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. For observe this very thing, that you sorrowed in a godly manner: What diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what vindication! In all things you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter" (II Corinthians 7:10-11). And then with that, you confess your faults to God. "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us. My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous" (I John 1:8-2:1).
As I mentioned before, the church you are at does not sound as if it is teaching and obeying the Scriptures fully. You need to find a group that gets you closer to God and His teachings.