When Christians have become entangled in the sin that so easily entangles, lust, their response is often based on if it has remained in secret. If only you know about it and we are all extremely good at rationalizing it away your history if proof that we need help.
We declare to God this will be ‘the last time” but “if the last time” proclamation worked then the last time would have been the last time instead of this next time being the last time. So, that last time was really the next to the last time and how many of those have you chalked up.
I am writing this to you this morning because I lived inside that addictive cycle for years. Deleting histories. Clearing out Cookies. Guarding my phone and internet devices with passwords to keep things hidden.
Some of you are reading my emails because you sincerely want to stop. But the emails cannot do that. I can give you information that is biblical and has been proven in my own life and the lives of hundreds of men. However, and you know this, the real problem is not more information. Here is a part of an email I received this morning;
“Up until recently, I knew all the theory (believe me, my bookshelves are stuffed with good books on how to be free) but was living in quiet despair as I watched everyone move on and have kids etc. and I stayed stuck and lonely. Now I have hope.”
How many times have we thought we have found the key to recovery? Countless books have now been published on porn and sex addiction. You can go to conferences and seminars, prayer meetings and invitations to come forward. The problem is that we are looking for that one thing that will turn us around and just have not found it yet. There is no one thing.
All the while the addiction cycle continues in our lives. Here is some information to burn onto your frontal lobes.
Recovery is not based on what you Know.
Recovery is Based on what you DO.
Simply intending or deciding to make progress in your recovery by deepening your relationship with Jesus is worthless unless you DO take the time and make the effort to grow deeper. Good intentions accomplish about as much as a Things to Do list that has been lost will accomplish.
5 frogs were on a log and 4 of them decided to jump off. How many frogs are still on the log? 1 is not the answer. All 5 are still there because they have not acted on their decision.
Just like Jesus taught the disciples about not being only hearers of the word but doers of the word.
This email will go out to over 2400 people today in 56 nations around the world. All these emails are designed to do is to encourage you so that you are not led astray by the deceitfulness of sin.
What I really want, as well as what the Lord really wants, is for you to take the actions you need to take in order to bring about change. And the reality of the Christian life, as well as an addicted life, is that you must work at it relentlessly. There are no vacations or days off. Truly being a Christian is walking filled with the Holy Spirit and with the Lord leading you.
So, my emails are only designed to encourage you … they cannot heal you. It is not more information you need. It is more actions you need to take and take on a daily basis.
This is why when we started 180 at Vineyard Columbus over 10 years ago, we did not meet for them to just hear me teach the Bible. Half of the meeting was teaching and discussion and then we divided the men up into small groups where each man would tell the truth about how his week went. If there were slips or falls into sexual sin the group would help that brother think through what happened AND what boundaries he needed to set for himself for the next week.
Then we realized that we needed more than biblical teaching and weekly accountability. Guys need to have daily support from the small groups they are a part of. Gee … if there were only a way one could do that it would be great. So, God gave us the telephone. But then I can only get support when I am home where my phone is. So, God gave us the smartphone. Small enough to carry in our pocket with the ability to have everyone’s name and phone number stored in it.
Now, with live streaming being available we can literally be face to face over the internet with our phones and computers. Geography has been taken out of the picture and now we can talk to virtually any body at any time.
Friends this is why we have our Online Support Team ministry. 10 teams meeting during the week where 100 men learn from the 180 Recovery Program biblical teachings, hold one another accountable weekly, and support one another daily. This is what can bring God’s healing in your life.
The Solution to Addiction is not Abstinence.
The Solution to Addiction is Community.
BTW – I want to start 10 new OSTs by the end of the year. Contact me for more information.