Dissecting Temptation # 5 – When Sin Matures ~ blog
The fifth stage of temptation is the maturing of sin. Our own evil desires have dragged us away from a place of safety and enticed us with the opportunity to sin. Then sin is conceived in our minds and we have a choice to make. We can choose to either flee youthful lusts or to further feed our lusts.
However, since we have made this choice so many times it is like we automatically make the decision to sin because it has become an addiction in our lives. The truth is that you do have a choice who your master will be. You can choose to continue in sin and have it grow into maturity or you can begin doing whatever it takes to stop. This truly is an option for you, but it will not come about by continuing to do whatever you have done in the past.
The problem with our own evil desires and sinful habits is that they are never fully satisfied. They promise us this will be the last time but, in a day, or two they want more. There are two things I know as a fact about our own sinful desires. They will always want more frequency and more variety.
Once in awhile becomes once a month then once a week to once a day. All the while it wants something a little different to make the experience seem better. What might have done the trick for us used to be pictures. Then it becomes pictures in the context of a story. Then it becomes actual videos which can lead to wanting actual contact with another person. All the while these evil desires in us grow stronger and more powerful. Am I right or what???
The process of sin maturing is happy to just move forward an inch at a time. The word James uses here translated mature of full-grown means to be fully developed or having reached the final stage in its growth. It means it becomes finished, established and strong. It has reached full capacity. You have lost control of your desires and now your desires are controlling you.
Some of you may be at that point right now in your struggle against the evil desires or lusts that you have developed. It may have started out in a limited way with turning to porn and masturbation on occasion. But it has grown more powerful. It has become an easy escape when you are feeling tired or stressed out. It has become the place you escape to so that you are no longer worrying about what is happening in your real life and you escape into your fantasy land where everything is just the way you want it to be.
I want to strongly encourage you to do an exercise that might be very beneficial to you. I want you to write down a timeline of how your sexual sin and desires have grown over the years. Start at the moment you first remember something sexual happening to you. Note your age and briefly what happened. Then where did that lead you to next? On up until where you are now. I think it will really surprise you to see how your evil desires have matured.
My journey began when I found Playboy magazines in my father’s nightstand next to his bed. For years all I needed to see were nude images of women and use masturbation to make myself feel better. Gradually, Playboy was not enough, and I wanted to see more. And sure enough more was found in other magazines that exposed more body parts more openly.
Magazines led to VHS videos. VHS videos led to CDs. Then contact with a real person happened over the phone leading to strip clubs, massage parlors, and ultimately affairs.
All the while I was a pastor growing churches, discipling people and leading others to Christ. The guilt and shame I felt became too much for me to bear and I was confronted by 3 leaders from my church having heard a rumor that I was involved with another woman. The rumor was true, and I confessed to them that I had become addicted to porn and was unfaithful to my wife.
It was Friday, September the 9th of 2005. Almost 14 years ago. My occasional falls into looking at porn and masturbating had become fully mature and it was destroying my life. What I did not know was if it would end my marriage of 26 years and cause my 4 adult kids to hate me forever.
I got on my knees, completely broken and barely knew what to pray. I asked the Lord to please take over my life and help me to do everything I needed to do regardless of how painful and difficult it would be to my wife and kids. Two of them were in college and another was hoping on attending college. However, now … with my sin exposed nothing was certain and everything had the potential of being destroyed.
The one thing I knew I better not try to do was to fix things myself. I needed the powerful love and grace of God to carry me one day at a time. I was so overtaken by depression and anxiety that I could barely get out of bed for 2 weeks. However, one day at a time and even one hour at a time I found my Father and my Lord to be faithful to me and to rescue me from the disaster I had created.
My sexual sin had fully matured and everyone around me was now living in shock and awe. These were the darkest days of my life and in that darkness, I heard from the Lord what I needed to do. He said to me …
“Be Still and Know that I Am God!”