Avoid Temptation by Planning Ahead ~ blog
It never ceases to amaze me that men who struggle with sexual brokenness are surprised by temptation. It is almost as if we walk around in a stupor, almost like zombies, oblivious to what is going on and just looking for our next sexual fix.
So, let me make it simple for you …
Temptation is Normal and We Should Expect It Every Day.
I realize that for a day or two after a fall you do not feel the internal cravings as much as when you have had a time of walking in purity. I guess my question would be is that because you are doing the things you need to be doing to walk in purity or is it because your sex drive has been satisfied and is taking a nap?
For some odd reason, we are quick to believe that we have this issue under control when we begin to put several days or even several weeks or months together without a fall. That is a nice and hopeful thought, but how many times will you be lulled into that lie and, after falling again, this issue has not gone away.
And the bad news is as long as we still have a sinful nature inside of us, live in a fallen world when we have unlimited access to porn 24/7/365 and have the forces of demonic evil working against us … we will face temptation. However, the good news is that we will not have to deal with this forever. None of our 3 enemies will exist in heaven. This battle will end … and be done forever. We know the final score and we are on the winning team!
Now it is NOT God’s will that we continue to stumble and fall back into sexual sin. God’s plan and purpose for our lives are for us to be being transformed day by day by the indwelling Holy Spirit. The end result of this transformation is that we will be conformed into the image of Christ. Again, this will be fulfilled … but we do not have to wait until we get to heaven to experience some of this. He wants us to experience this in the here and now.
And do you know why that is? Not because He is some kind of killjoy only wanting us to suffer pain in this world and not have sexual pleasure unless we are married. He wants us to avoid sexual sin because it damages us and creates pain in our lives and damages our relationships with one another.
It causes us much shame and a fear of being discovered. It leads us to self-loathing and even depression and anxiety. It opens our ears to believe the lies of the evil one and causes us to live a life wearing a mask and looking like everything is ok … when in fact it is not. This highly addictive behavior has ruined millions of lives, destroyed marriages and deeply damaged men, women, and children.
So, here is one thing I have learned in my own battle over the past 14+ years of my recovery. It is fairly simple to do but difficult to execute. And that thing is …
LEARNING TO HAVE A PLAN!!!
Now most of us have a plan already that we follow pretty much on a daily basis. We wake up, get ready to go to work or school, do whatever we are supposed to do at work or school, come home and either engage with the family or zone out in front of the TV or dive into the internet and get lost in social media, online streaming, or playing video games.
Then, for some reason we are surprised when temptation rears its sensual head and whispers; “Hey there handsome … come and spend some time with me!” Then off we go for another fall and spend time sexually engaging with a computer or phone, get our orgasmic fix, and return to our place of guilt and shame. We feel like crap, lamenting that we are just not able to find freedom and perhaps even blame God or Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, and Steve Jobs.
The reason it is an important part of your recovery program to learn how to plan against having another fall is simple. If you see a tornado off in the distance it is much easier to avoid it altogether than if you just drive blindly into it. It is better to heed the weather forecast warnings if you live at the beach and know that a hurricane is headed your way than trying to ride it out.
So, if you know there is a certain time and place where you are normally tempted and fall … can you develop a plan that will help you avoid the temptation? Of course, you CAN … but are you going to do it? And what will your plan be?
For example, some men really are tempted in the shower. You are cleansing yourself and washing with soap which tends to be slippery. One thing leads to another and you begin to fantasize, and you have a fall.
What if before you get into the shower you text an accountability partner telling them you are going into the shower and then text them again after the shower with your status report? Then, you can also play worship music while showering and use a brillo pad instead of soap. Just a thought.
We all need to learn from our mistakes. Study ourselves as to the when and where and why we have fallen. Then create a plan for how to escape this sin that so easily entangles us.
More on this tomorrow …