Stop Losing Your Battles in Isolation ~ blog
Today, I have been meditating on Galatians 5 because in it we find this awesome promise;
“But I say, walk by the Spirit,
and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.”
Yesterday we learned that in order to be walking in the Spirit there are two things we must do for this to be happening. First, we must surrender our bodies to Him and ask Him to take control of us. Either He will control us, or our flesh will gladly guide us into more sin.
However, it is not as simple as that because much of our day we are on autopilot. We do not need the Spirit for much of what we do during the day. I do not need the Spirit to help me brush my teeth. Now driving to work without swearing is another matter. Also, we are not being bombarded by our flesh at every moment.
There are times when I need to be being filled with the Spirit and walk in the Spirit by looking to Him for an escape from temptation. Then I must take the action of doing the next right thing which He is showing me to do. The more I deepen my relationship with Christ through a knowledge of His Word, communion with Him in prayer, and staying in touch with my community of those helping to support me; the easier it will be at the point of temptation to hear the Spirit and walk away with Him enabling me.
The greater the distance between me and the Lord the harder it is to hear the Spirit and follow Him out of temptation. So, imagine it this way. You wake up and start your day. You meet with the Lord, listen to His Word, commune with Him in prayer, and ask the Spirit to take control. He is going to be leading you through that day.
If you do not do that and you get behind the wheel to drive your own life, the Spirit simply sits there awaiting your invitation for Him to be in control. However, somewhere during the day you get carjacked. You are sitting at the stoplight and a beautiful and sensual woman uses the crosswalk and passes right in front of you. You feel this reaction in your brain and loins and the flesh has suddenly shown up without warning and wanting to take you where it has taken you so many times before.
Now…the Spirit is in the back seat, you are in the passengers seat, and you are being kidnapped by your flesh who is going to want to find a place where it can completely take over your mind and emotions and all you can think about is another fall into sexual bliss which is no bliss at all but another trip into sexual mess.
So, the bottom-line question is
“Who are you allowing to be in control?”
The Holy Spirit, yourself, or your flesh? However, there are really only two options…the flesh or the Spirit. Because unless you are allowing the Spirit to lead and guide you in this fallen world with demonic spirits, you will be choosing the flesh by default and our flesh will always want more sin and more fulfillment of our fleshly desires.
And if you have been laying the groundwork and hardwiring your brain so it is now addicted to the delicious chemicals sexual arousal releases into your brain then to suddenly try and stop this well-established habit will be extremely difficult. You are not going to be able to do this yourself by suddenly having a strong and desperate desire to stop. This is a pattern you have developed over the years and it may have even become an addiction.
How do you know if it is an addiction or not? Just try and completely stop looking at porn and masturbating for a month. Note how long you are able to make it before you give in. If you can go a month without falling into sexual sin, then you might not be addicted. But if you cannot stop and you find a way to rationalize your way back into another fall then you might be addicted.
Our culture has believed for years that once someone is an addict then they will always be an addict. I disagree. That is not true of every addict. I know plenty of men who were addicts but their addiction has stopped because they have been healed from their addiction by the power of the Spirit and maintaining contact with a team of other men who are helping one another.
I have experienced this healing myself. I am 14 and a half years in this battle and about 2 years ago I began to notice that I was no longer being strongly tempted to look at sexual images or have sexual fantasies. Those desires are almost completely gone. I can be tempted, and I must do the daily things I need to do to be maintaining my relationship with the Lord and continue to be being filled and walking in the Spirit and remaining in community with a team of men helping me.
Now, the idea of porn is disgusting to me. I have no desire to see some woman blatantly exposing herself to me. I have stopped looking at women as another piece of meat for me to consume. I see them as creations of God, and I must honor and respect both God and her no matter what she might be wearing…or not be wearing.
God has changed my heart and my mind. This has been the transformation of the Holy Spirit and I believe I can go the rest of my life without lusting again after another one of God’s creations who are worthy of honor and respect.
If you would like help beginning your 180 Recovery Journey contact me. We have a number of resources for you and also have 12 Online Support Teams. So, if you are tired of being a wounded warrior on your own and want to have weekly accountability and daily support from a team of other men fighting the same battle send me an email. Help is right here and right now for you.