If you have been trying to overcome your sexually addictive behavior you have probably learned that you are in an enormous battle. I fought that battle for at least 8 years trying to stop using porn and sex as an escape. I was motivated because of both my marriage and my 26 years of being a pastor hung in the balance.
I believe that you are sincere as well because you are reading this email or listening to this podcast. As I have said before this is…
A Battle You Cannot Win but Cannot Afford to Lose.
However, only wanting to find freedom from this highly addictive behavior is not enough. When the Allied forces stormed the beach at Normandy, they did not all arrive on cruise ships expecting a tour of the wine vineyards in France. They knew this would be an incredible battle and so they attacked in every way they could from airplanes dropping bombs, battleships firing their cannons, and 156,000 Allied troops put boots on the sand.
I am sure that if we realized how powerful a battle we are in we would do at least these three things. First, we would make sure we are ready to fight by having our equipment in working order and knowing how to use all of it. Second, we would want to have the intelligence needed for the operation from our commanding officer. And third, we would definitely make sure we would not be fighting this battle alone.
Here are the three enemies we all have to face in recovery.
- The Internal Enemy…Our Flesh. Our flesh loves sin and perhaps all kinds of sin. It manifests itself through igniting our lusts so that we desire what we should not desire and do things we should not do. However, we do them because our flesh is powerful and on its own has the power to cause us to do what we know in our minds we should not do.
Our flesh or sinful nature seems to have a life of its own. We were born with it and will die with it and it is a power in us that must be brought under submission to our will by the power of the Holy Spirit. Whenever we are feeling lust, or rebellious, or selfish our flesh is manifesting itself and has done so for years.
It does not surprise me that after years of giving in to our flesh we fall like a house of cards when the slightest temptation comes upon us. Many have given up and do not even try to fight it lying to ourselves that we will try more tomorrow, and this will be the last time. Where has that gotten you? Not a good place I am sure.
So, what is the solution to the flesh??? Galatians 5:16-17;
“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.”
Listen, even the Apostle Paul had to battle with the lusts of his flesh. We have battled and lost for years. Maybe we need a new plan. How about walking in the Spirit and we will not carry out the desires of the flesh? Instead of trying to battle the desires of our flesh and losing again, we need to be filled with the Spirit and walk with Him away from the temptation.
- The External Enemy…Demonic Forces. You know that the Bible says we are not battling against flesh and blood but against the spiritual forces of darkness or demons. Now you can ignore this intelligence from our Commanding Officer or believe it and take action. And what is that action? See Ephesians 6:14-17;
“Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
Listen as much as you want to believe it you are not some spiritual Rambo. These are serious enemies with powers to impact our lives and draw us into sin. If you are not putting on these pieces of armor you are dumb. As it reads in Proverbs 12:1;
“Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge,
but he who hates correction is stupid.”
- We are Living Behind Enemy Lines. I hope I do not have to convince you of this. Why has porn become universal and omnipresent? Why is there racism and man’s inhumanity to man? Our lives here on earth are constantly being tempted with some form of evil. Therefore, we must be very careful about how we live. The things we think, do, and say…the things we put into our minds…the extended periods of isolation we retreat to so that we can give ourselves some temporary relief are only corrupting our minds even more.
And while behind enemy lines we are constantly receiving messages that are injected with the poison of lies. We are trying to amuse ourselves to death. How much time would you save if you cut our social media and binging on streaming television and or sports?
We tell ourselves we do not have time for God our schedules are too busy. What a load of crap that is. We all have exactly the same amount of time. There are 24 hours in a day and 168 hours in a week. We all have the same amount of time. We need to take a serious look at where those hours are going and what is the return for us for your investment?
The reality is we have the choice of what we do in many hours of our day. Remove time at work, time eating and sleeping and how much do you have left? It is far more than you imagine. Sleeping, eating, and work takes about 16-18 hours. So, what is happening during the other 6-8 hours in your day?
Perhaps making time every day in the morning and in the evening to check in with the Lord would be a good place to start. Offering your body to God as a living sacrifice is a must and takes about 5 seconds. Asking for the filling of the Holy Spirit about 5 seconds and praying on the full armor of God for about 2 minutes. Hmmmm…it is not a lack of time that is the issue. It is a lack of desire.
Being a lukewarm Christian is easy. Just go with the flow. Take the easy way out. Be isolated and ignoring your need for community and you will end up right where you are.
The problem with so many men addicted to porn and sex is not only that it is a powerful addiction to stop but we keep that part of our lives a secret and therefore live under its control.
If you are feeling that way then we are here to help you. Just email me – firstname.lastname@example.org