When I was in the early stages of my recovery, and by that, I mean about the 3rd year after my full disclosure to my wife, the Lord gave me a passage that has served as a powerful encouragement for me. That passage is Isaiah 32:15ff. If you read the context it is God saying that a time is coming for Israel where there will be no harvest. The vines will dry up and the crops will fail. It says;
“Beat your breasts for the pleasant fields,
for the fruitful vines
and for the land of my people,
a land overgrown with thorns and briers—
yes, mourn for all houses of merriment
and for this city of revelry.
The fortress will be abandoned,
the noisy city deserted;
citadel and watchtower will become a wasteland forever,
the delight of donkeys, a pasture for flocks…”
Sounds like people whose lives have been destroyed by porn and sexual sin. Porn kills life for the wages of sin is death. That was how I was feeling in my third year of recovery. It was still a powerful battle and the wasteland around me and in my family, was still in shambles.
However, the next verse says this …
“…till the Spirit is poured on us from on high,
and the desert becomes a fertile field,
and the fertile field seems like a forest.
The Lord’s justice will dwell in the desert,
his righteousness live in the fertile field.
The fruit of that righteousness will be peace;
its effect will be quietness and confidence forever.
My people will live in peaceful dwelling places,
in secure homes,
in undisturbed places of rest.”
When I read that it was like God was speaking the words into my heart. The Spirit would be poured out and the wasteland of my life, my desert, would slowly begin to see green shoots of life coming out of the dirt until there would be a fertile field. Then, things would continue to grow, and that field would seem like a forest.
That was about 12 years ago, and I am here to tell you that is what God has done and continues to do. My life is now fully dedicated to this cause of helping Christians around the world get up out of the sewer of internet porn and sexual addiction and begin to experience the Christian life God has for all of us.
As I have been praying and thinking about where to go with 180 Ministries the Lord reminded me of that passage and has expanded the application. Our 180 Recovery Ministry at Vineyard Columbus has become a fertile field with many men finding healing through biblical teaching and accountability. And now, as more and more people from around the world are getting connected, I envision pockets of forests growing around the world and becoming places of shelter and healing.
There are over 2600 Christians in over 60 nations receiving this email/podcast. Some receive encouragement from the messages but being encouraged daily is not enough. It is a start…a cup of cold water on a hot day but no matter how often or how well I write messages to encourage you it will not end your battle. You cannot read or listen your way into Christlikeness.
It grieves me when I receive the monthly list from Constant Contact of those who have unsubscribed. It tells me what we can offer in the 180 Daily Fresh messages is not enough. We were a lifeboat passing by and may have prolonged their drowning for a while…but we never got them into the boat. They did not get connected to the community of those inside the boat who are making progress by being helped and then helping one another.
I see our Online Support Teams as 180 Lifeboats where instead of you being out there alone and treading water for as long as you can before you go under. Or you become shark bait because there is a shark out there seeking whom he may devour.
We all know you are ashamed of your sexual sin…so were we.
We know you are afraid of sharing your struggle and how far you have fallen into your sexual sin…so were we.
We all know the levels of desperation you are feeling wondering if God could even still love you…so did we.
So please…make a choice today to be seeing the Spirit of God being poured out on the desert of your life. Learn with others the biblical truths we all need to know and need help applying them to our lives
Contact me and I will send you the list of when the Online Support Teams meet and pick one that fits your schedule…or I will start a new one with you myself.