Help for the Hopeless (BCday#26) ~ blog
I hear from some of my readers who are struggling with their sexual brokenness that they sometimes feel hopeless. This happens quite frequently soon after they have a little hope that something they found might be the answer only to find it is not the answer and they are back even a little deeper in their addiction.
Porn addicts feel like they are the lepers of today. Virtually every one of us has felt feelings of hopelessness which then leads us to begin to doubt our salvation and even if there is a loving God. If there is a loving God, why does He not heal us? Does our painful crying out for healing not reach His ears? And if He does hear us what is keeping Him from healing us?
I know what that is like because I felt it and fought it for years as a married man with 4 children and being a full-time Senior Pastor. Whose career should have ended were it not for my ability to hide my secret sin and hope that I could somehow find freedom without help from anyone. Outside I looked fine and successful but, on the inside, I was a leper, a secret leper and if anyone would learn the truth about me my life in ministry would be over and perhaps my marriage too.
In the Gospel of Mark chapter 1, we see what Jesus does when in the presence of a leper. Lepers were banned from society destined to live out their lives in a colony of other lepers. All of them seeing their flesh being consumed by the disease within their death camp from which nobody survived. Living there was a death sentence…and you had to live there.
However, one leper has left the colony and comes into the presence of Jesus. He would have been easily recognized by his clothing and pathetic walk with his head down and his arm raised to shield his face calling out “unclean…unclean” so the people would stay away from him.
We know nothing of his age, but Jesus was his last hope. Jesus had already created a wild reputation as one able to heal many brought to him with sickness and demonic possession. So, this leper comes up to Him shaking in his sandals and ignoring the gasps of the crowd who were incensed at this leper being in their area, and how dare he come up to Jesus.
He gets on his knees and implores Jesus with these words…
“If You are willing, You can make me clean.”
Notice he does not say; “If you are able…” The man was not questioning the power of Jesus but was asking if it was His will. Lepers were not welcome being among those who were not lepers. He has shown great faith and courage to ignore the crowd surely muttering words of discouragement, shock, and anger. But what happened next had never happened before in their days…
“Moved with compassion, Jesus reached out with His hand and touched him, and said to him, ‘I am willing; be cleansed.’
And immediately the leprosy left him, and he was cleansed.”
There is a beauty in this moment that we dare not miss. Jesus was moved with compassion. This man…this social outcast banned from the town with everyone believing that he was a leper because either he, his parents, or all of them had committed some horrible sin and this lifetime judgment from God had fallen on this man. The leprosy was God’s judging him because of some sin and so he was condemned to die a leper.
Porn addicts are the lepers of today within the church…or at least feel like it. We have cried out to God and Jesus so many times we cannot count them. We live in fear that if anyone finds out that we have become addicted to porn we would be looked down upon as sinners much worse than all the other sinners…many of whom do not even realize that they themselves and sinners too.
Others believe that we have become addicted to porn because we were either weak, stupid, or both. Shocking that the statistics say over 60% of all the men in each church and 30% of all the women and who knows how many children are weak and stupid…because those are the percentages coming from reliable studies. And…so are a fairly large number of pastors.
Truth be told churches are the leper colonies of today living in denial and secret shame. Some are beginning to try and admit the truth and help their members. A growing number of ministries and people are being created to help the sexually broken. And 180 is one of them. By the Grace of God and the forgiveness of my wife, I have accepted the calling to create a ministry that has a proven track record of helping men find the healing we all so desperately want. And we have been doing this since 2009.
The answer is not some quick fix deliverance that immediately sets you free. Why do I think that? Because I know men who believed they were delivered by a former pastor friend of mine who does deliverance full time. He has developed the best program I have ever seen based on Scripture and wise thinking. And we both agree that after deliverance is done there is a danger of falling back into sexual addiction if one does not deal with the same 3 problems they had before their deliverance.
We still have a sinful nature. We still do battle with demonic forces. And we still are living behind enemy lines…and will be dealing with all three until we get to heaven. I hate to confuse you with the reality of this life and want you to know that despite these present realities God has given to us everything we need to live a godly life and walk in purity.
However, even though all of us who are sexually broken have the Holy Spirit living in our bodies what the vast majority of us are afraid of telling the truth and getting the help we need from a community of other believers having weekly accountability and daily support. Which is exactly what our Online Support Teams do.
So, I ask you…are you ready to leave the secret leper colony, discover that Jesus has compassion on your sin and wants to and can heal you through the power of a community of other fellow strugglers? If you are…just email me. If you are helped with my daily emails, then join us and walk with us through the 180 Recovery Program and begin to see the healing that community and biblical truth can accomplish in your life.