#Day0 – the first time

I remember my first run-in with pornography as if it were yesterday.

I was so curious.  I just wanted to know what the other guys at the lunch table were talking about.  I wanted to laugh.  I wanted to make the jokes.  I wanted to be in on the conversation, not sitting there trying not to embarrass myself.  I knew that I shouldn’t.  I knew that it was wrong.  I knew that if I got caught it would be bad news.

I was a really good kid.  I was also a really curious kid.  I wanted to know.  I had to know.  I had heard that there was videos of people having sex on the internet, and I knew it couldn’t be that hard to find.  Everyone else seemed to have found it.  So one night, curiosity killed the cat.  Finally having a device of my own to search the depths of the internet, it was a no-brainer.

I should have known better.

As I searched the internet, I became physically ill.  Ill almost to the point of vomiting.  I was shaking.  I was sweating.  In that moment, I felt consumed.  Consumed with the lust that had slowly but surely taken me to the point of searching to find the perverted version of one of God’s greatest creations.  And then, I found it.  I found it and so much more that I never should have found.

For a few brief moments, I thought that I had accomplished what I had come for.

Then, it hit me.

I became overcome by guilt and shame.  The guilt and shame that I thought no one could ever understand.  In that moment, I knew Satan to be a liar.  I was never going to do that again.

A couple weeks later, I went looking for it again.  Then again.  Then again.  But it was ok, I could quit any time.  Porn was just a habit that I had.  One that I would be easily able to quit when I went to college.  When I got a girlfriend.  When I became a minister.

Soon enough, those milestones came and past, but porn didn’t go anywhere.  Somehow, though I know it is coming, I still have bought into Satan’s lies time and time again.


Because of porn, I now know:

We are constantly drawn to return to that which Christ has called us out of.

Every morning when we wake up, Jesus is offering more, and Satan is offering us less.

The LORD has all the power to redeem and refine us.


“Father, I need you. Keep my eyes ever on You.”

Written from the midst of the struggle.

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#Day0 – the first time

#DAY3 – DATING MY DEMONS

The most frustrating part about my struggle with porn is that is predictable.

Same time. Same location. Everyday.

I know when, and where I will be most tempted to look at porn and masturbate. I am most tempted at the same time, at the same location, every single day. It’s like I have a date night with my sin. But instead of date night only being once a week, it is every single night. Our date is repeating, and it is predictable.

Same time. Same location. Everyday.

Every night when I crawl in bed, I know what is going to happen. I know my demons will meet me in my bed. As I pull the covers over me it is as if I am pulling temptation with it.

I have tried all the remedies to porn that I have heard. But see the problem is that my accountability partners go to sleep before I do. My Wi-Fi filters only work if I am actually on my Wi-Fi network, instead of streaming data from my phone.

So I am stuck with a routine of sin. I know when it is coming and I can’t seem to stop it.

Same time. Same location. Everyday.

So Jesus, here is my prayer to you. Third wheel my date with sin. Meet us there. I can tell you where and when we are meeting; all I ask is that you show up. Show up and hold my hand and keep my attention on you. Because Jesus, without you, I am only failing. My prayer and my invitation are for you to show up, even when I don’t want you to.

Same time. Same location. Everyday.

Create in me a clean heart, O God.

Written from the midst of the struggle.

#DAY3 – DATING MY DEMONS

#Day1 – So What Is My Problem?

“But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”

Matthew 5:28

 

I try so hard to stop watching porn and masturbating. I have multiple accountability groups and multiple mentors who check up on me. I listen to sermons on lust. I have tried all of the browser filters and Internet search history monitors. I have tried everything. Yet no matter how hard I try, I am still addicted.

It has taken me a long time to get to the point where I have realized that my porn and masturbation addiction is not my problem.

See my problem is not that I have been hooked since I was 12 years old. My problem is not that I can’t go more than 14 days without watching porn or masturbating. My problem is not that it is nearly impossible for me to not look at a woman lustfully.

Perhaps my problem is how hard I try.

Perhaps my problem is that all of the above sentences only involve me.

Perhaps my problem is that I am so focused on stopping the physical acts of watching porn and masturbating that I ignore my heart.

Perhaps my problem is that I am trying to stop my addiction without help from God and the Spirit.

My problem is I do not pursue God with EVERYTHING I am. My problem is I do not invite Him into my struggle. My problem is that I want to be in the driver’s seat. My problem is my impure heart. My problem is that I do not trust Him enough to surrender every aspect of my life to Him.

But if God is really to be the one in control of my life, as I claim He is, I must surrender my will to Him. I must learn to trust him daily, even hourly.

Breathing is not something I choose to do. It is not something I have to think about. It is something that I naturally do. I don’t have to try to breathe, I just breathe. My body naturally takes in air from my nostrils and uses it to give me life. Thank God I do not have to try to breathe.

I long for the day when I do not have to try to surrender to God. I long for the day that my surrender to God is as natural as breathing. I long for the day that this is a normal rhythm of my life.

I pray that I can be so in tune with the Spirit that my surrender is a routine reaction that happens without constant thought or effort. I want to naturally surrender to God so that I can receive life! I long for the day I do not have to keep track of how many days it has been since I last watched porn.

May my surrender become so natural that I lose track of how many days it has been!

 

“Create in me a clean heart, O God,

and put a new and right spirit within me.

Do not cast me away from your presence,

and do not take your holy spirit from me.

Restore to me the joy of your salvation,

and sustain in me a willing spirit.”

Psalm 51:10-12

Create in me a clean heart, O God.

Written from the midst of the struggle.

#Day1 – So What Is My Problem?

#Day0 – What just happened?

It doesn’t take long for seemingly buried lust to make its way out of its shallow grave.

I had gone a while since my last stumble into the depths of pornography, even reporting late last night to my partners in the struggle that “I can honestly say that, because of the power of the Almighty, I’m cleaner on the porn stuff than I have been in a long time.”  I wasn’t lying. I was beginning to see girls once again in the way that God intended.  And then today I thought, “I haven’t watched porn in two weeks, I am doing really well.”  After that, the Enemy moved quickly.  I can’t even remember this time exactly what it was that set it off.  Maybe it was the girl I watched two nights ago as she walked to her car.  I knew I should look away, but it was just one little thing, right?  Maybe it was scrolling through Instagram today.  The beach pictures.  Anything can set my mind down a dangerous path.  Sometimes I feel like I can’t even close my eyes for fear of images scrolling through my mind.  It all happened so fast.  When it was over, I felt like I always do after porn: cheated, lied to, and ashamed.

But today, I believe the Lord used my experience to push me to write this.

When working to get past porn:

Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.   Proverbs 16:18

So you’ve gone a few days, weeks, months, or years without porn?  Give God the glory! God is making you into a new creation, something far greater than what we could ever dream or imagine, but you are not.  The only thing we can do is fully trust and glorify God for dragging us out of the pit of despair, and into the land of the living!

Do not give the devil a foothold.   Ephesians 4:27

No small amount of lust is ok.  We live in a world that wants to make sin look normal.  Pornography and masturbation are common conversations in pop culture.  The joking and the lighthearted nature of the conversation is not ok.  Porn defiles what God has set apart.  Its time we start being offended by the culture.  So whether its the bikini picture on Instagram or the girl at the supermarket, let’s be good stewards of the gift God has given us.

The Enemy is a good liar.  Every day when we wake up, Satan is offering us less, and Jesus is offering us more.  We need to choose Jesus every second of every day.  That’s the only way we can beat this. We are all in this together.

Written from the midst of the struggle.

#Day0 – What just happened?