Hebrews 12:1-2 ESV
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Lay it Aside
Are you addicted to porn? You don’t need a 12-step program to get you free. You need to surrender your life to Jesus Christ, abandon your lifestyle of sin, and in the power of the Spirit of God, walk in the ways of the Lord. Then you will not gratify the desires of the flesh (See Gal. 5:16).
And, yes, I do know what I am talking about. This is not theory. This is in practice. Too many of these porn addiction recovery programs keep people still in bondage to sin, dependent on other humans, rather than on God, repeatedly failing, and always a step away from the next failure. But you can be free!
Addiction is enslavement, pure and simple. We are all enslaved to sin before we believe in Jesus, but via God-given faith in Jesus Christ, we are delivered from our enslavement to sin so that we now become slaves of God and of his righteousness. Thus, it is a lie which says you can’t be free (Rom. 6:1-23).
It is also a lie which tells you that it could take years, and many books, and therapists, and support groups before you can live in victory over your addiction, too. And, it is a lie which keeps you dependent on therapists and support groups to keep you “sober” sexually so that you don’t fail.
But, let me say this here. You will not be free if you don’t truly want to be free. Saying you want it, and truly wanting it are two different things. Saying you have repented of your sins and truly repenting are also two different things.
Also, confessing is not the same as repenting. Confessing is just admitting the sin. Repenting is turning away from it and now walking in obedience to the Lord. But you can’t repent of what you won’t admit. If you aren’t willing to allow God to show you what is in your heart, and if you aren’t willing to have all that sin removed from your heart and life, you will never be free.
So, what I am getting at here is that porn is often just the symptom of a deeper sin issue, like pain might be a symptom of a broken bone, or dizziness might be a symptom of a sinus infection, or shortness of breath might be a symptom of lung cancer. Porn addiction is a symptom of having no fear of God.
Not saying that porn addiction is not sin, but that there are underlying sins that need to be dealt with first if one is to ever experience true freedom from their slavery to sin. For example, if we are fearful, it is a sign of lack of trust in God and in his sovereignty.
So, if your solution is just to try to not look at porn any longer, but your heart hasn’t changed, and you still hate, and you don’t fear God, and you have unforgiveness and resentment and bitterness in your heart, those have to go, too, if you want to be free. You must confess those sins and turn from them and allow the Spirit of God to truly set you free.
In other words, we can’t dress the sin wound as though it is not serious. We can’t put Band-Aids over deep sin issues and expect them to be healed. We have to dig out that cancer, and we have to cast it away in the power of God’s Spirit at work in our hearts.
For, if you hate, then you resent, and if you resent, then you devalue, and if you devalue, then you abuse, and if you abuse, then you use, and you take advantage, and you feel entitled, and so you go to porn. So porn addiction isn’t just about lust, like rape isn’t just about sex. It is about power.
Let us Run
Too many people are trying to run the race that God has set before us, but they are still weighed down with multiple sins and with many triggers which lead them into sin, because they are unwilling to cooperate with God’s plan of salvation for our freedom.
And that plan is that we must die with him to sin so that we can live to him and to his righteousness. We must surrender our lives to him, turn from our sins, allow the Spirit of God to transform our minds and hearts, and then we must walk in obedience to our Lord in his power and strength.
And, we must remain focused on Jesus and on his plan for our lives. Daily we must die to sin and self and follow our Lord in obedience to his will and to his word. We must be in his word, studying it, taking it into our hearts and minds, and then by God’s grace, we must apply its truths to our lives.
We can’t be spending our days, when we are not working, just playing games, surfing the Net, watching videos, TV, and movies, and playing on social media, etc. We can’t be taking into our minds, hearts, eyes and ears, the filth and the junk of this world, either. For out of what is stored in our hearts comes all kinds of evil behaviors.
If we want to live in moral purity, then not only must we be surrendered to the Lord, dying to sin and living for God daily, but we must be putting into our minds and hearts what is of God – what is pure, honest, moral, upright, godly, and decent, etc.
And, then we can live morally pure, upright, and godly lives while we wait for Christ’s return. We can run that race that God has marked out for us, because we have cast off those weights of sin and those hindrances to our walks of faith which lead us into sin, and because we are walking in obedience to our Lord, according to his will and purpose and in his power.
So, if you have not yet done so, I pray that today, by faith in Jesus Christ, that you will surrender your life to Jesus, that you will turn from your life of sin, and that you will turn to the Lord Jesus to follow him in obedience one day at a time, by his grace and in his strength, and under his direction.
Oh, to Be Like Thee, Blessed Redeemer
Lyrics by Thomas O. Chisholm, 1897
Music by W. J. Kirkpatrick, 1897
Oh, to be like Thee! blessèd Redeemer,
This is my constant longing and prayer;
Gladly I’ll forfeit all of earth’s treasures,
Jesus, Thy perfect likeness to wear.
Oh, to be like Thee! full of compassion,
Loving, forgiving, tender and kind,
Helping the helpless, cheering the fainting,
Seeking the wandering sinner to find.
O to be like Thee! lowly in spirit,
Holy and harmless, patient and brave;
Meekly enduring cruel reproaches,
Willing to suffer others to save.
O to be like Thee! while I am pleading,
Pour out Thy Spirit, fill with Thy love;
Make me a temple meet for Thy dwelling,
Fit me for life and Heaven above.
Oh, to be like Thee! Oh, to be like Thee,
Blessèd Redeemer, pure as Thou art;
Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness;
Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.
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