Shame graphic.

My answer to porn addicted people seeking freedom.

I recently had a friend ask me to put some time and thought into helping him fight against his porn addiction. He knows that I’ve struggled with the same issue and like me, wants to leave it behind and live a life of worship.

He has a girl friend that he wants to marry, and he’s actually a really great guy. But he feels trapped by his addiction, finding that it sneaks up on him and leaves him guilty before he knows it.

Because of my own story intense struggle against leaving a life of adultery in porn behind and because of the amazing grace I’ve been shown by Christ in freedom from fatal curse of porn and the overflowing blessing I’ve been given here on earth with my wife Maggie, and forever with God – I felt much obliged to really think hard and seek God about the right words to bless my friend.

I thought I’d share my response to his difficulty here for the sake of any others that my be helped by the same message.

There’s plenty I left out. If you need help understanding my message, or want help putting a life of faith to action, please feel free to leave a comment or send me a message.


1. REMEMBER THE TRUTH ABOUT YOU!

You are a person made in the image of God, who has basically shut God out for most of your life. Before you knew Jesus you shut him out by just ignoring him. But even after getting to know him, you still ignore him most of the time. After graciously and deeply encountering the creator of the universe and being invited to live in intimate relationship with him, you still make your thoughts, your desires, and your standard to be more important than his…

You take his greatest commandment “Love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind and strength” (Luke 10:27) and you turn it into a weekend hobby, as if …*God’s okay with your cold shoulder when he stands in the way of what you really want, you know he’s happy just to get you for a weekend when you’re available*…

You are wicked through and through bro! Porn is just the tip of the iceberg.

You could confess 1000s of sins to me, but you make this one out to be “the worst”. Not because it’s actually worse than any others, but because you know if you get caught you’ll be exposed for the liar and cheater that you truly are. But what about your greed! You’re laziness, your deeply engrained up pride. You can’t keep you eyes from lusting, over other women and over other people stuff. You want it all – never content with what God gives you.

Own it bro! Don’t be blind. If what you do is has any say over your standing with God – you’re gone! No chance! You’ve committed enough sin just reading this message to spit in God’s face with your pride and win yourself a place in hell for eternity.
So forget the porn. You’re filthy all over. Hopeless. What difference does a clump of dirt make, in a rotting swamp.

  • The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? ~ Jeremiah 17:9
  • Why should you be beaten anymore? Why do you persist in rebellion? Your whole head is injured, your whole heart afflicted. From the sole of your foot to the top of your head there is no soundness–only wounds and welts and open sores, not cleansed or bandaged or soothed with oil. ~Isa 1:5-6

2. REMEMBER THE TRUTH ABOUT CHRIST!

(Ephesians 2:1-10) The word that spoke creation into existence. With enough power in his breath to roll out an entire universe in 6 days. Jesus came as a vulnerable baby. To take on ALL the challenges and pain of what it is to be a man. He was 100% man AND 100% God. Jesus stayed on earth, saturated in the sins of men, without EVER sinning himself. Even being personally pressured by the Devil after going without food for 40 days. He did it all without ever deviating from EXACTLY what God the Father had told him to do. Always following the Father’s lead without ever attempting to comfort or entertain his physical desires (or even safety) first (John 5:19). He even died – something only sinners do! And a torturous death at that!

Why did he do it. Because we deserve it? So that people might see what devotion to God looks like – and then try their hardest to do the same? No!

Because he loves you, like a good father loves a son (1 John 4:10 & Matthew 7:11). You are his! Christ lived the perfect life required of you! He did what you could never do for you so that you wouldn’t have to do it. And he knew that you couldn’t do it! He gave you what he deserved, and took what you deserve on himself (2 Corinthians 5:21).

In fact, Christ chose you to eat at his table before you were even born!
At the point you made Jesus your hope for salvation, you confirmed a work that Christ had already planned in you since before he created time.
As bad as your sin is – it is no surprise to God. Despite your sin, he loves and cherishes you! Your good days and bad days make no difference to how much he loves you. He put your name in his book before you were even born! (Ephesians 1:4) Knowing every single sin you’ve committed and ever will commit, he willfully laid his life down to buy you back from the death you deserve. It was never what you do or have done that determines God’s love for you – he decided to love you forever the moment he created you. Furthermore, Christ wears your name at judgement and receives an eternity of punishment on your behalf, and because you bear the name of Christ you are counted worthy to dine with, work with, even snuggle up to (Songs 2:3-6) the almighty God. When the Father sees you, he sees the righteous life of Jesus shining out.

Regardless of what evil you have done. Regardless of what evil you will ever do. When you trust in Christ as your only hope for salvation, the only life you will be judged by is the life of Jesus.

Porn-perv, adulterer, greedy-guts, pedophile, murderer… Every name you earned, was given to Jesus on the cross.
Righteous, worthy, holy, perfect, son with whom I am well pleased… Every name Jesus earned, was given to you at the cross.

It is done, your whole life has already been accounted for in Jesus.

3. REMEMBER THE TRUTH ABOUT SEX!

God created sex you know. Penis, Vagina – multipurpose plumbing designed and installed by God. He has a purpose for it and that purpose is good! Let’s look at the facts:

  1. God says his purpose for the plumbing he installed in you is much better than you could imagine. (1 Corinthians 2:9)
  2. God says He loves you so deeply that he would die in your place.(John 3:16)
  3. God uses sexual intimacy between a man and woman as the #1 illustration for the depth of intimacy he desires to share with us in the bible. (Check out Ezekiel 16 and the whole book of Songs of Solomon)

With those three facts in mind – be assured that God’s design for sex is intentionally, mind-blowingly enjoyable and awesome.

Whenever you sin, you are choosing to believe a convenient lie that gratifies instantly, rather than believe the truth that satisfies eternally.

When you look at porn (or even just look at a woman with lust, both are considered adultery~Matt 5:28); you believe the lie that your sexual desires are nothing but a chemical consequence of the things happening around you. So the easiest and most enjoyable way to deal with it is masturbation accompanied by looking at images that inflame your enjoyable sexual chemical makeup. When it’s over, you feel cheated, you feel like you have cheated someone-else, and in fact you have cheated many people. God, your (future) wife, the people you looked at, the (future) spouses of the people you looked at, and yourself. You got some instant gratification at the cost of falling for a lie, rebelling against God’s intended design for sex and robbing yourself of the deep satisfaction God intended sex to bring you.

When you trust God, and believe the truth about sex; you believe that your sexual chemical make up is given to you by God for his purposes so that you might enjoy them and glorify God for them and with them. So when you feel sexual pressure, remember that sexual pressure is God’s idea. He desires that you feel intense mind/body/soul longings to be joined with your bride, to give you a small sense of what he feels toward you, longing to be joined with you again (Songs 4:9-12). Remember that God is patient with us, waiting for the right time to bless us with his coming, growing in passion for us every minute we are away from him, romancing and wooing us with his words and creativity until the day we finally meet. Likewise he desires that you would be patient with your bride, using the energy from your growing passion to romance and woo your bride with your words and creativity (Eph 5:25-33). And let’s not forget that God is very interested in you enjoying the mind/body/soul experience of marital intimacy (Proverbs 5:18-19) – it is even just a glimpse of the euphoric joy he desires to pour out on us.

The overarching lie that porn tells you – is that it can bring you the satisfaction that really only God can. But your sexuality is purposefully limited so that you don’t make the mistake of elevating the good things God created, above the one best thing – the creator. God alone is worthy of worship. (Exodus 20:3-5)
Don’t believe the lie that if you sacrifice God for porn, you will be satisfied. You won’t.
Rather believe the truth, that if you sacrifice porn for God you will be satisfied. You will!

4. WALK IN THE SPIRIT!

I probably haven’t written anything you didn’t already know deep down! So the obvious question that follow is “Yeah…but how do I remember? How do I stop myself from believing the lie? I know that I’m a sinner, I know that Christ died for me, I know that God’s design for sex is good! But I still sin! How do I stop?”

The answer is so simple. But I promise you Michael… it’s the truth.

Remember the story of the rich young ruler in Matthew 19:16-27. Jesus says It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God. A scary statement for people who live in western civilization – because ALL of us are among the top percentage of wealthiest people in the world. But then Jesus says something in the next verse that opens the door wide to us rich folk – “What is impossible for man, is possible for God. Remember this story…. it is very important!

Many of my atheist friends think that when I’m talking about faith in God, I’m talking about believing in his existence… No… That’s not faith – that’s observation. The faith we profess is trusting that God’s promises are true that he alone can satisfy us in and through Jesus Christ. Every time that Jesus says “You of little faith” he is not accusing the audience of being atheists, he is accusing them of doubting God as an adequate provider of our needs and desires… the needs and desire God created us to have.

But the problem with our sick heart, is that it refuses to trust in God, and prefers to trust in our own effort. We don’t believe God will give us what we want, so we try to provide what we want for ourselves. Like our first dad, Adam; we think that God is keeping us from having the best, so we try to get it for ourselves, robbing ourselves of the good/best things that only God can give us.

When Jesus mentions this predicament to the crowd in John 6:22-29 he tells them “Do not labour for food that perishes, but for food that leads to eternal life, that the Son of Man will give you…” So they ask him, “What must we do to be doing the works of God?” and he answers them “The work of God is this; BELIEVE in the one whom God sent!”

The problem for us is that believing is harder than it sounds. … Romans 8:7 tells us that our natural mindset is hostile toward God and that it is impossible for us to submit to his will because of our hostility. So how can we believe if we don’t already believe and couldn’t make ourselves believe even if we wanted to? … We can’t … It is impossible.

Jesus tells another story in Matthew 13:1-23. The farmer who sewed seeds on the path, on the rocks, on the weeds and on the soil. The seed that lands on the path, rocks and weeds all fail in the end. So how can we make sure we are good soil? How can rock turn itself into soil? … It can’t … It is impossible.

But what is impossible for man, is possible for God. We can’t change ourselves. But we can be changed! In our inability to rescue ourselves, God is glorified in the way he graciously rescues people who hate him out of his deep love for them.

  • You can’t make yourself believe, but God can give you the believe you need.
  • You can’t turn yourself into good soil, but God can give you the growth you need

In Matthew 16:17 Jesus asks Peter what he thinks of Jesus, Peter says “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Peter was the first disciple to truly believe! But it’s not because of anything he did to change himself. In the next verse Jesus says “You are blessed! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.”

In John 6:44 Jesus says “No-one comes to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up on the last day.”

We don’t save ourselves, buy conjuring up enough faith to get us through the pearly gates. We don’t live holy lives by conjuring up enough will power to really live like Jesus. We do both by trusting in the powerful work that Christ has already started in us. Phil 2:12-13 says work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you both to want and to work for his good pleasure.

And if you read this and you worry “What if God hasn’t changed me into good soil? What if God isn’t drawing me to himself?” Be assured that the concern you have to get straight with God is a sign that he is beginning a process in you that you could not have begun yourself. So follow his direction! Fall to your knees in prayer and don’t rest until you are sure that your salvation is secure in Christ.(2 Corinthians 7:10)

There is a moment in every Christian’s life, when out of the treasure won for us in Christ’s sacrifice, we are given a new heart. Not just a second chance, but a heart that beats with the power of the God’s Spirit. Unlike our old-dead heart that sneers “I am my own God,” we are graciously given the heart of Jesus that cries “Abba, Daddy, Father.” (Galatians 4:6) That is why we say born again. The old-dead heart is discarded and the new heart birth us into life. It is God that leads us to him. It is God that changes us to believe, and it is God who causes us to grow by his own Spirit working inside us.

That’s why Jesus says “You shall know them by their fruit” talking about recognizing who truly believes by whether or not their life produces the fruit of the Holy Spirit which is the natural outworking of someone who has been born again with a new heart (Galatians… especially chapter 6).

REMEMBER THIS SUMMARY!

1) THE TRUTH ABOUT YOU: Own the fact that your sin is real, and it’s actually much worse than you realize – enough to condemn you to hell for eternity.

2) THE TRUTH ABOUT CHRIST: Understand that Jesus served the punishment your entire life deserves in full on the cross, and in his resurrection he imputes to you the full reward he deserves as the heir of God’s throne!

3) THE TRUTH ABOUT SEX: Have faith that the root desire of every temptation you face, has already been promised to you and is won for you by Christ’s work. And it will be given to you in God’s perfect timing.

4) WALK IN THE SPIRIT: Trust in God’s work in you to overcome sin. (1 Corinthians 10:12-13) Dig deep into getting intimate with Jesus, especially when you feel weak and poor – that is when his grace and power shines brightest (Luke 7:36-50 & 1 Corinthians 12:9-10) and be led by his grace and power to seek God’s will and live a life of holiness.

The end.

It wouldn’t be a bad idea to go and read all the verses I mention in this message and commit them to memory. God’s word is your sword to fight against the desires of your flesh, for the glory of God in your life!

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