August 22, 2013

Porn needs no introduction. For those of us who have viewed any kind of pornographic material we know its seduction and power. It has a way of drawing a man into a whole different world. And it is a false world of fantasy and arousal based on storylines and appearances that do not really exist.

I will never forget the first pornographic image that I saw. It was such explicit content that the image burned into the back of my brain just as a branding iron leaves its mark on cattle. Once seen, I was enticed. And once enticed I was led like cattle to the slaughter. I quickly became addicted. And once addicted, I was on Satan’s chopping block were I was prepped for the slaughter. And I was slaughtered – spiritually, mentally, and physically.

Now, those days were pre-Christ. But, what I want to discuss is post-Christ and how He helped me overcome such an awful addiction and habit. Below are 5 quick steps that helped me overcome the addiction. If you are struggling and need help, Lord-willing you can use these tactics to fight one of the many choice weapons in Satan’s arsenal – pornography.

Step 1: Withdraw from all kinds of media or portals where temptation exists.

This means no television, no smart-phone, and definitely no computer until you learn self-control. If you have cable in your house or apartment, cancel it. If you have wireless access, cancel it. If you absolutely must use a computer for school or work, then go to a library. Put yourself in a location where you force yourself to have supervision at all times. Staying at your house/apartment claiming your family, friend, roommate, etc. is there to “watch” over you is still too risky. If they have to run out for a few minutes you become extremely vulnerable and susceptible to stumbling into temptation. It only takes a few minutes for your heart and mind to wander and before you know it you are waist-deep in a realm of filth and sin. It may seem like a drastic measure but in order to truly overcome such a drastic addiction you need to take some serious time away from those avenues that led to the infection of this filth in your life. The best verse to keep at the forefront of your mind for this step is the following:

“I will set no worthless thing before my eyes.” – Psalm 101:3

Step 2: Take control of your thought-life.

Once you have been trekking down this path for a while, or even a short while, pornography starts to become the forefront topic of all your thoughts. That’s why it is called an addiction. That means the object of affection consumes an unhealthy amount of your time and consideration. You will have to continually guard your heart and mind and be fully aware of every thought that pops into your brain. Once a sexual thought comes to mind, you must do everything you can to take your mind to another place. Think about work or a hobby. Start to pray. Focus on God. Do whatever it takes to get your mind off of sex or pornography and focus it on a better subject. You will have to war against your thoughts and in every war there are prisoners which must be taken captive. Take your thoughts captive and imprison all immoral and sexual thoughts. A great verse for this step is the following:

“We are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.” – 2 Corinthians 10:5

Step 3: Keep tabs on where your eyes wander.

Just the same as the principle of your thought-life, once you have been looking at such disgusting and degrading images of human life, you will have to redirect where and what your eyes look upon daily until you get it right. Pornography is a degrading act in it of itself and commonly portrays women incorrectly. Women are not sexual objects made for mans disposal. God teaches us their worth and value as they are to be treated as equals in the Kingdom of God and even further as sacred vessels (Ref. 1 Peter 3:7, Ephesians 5:25-33). The negative mindset toward women pornography portrays will unfortunately often be transferred into the way you interact and look at women. When they approach you for a conversation you may immediately be drawn to their breasts. And when they walk away from that conversation you may be equally drawn to their backside. What you will have to do is take visual inventory during your interactions with women and reflect on them at the end of the day. How are you doing? Did you improve? Etc. Take those mental transactions before God and ask Him to keep your heart and mind focused on Him. The verse that helped me personally with this step was the following:

“Let your eyes look directly ahead and let your gaze be fixed straight in front of you.” – Proverbs 4:25

Step 4: Read The Bible.

This is probably the most important step and I cannot emphasize that enough. When you are deep in Gods word, He uses it to penetrate and cleanse into the innermost parts of your soul. It rejuvenates a person and brings life and nourishment to the human soul. And once you start living your life in accordance to God’s word you will start to notice those things that you once struggled with will fall away one by one. So dive in and saturate yourself in it. Read scripture in the morning. Read it during your lunch break. Read it before you go to bed. Soak up as much of Gods word as you possibly can. It is one of the main drivers to true life change.

“How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping it according to Your word.” – Psalm 119:9

Step 5: Surround yourself with Godly people.

I cannot express enough how much being in community with God’s people can help you overcome this addiction. It is always a good idea to change the environment you had been in where you were struggling (that typically being the seclusion and privacy of your own home). Getting out of your house with other Godly people can be a Godsend for the recovery process. And if you are attending a Bible study not only are you away from all possible avenues of temptation, but you are also learning about God’s word, which can only help better your condition. So hang out with Godly people as much as you can or need to. Hang out on the weekends instead of staying cooped up inside. Call up one of your Church buddies to discuss life over coffee on a weeknight if you feel tempted. God commonly uses His people to impart wisdom and knowledge into us and can use them as spiritual crutches for certain seasons of our life. Satan knows that if he can get you secluded from the rest of the flock, he has a greater chance of devouring you. I end this point on the following scripture:

“He who separates himself seeks his own desire, He quarrels against all sound wisdom.” – Proverbs 18:1

Now, the timeframe for all of these measures will be different for everyone. Typically the longer you are in the habit of something, the longer it will take to break that habit. If it has been a part of your daily routine for several years it may very well take several years to fully break. And honestly, it may be something you constantly wage war against for the rest of your life. But there is hope!

Remember those verses! Put on the armor of God (Ref. Ephesians 6:11-16). Of all the armor, the only offensive gear we have in the armory is the Sword of the Spirit – a.k.a Scripture. Write those verses on sticky notes and post them in your room. Post them on the dashboard of your car. Memorize them. Write them on your heart. Whenever you began to struggle recite them over and over in your heart and mind. Say them out loud. Converse to God about them. Thank Him for the promises of His word and claim them in Jesus name. Do whatever you have to in order to “flee from sexual immorality” (1 Corinthians 6:18).

And that is it. Ultimately, it takes God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit for true transformation and life change. But, with His help you can overcome any addiction valiantly and defeat the enemy of Satan. Pornography will be of no power over you any longer.