Friday, April 5, 2013

"Avoiding Pornography"

Avoiding Pornography
 Taken from “The Resolution for Men” by Stephen & Alex Kendrick with Randy Alcorn

‘No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.’  (First Corinthians 10: 13)

Pornography is idolatry.  It creates an addiction of lust that leads a man to surrender his mind, body, money, time, and purity in service to it.  It becomes his god and perverted master.

When God created sex for a man and his wife alone to enjoy, He permanently linked its pleasure to marriage, love, intimacy, and lifelong commitment.  Each of these keeps the sexual relationship meaningful and reinforces a couple’s union in marriage.  In holy matrimony, sexual pleasure is grounded in love, freely shared, and maintains its priceless meaning and many healthy benefits.  There is no cost.  No shame.  No guilt.  No regrets.

Pornography is the opposite.  It strips sexual fulfillment of all its purposes.  It disconnects sexual arousal from its foundation of love, marriage, and lifelong commitment, and reattaches it to lust, vanity, irresponsibility, and the perverted thrills of sin and shock imagery.  Instead of sexual enjoyment being a reward from God, it becomes an undeserved, unearned, unholy, illegitimate pleasure with no purpose.  It is like sexual cocaine that lures a man into a trap and then rapes his mind and conscience, leaving him addicted, numb, and demoralized.  He begins caring less about the people he loves.  He quits rejoicing over good things and grieving over sin.  He feels guilty, dark, and dirty, spiritually distant from God and emotionally disconnected from his wife.  Not only that, he also gives Satan a foothold and permission to torment him now with condemnation, lies, and accusations.  He’s much worse off than when he started.

All addictions create a momentary spike in adrenaline that temporarily feels good but then leaves behind an even deeper void that causes more dissatisfaction than was there before.  Because of this, pornography begs you to pursue its short-term thrill again, repeatedly lying to you that its “high” can pull you out of this pit.  Lust just keeps breeding more lust.  Then you get caught in a cycle that spirals downward and never seems to end.

If you ever feel a ravenous hunger for pornography, realize this: it is the last thing you need, and it will never satisfy you.  Run.  It is trying to use cheap lust to quench your thirst for genuine love.  Satan always tempts you to meet legitimate needs in illegitimate ways.  What you are actually hungering for is intimacy with God Himself, the only One who can fill the emptiness in your heart.  Any lust in us reveals that we have not been feasting on the love from our heavenly Father (First John 2: 15-17).

Countless men have defeated pornographic addictions by learning to walk intimately and obediently with Christ in His Word and in prayer each day.  Jesus told the woman at the well, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst.  Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (John 4: 13-14).  His Spirit can fill and satisfy you in countless ways that pornography never can.  So be courageous enough to recognize pornography for what it is:  moral sewage and a pit of lies.

·    It lies, telling you that your sexual pleasure is of higher importance over everything else.
·    It steals, robbing you of marital intimacy, honor, and future pure enjoyment of the marriage bed.
·    It pollutes, coarsening your mind, numbing your conscience, and darkening your thoughts.
·    It belittles, turning people made in God’s image into prostitutes, mere sex objects of your lust.
·    It enslaves, making you feel like you are powerless to stop or control your impulses.

This should disgust us.  Look up and study the following verses that tell what else lust does to you.  It chokes out the Word in your heart (Mark 4: 19); leads you to destroy yourself and degrade your mind (Romans 1: 24); causes inner struggle and strained relationships (James 4: 1); creates a state of ongoing frustration, anxiety, and dissatisfaction (James 4: 2); blinds you to what is most important in life (First John 2: 16-17); and invites the judgment and punishment of God (First Corinthians 10: 1-6).  With these truths and grave warnings in mind, you must resolve before God to walk in complete honesty and purity (First John 1: 7), in full repentance and victory.  Scripture shows us how to walk in freedom through the following ways:

·    Do not allow lust to rule you anymore. (Romans 6: 12)
·    Put it completely out of your life.  (Ephesians 4: 22)
·    Set your mind instead on things above. (Colossians 3: 1-5)
·    Remember that you now belong to Christ.  (Galatians 5: 24)
·    Remember that God’s grace empowers you to say “No!” to lust’s demands and deceptions.  (Titus 2: 12)
·    Run away when it tries to draw you back in.  (Second Timothy 2: 22)
·    Be like Jesus, willing to suffer rather than sin.  (First Peter 4: 1-2)
·    Trust the Holy Spirit to fill you, empower you, and help you resist faithfully.  (Galatians 5: 16- 25)
·    Escape by believing the promises of God that He will meet your needs and never leave you.  (Second Peter 1: 4)

God has provided all you need to be completely happy and successful in life (Second Peter 1: 3-4).  And His plan involves you living free from pornography.  If you have been enslaved to it in the past, you know firsthand how low it takes you.  God never wants you again to see anyone undressed other than your spouse.  Admit this.  Human willpower isn’t enough.  You need God’s grace.

So if you are addicted to pornography, confess it to God and someone else in your life who can spiritually hold you accountable (James 5: 16).  Begin memorizing His Word (like First Corinthians 10: 13, Second Peter 1: 3-4, Second Timothy 2: 22, Philippians 4: 6-8, and Titus 2: 12) and using it to fight off temptation.  Feast on God each day.  He is your source of satisfaction (James 1: 17).  Get radical about removing things that cause you to stumble (Matthew 18: 9).  During times of battle, shift your focus to praying for others to distract you from lustful thoughts (Ephesians 6: 17-18).  Stay accountable to godly friends, and never stop pursuing victory in Christ! “


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