Following Up on Lust…

This past Sunday, you heard a bit of my story and my struggle with pornography. If you haven’t, I encourage you to go and check it out. I also promised a blog post as a follow up with more of my story and some resources that offer some good helps.

When someone is telling about that which consumed nearly 11 years of their life, 40 minutes is not enough. And just so you know, when I’m preaching I typically try and stay within the 30-35 minutes range! Regardless, 40 minutes barely scratches the surface. And even here, I won’t be able to go into as much detail, but again, what I hope to share will help anyone reading understand that in Jesus there is hope, forgiveness, redemption, and a cleansing. More than anything, though, I hope for heart transformation.

The first time I confessed this sin was as a teenager (16, I believe) to both my father and my youth pastor after a Promise Keepers event. They both received it with grace and mercy. It didn’t stick, though.

The next time I confessed to friends in college. We even started an accountability group (I think I was a part of three accountability groups, with three different confessions throughout my four years at college). Though it was also met with grace and mercy, it didn’t work.

The most difficult time, though, was confessing to Amanda. I was so afraid of how she would react. We weren’t even engaged at the time, but were in a very serious relationship heading toward marriage. I was afraid she was going to reject me, end the relationship, and that was that. However, she forgave me and showed me mercy. Once again, though, pornography continued to cling to me.

It wasn’t until my redemption story with my Seminary Cohort that I received a new heart and “cut it off, and threw it away.”

One of the most common sound bites I hear from the men I’ve met with who are addicted to pornography is that they just can’t quit. Many have confessed their sin multiple times. Many have had different accountability partners. No matter what, though, they simply can’t stop. I know how you feel! The same has been true in my life! But don’t be discouraged! Keep confessing! Seek a heart transformation instead of just “fixing the problem.” And if you seek a heart transformation, you will receive it. If not now, then later. And here’s how I know it will happen:

God created you, and spoke you into existence. He desires for us to be restored into the person we were all created to be before sin! His desire is so strong he sent his son, Jesus Christ, to humble himself, become like a man, die on a cross, and resurrect three days later. His desire for us is so strong he, in the person of the Holy Spirit, dwells within those who believe in Jesus’ life, death and resurrection. And now, within those whom he dwells, he molds, shapes and forms each of us into his original creation. A new man! A new woman! A new creation! (2 Corinthians 5:17-19)

Another reason how I know:

ECOB, your church, we care about your redemption in Jesus Christ. There is grace, and we are here to fight alongside you. We are not afraid of your sin, because we worship one who is greater than your sin. We are not afraid of your words, because we believe in the one whose words spoke the world into existence. We are praying for you, and we are ready to see you renewed. Just speak it! Confess it! (James 5:16)

But it’s not all on us. You have a role to play, and the question I’ll pose, is a similar one to that which Jesus asked in Matthew 5:29-30. What are you willing to cut off from your life and throw away to receive the forgiveness and promise of righteousness from Jesus Christ? What are you willing to sacrifice in order to see the power that resurrected Jesus from the grave, to resurrect you from the grave of lust you have been laid in?

There are resources readily available for anyone ready for a heart transformation; to cut it off and throw it away. These resources provide helps, support, and safeguards to prevent triggers that lead to viewing pornography. They’re not failproof, though! They only work if you’re ready for them to work.

Some of the content that follows are not free resources. Most are non-profit organizations that try to offer these materials at a minimal cost.

xxxchurch.com

This is where I’ve seen the most success and help in my history. Spear-headed by Craig Gross, this mission is not only to restore the Christian who is addicted to pornography, but is actually to care for actors and actresses who are steeped into the porn culture. They provide safeguards for your computer, accountability groups, online counseling, a regularly posted blog, and countless resources for fighting porn addiction.

recover.org

Just recently xxxchurch added a piece to their ministry for wives of husbands who are addicted to pornography. Their hope is to minister to women of sexual betrayal. This is a very unique resource.

Covenant Eyes

This is a website that offers many resources that set up safeguards to help prevent falling into areas on the internet where there is pornography. They are very good at supporting multiple platforms (computers, smart phones, tablets, etc.), and seek to help make parents aware of ways to support their children and create a safer place for their family to use the internet.

Fight the New Drug

This is an organization that exists to raise awareness of the harmful effects of pornography in the life of the individual. They’re main thrust is that porn effects the brain, the heart, and the world. This is a great website for information, but also a place to find support and hear stories of others (some even famous) who have chosen to “fight the new drug”.

There are countless resources available, and some that are free but require a more tech-savvy person. If you are interested in these kinds of resources, feel free to contact me for that information.

There is hope! Because there is Jesus!

With Love,

Pastor Josh

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