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Free Communication eBook. If you want to comment on this content, go here. This is the second of a three-part series on how to break free from porn addiction. In the first piece , I stressed the importance of understanding the ontological origin of this sin, how Christ provides a new potential, and the need for gospel character change to overcome a pornography addiction. I will begin by picking up with the stories of Ben and Beth, our fictional characters from the first piece.

Scene 1 — Ben was struggling with discontentment at work. His once exciting career was now a dead-end job with an unreasonable boss, and he found himself lustfully looking at his female coworkers. He knew it was wrong and dishonoring to them and God, but the pull seemed overwhelming. It had the power to lift his spirits, which made it difficult to look away.

He was feeding his flesh and he wanted more. His thoughts turned to his physical relationship with his wife. It was a mixture of desire, entitlement, and hopeful deliverance from lust. After a busy night with the family, his anticipation for intimacy was dashed when his wife crashed with the kids. He was alone staring at the computer screen, thinking about the women of porn. Scene 2 — Beth was struggling with singleness. On her way home from work, she saw a couple walking hand-in-hand down the street, embracing as they exchanged whispers and gentle kisses.

Shortly before bed, she logged on her computer to catch up with her Facebook friends only to see an engagement announcement from a former classmate. Pornography is a worship disorder. Being born in Adam separates us from God and from our vertical relationship with Him. At the same time, the corrupting nature of sin elevates the horizontal union with the opposite sex, creating a false god. Images of naked women and men create a counterfeit environment that falsely satisfies our longing for relationship.

In the end, it leaves us convicted, plagued with guilt, and our relationship with God is damaged. Both Ben and Beth stumbled and gave in to sexual temptation James What were they missing in their walk that hindered their ability to overcome this sin? The mind map below lays out these three themes. The context of the Christian life is one of warfare Galatians ; 2 Corinthians ; it is not one of righteousness as many believe. We must remember our flesh is not redeemed. It is still cursed and its character does not change. If anything its nature grows more evil Proverbs As believers, we are no longer dominated by sin, nor are we dominated by righteousness.

We are dominated by conflict…a very intense one. The stakes of spiritual warfare are high. Our enemy 1 seeks to destroy those outside of Christ and 2 render those in Christ useless to hinder the work of the kingdom. As a Christian soldier, our duty is to train ourselves for personal sanctification. Growth comes as we learn how to live out our new identity. Since God created us for worship, there is no neutral ground: We are either being conformed to God Romans or to the devil 1 John We must actively maintain an awareness of this battle.

The comforts and blessing of this world can lull us into a peacetime mentality, which can lead us to make a truce with sin. In the forefront of our minds, we must remember sin destroys. As noted in the article , the battlefield of sanctification is in our minds. The renewing of our minds is hindered by the propensity of our thinking to drift back to old self-reliant thought patterns.

We must not allow old thinking patterns to go unchecked. We must not let our fleshly-driven autopilot remain in control. Regeneration gives us an opportunity to think spiritually. We tend to think naturally and not spiritually.

While it is true that we can enjoy the gift of repentance 2 Timothy , there is another angle that speaks to how our minds are illuminated by the Spirit of God. We must recognize our natural strength of human reasoning is actually a detriment to spiritual growth. We must grow in our ability to engage the Holy Spirit by asking for guidance and wisdom James We must be continually turning our thinking upside down by hitting the pause button on life and reorienting our minds to the gospel, which brings us to another stumbling block that affects our thoughts, and that is our feelings. Emotions are part of our image-bearing capacity, and like Christ, we will experience a full spectrum of emotions from joy to grief to anger.

Emotions serve as a good barometer as to what is going on in our hearts, which can stem from either godly to fleshly thinking. Too often we can attach meaning to our feelings without recognizing how they are by-products of our thinking—especially our poor thinking. When our emotions are driving us toward sin, we need to examine our thinking. Sanctification is not about changing our lives to achieve our earthly desires, but to restore our worship to God.

Our perfect loving Father will continue to grow us in this area, which we can cooperate in a couple of ways. Free from the dominion of sin, we are now able to worship God in truth and spirit, but our indwelling fleshly nature leaves our hearts with the tendency to drift back towards earthly pleasures Jeremiah As a result, we must continually examine what we are worshiping Psalm and address our pockets of unbelief that turn our affections away from God. This is why the gospel is as important during sanctification as it is in our salvation.

Secondly, we often overlooked aspects of our restoration of worship by not understanding the role that suffering plays. In a mysterious way Deuteronomy God will use evil for our good Genesis ; Romans Suffering is one means in which God le us away from our fleshly lovers. God is a jealous lover and He wants our undivided hearts. We must embrace the truth that He is the best thing for us, which means we must explore how He is working in us during painful circumstances.

Suffering can work in us to make us depend on Him more fully while surrendering to His sovereign care in our lives as we undergo the necessary transformation that produces a deeper more satisfying worship in our lives. When we allow ourselves to desire the things of this world more than Christ, our worship becomes marred. For a variety of reasons, we can become complacent in our walk. We can experience a season of blessing and believe the war is over, or after a prolonged battle, our souls will look for quick relief.

The enemy is crafty and works to distort our thinking about God. I would like to highlight two points worth our consideration. If we take a weak posture against sin in our lives God will work to return us from our waywardness by bringing us back into a right relationship with Him. Frequently this is accomplished through discipline Jeremiah Secondly, when sin is present in our lives, our prayer life is ineffective.

God is sovereign, but there is a mysterious element whereby prayer is used to fulfill His will. With ongoing unrepentant sin in our lives, we forfeit the opportunity to help our loved ones through prayer. I confess one of the greatest motivating factors to strive for purity in my life is so that I can boldly pray for those I love. If you are trapped by the sin of pornography, you must explore and examine how it is in play in your life. It is wise to seek a mature Christian brother or sister in Christ to help you examine your thinking and work to tear down this counterfeit worship structure and replace it with a greater, more perfect lover: Christ is our greatest treasure Matthew We all have pockets of unbelief in our thinking: gospel gaps in our understanding about God and ourselves.

We must continue to relentlessly seek Him who is faithful 1 Chronicles In Christ, we all have a new potential, but most of us are not prepared for the battle. We must learn how to fight. In the meantime, I recommend that you reread this content while making plans to work through all the linked resources that I have provided for you. This content will be one of your better allies as you fight against sexual temptations. He moved to Los Angeles to work in the Aerospace Industry. After 5 years of a difficult marriage, he and Lesa were saved. Shortly thereafter, they moved to Portland, Oregon and were blessed with a daughter.

He currently works for the Navy as a civilian engineer. He lives outside Philadelphia. Tagged: How to change , Overcoming porn , Porn addiction. Mark Grant.

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