PORNOGRAPHY:KICK IT! … 2

Continued from “PORNOGRAPHY: KICK IT!… 1”

A: How are you doing today?

Q: I’m fine. Taking things one day at time.

A: That’s what it will eventually come to but rather than it being one struggle day at a time, it will be one victory day at a time.

Q: Amen.

A: Question, if you don’t mind.

Q: Ok.

A: Have you ever faced this stuff and dealt with it squarely or you just got preoccupied with the Christian group and it seemed to die off?

Q: I will say yes.

A: How exactly?

Q: So I spoke to the Pastor of my group, and then we prayed together. He basically became my accountability partner. Then I personally went to God with the issue in fasting and prayers.

A: And it went away? In your prayers and fasting, did you repent of it? Did you “ask him for forgiveness” as we say or receive forgiveness as in released of the error, guilt, and shame?

Q: Yes.

A: Do you think he forgave you?
Q: Yes.

A: OK. So why did you return to it this time?

Q: I don’t know. I think I let my guard down. I let my guard down … Not I think.

A: So, the solution is to get your guard back up then, isn’t it?

Q: Yes

A: You let your guard down, perhaps, but what door did you open? What was the “excuse” this time? Last time it was the passing of your Dad.

Q: Paying attention to patterns, the temptation is strongest when I get a feeling I best describe as “loneliness”.

A: Now you’re talking! Loneliness!
You felt alone when your Dad passed, it was subdued by fellowship with Saints and perhaps the accountability thing with your Pastor, and when you were left to stand on your own, you went back to being lonely. That loneliness is the choice you make and that is the hook. It is the final unfortunate conclusion of your self-depreciation. You knock yourself down so bad that you feel bad and feel like a bad boy and then you lash out at your own conscience and just hurt yourself deliberately.
This is what I think is going on.

Q: Hmmm.

A: I think ever before your Dad passed, you had a low view of yourself but he was one person who either believed in you or you always strove to please because he will notice it and say something you craved.

Q: Both actually. He believed in me and I strove to please him.

A: Clarify? You sound like a first born.

Q: I am the first born … I am the only boy.
My dad always reminded me that I was his only son… That I was smart and could do amazing things. He made me attempt exams a year ahead of regular schedules. He would take me to meetings where older people were and confidently ask for my opinion.

A: And he passed away before you made a personal connection with the only person that is truly worthy of that kind of hero worship. But then, you met Pastor and the group and instead of connecting at the level of your real need and pain, you surrounded yourself with good company and godly mind-occupying church activities and they became the “fix it” for you. The group sought your opinion just like your Dad did, believed in you and praised you and you were driven to meet up with their faith in you. All this is actually good but it wasn’t the treatment you needed. It helped you cope, like a stimulant or heroine, until the drug started wearing off and the withdrawal symptoms started to show. And you felt it’s because you let your guard down whereas the real problem is that you have never known Jesus as your own personal person; your hero who will never leave you nor forsake you … the one who is both the fix and the cure.
As I said before, the issue is not that you let your guard down. If that was it, you should have been into all sorts of things. By the way, it’s not you who guards yourself.

1Cor 10:12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.

Jude 1:24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present [you] faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,

2Tim 1:12… for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.

A: It has never been up to you and how much self-control you could exercise.

Q: Yes.

A: You thought you were better than this. In the ideal situation, I would agree with you but considering how I think you have been going about it, as in by your own strength and discipline, I will not agree with you. You’re not better than sin. Sin is better than all of us if not the Bible would not have said “all have sinned”. Left alone, sin gains the upper hand over us.
The only cure is to stop being alone and hook up, really hook up to the strength of God. This is the part of the grace message that is often not mentioned. We mention the part about your performance not being necessary for the love of God and that is too correct. But we forget that God still hates sin. Yes he has dealt with the sin nature but that is to the effect that he has given us power to overcome it. That power is the other half of the grace.
He loves me unconditionally + He empowers me to live like He wants me to = Grace.

Sorry, I seem to be raining down on you

2Cor 12:8-10. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

When Paul was talking here, he wasn’t referring to unconditional love of God when he said “Grace”, he was referring to the unrelenting unconditionally bestowed strength of God to face difficulties even if such difficulties were actually weaknesses.
Paul was saying, I am not stronger than I ever have been, but I have been strengthened. You will agree there is a difference, won’t you?

Q: I agree.

A: I may stumble in the employment of the strength but there is no condemnation for me so I will access that strength again by the spirit of God that raised up Christ from the dead. That was his whole gist in Romans  chapters 7 and 8. I do believe you are familiar with these scriptures or should I bring them here?

Q: I will like to see them here.

A: Awwwwww meeeeehn, I thought you were Bible scholar now.

Q: 😁

A:
Rom 7:15 – Rom 8:14
For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that [it is] good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but [how] to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin. [There is] therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded [is] death; but to be spiritually minded [is] life and peace. Because the carnal mind [is] enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ [be] in you, the body [is] dead because of sin; but the Spirit [is] life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.
Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

Ya happy now?

Q: 😀 Thank you

A: Naaa… Not a problem. Shall we proceed?

Q: Yes

… part 3

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PORNOGRAPHY: KICK IT!

I had this conversation with a precious brother recently concerning his battle against pornography and, with his permission, I have shared it here. I trust it will help you or someone you know.
I have split the conversation into three parts so be sure to watch out for the next post on the subject.

Pornography: Kick It! … 1

Q: Good morning sir. I need help. It feels like all my discipline has flown out the window.
The pornography issue started as a coping mechanism after I lost my dad, however the group was there to help me fight it. But in recent months, it is like it has come back stronger… and outrightly just trying to ruin my life.

A: I hear you. How may I be of use to you?

Q: I really don’t know what to do.

A: Start from the beginning… Tell yourself the truth.

Q: What is the truth?

A: Pornography was not a coping mechanism for bereavement. The thought that it was is a lie.

Q: Hmm… True.

A: So, why did you actually get into it? Your grief was your excuse, a defence against your own conscience and perhaps the alert the Holy Spirit gave you cos I assume you were already saved at that time.

Q: I got saved afterwards.

A: Oh… OK. After you got saved, before joining the Christian group, were you still indulging?

Q: Yes. I had had some contact with it through friends in secondary school but it didn’t feel as controlling and then momentarily while I was in the Christian group at school too.

A: Why did you stop for the while you stopped?

Q: Well, I fought it. I told myself I was better than that.

A: Are you?

Q: I am

A: Really? Considering that we are having this discussion, you still think you’re better than this?

Q: I think I am.

A: Now you are thinking? You sounded sure at first.

Q: Well, since I am now struggling

A: 🙂 I understand. Ahhh well, so what are we gonna do?

Q: Go back to dealing with the root?

A: Which is?

Q: The underlying lie; It doesn’t help me cope

A: Well, I think that is no longer the problem. The issue now is what is the new “lie” that is giving it access, so you deal with that… And beyond that, there is more to be said.

Q: I’m listening.

A: Hmmmm…So, what’s the reason now?

Q: I am out of shape spiritually and I am letting the devil take advantage of me.

A: True. But if your being out of shape is the reason, then you should probably be doing a lot of other things like robbing people, lying, premarital sex and other stuff. Are you into any other thing at the moment?

Q: Nope.

A: If that is so, then what is out of shape is perhaps something more fundamental… such as a sense of right and wrong. Somehow, to your conscience and even to the spirit of God in you, you are able to defend yourself as regards porn but not other evils. I am either correct or you understand my point but disagree. Which is it?

Q: You are correct.

A: OK then. So we may need to fix your sense of right and wrong, the basis of right and wrong and perhaps the consequences of right and wrong… if there are any.

Q: OK…So where do we begin … And how?

A: Well, you will perhaps label me as religious before this is over ooo… Sure you want me to go on?

Q: I want you to go on.

A: Okay, remember you asked for it.

Q: I will not forget.

A: Ok. Is it right to be involved in such stuff?

Q: No, it is not.

A: Is pornography a sin?

Q: It is a sin.

A: How does it affect your relationship with God?

Q: Sours it.

A: To the point of ending it?

Q: Ending it? I would say eventually.

A: How so?

Q: The deceitfulness of sin.

A: I know you’re familiar with that term but do you know what it means as in how it works?

Q: Keeps you tearing the relationship apart gradually till one gets to the point where I no longer want to have the relationship with God anymore.

A: True. I think it’s the decision to indulge each time, and the ease with which we make each subsequent decision, that’s the deceit. It feels less and less wrong.

Q: Hmmm… Basically hardening the conscience.

A: Exactly. There is a truth that is no more or less true than any other Kingdom truth and it is this, nothing we do affects God’s love for us. This is what is called grace, right?

Q: Yeah, but what we do can and will affect our love for God.

A: Absolutely!
As I said, it’s the truth. And you’re right, it can affect our love for him. I think it can kill our love for him and when that happens, we will willingly end our relationship with him… sealing our fates.

Q: I agree.

A: Now, stupid question, is all this Jesus gist and heaven, are they real?

Q: They are real … And it ain’t stupid.
A: Ok. If it’s all real, it means we will meet him and give account. You would not want to give such an account, I am sure.

Q: True.

A: Not trying to scare you but meeehn, me, I fear God o! Of course I love him, He’s my father but He’s also God and I fear him… hope you get what I mean. He’s my Dad and he loves me but he’s also the impartial judge of all creation and he has a job to do. Hence, I put my body under control lest I become castaway. You understand?

Q: Yes sir.

…. Part 2

EZRA … 8

 

8:21-22

“You and your big mouth”. It’s a common expression and quite useful too. Many times in our zeal to “glorify” God, we say things we weakly believe, if at all. A king is disposed to help you and you mouth off such piety! Well God is good and rich in mercy. Maybe their faith was shaky at first, yet as He answered their prayers (vs 23) they must have become more confident.

I hope they didn’t roast him for calling himself king of kings (7:12).

I had wondered, and lightly taken the clause “for the gracious hand of God was upon him” in 7:8-9 but upon reading through 8:21-23, 31-32, it now makes sense why they felt the gracious hand of the Lord was upon him.

Indeed when we don’t hear some inside story, testimonies are no usually appreciated. Yet I do not advocate that people take their time, and that of others, in every service to tell the story, much of which only magnifies the devil’s activities and makes God’s intervention look like the poetic justice that came just in time to give a happy ending.

EZRA … 6

6:10

Maybe Darius was also a believer like Cyrus. Or maybe he saw the archives of Cyrus’ activities and thoughts and observed that his predecessor acknowledged the God of the Hebrews as The Great God and credited Him with his victories and safety.

Again, if one can capture his thoughts, the future generations should be thankful to find it. No one else can know why a person is or was whatever he is or became and learn from his experiences except the man or woman passes on his thoughts.

I wonder if any prophecies were made about Darius.

EZRA … 5

 

6:3 (NLT)

“In the first year of King Cyrus’s reign, a decree was sent out concerning the Temple of God at Jerusalem. Let the Temple be rebuilt on the site where Jews used to offer their sacrifices, using the original foundations. Its height will be ninety feet, and its width will be ninety feet.”

 

Memorandum.

The benefits of keeping a record of one’s thoughts and activities far outweigh the risks.