Last Sunday, the pastor at our local church started a two-sermon series on Pornography. This was the intro with some meat (Scripture), and this upcoming Sunday will be more substance with application. Thankfully, the pastor hinted to the parents prior to starting, that if they didn’t want an interesting conversation with their elementary children on the car ride home, to take them to the children’s ministry now. Indeed, several families rose up and led their little ones out of the room because a topic that is an “elephant in the room” for some was about to be confronted.
In growing up, I don’t remember ever discussing pornography with my parents. And I don’t blame them at all for my past. I wasn’t ever shown a magazine, but the chains of the computer and TV screens, along with some music, was where I was enslaved. I will say that some of the situations that our pastor brought up Sunday morning were things that I did a long time ago as well. Yes, I’ll own up to that. I will share with you what I have done, but more importantly, I will proclaim to you how God has changed me, my desires, my mind, my heart, and the belief of what love is. Let’s journey there…
As mentioned in the previous post, God has done a lot of work in me through Solomon and his Proverbs. In fact, between the two sermons that our pastor will have on Pornography, June 5th-7th will occur. This means that Proverbs 5 was today, and the other two chapters will happen the next two days. I was stoked today in connecting that, and thus I became excited beyond belief for the work that God could do through me if I continued to humble myself. It is in reading these proverbs that a lot of dialogue, usually more this time of every month, happens between God and me on the topics of lust and love. Do I want to love Him and others or do I want to lust after the things of this world, including sexual temptations (1 John 2:15-17)? Do I want to bring death or life to my eyes, ears or heart (Psalm 101:1-4)?
These prayers are not reactions to any temptation that has happened today. They are prayers that happen almost daily and especially at the times that I am tempted to think of, look at or listen to something that I shouldn’t because of wanting to be more like Jesus. This reminds me of a story once told by another pastor while I was in college. He spoke of how he was assisting in the revival of a church once, and an older man went to the front because of the sexual temptations he was giving into. He broke down and was weeping when the pastor of the local church there empathized with the man and said that “we are all human, we all fall short” (Romans 3:23). This was when the man, flooding the alter with tears looked up and said, “Yes, we are all human, pastor, but Jesus was human, too, and I want to be like Him” (2 Corinthians 12:9).
I remember, being in high school, college, and even during my first two years of marriage, trying to rationalize why not to give into a specific sexual desire. It was then that God hit me in the face, sometime in the second year of our marriage, and told me that no thinking was ever going to save me from temptations like He could (1 Corinthians 10:12-13). Since then, every sexual temptation that has happened, praise be to God, has been surrendered to Him. And I strongly agreed with our pastor last Sunday when he said that every resistance against the devil with the power of God will make your relationship with Him that much stronger (James 4:1-10).
I used to blame others, including my family at one time, for this particular struggle. The blame was also on the media, toward my friends… another source in order for my pride to continue to blow up the size of a hot-air balloon. But it took a lot of humility through humiliation for me to learn that I was the one who needed to change, and it was in my relationship with God that the change needed to happen (Side note: Pray for humility or humiliation, one will inevitably occur). I needed to surrender daily to Him and not think that a weekly or monthly prayer was going to do the job. That’s not how things roll when living as a Christ-follower. God is the I AM, and thankfully, He is with us every second of every day. He is not to be used in a consumer sort of way either, but He is to be trusted. The trust I place in Him now is because of the relationship I have with Him, and this is only by His faithfulness, grace and love (Romans 6:1-14, Ephesians 2:8-9, Mark 15:33-39).
Trust in God for freedom, and He will show you what true love is.