Is There Hope for Me and My Addiction to Pornography?
Question from a reader:
I’m in desperate need of deliverance from, well now it’s pornography, but in a nutshell, sexual immorality.
I have tried various, if not all, options available to stop this. Why do I feel like there’s no answer? Didn’t Jesus come for a person such as me? It’s almost like I’m taken in a trance to satisfy these urges. No sooner do I get my pleasure out of it, than I do battle with the Lord. I’m in the music ministry. I’ve read your booklet on how leaders can win the battle with sexual temptation. There’s that moment when I seem to be under the devil’s influence. I try to guard the mind by doing this and that, but I don’t know...
I have tried (at times have succeeded) in overcoming the wicked one by trying to fill my mind with good things. I guess I was looking for miracles of deliverance from God. I ask, “Why me, Lord, why me? How come the guys and girls in my church don’t have this problem?”
And I keep saying to him, “I was an utter failure in the world, but now am a failure with you as well?”
The thing I hate about all of this is surely the Lord must be aware that I would commit such a sin on such a day. How come he doesn’t put any sort of barriers to stop me from continuing in this pathetic and appalling lifestyle?
How can I do better?
Answer from Randy Alcorn:
Satan wants you in bondage; Christ wants you free to live in obedience. Romans 6 is key here. The flesh has no power to obey. By focusing on the power to obey granted us in Christ and his grace, we need to establish new ruts in the ground, so to speak, into which the wheels of our life can fall. Disobedience is contagious, and so is obedience. The more we do it, the more it becomes the pattern of our life. Make the right choice to stay away from sexual temptation. You can do it. Then make another right choice and another and another, one day at a time, one hour at a time, one minute at a time.
Call upon the resources of Christ granted to you. Depend upon him, while decisively making the choices to remove temptation from you. Do you have internet access? Is this one of the sources of temptation before you? Then cut it off. Nowhere in the Bible does it say you need internet access. To a person who goes to those sites, having them just a double-click away is utterly foolish. It’s like having Playboy and Hustler and ten pornographic magazines on your shelf, waiting for you to come to them in a moment of weakness.
Right now, in your moment of strength, make choices that will serve you well in your moment of weakness. If you don’t radically cut off the sources of the temptations that pursue you (yes, some of them you can’t cut off without being a hermit, but many of them you can), then you are just playing games, and have no intention to obey Christ. Take decisive actions. Get rid of anything in your room, your house, and your workplace that draws you to sin-including books, magazines, pictures, posters, movies, TV, and internet access. Don’t expect God to call the cable company and cut off your service. That’s your job.
I pray God will do a work of grace in you and cut through the blindness and the old habits and patterns that enslave you. God wants what’s best for you; the evil one wants what’s worst. Choose what’s best; choose life for yourself, not death (Deut. 30:19). Through the power of his Spirit you can do this. You need a stronger believer, a godly man to be open and honest with who will hold you accountable (Heb. 10:24-25). If you don’t have one, start looking. Go to your pastor or whomever you can trust. Today.