Relationships

How can we flee from temptation?

Desmond Ng // December 26, 2019, 7:09 pm

Flee from temptation

Many of us live in guilt and shame because of our addictions. Living under shame inadvertently causes us to live defeated Christian lives because it manifests in what we think, say and do.

We think that by staying in shame, it’s going to keep us from doing the bad stuff. The truth is, shame is not your friend!

Shame takes away the confidence that you need in order to have that addiction broken away in your life forever.

THE FIGHT FOR FREEDOM

Firstly, it’s very important to recognise that you are addicted to porn. In taking ownership of the problem, it makes it easier to tackle it. The devil always wants us to deny that a problem exists, and that causes us not to seek any solutions for it.

Confessing and sharing with a strong support and accountability partner is extremely important. Look for a close Christian brother whom you are able to trust, who will listen to your struggles and try to help you through prayer and wise counsel without being judgemental towards you.

A true accountability partner is not a person who checks constantly to see if you’re sinning but someone who checks constantly if you’re fulfilling the potential that God has placed within you.

5 lies that porn will tell you

I have come to realise that my spouse is my best accountability partner. I should not be ashamed and try to conceal my addiction from my spouse. She needs to know, and I need to know that I have her support in dealing with the problem! She will be the best source of help and encouragement in overcoming the issue as she’s the person who knows me best and sees me the most.

It’ll probably also help to install a filtering or blocking programme that will automatically prevent you from even visiting many of these sites that have objectionable material. Your spouse will also be pleased to know that you’re willing to do what it takes to fight your addiction.

I remember a scene from the movie Fireproof where the lead character, Caleb, actually smashed his computer to bits with a baseball bat and threw it into the trash. He placed a nice bouquet of roses in place of the computer with a note that said “I love you more”.

How could his wife not believe that he’s sincere about quitting Internet porn? She must have been very touched!

GETTING TO THE ROOT OF THE PROBLEM

Besides cutting off the source of porn, we also need to understand some essential truths, because without a breakthrough in our thought process and change in mindset to see things as God sees, we will find a way back into sin again.

Throw away the computer? There’s always the smartphone. Cut off the Internet connection at home? Just stay back after work hours to surf the Internet in the office. No naked pictures to drool over? We can still fantasise about the pretty female colleague or the scantily dressed lady that walks down the street. You get the drift.

Treating the symptom without treating the cause almost always results in recurrence of the porn addiction.

The most important truth that we need to grasp is that we are all created in God’s image (Genesis 1:27).

Every single person involved in the porn industry is an individual with an eternal soul, just like you and me. There are not just fictional images on a screen but real people — somebody’s mother, daughter, sister or spouse.

Nowadays, in this increasingly interconnected world, they could even be a friend’s friend! Let’s view them as precious beings because that’s what they are. Instead of preying on them, we can start praying for them. Every soul is precious in His sight.

Addiction to pornography is also often associated with other underlying root issues. Treating the symptom without treating the cause almost always results in recurrence of the porn addiction.

Here are some of the more common root issues, just to name a few.

Looking at this list, spend some time asking the Holy Spirit to reveal what the root cause of addiction in your life is.

RECOGNISING THE LIES

We are easy meat for the devil if he can cause us to think that God can never use us. But the truth is that God can turn a defeat into the most beautiful testimony that blesses others.

The devil is always waiting to pounce whenever we stumble back into sin. He is the accuser, the liar and father of lies. He brings guilt, condemnation and shame. He’ll call us a failure and tell us we can never shake off the addiction no matter how much we try.

All of a sudden, he’ll cause us to recall all the other times we fumbled so that we would never be able to recall the times we were triumphant. He’ll cause us to think that we can never make it with God, that our sin will cripple our ministry with Him.

We may stumble and fall, but what really counts is how we pick ourselves up and continue the fight.

It’s a very real and bloody battlefield where countless scores of good Christian men and women have suffered great defeat, where lives have been turned upside down, marriages and good relationships wrecked and where once-valiant warriors of the Lord have walked away feeling that they are useless and unworthy to serve God anymore.

Ephesians 6:12 illustrates this so clearly for us: “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”

KICK SHAME OUT

Shame prevents you from claiming the power to break free that has already been given by God. When we allow ourselves to live in shame, we’re actually walking into the prison cell and handing over the key to the prison guard ourselves. And guess what his name is? Shame!

Shame says: “I don’t believe Jesus freed me and restored me.”

Shame tells you that you’re not a worthy child of God and that He can’t truly love you because you’ve fallen short. Shame tells you that you’re not truly born again and that sin is your standard.

If this is you, then it’s time to tell Shame goodbye. It’s time to kick Shame out of your life. It’s time to unlock the prison doors. This is an example of a prayer you can say out loud today:

“Father God, I declare that I am Your child. I thank You that my debt has been paid in full and that I do not need to keep paying it myself. Pornography is not a part of my life anymore because it is hurting me, hurting my husband/wife, hurting my children, hurting my family, hurting my friends, and hurting everyone who loves and cares for me, especially You. In Jesus’ Name, I rebuke Shame and I nail it to the Cross. I break all agreements I’ve made with Shame, known or unknown, and I repent of joining with Shame. I ask You, Father, to send Shame away from me!

4 favourite traps Satan wants you to fall for

We may stumble and fall, but what really counts for eternity in the Kingdom is how we pick ourselves up and continue the fight. This is a battle that must be won! The wonderful news is, as Christians, we have already won the victory when Christ paid the price on the Cross!

We are worthy because God has won the victory for us, and when we minister from a point of vulnerability, that is when it is strongest. Ask ourselves what God wants us to learn and how He would have us tell our story such that it blesses others. Look at things from His point of view instead of dwelling on defeat.

This is the second of a two-part series on the dangers of pornography, with the first being a personal testimony of how porn almost destroyed a marriage. The article was adapted with permission from Desmond and Elaine Ng’s book Rings on Fire, which was published by Graceworks. 

THINK + TALK

  1. Do you struggle with pornography and masturbation? Ask God what He wants to give you in place of shame.
  2. What truths from the Bible can you replace with the lies that the devil is knocking you down with?
  3. Which trusted friends will you involve in your recovery?