Frankly, sometimes we over spiritualize things when what really needs to be done is “take some practical steps.” With any obsessive or addictive behavior, a person must want to change before permanent healing or restoration can take place. God, indeed, will give you the strength you need, when you need it. But it all revolves around the intimacy that you develop with Him and the diligence and hunger with which you pursue Him.
When you begin to develop an intimate relationship with God, He will begin to speak to you through inner impressions and sometimes through a small still voice that seems to go directly into your heart and mind without the benefit of your ears. Sometimes God will cause you to hear the same message over and over, or even have a number of people come up to you and share the same thing about something that is appropriate to what has recently been on your heart and in your prayers.
If you are seeking freedom from any heterosexual sexual addiction or same-gender attraction, God will no doubt point out certain places, people, and activities that He wants you to eliminate and avoid. When you find yourself being sexually stimulated, stop and ask God what it was that caused it and how you can avoid it next time.
If pornography has been part of your problem, God will undoubtedly require you to destroy it and not buy any more. But He may also tell you to avoid magazine racks and even driving down streets where they are located. At least until you have become strong enough to resist such temptations and enticements.
Don’t be surprised if God tells you not to buy certain magazines, even “socially acceptable” ones, like store catalogs, knowing that most of your time is spent gazing at the good looking men and women rather than the clothes. God may tell you not to rent or view certain videos or even watch television shows (you know…the ones that emphasize your former heartthrobs.)
The Lord may tell you to no longer drive in neighborhoods or frequent places where you used to go to stare at the “beautiful people.” He may tell you to forget about the gym or the health spa.
This is a hard one: God may tell you to give up certain friends…people who He knows will only pull you back into bondage or in some way impede your healing. You must trust God knows exactly what He is doing. As you know, the list is endless of ways and places that serve to bring subtle and overt temptation. Who knows? God knows. Listen to Him.
The greatest danger you face is your tendency to forge ahead of God to conquer these things by yourself. That is a big mistake and you will probably fall flat on your face if you try it. Save yourself a lot of time, effort and grief. Wait on the Lord to tell you when and how to deal with the various components of your situation. “Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it.” (Psalm 127:1) Jesus Christ is the only One in this world or any other who will ever be worthy of glory or praise, and for anyone of us to act outside of His direction is a subtle but arrogant challenge to that fact.
Practical Steps to Restoration and Recovery
- Set your heart and mind against the old sin-bred patterns of thinking, feeling, and doing, and toward a love of purity. “Worship the Lord in the splendor of His holiness.” (Psalm 29:2)
- Starve the old nature to death! Avoid the people, places and things that God reveals as feeding troughs for your sin nature. “By the leading of the Spirit, put to death the misdeeds of the body.” (Romans 8:13)
- Frequent men’s/women’s fellowship groups in addition to regular church services so that you can receive the kind of healthy support, modeling and acceptance that has been missing in your life. “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:25)
- Find someone with whom you can be accountable. “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” (James 5:16)
- Increase the amount of time you spend seeking God in prayer and crying out to Him for help. “God rewards those who diligently seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:6)
Let God build a new man/woman in you and let Him receive all the glory!
Pastor Phillip Lee
His Way Out Ministries
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