How did you get out of porn and masturbation?

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Hi Ernest, your blog articles have helped me a lot. Please don’t stop writing. Often we criticize men of God when they fail and keep mum when they do well. I think it is a disservice to the Body of Christ. I’m learning to appreciate the people God is using to build me. But that’s not why I am writing. I have a personal question, drawn from one of your confessions, and I know you won’t mind answering it. This is the question: How did you get out of porn and masturbation? I know you’ve written a whole book on this (Lust and the City), but, can you give me a crash course?

Hi there. Thanks for the kind words. A crash course? Haha! Okay, here goes, but ensure you also grab a copy of Lust and the City and get more content. I was stuck in the rut of porn and masturbation for a long time. I was born again, serving in Church and even leading Bible studies but I was living a double life. I know there are born again Christians out there who want to get out of the same rut but are too afraid to talk to someone about it. How did I get out? I think a more important question is “How did I get in?” You cannot fight an enemy you do not understand. And part of understanding the addiction of porn and masturbation is knowing its anatomy. Plain and blatantly, porn and masturbation is a lust problem. The reason I was struggling is because I was lustful. You must realise this: that an unbeliever who is lustful is in that state, primarily, because they are not redeemed.  A believer who is lustful is in that state because they are not renewed. Being redeemed is to be converted to Christ. Being renewed is to be conformed to Christ. I was redeemed but my mind was not renewed by truth. And so I was deceived.

DECEPTION

images-1Before porn and masturbation was an issue, my major tussle with the Holy Spirit was my movies and series in my laptop. They had sex scenes and half naked women but I saw no need to be so strict about them because after all, I was doing pretty well with my spiritual disciplines. Today, it looks like this: Watching Scandal but reading my Bible. Following Game of Thrones but praying every day. Going to catch Deadpool but leading a Bible Study. Indulging in Empire but remembering to fast. Making out with my girlfriend but condemning homosexuality. I didn’t get why other Christians were so uptight on these issues. I was doing both and I was okay. The important thing is balance, right? I told myself that I wasn’t like those weak Christians who watched one episode and struggled. I was strong, I said to myself. Little did I know that the smooth tentacles of deception were sucking me into sin.

1st Corinthians 10:12 says “Be careful if you think you are standing lest you fall.”

I thought I was standing not realising that my arrogant pride was fuelling the deception. The queer thing about being deceived is that you never feel deceived; but that’s part of the deception process. Deception aligns with sin which often resonates with our hedonistic emotions; so you may feel in love with your girlfriend but that feeling does not stop fornication from being a sin. In the same way, one may feel hungry but that does not make stealing food justified. Beloved, you know you are deceived when you find yourself asking how close to sin’s border you can get instead of asking how close to righteousness you can get. When you find yourself justifying the sinful yet you still insist that you are walking with God, be warned. And as I delved deeper into my sin, my entertainment grew more lewd, my boundaries with other girls grew more blurry, my relationship with my godly girlfriend grew more tense.

C.S. Lewis once said that sin is the suspicion that God is not good. Lewis is right. This is how sin thrives. Eve was deceived because for a brief moment she was made to believe that God was not good; that He was hindering her from the best. And in our deception, God’s ways seem repulsive, outdated, impractical and burdensome and so we violently and passionately go against what he commanded. Beloved, each time we fail to heed God’s commands it is because we had already accepted in our minds that God’s plan is not good or God himself is not good. And if that deception is rife, Beloved, we have bigger problems than the consequences of sexual sin. Paul says in 2nd Corinthians 13:5 that is it possible in that rifeness of thought that we are not born again in the first place. In that verse we are asked to test ourselves and see if we are genuinely in the faith. And that is the ultimate deception, Beloved; to think of oneself regenerate while still being dead in one’s sins and transgressions. To stand before Christ on Judgement Day with a beaming proud face only to be told, “I never knew you.”(Mathew 7:21-23). Beloved, are you deceived? Or in simpler terms, are you fighting God’s word?

DISASTER

My slow fade towards pornography began. I got addicted to masturbation and my walk with God suffered. My mind was filled with filthy thoughts and I saw every woman as an object to satisfy my lust. One was never enough. I was severely tempted to sleep with some of them but the grace of God held me back always. I kept saying that this was the last time I would fall into sin but i found myself back at it. I tried to stop and I couldn’t. The struggle raged for months. I was trapped. The worst part of it was that I was in a relationship; the guilt was consuming me like cancer! I kept saying I was in control but deep down I knew I was the puppet. I kept quiet about my struggle and it felt like my bones within me wasted away. I did not want people to think “Ernest, the great guy from Church who quotes scripture was a hypocrite!” When a follower of Christ struggles with sexual sin, there is a depressing feeling of hopelessness that follows. In my struggle, I never imagined that the day of victory would come. I would cry every time and say to God that I’m sorry and that this was the last time but I would fall back, chronically. It is unfortunate that when it comes to sexual sin our lives are often reactive than proactive. Truth is the antidote against deception and it helps us make proactive choices. But when truth is rejected, the disease takes a toll and we realise we are in a disaster only when the consequences set in. My consequences did set it. It was at this point of disaster that I saw that God was good and my heart was evil. It was at this point when I not only understood with my mind but also with my heart that the plans he has for me are good.  Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD; plans to prosper you and not to harm you; plans to give you hope and a future.”

DELIVERANCE

Masturbation and porn were not joy-givers; they were joy killers despite their momentary pleasure. They left me empty, unspiritual and useless in the faith. Since I realized I had been deceived I began to read the truth of God’s word. God’s word had a character similar to me. She was a woman but she possibly had a sexual conundrum as well. He name was not given. The writer only identifies her as “the woman at the well.” In John chapter 4, Jesus meets a woman at a well. The woman has had five husbands and the man she is living with is not even her husband. She has been in and out relationships and she has no soul satisfaction. She offers Jesus literal water from the well. Jesus does a counter offer; he proposes to give her living water that will quench the thirst for her soul. Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4:13-14. Like the woman at the well, all our souls are craving for that living water. That living water is a relationship with God. It gives us acceptance, identity, security and purpose. Beloved, the most fulfilment comes from the fount of living water. Lust is a craving for sin and for deliverance to take place you must smell the living water and have a craving for freedom and righteousness. It hit me hard that the core reason I was struggling was because I had a misplaced joy. God was not my delight. He was my Saviour but he was not my delight. Watching a TV series seemed to thrill me more than meditating on a few Psalms. Catching the latest movie thrilled me more than sharing the Gospel. I had lost my first love. If I could retrace my delight, I could get my deliverance. All other earthly delights demanded me to serve them but God was the only delight who served me by dying in my place on Calvary. I fell in love with my Creator again and I took the first step in delighting in him; I obeyed his word in Proverbs 28:13 that says “Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.” (NIV). I confessed my sin to God and to a group of believers.

Delight in God: Confess to God

When we don’t confess our sins to God, our souls decay. We ought to stop blaming the person who sent us the porn link. We ought to stop blaming all who we think are guilty and take up responsibility for our sin. Psalm 32:3-5 says “When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy on me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer. Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD.” And you forgave the guilt of my sin.”(NIV)

Delight in God: Confess to people

Next, confess to people. But people ask, “Must I confess to someone? Can’t I just confess to God?” I know sexual sin is shameful, Beloved. But it is also darkness and it needs to be exposed to light for it to be defeated. Beloved, this particular sin needs to be confessed to God’s people because it thrives in secrecy and lack of accountability. We must confess to fellow believers and overcome the fear of judgement because that is the place where the Lord has placed our healing. See what James 5:16 says “Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” (NIV). I found healing and restoration in the Body of Christ. I was too guilty to pray; the prayers of the brethren restored me. Too many of us are hell-bent on the bad stories and ignore the countless good stories of confession. God is not changing his mind about James 5:16, Beloved. Confess and you will find healing. True believers with God’s love abound in the Body of Christ.

Confessing your struggle is like flicking the switch in a dark room. The darkness not only scatters but you also see how messed up the room really is. In silence, you can deceive yourself that the problem is not that big, especially when the world makes fun of pornography and jokes about lewd matters. When you expose your darkness, God has a way of showing you how dangerous the path you’re treading on is. This is necessary because a believer who remains quiet in their sinful addiction can be taken over by it until they have no control. It takes a step of humility to admit that you are failing. It’s not the overwhelming addiction that keeps us tied down; it is our pride to admit the problem. If we don’t confess, the clutches of lustful addictions, especially pornography and masturbation can weigh down the follower of Christ to the point of depression. Once we confess, the Lord will awaken our desire for our spiritual disciplines. You enjoy doing them because you relate with God as opposed to ticking them for having done them religiously.

Delight in God: Gouge out your eye

Jesus said in Mark 9:47 that if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out. Divorce the source of lust. It has many facets- ending a relationship, changing your friends, deactivating social media accounts, etc. What is the eye that causes you to sin? Jesus says to gouge it out. For me, my sinful eye was popular TV series. When I was delivered, I have never returned because no matter how innocent those TV series seemed, there were always laced with subtle sexual scenes that fanned the flames of lust. Here is where the real test of following Christ comes in, Beloved- counting the cost. And it asks us this: Is Christ so great a delight that we can do away with our entertainment? Is Christ so great a delight that we can do away with our boyfriend? Is Christ so great a delight that we can do away with our Instagram? Or is our entertainment, boyfriend, girlfriend, social media that draws us to sin greater a delight than the one who bore our sins? Don’t be fooled by your disciplines, like I was. Many Christians are practising their disciplines but are not getting delivered from these lustful entanglements. Why? Because despite reading the word, praying and fellowshipping with other believers, they are also keeping bad company and watching lustful media that is not “necessarily pornographic” politically-correctly speaking. God’s rule in eternity is a Kingdom, not a democracy; political-correctness for many believers today is simply sin dipped in chocolate. The core is still sin. People say “Ernest, you’re being too extreme; it’s never that serious.”  And I ask them, “How extreme and serious was Jesus Christ when he bled on a Roman cross for me?” He died for me; I shall live for Him.

 

Comments

Ernest Wamboye is a disciple of Jesus Christ, a husband, a father, an author and a speaker. He has been married to the lovely Waturi since September 2012. They have a passion for youth ministry. Together they minister to young adults on the gospel and pre-marital relationships. Ernest has authored two books, The Human Temple, a novel, and Lust and the City- a guide on sexual purity.

Discussion45 Comments

  1. It's like you were speaking directly to me.I have managed to put off my desire for the word,time with God,serving in church.Convincing myself that I can get out of it before it gets so bad.But,each day is worse.I honestly do not want to be in this any more.It leaves me empty and feeling like a betrayer.
    I need help honestly.

  2. Deliverance is in Christ Jesus. Through confession to God and fellow accountable believers is the way. Then walk away and turn to righteousness. God bless you Ernest. Its a blessing for our generation. Walking in purity. God given righteousness. Shalom.

  3. Hi anonymous..
    I write to tell you if you have received Jesus Christ as your Saviour..HE CALLS YOU RIGHTEOUS BECAUSE… HE BECAME SIN SO THAT THRU HIM YOU ARE RIGHTEOUS NO MATTER WHAT YOU DO!!! NO MATTER WHAT YOU WILL EVER!!!!!!!! DO!!!!
    He doesn't condemn you!!! But reminds you WHO YOU ARE.. CHOOSE TO LISTEN TODAY TO WHO YOU ARE..
    AND HIS POWER OVER SIN THAT RESIDES IN YOU!!!! WILL BE ACTIVATED..because it is ALWAYS IN YOU..BECAUSE THE POWER OF RESURRECTION LIVES INSIDE OF YOU..

    REMEMBER WHO YOU ARE CHRIST!! HIS BELOVED!!! THE ONE WHO HE DEEPLY LOVES….
    NOTHING CAN KEEP YOU FROM HIM..
    RECEIVE HIS LOVE AND GRACE!!
    AND SIN WILL FALL OFF YOU LIKE WATER!!!!!!!!

    YOU ARE FREE!!!! RECEIVE IT!!! BY HIS LOVE AND GRACE TODAY!!!

  4. Thank you Ernest for the work you are doing. You are truly a blessing to us who are still caught up in this maneno

  5. I am a girl.I have never had the courage to confess. I probably will not but I will confess here.I was exposed to pornography when I found a graphic magazine my cousin was reading and found it inppropriately disturbing.Months later I was downloading games on a website when I saw a link for videos written xxx. I didn't know what that was. But when I opened it the lure never stopped. I've struggled with it for almost 10 years.then I finally decided it had to stop.I had nights when I cried after certain scenes and I prayed fervently and still cried.dating non Christians worsened the situation.But an year ago I decided to stop.I exited those sites.I stopped dating non believers after listening to God's clear message.I attended Boy meets girl 3 and it fuelled my spirit. All this time I was a born again Christian but now I'm seeking renewal.I read on the effects that pornography has in fuelling child trafficking for sex trade and that the women used there are at times on drugs and under force.I promised myself that I would stop destroying my relationship with God and fuelling a trade that goes against all human rights.I'm in a healthy relationship now and I will never go back in Jesus name.I will attend Boy meets girl 4.In all this I thank God for his saving grace because I never slept with any man.Wamboye thank you for inspiring us to live right.

  6. I'm a girl too and I have struggled with both … Funny how people think this is just a male issue. Sometimes I think I'm completely over it but out of the blue a thought will come into my mind, or a memory. Most times I focus on God and His grace takes me through but other times I fall. I used to feel so beaten down and condemed,I'd just linger in sin. I didn't want to pray, I couldn't even look myself in the mirror. I would feel so dirty, so unworthy of God. How could I pray ? I don't know how but as I grow closer to God I begin wanting the things He wants. My heart is in line with His. Even if I do slip up I want to run to God as quickly as possible. I don't wollow in sin for days on end feeling sorry for myself. God is faithful and sure to hold us up as we lean on Him.

  7. I have struggled too with both and i could be worst. This article has been a great boost. Especially now that I am trusting God for redemption.Its an uphill task, But The God in me is greater. Pray with me. I shall attend the Sunday conferences as much. Thanks Ernest.

  8. Do you really wanna argue with the Lord Your God? I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things (Isaiah 45:7). Everything the LORD does is good.(Psalm 145:17-19 ). Surely, My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me:

  9. What has the world come to? “Pray for those who oppose you and persecute you for my name’s sake,” Jesus told us. I have prayed for you so that the deception of darkness may fall off your eyes. Whoever you are, you may call yourself God but you are not; there is only one God and he does not misquote scripture and condone evil in the hearts of men. You will stand before the judgement one day and account for the careless words you've said (Matt 12:36). Jesus warned us that many would come in the last days claiming to be God (Matthew 24:24). Some of your kind will even do wonders and miracles by the power of demons but they only have a form of godliness and lacking the true power and fruit. Pornography is not of God, but of the father of lies, the Devil. Sexuality IS of God. Porn is not a creation but a corruption- a distortion of the beautiful gift of sex and God hates it because it hurts men and destroys God's beauty. To call it good and to claim God made it is to call God a liar. Repent and be saved in the name of Jesus! The enemy shall not intimidate the Ministry because on this Rock did Jesus build his church and not even the Kingdom of Hades shall prevail over it. I speak to you again, imposter, repent and be saved in the name of Jesus! There is hope for you because the scriptures say whoever blasphemes against the Son of God will be forgiven but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit shall not be forgiven.

  10. It’s not the overwhelming addiction that keeps us tied down; it is our pride to admit the problem.,..I like that statement- absolute true reality…..A key advice given to me by one of my leaders is that, The devil thrives in darkness, thus exposing the darkness is the only way to emerge victorious. Shine the light let the darkness flee, which is as automatic as when you switch on light in a room, the darkness doesn't debate whether to go, but automatically gets subdued!

  11. Chief of Sinners

    You are a blessing.I Thank God for people like you.I can’t even tell how many years been addicted to porn,I think over ten years now.I watch then delete history incase someone uses my phone n trace it.I go to church,preach,teach,scriptures in my lips but always have guilt of confessing.Am an addict of all series youve talked about,there is a time i stopped watching them n remember vividly my urge for porn was out of me think was busy with school work but later am back n i keep track of them my urge of porn is on its peak.Have dated boys n men who are christian n non-christian who have led me to sex.But always had a conscience of christianity in me,God has been faithful cz it haunts me.I asked a friend to pray for me,she did her part but i feel bad it’s still wrestling with me to watch.Now am from watching one n suddenly someone posted your link in a group n read it.I want to be clean,I lost my job cz I couldnt sleep with my boss and If i respect that how can i watch porn n still ask God to give me a healthy job.Pray for people like us.I cant kneel down cz am a sinner n not worthy but I know His grace is sufficient in weakness.I confessed to my boyfriend he is prayerful n said he will do it on my behalf.May the good Lord bless you and I hope this will be a testimony to me one day.I want to be reformed n conformed in His word.

  12. Thank u for the article it has really talked to me i hav struggled with mastebation for a longtime while still going to church even being a youth leader sometimes i thot i was over it bt i kept going back leaving me with a feeling of emptiness i would like to be pure again and come out of this darknesss

  13. Suffice to say, God is looking upon all the hunger and thirst for Him and He will come and save His beloved, now that they call upon Him, for who comes up to the hill of the Lord, He whose hands are clean and heart is pure.
    So hear our cry as young people ,God.
    We desire one thing and one thing alone to be Holy just as you are Holy, come to our aid that we may be strong to accomplish your intent upon the earth.
    Amen.

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  15. Please keep me in prayer…this is where God draws the line….I want to completely surrender to God…this ugly addiction…I want my joy and delight back…thank you for being obedient to God….Im holding on to His Word and Mercy..

  16. Thank you for this. I’ve struggled with it too. And it’s true this new age movies abet it. I had even read articles about benefits of masturbation, (they are there in the internet) maybe to justify my habit, but still I’d feel empty after doing it. I’d pray about it and at times I’d overcome it for over a year, but something would trigger it back…sometimes stress,sometimes after watching something graphic, gyrating at the club, dry spell, girls in the streets.. Etc. I remember watching The wolf of Wall Street and one of the tycoons while giving advice on how to keep a level focused head in the stock market business was by jacking off in the morning before going to the office, I know it’s just a movie and it’s true that jacking off gives one a momentary period of a clear head. However the ultimate result is that you end up being a lustful being lusting after everything in a skirt and you get stuck in that vicious cycle always leaving you in regret. I’m 26 now and I’ve not dated in many years, intentionally so because I’d not want to bring in someone in my life while I still possess this self destructive habit, let her find me struggling with something else but not masturbation .continue with this good ministry. You are a blessing.

  17. Good article. Whats your advice for a man whose given up porn and masturbation but still struggles with the physiological aspects of going without i.e. Nocturnal dreams. Unfortunately I don’t have a church with strong men who care about peoples problems. Their only concern is the work you’re doing in the church and how much more you can do for them. So, no support or prayer there.

    • Hi John. Good question. Seek a fellowship outside your local church that is set on this standard of purity. Start one if need be.It must be saturated with scripture reading and prayer. Eventually you will get freedom.

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  19. Am blessed.. thanks for speaking the word of God to young men and women. May God continue to lift and use you to touch the lives of other people. You are a great inspiration. Your appearance on the standard newspaper today led me to this site.
    You are blessed indeed.

  20. It is important for young people who are struggling to come up, be open and get deliverance from the Lord. He already paid for it when He died on the rugged cross. The devil will always place you in a cage to believe that you are the only one going through that and that you will never be forgiven. Thanks be to Christ who carried our shame. Thanks to Earnest for being available to be used as a vessel. I have learnt that God can use your dirty passed for His glory, just like Don Moen sings, ‘everything I have been through use it for your glory’. God bless you brother.

  21. Hi Ernest, I’m struggling with porn and masturbation, I need help and want to be free from this bondage. Many youth are in this too. They think its normal, there needs to be a talk about this, specifically pornography addiction and masturbation. Keep me in prayer, I feel so unclean when I pray.

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