8 things I wish I knew when I was addicted to porn and masturbation

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This is to encourage any believer who is currently stuck in any sexual addiction. I’m borrowing these lessons from my own personal struggle and with pornography and masturbation and the victory I experienced afterwards. These are things I wish I knew then, based on the reality I was facing.

1. SHIFT YOUR THINKING

You want desperately to be free but you don’t think it will happen because you have been a slave at it for so long. Be encouraged that the desire to be free is proof of God’s sanctification fighting. Do not lose the battle of the mind. If you approach the fight emotionally, you will never win. You must think and respond intellectually. A mind that is made up is halfway done with the fight. You must engage your faculties intentionally and talk yourself into victory. Too many believers are trusting God but talking themselves into bondage. Don’t wish it were easier; wish you were better. Cooperate with the sanctification- starting from your mind.

2. GOD IS NOT YOUR ENEMY

You are too scared to pray another prayer of repentance and forgiveness because you think God is fed up with you. In fact, you become alienated to prayer and the word. And that is the enemy’s tactic. Please don’t give up on your prayer link with God. Do not quit on the word. The enemy lies to you that your source of help is your enemy. It isn’t true. God wants his children free. Jesus is our advocate (1 John 2:1). Also, realise that God just doesn’t want children; He also wants warriors. Your victory isn’t just for you to enjoy a nice little deliverance and feel good about yourself. God wants to raise an army for His Kingdom and it starts by raising one warrior at a time. Be committed to being free so that you may free others; be committed to prayer and the word.

3. STOP EXPECTING CHEAP VICTORIES

You begin to get used to the sin and think that this is a normal part of your life. Do not be deceived by the enemy. God desires that the newness of regeneration by the Holy Spirit is manifested. You will be free because God will finish His good work in you (Philippians 1:6). You must fight. See the victory and fight. Your regeneration was free but it wasn’t cheap; it cost the Son of God His life. Your sanctification is also free, but it isn’t cheap; why are you expecting it to cost you nothing? This is another mind battle. Many believers live a passive Christian life. They pray and then they wait on God to wave a magic wand and sort the problem. You are not waiting on God; God is waiting on you. God led the children of Israel to the border of the promised land, Kadesh Barnea. He then told them to take out their swords, to fight and to occupy the land. The children of Israel sneered at the command. They expected to just waltz into the land of milk and honey and have the people excuse themselves at their arrival. That lazy mindset keeps many believers in bondage. Because of this, the Israelites had to spend 40 years in the desert. Once that lazy generation died, God brought the new generation into the Promised Land. Faith must accompany action. The proof of Joshua’s faith was in wielding a sword against the sons of Anak. The proof of your faith is not getting comfortable with the desert; go into the promised land and fight. Be intentional and practical with your faith. Get rid of that Netflix account, break up, wake up early, stop inviting her over, stop going for his sleepovers, stop watching series, plan your day, do a morning run; make up your mind and fight. Stop expecting cheap victories.

4. DON’T LOSE YOUR HEAD

You become clean for a few days or weeks and then you get comfortable and lower your guard. The enemy even deceives you that since you’ve been so good you can “reward” yourself with a little sensual entertainment. But you regret it immediately. Sin is not a reward. Please realise that your heart is fallen, deceitful and wicked (Jeremiah 17:9). You cannot trust it to make decisions for you. Trust God’s word and use your mind. Also remember, you cannot afford to live your life from how you always feel. There are multiple opportunities that people miss every day because they are governed by their emotions. You must learn to detach your heart from your head. You must learn to live life from your head because your heart is deceitful, desperately wicked and beyond cure because of sin (Jeremiah 17:9-10). What you feel is not always true; what you feel could be a lie. Do not let your fickle heart guide the primary course of your life. Time and chance come to all people (Ecclesiastes 9:11) but not all people thrive. You can make excuses or you can make progress but you cannot make both. Opportunities abound every day, but too many people disdain them because they do not come in the colour of their favourite feelings. Tragedies abound every day, but too many people never see the solutions right in front of them because the solutions come in vanilla feelings and they wanted strawberry. There is a place for your feelings. Like lights on a dashboard of a car, your feelings can indicate an issue, but focusing on the light does not solve the issue. You must pop the hood; you must open your mind; you must think. Don’t lose your head.

5. MEET GOD NOT MEN

You try to stay clean for weeks before you go to church or for fellowship so that you can feel righteous in God’s house. It’s not possible, Beloved. That is akin to treating your malaria before you go to the doctor. Go to Him when the disease is at it’s worst. The idea of cleaning yourself first is because we are slaves to the praise of men. You are meeting God at his house not men.

6. STOP IN THE MIDDLE

You often believe that if the sexual temptation is overwhelming, you have no choice but to give in to it. That is a lie. Realise that there is always a way out even in the most brutal of temptations (1 Corinthians 10:13) and that God’s grace enables us to say “no” when we are weak (Titus 2:11-12). Even if you have started watching the porn, stop in the middle. Don’t believe the lie that because you started, you cannot stop. The grace to say no is always available.

7. LOVE ACCOUNTABILITY

You want to get your house in order as you await Christ’s return. That is a noble thing. To do this expediently you may need an inner circle of friends of the same sex who you can confess to and who can pray for you (James 5:16). I’m talking about raw friendships that call you out and straighten you. These friendships must never at any point contradict the scriptures. They are committed to God’s cause more than they are committed to you. Don’t fear judgement. Most of it is a fear within us even when we are not being judged. Forgive those who have done so and ask God for the right company to walk with. Choose your deliverance over your dignity. There is no victory over a stubborn private sin until it’s anonymity and secrecy is exposed. Also, humble yourself. It is pride that brings up excuses when accountability is needed. Timothy Keller says, “Everyone says they want community and deep friendship. However, because it takes accountability and commitment we run the other way.”

8. DO NOT DISMISS THE MINISTRY OF DELIVERNACE

My personal victory involved overcoming an unclean spirit of lust. You can read about that here. I experienced supernatural deliverance and I have seen many believers I have walked with experience the same kind of supernatural freedom. The enemy is real and so is the warfare. Unclean spirits cannot possess a believer but they can oppress a believer. Put on the full armour of God (Ephesians 6:12-18). Understand that the spiritual entities involved in your life are powerful. God is not your butler; the devil is not your friend.

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Ernest is a follower of Jesus Christ, a husband and a father. He has been married to Waturi since September 2012. They have two daughters: Thandiwe and Ivanna. He is also the author of four books. The Wamboyes are passionate to see the Gospel of Jesus Christ clearly taught and understood in our post-modern world. They are champions of biblical discipleship and furthering the Kingdom of God by transforming one person at a time. They are the founders of The Relationship Centre Ltd (TRC), an organisation that aims to promote biblical family values in contemporary urban communities.

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