Note From Lyn: I really appreciate this gentleman’s honesty and what he says. Pornography is a big problem today; not only among men, but women too, believe it or not! I heard in the news recently that more and more women, particularly young teenaged girls, were having problems with pornography. In fact, according to statistics, the number of girls addicted to pornography outnumbers the men! Can you believe that? Anyhow, I hope this man’s article blesses someone who might have this addiction. Some men have it more than others, it depends upon the man and the relationship with Christ as well.
by Matt Moore
Temptation sucks. It can be hard to resist, tiresome to endure, and when succumbed to, the guilt of our failure weighs heavily on us. I hate temptation…. absolutely loathe it. But my hatred of it has not caused it to disappear. Whether I like it or not, temptation is a reality that all of us are going to have to deal with as we live out the remainder of our time in a fallen, sinful world. Avoiding the reality of (and consequently not preparing for) temptation is like being distracted and unknowingly stumbling upon the front lines of battle…. it’s just stupid— and self-destructive.
I deal with the temptation to watch pornography every day. I don’t think about it constantly, but nonetheless, there is a moment in time at some point during each day where everything in my body wants to tune out the Spirit’s leading and go sit in front of the computer screen like a zombie and enjoy myself. Logically speaking, I know the foolishness of doing such a thing. I know that I’ll enjoy it, momentarily……..and then get smacked with a crashing avalanche of guilt and confusion as soon as I shut my laptop. It ends the same way every time I give in—with me confused, doubtful, fearful and depressed…. and it takes a lot of time (and a lot of grace) to get out from under all of that. Logically, I know it’s not worth it. But I still find myself wanting it… badly.
I crave pleasure—-we all crave pleasure. It’s a desire engrained in our natures, and contrary to some religious doctrine, it’s not a bad thing. Now, how we go about finding pleasure can most definitely be bad thing… that’s what sin is. If you think about it, every sin has its root in us trying to fulfill some desire or searching for some pleasure. We go wrong in the avenues we travel to find it. We indulge, pervert and idolize so many things (food, sex, money, materials, success, comfort, beauty)…. and we do so in an attempt to achieve the satisfaction our souls crave. We want to enjoy life, and the things it has to offer—-but most times we reject the One who gives Life, and all the things He has to offer.
The longing for pleasure I’m experiencing inside of me, because of my brokenness, many times manifests at the surface in intense and perverted, sexual desires. Because of my years of porn addiction before being converted, my mind and body know that a type of pleasure comes through the avenue of pornography, so my default (sinful) nature and mind pretty much automatically turn on to those things when I’m feeling less than full. But thank God for the Holy Spirit. Seriously! Without the Holy Spirit indwelling me, I can do nothing but what my default nature knows to do…. sin. In my fallen flesh, I know nothing but the pleasures found in forbidden places. You see, this is our way out of temptation…. the indwelling Spirit of God. He is always with us, witnessing the truth to us.. leading us out of filth and into holiness and purity.. filling our hearts with the love of God. He is our way out—listening to and following Him is our way out of every evil enticement.
I believe fully, because He has been sent to glorify Christ, that as I’m drawn to my sinful vice the Spirit of God whispers to my soul, “Jesus is more pleasurable than pornography.”
I’ve had the impression of this glorious thought pressed on my heart many times in recent months. Jesus is more pleasurable than pornography. (You can fill that blank with any sin). It’s hard for me to really believe that thought in the moment of temptation… because after all, pornography is right here… and I can’t even see Jesus. How can I gain immediate pleasure through Him if I can’t even immediately see or talk to Him like I could another human being? There’s probably a lot of different biblical answers to that question…. first and foremost the reality that Jesus is inside of us. I don’t know what that looks like, or how it’s possible….but it has to be true. My life, and the radical change I see in it, could not be possible if that fact were not true.
Jesus promised at the end of the gospel of Matthew that He would be with His people always. In the gospel of John, He promised that He would not leave us as orphans. He said that He would send the Helper to us… the Holy Spirit. Paul says in Romans that the love of God has been poured into our hearts through the Spirit of Christ. Colossians says that our lives are hidden in Christ…. how much more intimate can it get than that? I’ll be the first to admit that it is hard for me to believe these things most of the time—it’s hard for me to picture such a thing with my mind….. but could my lack of trust in these truths be the cause of my weakness when it comes to battling temptation? I believe that’s exactly the case.
We must believe that Jesus Christ is inside of us—we must really believe that, in the deepest parts of our hearts and minds. If we’re genuinely born-again, this is a reality whether we fully acknowledge it or not—but we can’t expect to thrive in all the benefits of Christ living in us if most of the time, through unbelief, we ignore His presence. I think we must believe, deeply believe, that Jesus is in us… we must meditate on that constantly and devotionally.
And we must believe that Jesus is all pleasurable and all satisfying. Not just in the words we speak…. but within the fibers of our hearts we must know that He is the ultimate source of pleasure. Jesus is more beautiful and captivating than anything in this world—good or bad— whether we believe it or not. But again, we can’t expect to walk in the immediate benefits of Jesus being all pleasurable if, through unbelief, we ignore His captivating essence and beauty. We must strive to see Him as glorious as He says that He is.
We must believe the Scriptures, and the promises they contain, to be the truth. The absolute truth. No negotiating. We must believe… latch onto, grasp hold of, clench our fists around….the reality of the all-satisfying God of the universe living inside of us. Everything we need to live this life as our Father has commanded us to lies in us taking hold of what He’s given us…. Himself. He is the fountain of living water, the bread of Life—-He is the sustenance. He is everything. Even if we can’t grasp it with our thinking, in Him exists pleasures and joy beyond what we even think we want.
You may ask, “That sounds great, but how do I do that? How do I get that? How do I experience God like that?”— I frustratingly ask myself the same thing a lot of times. But the truth, and blessing, is that we don’t have to do it… God will do it. The Holy Spirit in us will produce this belief, trust and confidence in Jesus. The Holy Spirit will pour the love of God into our hearts. The Holy Spirit will make Jesus more real to us. We’ve just got to stop….be still…. get in front of the God-breathed Words we’ve been given…. and pray.
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.”- Matthew 7:7-8
Just some thoughts floating around in my head tonight.
Categories: Christian Living