John Owen "Be killing sin, or it will be killing you."
Romans 8:12-13 Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.
1) NAME IT - Don't just refer to it as having a hard time, like your having a bad day. Call it for what it is....it's temptation, and giving into it is sin. Don't water it down, generalize it or make broad statements when your being tempted or when you have given into sin. Recognize temptation and sin for what it is so you can properly confront it with truth and repentance. Making a mistake or having a hard day is like saying its normal and not that big of a deal. Temptation is something we must flee and run from and sin is a big deal and demands repentance and a turning away from.
2) EXPOSE IT - Don't allow your sin to drag you into the dark, it will only keep you beat down. Expose it to the light of grace and forgiveness. Secret sin breads shame and feeds pride. Grace is around the corner of every sin, allow grace to meet it face to face. Tell your accountability partners immediately so shame and pride don't settle in and make a home. Remember, HIS kindness leads you to repentance, His wrath is no longer against you. While we were yet sinners He died for you. His mercy and grace, alongside your honesty, will lead you in your recovery and victory.
Share with your accountability partner,
- what is tempting you specifically; past images, random thoughts, a co-worker, past experiences, a TV show, a movie scene, etc...
- What are you being tempted to do?...to act out sexually with a person, to masterbate, to view porn on the web, etc...
You will be amazed how doing this dramatically decreases the power and influence of temptation moving forward.
3) DITCH IT - Proclaim Christ in your freedom from sin and that you are dead to it and ALIVE in HIM. Renounce the influence of your desires, thoughts and feelings that have plaqued you for too long. Embrace the grace, freedom and victory Christ has empowered you with by His death on the cross and His Spirit living within you. Ask yourself, was Christ's death on the cross sufficient for me and allthe porn and masturbation I have induldged myself in ? Prayer - In the name of Jesus, the One who has paid the full price of all my sins now and forever, I renounce the influence of temptation in my life that wants to pull me away from my relatioship with God and bind me to things I am dead to. I proclaim my freedom in Christ and that I am alive in Him now and forever. Father I need you, guide me and give me the strength to live in the freedom you have given me.
Hebrews 12:1b-2a let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.
FIVE SECONDS TO VICTORY
1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.
You have 5 seconds to respond effectively to temptation. If you entertain temptation beyond 5 seconds you are likely to fall into it. James 1:14-15 but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.
(Read these verses again and replace your name where it makes reference to person, they and their.)
According to Patrick Carnes, Ph.D., author of Facing the Shadow: Starting Sexual and Relationship Recovery, an arousal template consists of "the total constellation of thoughts, images, behaviors, sounds, smells, sights, fantasies, and objects that arouse us sexually." This constellation encompasses vast categories of stimuli that come from our early experiences with family, friends, media, and teachers. James is referring to your own evil desires, notice how he is referring to YOUR OWN! The sexual desires that plaque you are sitting stored up in your arousal template, tempting you and reminding you of past experiences, images, sexually related feelings and thoughts.
God's design was for our arousal template to be influenced, developed and enjoyed through Godly intimacy in marriage. Due to our sinful nature, the culture we live in today and Satan’s desire to corrupt and destroy God honoring marriages, many people are living with an adulterated arousal template. When your arousal template is misguided, twisted by an abuser, and/or influenced through sinful acts and images, it is like a grenade. James, when referring to us being dragged off by our own evil desires is making reference to our own temptation arousing us and dragging us into sin. When our arousal template is triggered by a sexual thought of an image or past experience, it is like you are standing there with a grenade in your hand and your finger is on the pin. The evil desire in us at that moment is enticing us to pull the pin and allow ourselves to be dragged off to a false fulfillment (fraudulent initimacy) of sexual desire.
Once you pull the pin of the grenade, allowing your sexual arousal to entice you, its extremely hard to put the pin back in; not impossible but extremely hard. If you choose to not put the pin back in and allow your hand to release the lever of the grenade, sin has been birthed, as James 1 refers to. The igniter within the grenade is lit and explosion is about to take place. There is nowhere to hide or to run to from its impact on you and inevitably on others through you. Once the fuse is lit, there is no turning back, explosion will happen and severe damage to anything within its range is inevitable. The onslaught of damage will happen to you mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and socially. You will experience great shame and guilt and will express it through anger, rage, depression and ultimately self destruction.
Porn is not your #1 issue, porn is an external influence wanting to entice, impact and activate your arousal template. Your viewing of sexually arousing material and images through pornography and/or experiences is the byproduct of your arousal template being activated, indulged in, and your own evil desires given permission to drag you off into sin.
So, what do you do?
1) IS YOUR FINGER ON THE PIN - the key to your journey to recovery and daily victory is to RE first stop pulling the pin! Recognize the triggers that taunt you to pull the pin by FIGHTING HARD; name it, expose it and ditch it. When you feel triggered (an arousing thought, just saw an image that's arousing, a feeling of arousal has just jumped in front of you, etc...) its as if you are standing there with the grenade in your hand ready to pull the pin. RIGHT NOW, in this moment, you are strongest to resist, to run, to flee, to let go of the grenade of temptation and walk away proclaiming victory. The longer you ponder, think, replay the image, look and indulge in the feeling of arousal, the more likely you are to fall into sinning. As you look and ponder you are actually in the act of pulling the pin and preparing yourself to indulge, to explode and ultimately reap the consequences. You are strongest at the beginning to resist! Self control is a muscle, the more its exercised the stronger it gets. Actively be a part of an RTRIBE group, clean house of all access to arousing material and images, get Covenant Eyes and allow your honesty and Gods empowering grace lead you to growing and lasting victory.
2) SEEK GOD by first telling Him how desperately you need Him and by asking Him to help you understand, expose to the light and release the explosive material in your grenade of sexual desire; your arousal template. The way they make a grenade a dud is by carefully and slowly drilling out the bottom of the grenade, releasing the explosive material away from the igniter and taking away the pressure inside the chamber. Your journey is a 3 to 5 year road to recovery and consistent victory. At times it will feel slow but know that Gods work in you is not done in your timing but in His. Consider if you need professional counseling due to past abuse and/or how hard it is to let go of the sin.
3) STICK TOGETHER - God has given you and made you part of the Body of Christ to stir you on, to care for one another, exhort each other, and to build one another up in Christ. You have been given the Word of God to equip you and lead you in victory through His Truth, 2 Timothy 3:16-17 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. Allow Godly community to rebuild a proper understanding and experience of intimacy. Remember 1 Cor 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. A good accountability group goes a far way and God will use it on numerous occasions to provide you a way out.
FREE TO FLEE
Romans 8:1-4 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh,God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
Hebrews 9:24-28 For Christ did not enter a sanctuary made with human hands that was only a copy of the true one; he entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God’s presence. Nor did he enter heaven to offer himself again and again, the way the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood that is not his own. Otherwise Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But he has appeared once for all at the culmination of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself. Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.
In the Old Testament we read of the High Priests, once a year, entering the Holy of Holies, (the santuary), described in Hebrews as a copy of the true one in Heaven. The High Priests entered to make sacrifice for the cleansing of the sins of the people. Year after year they would enter and go through the ritual of cleansing themselves first and then make sacrificial offerings for the cleansing of the people before God. Christ, through His sacrifice on the cross, placed Himself before God as the perfect and final sacrifice needed to cleanse us of our sins from our past, our present and our sins of tomorrow.
CHRIST'S DEATH WAS SUFFICIENT
Hebrews is striving desperately to help you understand that the final sacrifice has been paid and is fully sufficient for your sins....ALL OF THEM! For what the High Priests had to do year after year, Christ has done once and for all. Christ does not have to be crucified yearly the same as they would do sacrifices yearly....because He was sufficient.
THERE IS NO MORE CONDEMNATION AGAINST YOU.
Romans wants you to see that you are IN CHRIST. it is easier for us to see how we look in Satan's perspective than in God's eyes. We have no problem viewing ourselves as dirty, sinful and lost but we struggle greatly seeing ourselves as free in Christ, fully forgiven, adopted, loved, blameless and worthy to be called sons and daughters of God. John 3:35-36 The Father loves the Son and has placed everything in his hands. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them. Gods wrath is no longer against you.
VICTORY IS YOURS FOR THE TAKING
1John 5:4-5 For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith. And who can win this battle against the world? Only those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God.
QUESTIONS TO MEDITATE ON
1) Was Christ's death on the cross sufficient for you and all the porn you have ever looked at and all the times you have masterbated?
2) Does Christ have to go to the cross again for you?
3) How does God see you and can you accept that?
4) Do you have faith in the fact that you are free in Christ, whether you feel it or not?
Finding definition is both looking at what has defined you over the years by your own perspective and the influence of others in your life, and by gaining a new and better understanding of your identity in Christ by seeing who God defines you as. Not only are you free in Christ, but you are a new creation.
Ever been asked the question, or pondered the thought...., what defines you. People will often define themselves by what they do; I'm a CEO, a mother of two, a Pastor, an engineer, a grandmother, etc... When we first meet someone we often start by asking questions about what they do, what church they go to, what kinds of things they may enjoy, etc... From their answers we start to percieve them, to define them in a certain way because of how they have described themselves; by the kind of church they go to, the job they have or the things they like or dislike. As we get to know them more and they get to know us more, we grow in our understanding, our definition, of each other; about each others character, thoughts and feelings, personalities, etc...
Each of us have an internal perception about ourselves that is constantly developing and molding, and has been since our first breath. Our personal internal perception and definition is developed and built based on our upbringing, the kinds of friends we have had and currently have, by the influence of those closest to us; those we have allowed in our inner circle, by our spiritual journey, our personal experiences, etc...
Our Self Definition has been formed over the years by:
Moments of great achievements, or our biggest disappointments
The encouragements from others or the negative comments directed at us
Our understanding of God and our relationship with Him
Our traumas, hurts, pains,
Our joys, positive experiences, our moments of personal celebrations
Your journey ahead, the race you are running, the fight you are taking on, will only be fought and won as you grow in your understanding of what has defined you and how you should be defining yourself in Christ moving forward.
Here are some practical ways you can better understand your self definition, and how to grow and mature in a stronger, Spirit filled self definition for the fight and victory ahead.
Xtreme Purity Assessment is to help you better understand what has influenced you over the years and to provide insight into how you define yourself presently. The XP Assessment followup will provide you with great insight and understanding of your arousal template and how to specifically fight in the ring best and to run the race to win.
FRONTAL ATTACK is coming soon.
- Self Control is a muscle. when exersized it becomes stronger
- Preventative Accountability
- Cleaning House
- Proclaim to the brain
- Bring it to the light of reasoning