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How the gospel sets one free from the grip of pornography

There are certain habits that seem to grab us, dig 9-inch nails into our lives and keep us down no matter how much we twist and turn. These are the persistent, habitual sins that we are ashamed of and try to keep secret from others, even our closest loved ones.

Society will say that this is just the way we are and that we shouldn’t go against what comes naturally to us. Society will plead its case that all morality is relative and that there is no set definition of what is right and wrong.

But whatever society says to encourage us to continue in sinful behavior, those who believe the Bible understand that we are commanded to break away from all self-satisfying desires of the flesh in repentance.

Jesus promises those who who trust Him, “I will not leave you desolate. I will come to you” (John 14:18). And the way He comes to us is by the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit whom we receive by faith. Christ called the Holy Spirit “the Helper.”

Nothing breaks a habit like becoming so sick of it that there seems to be no choice but to give it up. This is often how God works in our lives, when we surrender to Him – sick of feeling sick!

An evangelical Christian polling firm, Barna Group recently examined pornography’s effect on pastors, churches, the general population, and young people.

The research showed that More than 9 in 10 pastors (93% of pastors, 94% of youth pastors) said pornography is becoming a bigger problem, specifically for the church, and 75 percent of the laity agree.

However, only 7 percent of pastors said their church had a program designed to help those struggling with pornography.

As a victim, you always know exactly what part of God’s word you go against when your eyes are glued on porn material; we tell our Creator that we’ll never do it again. We succeed for a while, but temptation comes, and we fail again.

God expects us to overcome sin—even persistent, habitual sin for “His grace is sufficient for you, for His power is perfected in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9). He understands that we are human, among many other excuses we often give but, continuing in what we know to be sin is destructive to the kind of character God wants us to be building.

Porn promises intimacy and satisfaction but leaves many empty and searching for more. The good news is we don’t have to search endlessly. It’s important to identify exactly what situations trigger you to stumble and fall into porn. Jesus Christ knows our desires and is able to fill them perfectly with His love. If you don’t already have a personal relationship with Him, talk to a pastor or wise Christian adult to ask how you can begin this relationship.

Give God permission to work on your heart. Thank Him for the situation you find yourself in. Thank Him for the chance to see His power at work in your life. Hold the struggle in complete honesty before God. Then claim your victory ahead of time by faith. (Hebrews 11:13). Remain accountable as you flee temptation, speaking to a well-meaning pastor or friend you can open up too.

I cannot forget to say this, trust God’s timing. Don’t give your timetable to God! Accept His.

As all this happens, read scripture. The bible is full of powerful messages to help you grow in spiritual strength and maturity. Take time to look them up and underline them, and memorize the ones that are most helpful to you personally. This will help renew your mind.  Remember, what He’s done for others, He will do for you!

By Samuel Ballagadde.

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