I have talked about this many times before. For some reason, God has compelled me to discuss it again. I had a friend that I have completely lost touch with. I met him through the internet and we had some lively discussions. I found myself praying for him and knew that God had laid him upon my heart to intercede for. Then quite suddenly, he posted a most terrific "how to" list at Studylight.org.
His list was directed toward breaking the habit of pornography, but it can be applied to any sinful habit a Christian finds himself or herself sucked into and can's seem to break. It works! I had a terrible habit of smoking, and was also a slave to alcohol, and I also had another terrible habit which I am not brave enough to reveal here. Be that as it may, God and I broke the habits. We tackled them one at a time. It was the hardest thing I have every done in my entire life.
When we tackled the first habit (smoking), after four days of cold turkey, I fell to my knees begging God to help me, to keep me safe, to guard my feelings and my thoughts because the more I thought about smoking the more I wanted to, the more I wanted to, the more I was compelled to go buy some cigarettes. The more I was compelled, the weaker was my will and I knew I was doomed to another failure if I didn't through myself onto God's lap begging for Him to take control. Ah HA! I thought. That is it. He must have complete control and that is where I have failed in the past. The more I desired to be free of this slavery I was bound to, the tighter its hold became.
Even if you are not caught in the web of addictive behavior, you may have a loved one that is. Sometimes, all it takes is the empathetic listener to help the addicted one to see the Light.
Gary told me that he had culled this list from many different websites and books that he combed in inpatient duress to leave behind him the slavery to pornography. I will offer this in several posts because it is too vast to comprehend in one sitting.
Please read whatever has you, or someone you love, enslaved into the blank.
How to break a sinful addiction –
The Addiction In the natural, the addiction to __________ is very difficult to break. Here are some reasons.
1. It is the misuse of a natural God given desire and is often excused as just being "natural". This is because the worldly things are fleshly things. Guess which pair of glasses the world looks through?
2. The initial stimuli is difficult to avoid.
3. When one looks at the ___________ the video or magazine figures don't look back with disgust. (When one goes to a bar, you put yourself in the path of temptation if your weakness happens to be alcohol addiction. When you watch movies that have bad language, you are filling your mind with the very thing you wish to break from. Get the picture?)
4. It is often accepted as being the norm for men. ("Men will be men"). (And kids will be kids, and women will be women... it is no excuse.)
5. It is often connected with sexual gratification. (Either by self gratification or with a partner). All forms of sin are connected to self gratification, selfishness, and lack of self control. Our weaknesses are well know to Satan, make no mistake, and he uses those weaknesses for greatest effect.
6. It carries often unseen guilt with it that also has to be dealt with.
7. The wife or girlfriend through not understanding the nature of the addiction may bring stimuli into the presence of the man who is addicted. (magazines, videos, even lingerie catalogues). (May ask to go places, do things, or events that will stimulate the desire to give in to the addiction.)
8. It is usually mixed with other strong addictions such as drug, alcohol addictions, rock and rap music, and sometimes occult involvement.
9. Quite often there is a generational factor involve. (The son of an addict become an addict).
10. Most often, evil spirits are also associated with this addiction.
Warning This addiction can lead to more aggressive and violent acts such as rape, incest, child sexual abuse, sodomy, masochism, and sadism. Christians are not immune, just because they are Christian.
Steps in Overcoming the addiction
1. First, the individual must come to acknowledge that the addiction exists. "He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy" (Proverbs 28:13).
2. He must recognize that what he is doing is wrong. He may hate other sins but justify this one. "For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world" (I John 2:16). "The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate" (Proverbs 8:13).
3. He must not blame others. "If my wife was just more affectionate." "If women were not so seductive." Adam blamed Eve blamed the serpent. Instead, the one who is addicted must begin to take responsibility to make corrections. Job said, "I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?" (Job 31:1).
4. He must learn the fear of the LORD. Fear of the LORD is a conscious knowledge that God disciplines his children and there will be a consequence for his sin. "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding" (Proverbs 9:10). "By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil" (Proverbs 16:6).
5. He must learn to flee temptation. "Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away" (Proverbs 4:15). "Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body" (I Corinthian 6:1 . "Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart" (II Timothy 2:22). Self deception may enter in where one thinks he can play with fire without getting burned. "Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned? Can one go upon hot coals, and his feet not be burned?" (Proverbs 6:27-28) .
6. He must recognize that "will power" is not the answer. At a weak moment, he "will" give in. "For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not" (Romans 7:1 . In contrast, for the Believer, he has access to the will of God and power of God. "For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure" (Philippians 2:13). He must yield his will to God's will and be obedient by the power of God. See: "Training The Flesh".
7. He must engraft the Word of God concerning sexual purity. "Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls" (James 1:21). To engraft means to memorize and meditate upon it until it becomes a reality in one's life. Pr 6:23-24 "For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life: To keep thee from the evil woman, from the flattery of the tongue of a strange woman" (Proverbs 6:23-24).
8. He must destroy any pornography in his possession. "Then ye shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you, and destroy all their pictures, and destroy all their molten images, and quite pluck down all their high places" (Numbers 33:52). Remember pornography is a substitute for truth. See: Addictive Disorders.
9. He must break any generational curse that may be associated with the addiction. "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree" (Galatians 3:13). See the book, "How To Destroy The Evil Tree". Furthermore, since evil spirits are most often involved, deliverance is likely to be needed. See: The Open Door.
10. He must understand and recognize that his body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. (For the Believer) "What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's" (I Corinthians 6:19-20).
11. He must learn to submit himself to God and resist the devil. "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you" (James 4:7). One must understand that it not just what NOT to do, but also what TO do. Furthermore, the authority to stand must come from submission to the authority of God and those under His authority.
12. He must make himself accountable to a spiritual authority (pastor, elder, or church leader). "Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much" (James 5:16). "Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you" (Hebrew 13:17). When someone has to face regular questioning about his tendency toward the addiction, it may make him think twice before pursuing it.
Go to: http://freeinchrist.truepath.com/1st.htm#begin Many are overwhelmed and feel like they may never be free.
THERE IS HOPE! A baby does not begin walking in a week; the baby has progressive stages of growth. At first the baby struggles to lift its head. Next, it struggles to just sit up. With persistence, the baby begins to crawl. Then it will make some attempts to stand (amusing at times). Finally, it can stand by holding something. Soon the child is running around on its own! In the same way - he can take progressive steps to freedom!
Realize you're not perfect; don't beat yourself up if you fail. Yet don't use this as a license to binge. Focus on one day at a time.