SPEAKING OF SEX…
A recent conference where I was asked to speak dealt with a Christian view of human sexuality. It was a 3 day conference drenched in information on the topic. My portion was brief, dealing with practical, pastoral concerns, so I learned more than I contributed.
One consensus at the conference is that pornography is pervasive in our culture and the damage it causes in personal lives and families, including those in our churches, presents a looming question for our generation, as ministries consider how to deal with the aftermath of porn addiction. How can a Christian man or woman be free of the allure of this easily accessible but spiritually poisonous material?
Here are 3 practical, pastoral suggestions.
1) Sexual temptation is a spiritual battle and the enemy will offer substitutes in place of God’s plan for everything including sexual satisfaction. Therefore, to be forewarned is to be forearmed! You have to beat the devil before you meet the devil!
Every believer must cultivate a daily walk with God through the spiritual disciplines because through them we connect with God and gain spiritual strength to resist every kind of temptation. Bible reading and prayer should be daily exercises and the earlier in the day the better in order to be more spiritually prepared for the Satanic onslaughts, in every area of life, that are certain to occur.
In addition to these daily devotions, Christians, who are serious about spiritual growth, should develop the personal discipline of fasting. Fasting hinders the power of the flesh! There are numerous resources available on this subject and most Christian leaders will be happy to point believers toward those books, websites, or sermons. Ask your pastor for more information on the practical aspects and spiritual benefits of fasting.
Then, we must remember that our ultimate weapon in spiritual warfare is the power of the Holy Spirit! When I was coming into ministry in the late 1970’s scores of young people were flooding into the Body of Christ from the drug culture. I have known of examples far too numerous to mention of men and women instantly delivered from drug habits by the power of the Holy Spirit. Sexual temptation and porn addiction is no different in this sense- God is greater than all temptation! If we are spiritually bullied by the enemy into surrendering our confidence in God’s ability to deliver us by the Spirit’s power, we have laid down our most effective weapon during the heat of the battle! God can deliver us from every temptation and we must not lose sight of this biblical truth!
2) Coupled with spiritual disciplines are the excellent resources developed by pastor’s and Christian counselors. There are answers if we want to find them and most pastors can quickly point you to the books, websites, church classes, and teaching tools you need to be more informed and strengthened.
3) Christian counseling is always a good option for those who have started to feel overwhelmed and helpless in this battle. Beyond individual and secret battles, the damaging wounds of pornography affect families too. A confidential setting, where individuals and couples can discuss their battles with a professional Christian counselor, can be a powerful tool on the road to victory.
Remember, no one has to lose this or any other spiritual battle. God has provided for your victory!
“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”
(1 Corinthians 10:13 ESV)