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Pornography

If you need help overcoming porn…

By Helen Devenish

As a pastor I am seeing more and more Christians who have had a secret addiction to porn, sometimes for years. This is a huge problem in our world today, but it is a problem with an answer, for those who are Christ’s. Let’s first look at the problem of porn and then the answer to porn addictions.  

Warnings
As Christians we need to be sure we are not being seduced by the worlds standards and thereby compromise what God says is right. What someone does in private (secret) is just as important as what they do in public. Our walk with Jesus is not just about how we look to others but what we do in private, in secret, behind closed doors. 


Looking at pornography will affect your relationship with the Lord. God is Holy and pure. There is no evil in Him. You cannot be involved in porn (lust) and still be open and transparent in your relationship with God. Do not be deceived into thinking porn (lust) does not matter to God. Looking at pornography is WRONG. It is evil and it is SIN. Don’t try and justify your sin in this area by telling yourself it doesn’t hurt anyone. Well it’s hurting you whether you realize it or not, and it hurts others; from wives and husbands, to those girls trapped in the sex slave industry where they are forced to perform for the camera for your porn addiction. 

Resisting temptation
Resisting the temptation to look at pornography requires self-control. This is easier said than done for many Christians who are already heavily addicted to porn. As porn is so easily accessible through the internet and only a finger-touch away- a press on a phone- at any time of the day or night, it is a difficult addiction to break- but NOT impossible. And today, it’s not just males that have porn addictions, the number of females addicted to porn is also skyrocketing. But for anyone that is compromised (that is, in sin) in this area of their life, they are putting their eternal destiny on the line. If they do not get freedom from porn, it will also affect other areas of their life, and ultimately their relationship with the Lord. The sin of porn ALWAYS opens up to other sins such as sexual perversion, excessive masturbation, deception and lying, to name a few; along with shame, guilt and condemnation. At it’s worse there is adultery and complete breakdown of marriage. The likelihood of falling into the act of sexual sin if you look at pornography increases dramatically. Pornography is the first hook into you but soon that’s not enough. When someone falls into sin in one area of their lives, if they do not repent, it opens up for other sins and ultimately death.

James 1:13-16 says, “Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death. Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren.” 

Consequences of pornography
Just a little look… that won’t hurt, will it? Just some ‘soft’ porn. And that’s often how it starts… just like other addictions, just one little go. But once Satan gets that first hook into your life, you’ve been snared because that ‘little sin’ that ‘little look at porn’ never stays little. Sin is a deadly trap and Satan is never satisfied with us doing one little sin (and neither is our flesh). There is so much warning in the Bible on sin leading to more sin and pornography is no different. Once Satan has succeeded in getting someone to look at porn once, the likelihood of looking again increases dramatically. The flesh wants another look, just another little look. It won’t hurt will it? No one knows about it. It’s not affecting anyone is it? 

WRONG! 

It’s a slippery slope downhill. Any ‘softening’ or ‘playing down’ of the effect of pornography is compromise to the Word of God.

What does the Word of God say about pornography?
Matthew 6:22-23 says “The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!” 


Matthew 5:27-28 gives a very severe warning of the eternal consequences when you allow your eyes to cause you to sin. “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.”


Lusting at a woman (or man) is as if you’ve committed adultery in your heart, so Jesus said, if your eye causes you to sin pluck it out. This is not literal but shows the severity of the consequences of the sin of lust if left unchecked. It is better not to have an eye than end up in Hell. That means, do whatever you have to, to remove yourself from the area of temptation so that you do not fall into sin. Why? Because sin when it is fully conceived it will bring forth death. (Read James 1:13-16 again- see above.) 

Jesus is the answer
Freedom from all sin comes from Jesus’ sacrificial death on the cross. Biblically we can see a pattern of how to get free from porn and other addictions and sin generally. James 4:7-8a shows one of those patterns- submit to God first, then you will be able to resist the devil and he will flee. You need to love the Lord so much that you are willing to submit to Him in everything. This comes from knowing Him, really knowing Him intimately, not just knowing about Him. Abide in Him that He might be all sufficient for you. 

Repentance 
When someone confesses the sin of porn to God, He is faithful to forgive them their sin. Don’t try hiding sin from God. His desire is that you will come to Him for help. Be aware that none are above temptation, but that we all need to be on guard lest we fall (see 1 Cor 10:12). For someone who has fallen into the sin of pornography, genuine repentance will bring forth forgiveness and God will restore. The power of the cross is amazing. Genuine repentance includes turning away from the sin, not just saying sorry and continuing in it. Repentance will include daily bringing your worldly passions and fleshly desires into submission to the Word of God and resisting them. 

Deliverance
My experience is that those who have looked at porn have usually opened up for a spirit of lust, often along with other associated spirits. Although I do not believe a Christian can be demon-possessed they can be afflicted or oppressed by a demon. I personally believe deliverance prayer is part of the road to freedom for those Christians who are repentant and sincerely desire to be free from this addiction. A prayer of repentance is followed by commanding a spirit of lust to come off the person- off their thoughts, their eyes and their heart using the authority and power of the Name of Jesus. I have found that those who do not have deliverance generally struggle a lot more to stay free from falling back into porn. 

Fasting
We must not only learn Godly disciplines such as prayer and reading the Bible to help us in our walk with the Lord, but we must also learn to discipline our fleshly desires. I have seen those who have had heavy porn addictions find victory through fasting. When you learn to deny your flesh food, it often becomes easier to deny your flesh ungodly lusts. If you don’t want to fall snare of the devil you need to bring your physical body under control as Paul said in 1 Corinthians 9:27 “But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.” 


If you cannot control what you eat you are very likely going to struggle with other fleshly lusts which can ultimately destroy you. Fasting food is an amazing way to discipline your body by denying it what it wants. Start by fasting breakfast or lunch or coffee or chocolate, something small that you love, and build up to doing longer times of fasting. Fasting is also a time to really draw near to the Lord and seek Him and ask for His help to overcome. 

Ongoing victory requires the fruit of self-control 
Run away from porn or any other sin you’re struggling with. A young man I know recently left his place of work and his accommodation as the temptations in those two places to various addictive sins was so great. He counted the cost, and understood the severity of the consequences of his sin if he didn’t get free. He did what it took to get away from the greatest areas of temptation where he struggled to stay pure. Some may see this as weakness but I think this young man showed exceptional strength to walk away from the temptations at cost to himself, but the Lord has provided for him. 

Don’t look twice!
The first look at porn is usually the temptation, but it’s what you do with that first look that will determine whether you fall into sin or not. If you have a Godly mindset you will not give into temptation and you won’t look again. If you can get the phrase ‘Don’t look twice’ in your thinking and be willing to act on that as soon as you see something that is sin you will do well. For example, when you’re scrolling through your Facebook feed and there is a picture of dubious nature (nudity, sexual, lustful etc.) don’t look twice. Scroll fast forward away from that picture. This is only going to come as you learn to die daily to your fleshly desires and walk holy and uprightly with the Lord in Spirit and truth. As a pastor on the streets of Hobart I have an assortment of Facebook friends so I follow this principle myself as I am all too aware of the temptations out there. I thankfully have never had an issue with porn myself, but I’m still very guarded as to what I look at as I don’t want to fall into a snare in this area at all. None of us are above temptation so we need to be on guard. 


When your heart’s desire is to please the Lord more than your flesh you will find the desire to say no to your flesh easier. It will take time, relationship and commitment to the Lord, but with perseverance and desire to flee sin you will walk in victory. Don’t look twice at porn. Turn away. 

Just say no
I encourage those who have been addicted to porn after repentance, prayer and deliverance to remember to ‘just say no’. I thought about writing a rap song with the words ‘don’t look twice, just say no, don’t look twice, just say no…’ but I’m not a musician. But it’s worth remembering those phrases so as soon as you’re tempted you remember “don’t look twice” and “just say no” (to the devil and your flesh). 

Ongoing discipleship & accountability
If you are struggling in the area of porn or any sin for that matter, don’t leave it in the darkness where it can fester and breed, but find someone you can trust who can pray with you through repentance to breakthrough. Don’t cover up your sin, but bring it into the light. It will be part of the process of setting you free. Proverbs 28:13 says “He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.” God is so very merciful to those who confess their sin and run from it. So many people respond well to accountability. It can sometimes be the care of a friend or two who you can contact when you’re sensing those first stages of weakness to give into temptation, that have seen many a person resist the temptation to sin. Ask the Lord who you should ask to walk alongside you as you seek to get free. Someone who will be diligent, patient and prayerful. 

Daily walk with the Lord 
We face temptations of the flesh daily. How do we resist falling into temptation? We need to daily rely upon God. We need to have a living, daily, relationship with the Lord that includes prayer, reading the Bible, fellowship with other Christians, the Lords supper, praise, thanksgiving and worship, so that when temptations come we are in a place to say no to our flesh, no to the devil, and yes to what God says. 

Final words
The Lord loves you and so desires that you walk with Him in Spirit and in truth. As a Christian you have the Holy Spirit living in you to help you to overcome the temptations of the flesh. Listen to Him. Yield to Him. Trust the Lord will strengthen you and help you to resist temptation, as you look unto Him. He died for you so that you can be victorious over sin. Love Him, follow Him, take up your cross daily and daily die to your flesh and you will see what an amazing transformation the Lord will do in your life. As you walk in the fruit of righteousness you will enjoy healthier relationships, God’s blessings on your life in ways that you can’t fathom and spiritual fruit.  You won’t be a hypocrite, and you will know it, but rather someone who leads others in the ways of the Lord, by living the Christian walk in all areas of your life. 

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By Helen Devenish- pastor, evangelist, wife, mother of 9, grandmother, author, artist. If you have found this article helpful or have any questions and would like to contact Helen please check out her ministry website at lovehobart.com  or email lovehobart@gmail.com

Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.