How to Fight Porn, Pt. 2

Research has shown pornography’s effect on the brain is as potent as cocaine or heroin, and other studies have shown that a porn addiction is as equally difficult to kick as it’s chemical counterparts, involving withrdawels, emotional mood swings and requiring phsyical distance from the substance.

There is no magic pill.  We are all sexually broken. We are all desperately in need for the Gospel to touch and transform every area of our lives.

Last week’s issue looked at the massive issue of pornography in our culture and gave specific resources for how we can start thinking biblically about this issue. I compared porn to a silent killer, and it’s impact on the 21st century can not be understated. Young millennials can’t remember a time without smart phones, which also means they can’t remember a time when porn wasn’t at their fingertips, and statistically speaking, there are men and women in every one of our small groups struggling with this addiction, as a recent Barna study revealed, 68% of men within the church use porn.

We know the issue is looming and that sexual sin promises everything and delivers nothing, but how do we fight? How do we help our people to fight?  Below are six practical steps (three this week, three next week)  for you to take to arm your people in the fight for holiness, the church and the mission of God.

1. It’s an Awe Problem

The problem isn’t porn, at the center of sin and addiction is always an awe-problem. God isn’t after just our souls, he’s after every facet of our lives. Before practical solutions can be implemented, before we can get busy making no provision for the flesh, we have to realize that our battle is not merely tactical. When we go to fight against porn we’re fighting against “…the rulers…authorities..cosmic powers over this present darkness…the spiritual forces of evil.” (Eph. 6)

Paul David Tripp writes: “Where you look for awe will shape the direction of your life…your source of awe will control you.” 

This is massively important to remember as we lead those who are struggling.  Whether it’s porn, illicit sex, cohabitation or any other deviation from God’s design, this believer’s heart has been kidnapped by awe of something God has designed, rather than God himself.

God hasn’t set out to be our life coach, He set out to save us from ourselves.

2. It’s an Identity problem.

Those who are addicted to porn are having an identity crises.  Not only does a war wage in their souls for their awe, constantly pulling them back to the lie that leaving God behind to pursue sex will not wreck their souls, they are also listening to some very deceptive lies from the Enemy, both on the front end, and back end of their porn use.

See, those who are sexual broken (all of us), don’t turn to sexual sin just for the thrill, excitement and pleasure. They also turn to it out of the idea that this sin will complete them.  Through their screens they are seeking wholeness, acceptance, approval. They are seeking to enter into a space where they are fully known and fully loved (this place should be the church). They turn to sexual activity at any costs because it offers the allure of being loved, desired, chosen, accepted and free.

Leaders – CHRIST OFFERS THIS!!  Where sin promises but can’t deliver, Christ promises and always deliver.  So in leading those who battle sin, remind them of who they are in Christ.  

They are:

  • crucified in Christ (Gal. 2:20)
  • moved from slave to son (Gal. 4:3-7),
  • chosen beforee the foundations of the earth, blessed with every spiritual blessing, holy and blameless, adopted, redeemed & forgiven (Ephesians 1)

Leaders, you can’t help your people battle their sin if you don’t help reorient them to their new identity in Christ.  Remember, Satan’s goal is to get us to the place after we sin, where shame, guilt, and a deeply misplaced identity thrives. This is battlefield territory for leaders. Run in with the truth of who we are in Christ.

3.  It’s a Pleasure Problem

Here’s the deal. We were designed for pleasure.

One of Satan’s greatest lies he’s inserted into our ecclesiological psyche is this: the pursuit of pleasure and holiness are contradictory pursuits. If you’re like me, in the past I believed this meant I had two choices.  God or pleasure, holiness or sex.  This is both untrue and unbiblical.

John Piper writes: “The chief end of man is to glorify God by enjoying Him forever.”

Throughout Scripture, we see a consistent theme: man’s highest joy, deepest pleasure, most sastisfying human experiences is always found in God.  Porn offers immense amounts of pleasure, but because it requires you to leave God behind, it leaves a costly spiritual hangover.  God provides pleasure forevermore. He is our “Judge, Lawgiver, King and Savior” (Isa. 33:22) and has designed every fiber of our bodies and every cell of the universe to live as an orchestrated symphony of pleasure found in the worship and satisfaction of Him.

This is why David writes in Ps. 119:

  • I rejoice at your word like one who finds great spoil (162)
  • Your testimonies are my heritage (111)
  • You are my hiding place, shield, I hope in your word (114)
  • Your promise gives me life (50)
  • Your Word is wonderful & gives me light (129)
  • Satisfies my deepest longings (131)

Why? Because God’s Word reveals truth about God, and finding satisfaction in God and his Word is where true pleasure is found.

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