Posts Tagged ‘Jesus Christ’

I’m a Christian, why am I still tempted to look at porn?

September 4th, 2010

Christians aren’t immune to temptation. Choosing Christ doesn’t mean just a new set of moral commitments. It’s a divine transaction with God that establishes in us a whole new identity; however, we still have the pulls of the flesh. Real faith in Jesus is a faith that fights sin.

Join us in this episode of the Honest Answers Podcast as Luke Gilkerson of Covenant Eyes Radio explains the Christian dilemma. He brings to light some powerful scriptures about change as well as some insight from John Piper. Let us all be ravenous for joy & let God do his work in us to create something greater than we ever imagined possible.

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Sexual Sin – Not the Problem, But A Symptom

February 12th, 2010

John Piper talks about sexual sin and what’s at the root, a lack of connection with God. It’s a symptom of the disease, not the disease.

Thousands are walking away from their dreams that can impact others in a positive nature because of the effects of their failed attempts at sexuality.

Guilt and a sense of unworthiness bleeds down into a sense of spiritual powerlessness, of carnal security and strip us of our amazing dreams and we settle for middle class happiness.

Theology, with passion for Jesus can conquer biology.

Beautifully said.

A Slight Change of Focus

October 15th, 2009

Over the last couple days I’ve felt a lack of confidence in the efforts I’ve been making to rid my life of pornography, addiction and lust. I guess with the realization that only Christ has power to save I mistakenly thought that I no longer needed to take heed when temptations would come. For a small moment I was thinking that he’d magically swoop in and save me IN my sins.

However, yesterday as I knelt in prayer and this morning as I was feasting upon the words of Christ I felt a gentle impression that my works ARE important, but that I just needed to remember why I was doing them. My efforts in learning about my addiction and in building skills necessary to face it are not so that I can fill some divine quota that would qualify myself for deliverance from my struggles.

Rather, my efforts are simply my meager offerings that I place on the altar of sacrifice before my Father in Heaven. I then must plead to him for acceptance of the offering that I know is not enough to save myself. Lastly, I must ask with all sincerity for the blood of his Son to cleanse and free me.

So, I again am confident that my efforts to change are not in vain. I simply must always keep the focus on my Savior and his ability, his might, his strength, for I of myself am weak. I of myself have been addicted to lust for almost 20 years. The only break in that addiction came when I began to search the words of Christ to find him and then gave myself to service.

It just hit me now as I’m writing this that I may just be arriving someday soon at the first step of the Alcoholics Anonymous 12 step program:

I admit that I, of myself, am powerless to overcome my addictions and that my life has become unmanageable.

I dearly seek the submission necessary to again leave behind my world of addiction and let the Light of Christ fill my heart, magnify my abilities and give me infinite love with which to serve my brothers and sisters here on this earth. Life is too short to spend it in any other way!

Foundations in Christ

October 14th, 2009
Jesus Christ Foundations in Christ

The Master Healer

Pornography is a vicious master. Even when it’s not around I can recall images in my mind and fantasy is a powerful alternative to porn. I have been striving so hard to find a way out of my chains. I have been “working my program” and been very diligent at it, not perfect, but diligent.

I keep having days I’d best describe as cloudy. Though there are bright rays of hope and peace scattered throughout to keep me moving forward I have also felt dazed by not knowing when I will be free. I struggle because I think that “if I just work the program I’ll be better.”

Recently as I read a book by a man who struggled with porn and masturbation addiction that overcame it, he cited all the efforts he poured out to try and rid his life of the prison of pornography. He struggled for 30 years and felt hopeless though he kept trying.

One day it hit him…the answer wasn’t in “trying to be like Jesus” alone, it was in giving his life over to Jesus! Jesus, he rightly stated, is the only name by which mankind can be saved. Thus, any efforts, no matter how great they are insufficient to deliver us from the slavery and sin of addiction.

Only in Christ as our foundation can we be set free. I have felt that many times, but so often forgotten it as I print out a checklist of all the things that he asked us to do and begin doing them. I get lost in the details and find myself right back in the same trap.

So, here, I’m admitting that I don’t fully understand the great doctrine of Christ, the kind that saves, but I want to and commit now to seek him out until I know him.

Just before my religious missionary service I gave myself to a study of the word of God. It wasn’t in the act itself, but it was in what I was looking for that a temporary deliverance came to me while I served. Sober for a year. Alive in Christ. A Mighty Change of Heart. That’s what I want again. Christ, take my heart and make it pure!

Lessons from The Little Prince’s Garden

September 15th, 2009

This morning as I was in the back yard doing my morning study I knelt down to remove a few weeds from a little patch of ground that neighbors our driveway. It rained last night and the dirt was loose. As I pulled on several of the weeds I noticed something interesting, whereas most of the weeds when the earth was dry would break off and leave the roots to grow again another day, some were now coming up completely and more easily.

I’m amazed at what we can learn if we’re listening. The gospel of our brother Jesus Christ is often compared to water. To continue with the analogy, the garden is our lives and the weeds can be sin, or even just those things that clutter up our lives that will eventually, if left, will choke and overrun those plants we have planted for food or beauty.

One of my favorite stories is The Little Prince. Amid the handful of amazingly simple, yet powerful, little stories is one about what happens when weeds aren’t tended to when they are young.

“…there were on the planet where the little prince lived — as on all planets –good plants and bad plants. In consequence, there were good seeds from good plants, and bad seeds from bad plants. But seeds are invisible. They sleep deep in the heart of the earth’s darkness, until some one among them is seized with the desire to awaken. Then this little seed will stretch itself and begin — timidly at first — to push a charming little sprig inoffensively upward toward the sun. If it is only a sprout of radish or the sprig of a rose-bush, one would let it grow wherever it might wish. But when it is a bad plant, one must destroy it as soon as possible, the very first instant that one recognizes it.

Now there were some terrible seeds on the planet that was the home of the little prince; and these were the seeds of the baobab. The soil of the planet was infested with them. A baobab is something that you sill never, never be able to get rid of if you attend to it too late. It spreads over the entire planet. It bores clear through it with its roots. And if the planet is too small, and the baobabs are too many, they split it in pieces…

Baobabs littel prince Lessons from The Little Princes Garden

Fully Grown Baobab Trees

‘It is a question of discipline,’ the little prince said to me later on. ‘When you’ve finished your own toilet in the morning, then it is time to attend to the toilet of your planet, just so, with the greatest care. You must see to it that you pull up regularly all the baobabs, at the very first moment when they can be distinguished from the rose-bushes which they resemble so closely in their earliest youth. It is very tedious work,’ the little prince added, ‘but very easy.’” (p 16-18 The Little Prince, Antoine De Saint-Exupery)

A great man once emphasized this another way, “Most vices in the beginning take on attractive and innocent appearing garbs, and a careful examination of the career of many an unfortunate man will reveal the 1st step of his misfortune in some ‘innocent pastime’ whose vice rarely manifested itself in its infancy.” (Gospel Doctrine, Joseph F Smith)

Two things I learned this morning while in the garden: One, if I desire a beautiful and fruitful garden, there shall never come a time where I may rest from my labors. Protecting my garden from weeds is all-the-time work. And two, the refreshing moisture of the gospel allows me to completely remove weeds from my garden, roots and all.

While I have already found myself with a baobab threatening to destroy my planet I have set my ax to it. I also am learning to recognize these plants while they are young. I continue to weed my garden so that others may not grow as this great beast has.

I was grateful this morning to feel this simple lesson rest upon my mind and teach me eternal truths.

I am also quick to recognize the role that the Savior is playing in my recovery. Last night I finished up Level 4 of my pornography addiction recovery program and now embark on a week long journey to incorporate into my life the skill of facing my fears & temptations as it has taught. I have already faced temptation three times this morning and I feel empowered by the process that helps me to face my fears and choose my own path.

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