Dear brothers and sisters,
This will be one of my most transparent letters yet.
As you well know if you aren’t new to this space, I struggled with pornography addiction and masturbation for about 8 years plus before God gave me complete victory over it (you can read my story with addictions and consequent freedom here)
It’s been almost three years and I have been totally free!
This is not to say that I haven’t been fighting battles to stay free…
“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”
Galatians 5:1 NIV
I have had dreams of satan trying to draw me back to the pit. I have had to stand firm and speak the word over the demon of lust. I still sieve every movie and video or songs that I can listen to. Even if for me they are not beneficial in this place in God where I stand, because of my history they are not needed at all.
But one of the strongest things a former pornography addict has to overcome is THE MIND.
You see, our minds have fed on x-rated videos of porn for years (for some persons months) and so one of the things we find out even after God has freed us from addictions is the fact that we sometimes still have “lustful thoughts”.
It’s crazy but when of the things watching porn or videos with subtle lustful messages in it, you automatically think of men/women in a lustful way. You see them as sex objects. Try to think back to the days of porn, when you look at men/women all you could think about was them being naked.
Now you are free (I have written on overcoming sexual addictions before HERE) but you still discover that the battle over thoughts is one you must fight. Daily.
Let me bring this down home.
Take me for example, I was set free from the addictions for three years plus now but I still struggle with lustful thoughts. This is what I mean: sometimes my eyes look at a man; some men and the thoughts in my head goes “penis”. It almost seems like years of those videos have altered my head in some way that I have to fight to regain my mind and make it wholesome in God again.
Sometimes this even happens in Church.
I know that it doesn’t mean that I am a bad person; I know that it just simply means that I can’t relent in fighting for my complete freedom so when these thoughts come, I just don’t let them stay and start digging into them, most times I speak to the demon of lust and command him to leave my mind alone.
You see, for me, it is not a function of feeding my mind with the wrong things, God has helped me, I don’t even touch romance novels with a long pole, I live a very restricted life in terms of what I feed myself and I love it like that.
It’s more of accumulated years in this deadly land that satan is still trying to use to trap me.
I have realised that even after freedom from sexual addictions, the journey to wholeness – total wholeness in mind and body is still one that has to be fought everyday. It is still one I have to stand firm in everyday.
Most persons would never admit this; the fact that when they look at a man/woman their thoughts seem to go somewhere else of their own accord.
But I know that most people who have a history with porn go through this and yes, even in Church. I do.
What can we do to win this then?
First most of us used to think that this deal is a normal deal. Let that thought stop. Right now.
If you do not understand that it is a battle you will never win it. The power behind addictions is the spirit of death.
“So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in Godâs law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me.”
Romans 7:21â-â¬23 NIV
The good news is that Jesus has defeated this spirit of death.
“…because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.”
Romans 8:2 NIV
The only thing is that we still have to do certain things on our part to lay hold of this freedom. And in this aspect of lustful thoughts we cannot roll over and play dead.
We can fight and win this battle of lustful thoughts and tune into God kind of thoughts.
“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive EVERY THOUGHT to make it obedient to Christ.”
2 Corinthians 10:5 NIV
We are not left defenceless. We can demolish arguments and thoughts that raise themselves up against God.
“The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.”
-2 Corinthians 10:4 NIV
And one of the weapons God taught me to use is THE NAME OF JESUS.
On Wednesday I was struggling with this in church (by the way my struggle is only in Church, satan trying to distract me. I never ever see a man and think “penis” except I am in Church) and I suddenly got the bright idea that for every time satan tries to fill my head with wrong thoughts when I look at a man I should say out loud “Jesus!!”
Now this is amazing.
I woke up this morning with Tasha Cobbs “in the name, in the name of our God.. all mountains be moved, chains will be broken, in the name, in the name of our God”.
I sang and sang it.
The name of Jesus is so powerful.
“Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
Philippians 2:9â-â¬11 NIV
It is not just witches and principalities that will bow at Jesus’ name, even strongholds and thoughts that try to rear their head up above God will bow.
So this weapon is one weapon I have been using.
And I will be using it with all I have in me.
God knows what I am up against. He knows that I don’t delight in lustful thoughts, He knows that I don’t want to think them but He also knows that my mind needs an overhaul so satan cannot use it against me anymore. Sometimes I feel like the demon of lusts lurks around in church and starts throwing arrows at my mind to distract me. You know wrong thoughts are not from God right?
Don’t condemn yourself and don’t just roll over and be passive.
Be active and pull down these thoughts!
For me He says: use the name of Jesus.
I will be using it by God’s grace.
You should too.
We all should.
In purity of mind and body we shall be in Jesus name, amen.
If you are roped in addictions my book “Chastity for men” will be of immense help to you.
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God help us all.
OLUWAFEMIMay 15, 2017 at 12:15 pm
For me, i use heavenly songs as led by the holyspirit to conquer those thought anytime they appear. One thing am sure of God does not leave his children at the beginning of the battle, neither at the middle nor the end, but He makes sure He guides one through until total victory is achieved. Thanks Frances for blessing me this morning with divine words like dis. stay blessed
Frances OkoroJune 5, 2017 at 9:15 pm
Thank you Oluwafemi for sharing how you conquer these thoughts.
God bless you bro.