If there is a war going on in the mind to ensnare you into Internet sex, then brothers and sisters, that is where we take the battle to finally win this thing!
How do cults ensnare people? They indoctrinate in the mind. If they can control your mind, they’ve got your entire being.
The converse is also true. By freeing the mind of garbage, you allow room for treasure. This is a biblical principle…
“A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of” (Luke 6:45, NIV). The King James Version uses the word “treasure” for “good” here. And since the concept of “heart” and “mind” is interchangeable in the Bible, we can see how what our mind is loaded with will impact our behavior. EVEN IF our will is NOT to act a certain way!
Remember Paul in Rom. 7:14-15: “We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.”
And Verses 21-23: “Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s 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.”
Sounds to me like there’s a war going on in the mind, doesn’t it? In your inner being, your regenerated “spirit” being, you love God, but sin attacking the mind will change your behavior and enslave you TO THAT behavior!
So…The $64,000 question…What do we do?
As I said in the last post, prayer and meditation on the Word are powerful. But what if we don’t know how to constrain our own mind, to harness it so that we have control over it so that a lifestyle of prayer and meditation get in there!
Let me start by saying that if we as Christians can finally grasp this concept as it relates to gaining victory over sexual addiction, our entire lives as Christians will be revolutionized! You want to be a carry-your-cross-daily-and-follow-me Christian? This is it. You want power for living abundantly in Christ every day, every minute of the day? This is it. You want to finally be a “living sacrifice” (
12:1-2) and “be transformed by the renewing of your mind”? This is it. Rom.
In the 70’s when there were scores of self-help books, one called “Psycho-Cybernetics” introduced the principle that it takes 21 days to break a habit and form a new one. That is a good principle, even though everyone is different and may experience a different timeframe.
Our goal here is to break the horrific habit of indulging our sensual cravings online while substituting that void (because there will be one) with God’s substitute. And that equates to FREEDOM!
Rather than face the hurt of negative things in life, Buddhists leaders teach their disciples to change their mind on the matter—see all things as “meaningless,” neither good nor bad. They just are. This works for them! They actually feel free in the mind. The problem with it, though, is that it’s temporary and they have to strive all the time in it. Plus, without Jesus, there’s no salvation. It’s good for a lifetime, then what? Also, they blank out the mind, whereas Christians fill it with the Word and with God. We have a true spiritual connection or relationship with one true God who created the universe! And He is an “ever-present help in a time of trouble” (Psalm 46:1).
In an earlier post HERE, I talk about how the “wrong high” kicks in. Let’s really hash this out now. Any form of temptation will draw our minds toward this wrong high. It’s the high that our mind wants. When a thief is tempted to steal, he gets a wrong high when he ponders on grabbing that thing that’s not his. The more he steals, the more addicted he is to getting that high. So many inmates on death row insist on remaining incarcerated because they cannot trust themselves not to murder again! They are addicted to the wrong high of murdering.
Let me be very blunt here, guys. If you are somewhere as inane as the local DMV, you can still easily fall into the trap of a wrong high. What if there’s a young girl sitting at the desk while you are standing across from her and she’s wearing a low-cut blouse. Be honest. The more you stare at that area, the more you feel dopamine rush through your veins, right? You don’t even have to fantasize about any sexual activity with this stranger. You simply can stare at that part of her anatomy and feel a rush.
Then what happens? For a long time afterward, you start to feel sexually frustrated. That rush is still there, to a certain degree. Even though you have a beautiful wife at home, she does not compare to what you just saw, does she? What you saw and dwelled on was a unique moment, a spontaneous thrill, if you will. It’s that spontaneous thrill that you’re addicted to. So you go home and get on the Internet. And you enter into that horrible cycle of a) the hunt, b) the capture, c) the guilt, then the hunt again.
Now what COULD you have done to prevent that trap? Men, as soon as you caught a glimpse of that woman’s chest area, you should simply stare everywhere you can EXCEPT there. You say, Well, isn’t that avoiding the problem and not facing it head-on? Absolutely! You will have saved yourself hours of pain and frustration and, frankly, sin.
James 1:14-15 states: “…each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.” By letting desire linger, you eventually enter into sin. That’s when and where adultery of the heart occurs.
When I was a singles pastor, I always told them, “When you’re walking down the street and a scantily-clad woman walks toward you, you can’t help that first glance, but you’re on your own when you turn around, after she passes you, to get a second (and third, and fourth,…) look. Here, the first glance represents the temptation. The glances after that are what gets you in trouble. Temptation is not a sin. The lingering desire—often translated, lust—is.
Can you see how avoiding the lust part is so much more freeing? Lust is not only a sin, it’s frustrating. It’s aggravating. It’s guilt causing. And it’s marriage betraying.
When I finally made a commitment with the Lord to free myself once and for all, I made a special pact with Him like Job in 31:1: “I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a young woman.” But in order to do that, I knew I had to do something else.
I made it my personal mission to do everything in my power not to put my eyes in a position to see potentially tempting things.
When I was on staff at a large church in the
area, there happened to be two billboards for “gentlemen’s clubs.” (That terminology always struck me as odd. There ARE no gentlemen who frequent them!) And being Los Angeles , anything goes—including most of the clothes on the girls in the ads. I was surprised there weren’t ten accidents a day as men passed these huge billboards. L.A.
So what did I do? I got up ten minutes earlier each day so that I could take a slightly longer route to the church; a route that was free from these ads. By doing so, I was not only fulfilling my covenant with the Lord. I was preventing dopamine from being released in my body. No dopamine, no frustration, no sin. All freedom.
Guys, don’t buy the old, “I like to admire God’s creation.” We're not supposed to admire any of the creation anyway. Besides, admiring THIS sort of creation leads to you know what.
I know that some of you are reading this, thinking, “I can’t take my eyes off every woman (or man) I see. What if I work with a hottie—day in and day out. They’ll think I’m weird if everytime I interact with them I look away.” Then I say, with everything in you, look that person in the eyes each time and ask the Lord to show you how HE feels about that person. He loves them as either a child of His or a potential one. Not as an object. His grace is so sufficient for you at that time, believe me.
We need to keep things in perspective. We’re not dealing with pure mind control here. We are working synergistically with a loving God who empowers us as we take steps to please Him in our lifestyle. God WILL meet you there!
In the meantime, begin changing old habits. Make a covenant of the eyes with the Lord. Pray and meditate on the Word and ask the Holy Spirit to help you. All of these things are vital to gaining victory.
Give yourselves at least 21 days to break old habits and form new ones.
In the next post, we will finally look at a way to really reinforce the breaking of old habits that lead to Internet sex sin. It is hard. It is even painful. But it’s the best method I know to introduce you to a new lifestyle—one of habitual freedom instead of habitual enslavement.