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Falling From Freedom: The Reality of War

 

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Katie Tegtmeyer / Foter / CC BY

 

Some women are discouraged by the struggle.  They hope that there’s a day when you don’t contend with this anymore.  They feel guilty for struggling with it.  As I’ve pointed out earlier in this series, this is just something that doesn’t ever fully go away.  Lust is different.

It is something that sticks with you.  It’s a weakness you will always have, and while you can reinforce barriers to protect against that weakness, it never truly leaves.  You will have to be constantly aware of the tendency of your flesh.

Some people tend to lie.  Some people tend to steal.  Some people tend to hate.  You tend to lust.

That is your battle.  That’s why it is so vitally important to walk in the Spirit.  Scripture says walk in the Spirit and you will not fulfill the desires of the flesh.

“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.” Galatians 5:16

This is a passage addressed to believers (no one else is even capable of walking in the Spirit), and its message is two-fold.

1. We are to walk in the Spirit- which shows us that a life that honors God is a choice we make.  Just like we don’t get up and walk somewhere without choosing to, we cannot ‘accidentally’ love God.  We have to purposefully choose to honor Him.

2. The flesh doesn’t want to do what the Spirit does- even as believers, our flesh (sin nature) has a mind of its own.  This is verified by the following verse:

“For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.”

 

Guess what this means.

1. As long as you have ‘skin’ that ‘skin’ will have an issue with your spiritual growth.

2. Periods of spiritual highs will bring on unexpected temptation.

3. You can’t beat this on your own.

See, you on your own, wants this.  That’s why you can fall back into it, because all of your logic, and lists of 101 reasons why this is wrong aren’t enough to stave off temptation forever.  Eventually, you’ll convince yourself that ‘one more time’ is OK.  It’s nothing you haven’t seen before.  It’s no big deal.  It’s not like you are hurting anyone.

The part of you that doesn’t want it is the part that is being redeemed by grace.

There’s still a whisper of temptation in there.  I call it the ‘inner seductress.’  She’s like the white witch of Narnia, a siren, a temptress.  When you come off your guard, she steps in.

[Tweet “The battle is not you versus pornography or you versus lust. It’s the spirit of God in you versus the desire for pornography or the desire to lust. “]

The battlefield is you, not your computer, or your journal, or your boyfriend, or even your mind.  It’s all in your heart, and without His help, you’ll lose. Every. Single. Time.

This is the reality of war.

It doesn’t mean that you walk around scared to death that pornography is going to jump you.  It doesn’t mean you walk in fear of it, looking over your shoulder, keeping tabs on the number of days you’ve been free, just waiting for the next time you fall.

No, it means you move on, in the Spirit, aware of this weakness in your life, and knowing that if you are going to fall, this is probably how.  But keep in mind, this isn’t the only sin in the world, and all too often, we get focused on one and fail to see another creeping up.  We get flanked, and we get hurt.

That’s why we need to be sober and be vigilant, and to practice walking in the Spirit every day, because when that day of temptation comes (and it will) you want to be ready to fight or to run, whatever the case may be.

2 comments

  1. This is so true! When I first admitted my addiction and started working the program, I thought I would be fixed. 12 Steps = 12 weeks = no more problems! But I’m learning this will be a lifelong struggle. And I am okay with that. With God on my side, I can do this!

    1. Stacey,

      I had to smile “12 Steps= 12 weeks= no more problems.” That would be nice, wouldn’t it!? Keep up the fight. It is a lifelong awareness; the struggle will get easier.