PornographyPurity & Freedom

The Final Stage: The Alert Soldier

We are finally wrapping up our series on Walking the Path.  That definitely turned into a much longer adventure than I had planned.  We started it in March!  I hope you were as blessed as I was.  Today, we reach the last stage of this earthly journey of freedom (Heaven and true freedom will be the ultimate last stage).  Each of us will spend, or at least should spend, the duration of our lives in this last stage.

Every human soul that has come to know the saving grace of God should spend their lives in this stage, regardless of the particular sin with which they personally struggled.

In Scriptures, Christians are advised multiple times to be on their guard.  In Ephesians 6, we are instructed:

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.  Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

In 1 Peter 5, it says:

Be sober , be vigilant ; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about , seeking whom he may devour : Whom resist stedfast in the faith…

Elsewhere, we are told to resist, abstain, flee, be watchful.

In summary, freedom is not synonymous with ignorance. 

Our freedom is lived much like that of a soldier in peace time.  Yes, there is peace.  No, there is no immediate threat.  Still, he trains.  Still, he drills.  Still, he stays ready and up to snuff.  He is prepared because he knows that his enemy is still alive and well, waiting, watching for that moment of weakness.

So, we should walk around paranoid, right?  Wrong.

Not to offend any of my readers here because I know some of you find hope in being in ‘recovery,’ but this is why I have a problem with labeling ourselves as ‘recovering.’  ‘Recovering’ carries the idea that “I’ll never be quite strong enough.  I will always be rehabilitating from this.  I will never quite be over it.”

I live in America.  America is not a nation still ‘recovering’ from British rule; we won our victory years ago.  Done. Over. Finished.  We still have problems and there are still battles, but that part of our history is over.

Calvary did not happen so we could stay in a perpetual state of recovery.  Our own willpower could generate a state of ‘recovery.’  Grace exists to give freedom.  There is a victory that has been won.  Sin no longer has a hold on us.  Is there a time of healing?  Certainly.  Is that time ever over?  Probably not (hasn’t ended for me, yet), but being in that state of healing, to me is different than labeling myself as a recovering porn addict.  Recovering still lends the idea that I am actually under the power of sin more than under the power of grace.  I am a former porn addict.  It’s over.  It’s done with.  God has fought that battle, won that victory and set me free. 

If the son has set us free, we are free indeed.  it doesn’t mean we are free to be stupid.

Every one of us has a weakness.  If you are reading this, you’ve probably already identified yours.  You may never struggle with things that hold another sister in Christ captive.  For whatever reason, this particular sin ‘works’ for you, and it will always work for you.  You have a few choices. 

You can be paranoid– standing at the door with a shotgun, scared stiff that somehow you will be compromised.

You can be oblivious– walking around flirting with temptation like you are some kind of superman (the relieved survivor mentality).

You can be aware– you have a weakness.  Welcome to humanity.  Be aware of that weakness; don’t be obsessed with it.  Live the abundant life God has called you to have but always keep one eye open, aware of when temptation may come.  Be a good soldier– with a battle plan always in place.

Freedom is not ignorance, nor is it strength.  Freedom is living in victory while being aware that your enemy does not accept his defeat.

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5 comments

  1. “Recovering still lends the idea that I am actually under the power of sin more than under the power of grace. I am a former porn addict. It’s over. It’s done with. God has fought that battle, won that victory and set me free”. ~ I love this, Jessica! 🙂

  2. Isn’t this more of semantics? I use the phrase recovering because I don’t want to get cocky. This IS my area of weakness. I have gone back to it like a dog to its vomit. Even after all these years I’m still dealing with the temptation, sometimes daily, sometimes not. Former has the implication that it’s not a part of my life anymore. I can’t claim that because I’m still fighting the good fight with it. Yes, we are set free in Jesus, but even Paul had a thorn that God did not remove.

    1. Tina,

      It’s my area of weakness too, but I feel there is a difference between ‘recovering’ which means I am still in the process of overcoming and ‘former’ which means it has been overcome. Just because something continues to be a weakness doesn’t mean you continue to be addicted to it. If I were to get online today and look at porn I would not relabel myself as a porn addict again– it’s one time. It was a mistake. It was wrong, but it is no longer a lifestyle for me.

      There is also a difference between acknowledging a weakness and an area that has been (past tense) my downfall and walking around like I’m never going to have a problem again. I would challenge you to find a new phrase maybe, because I still feel like recovering keeps us living under the weight of our sin. Not to sound kitchy but if former isn’t comfortable for you maybe redeemed, or freed. It is so important that we focus on the truth of our freedom. It helps the temptation lose its grip.

      1. Ok, interesting point. It IS no longer my lifestyle. The life I lived 18 years ago is vastly different from my current one. However, I have fallen within the past year or so–and wallowed in it for a few weeks. So far, 2012 has been sober. (I’d like it to stay that way, obviously!)

        Using SA and their steps, I’m powerless over the fact that I have this addiction. Because of the choices I made early in life, that is what happened. I AM an addict and without the grace and help of God would go back to it. But I’m not an ACTIVE addict. I’m choosing to accept God’s grace and help in my powerlessness and live a different story than I was. But the addiction is still hotwired into my brain. I believe that God could have completely healed me so that would go away, but He chose not to, to keep me close to Him, I think.

        Again, I’m not sure that this isn’t just semantics or a real difference of opinion. I respect what you are saying, but–for me–I’m not at a point where I can say I’m past “recovering”. I don’t think I’m refusing to live in the freedom of Christ. You used the phrase “being in a state of healing”. HealING, not healed. Recovering and healing are essentially the same thing, don’t you think? I just think recovering rolls off the tongue easier and less Christianese than healing or freed.

    2. I know that for me, I never refer to my self as being a recovering addict. My heart tends to follow whatever I’m speaking out of my mouth. (This can be good or bad!) Yes, pornography has been a weakness for me, but confessing things like “Jesus set me free, so I am free indeed”(John 8:36),”It is for freedom that Christ has set me free” (Gal. 5:1), “I am an overcomer by the blood of the Lamb and the word of my testimony (Revelation 12:1)has made a tremendous difference in my healing.

      Claiming and confessing these scriptures over myself helps me tremendously. It changes my mindset, because I’m speaking LIFE into my situation. When I do this I am much less likely to turn to pornography or any kind of fantasy, because I believe what I’m speaking over myself. I realized that I had to claim it BEFORE I saw the evidence of it in my life. Otherwise, I may still be walking around struggling all the time. My pastor once told me that I need to “see” myself healed before it will ever happen. I am just now beginning to understand how true that often is.

      I know that this is a stretch for an example, but if I walked around every day saying “I am depressed.” that is not going to help me to overcome depression. It might even make it worse! Maybe I even have a diagnosis of depression. I certainly wouldn’t deny how I feel, but even just speaking, “The joy of the Lord is my strength!” instead, would make my whole mindset change if I did it long enough.

      Speaking the truth over ourselves is so vital. While pornography is certainly a weakness in my life, Jesus has set me free tremendously over the years, and He continues to set me free as I speak His Word over my life. 🙂