Lust & FantasyPornography

When Rest Betrays Us

 Is it possible to sin in your dreams?

When I first started on this journey of freedom, I would have these bizarre experiences of pornography just popping up out of nowhere in my mind.  I could be in the middle of praying (hello… it doesn’t get much holier than praying) and WHAM!  It’s not like I wasn’t really praying; I was.  Apparently, though, the back of my closed eyelids made a convenient screen, and the battle that would rage was intense.

It made me feel twisted, to have so much pornography just stored in my head.  It was scary to realize the depth that lust and pornography affects us.  It’s recyclable.

Did you ever think of that?  Pornography, fantasy, lust… it’s all recyclable.  We can look at a video, get our highs, and store it to be used for a later date.  It’s the only sin like that, really.  Con artists have to change their cons, drug addicts have to buy new product, alcoholics have to buy new booze.  But pornography–  even those who have only seen one image can still recall it years later.

With time, though, the wandering mind can be brought under control.

I was not prepared for dreams, though.  The tricky thing about dreams is you can’t really stop them.

For about a month now, I have been having weird dreams and nights of fitful, restless sleep.  A couple nights ago, though, I woke up in a surreal state from a dream that was far from weird.  It was straight up wrong.  It was evil.  It was pornographic.  It was enough to make me question where on earth that had come from?  What do I do now?  Is it possible to sin in your dreams?

Now I know this is a common issue among men.  I understand that and I’m not going there.  I’m saying that as a woman, I have not had frequent experience with dreams that are heavily sexual, and pray that it does not become a frequent occurrence.

I wasn’t fully awake, but as I started drifting back to sleep I could feel my mind drifting back into that territory.  I was even muttering prayers like, “renew my mind” and “create a clean heart” but it seemed every time sleep fell, the dream was returning right where it left off.  I was having none of it, so I rolled out of bed and walked around the house a bit to wake up completely.  I prayed a for real prayer that time, curled back up in bed and went back to sleep.  And slept.

Throughout the day, it bothered me.  It bothered me that somewhere in the recesses of my mind this filth was growing mold and taking on a life of its own.  I had created the content of the dream.  My mind had created the content of the dream and that’s something so bad about lust.  We don’t have to see new material to have new material. 

We can be so sinfully creative.

I was reminded of the sin nature we possess even as children of God.  My position as a fallen daughter, redeemed and set free by the blood of Christ, does not change the fact that I was once fallen, and that every day my flesh wants nothing more than to fall… again.  For as long as I live I can never change the fact that I was once heavily addicted to pornography.  If I wanted to, I could call to memory photos, videos, stories and conversations I had in my eight years of hardcore addiction.  The key word is “if.”

That’s really what it all boils down to.  It’s a choice.  My freedom is a choice afforded me by Christ.  I could choose to still be enslaved in pornography and still get my buzzes there, or I can choose to focus on Him and grow in grace and the knowledge of His love.  It’s a choice.

We don’t make choices in our dreams, at least not consciously.  So I stand on the belief that it isn’t possible to sin by dreaming (not daydreaming).  However, it should constantly bring to our remembrance the importance of staying vigilant in our fight for purity.  I don’t see it as much different than changing the channels on TV.  If it comes on, fine, but don’t watch it.  If you dream it, ok, but don’t dwell on the dream.  Ask God to continue to create that clean mind and pure heart in you.

If you find yourself waking up in that situation, do yourself a favor and wake up all the way. Then, take a few moments to pray and praise God for who He is.  Pump your mind full of Him and then ask Him to give you a peaceful sleep.  Then, move on.  Don’t beat yourself up over it.  Just run to Him!  He promises us rest.

Tags:

3 comments

  1. Thank you for this post Jess – this is something I’ve struggled with too, and agree with the need to wake up all the way!

    What you said about choices really challenged me too… I think I haven’t made the right choice much lately; I want to choose to choose differently!

  2. One of the things my counselor tried to get me to do was wake myself up–she proposed that it’s possible for us to have some control over ourselves even when asleep. And sometimes I AM able to wake myself up in the midst of either a nightmare or a pornographic-type dream.

    Another excellent post. You are a fantastic writer!

  3. I had dreams like that for many years, and I would often have them for several nights in a row before they would stop for a couple of weeks – only to return. All it would take is for me to see anything in a movie, for example (even for a second) that I didn’t want to see and it would seem to trigger these nightmares. I became so careful about everything I watched, yet it never completely got rid of them. Sometimes, obviously, you can’t help what you see – especially in public. It got to the point to where I would even have my husband pray over me before I went to sleep, but that didn’t work either. I would wake up feeling like I did so many horrible things in my sleep, because my dreams were so vivid and seemed so real. I would feel almost like I was leading a double life. One during the day, and one at night.

    On Sept. 17th, 2010 (yes, I know the date!), I hit a new point of desperation with all of this, and my husband and I went to see our pastors about all of this. They already knew of my past involvement with pornography, but I never told them about my dreams. That night, I was delivered from those horrible nightmares! I never realized how much we can be influenced by demons until that night. When we open ourselves up to pornography, for example, it opens up the door to demonic spirits to oppress us. No, we can’t be “possessed” if we’re Christians (we are Christ’s possession!), but these demonic spirits can affect us if we give them the legal right to. We give them the “legal” right to do this when we habitually sin. My pastors prayed over me to break any and all generational curses, and I renounced (outloud to them) the spirits of lust, homosexuality, lesbianism, fantasy, hatred, pornography, etc. and my pastors told them all to leave. I didn’t feel any different when I left that night, but a few days later I realized that I had not had any more of those dreams. That was over a year ago, and they are gone! 🙂 I’ve had one dream like that since then, but it was not at all like the others. I had repented of these sins long ago (of course I still sometimes fell – but quickly repented again), but I never actually verbally renounced them and told them to go. That’s what began to set me free.

    I’m sorry for the long comment! Demons cannot make us sin, but they can compel us to sin. No, not everything is demonic. We still have a flesh nature that needs to be brought under control, but when we fall into sin, it gives the enemy a “right” to operate in our lives – until we openly ask for forgivenss, repent and renounce these things – and then tell them to go. They do not have to go until we remove their right to be there and tell them to go. This has not been an overnight process for me, but I am noticing freedom in my life in places where I have struggled so much before. Do I still sometimes struggle? Yes, but it is NOTHING like before.

    Praise Jesus for setting the captives free!