A Verse for Porn: Becoming Free

I didn’t struggle with porn at first; I enjoyed porn. Porn promised satisfaction, uncovered secrets, and pretended intimacy. Then at a moment of spiritual crisis, I realized that porn wouldn’t ultimately satisfy me.

But though I saw the truth, living it out in my life was a much harder and longer process, one that took years.

What got me through that struggle? As “Sunday school answer” as it sounds, a Bible verse did. At the time, though I imagined a life free from pornography, it didn’t seem like I could ever get there.

Then I read Philippians 1:6: “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Christ Jesus” (ESV). This verse transformed the way I began to look at my struggle with porn.

Before reading Philippians 1:6, I thought that I had little chance of me shifting from the way I was living to the way I should have been living because whether I succeeded was up to me. But what could I do? I was someone who regularly gave into the temptation to view porn, so the chances of success were slim. But Philippians 1:6 taught me this: Whether I succeeded in escaping from porn’s grip was not up to me, but up to God. And God always finishes what He begins.

Was God working in my life or not?

That was the question I had to ask myself. If God had begun to work in me, then He would finish it. If not, maybe I would never be free.

In my life, God gave me a sign. When I repented of my porn struggle and confessed it, God gave me half a year without porn. I had a decisive (though temporary) break with this sin. Looking back at that time, I knew that God had started something.

Then that initial success blew apart; I slowly began to look at porn again.  A slow trickle of looks gave way to a flood of viewing.  And once I fell back into repeatedly viewing porn, I started to doubt. Is God really at work in me? Maybe that’s where you are as you read this. But this is what I realized: The very fact that I was concerned about the question was a sign that God was already at work in my heart.

That meant something huge. Since God had started His work in me, I knew He would finish it.

Completing the Work

Maybe as you read that, you’re thinking, “Well, if God is going to do it, I don’t have to try so hard, right?” But that’s not the attitude that makes sense.

Here’s a thought experiment for you. Imagine you’re running a half marathon. You know that you can only win if you run the race faster than you’ve ever run, which seems impossible.

Now imagine that somehow, you know in advance that you’re going to win the race as long as you keep running. How will you now approach running this race? What are you going to do? As you run this race and find yourself exhausted halfway through, will you give up? No! You’ll run even faster because you know you will win!

When you have Philippians 1:6 in hand, and you believe that God’s “good work in you” was accomplished in Christ’s death on the cross for you, you have hope and encouragement to fight pornography and any other sexual sin. If you can see the value of the prize, the promise of success provides more motivation to overcome the power of pornography.

Winning the Prize

What is the prize? On one level, it’s freedom from the shackles of pornography. It’s also freedom from guilt. But most important, the prize you get from quitting porn is intimacy with God.

Right around the time I realized that porn really wasn’t worth it, I remember thinking, in a moment of inspiration, If I don’t get porn out of my life, I can’t draw near to God. I’ve never again felt the force of that thought quite in the same way (inspiration just never seems to last!), but neither have I forgotten it. How could I draw near to God when there was a huge part of my life that I wanted to hide from Him? How could I love God when my heart was wrapped up in pornography, in desires that enslaved my heart?

What about you? In your most sane moments, when sex isn’t anywhere in your mind, wouldn’t you prefer a life of sexual integrity and knowing God closely, to a life of sexual sin and distance from God and others? One type of life leads you to love others and delight in who they are; the other leads you to live for yourself and use others for your selfishness.

One leads to life; the other to death.

Perhaps you don’t feel any desire for God right now because you are so ensnared in porn. What then? Well, think about what you’re reading here: Even if you don’t feel a desire for God, maybe you at least wish that you had a desire for God. Maybe you just hope that someday you could wish for a desire for God.

I want you to know that even the smallest hint of that desire might be the first flicker of God’s work in you. It was for me. Then add to that the promise of Philippians 1:6: “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Christ Jesus.”

So run the race! Because of Jesus, we know that we will succeed. Fan that flicker of love for God into flames, and one day, you will be free from pornography. Then, on the day of Jesus’ return, we will all be free from sin forever, and we will know God, the deepest desire of our hearts, perfectly and eternally.

harvestusa
About The Author
Harvest USA brings the truth and mercy of Jesus Christ by: Helping individuals and families affected by sexual struggles & Providing resources that address biblical sexuality to individuals and churches

3 Comments:


  • By Joe 07 Apr 2018

    Amen Amen & Amen. Thanks for the Hope & Encouragement. Yes, He began this good work, & indeed He will complete it.

  • By Twila Ranck 09 Apr 2018

    Amen… We struggle against sin from a position of victory because of Jesus! Jesus measures progress by orientation and direction not speed.

  • By Paul 12 Apr 2018

    Praise the Lord for the good work the Lord God is doing as you’ve said.I wholeheartedly agree that knowing God leads to sexual purity.That is we knowing Him intimately.God bless.1 Thess 4:3-8

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