Sunday, May 27, 2018

Sick With My Besetting Sins, Is There A Way Out?









I Am A Christian Minister Struggling With Pornography And Masturbation, Why I Fail And Help Me Overcome?

Question: I Thank God for this ministry of teaching that has blessed me with. Today I want to share some serious concerns in my spiritual life that I have been struggling with. First of all, I am a born again Christians who love Jesus with all my heart, I believe. I have faced so many trials and tribulations in my life, but Jesus has helped in all of it and still helps me in overcoming many many things in my life, and I am thankful to God and praise Him for His awesome power to convict and rescue in all situations. But the area of struggle in my spiritual life due to pornography and masturbation has continued for the past 25 years of my life. Actually this makes me sick, because when I am free in my thoughts and full of liberty I love God with all my heart, but when the thought of temptation in this area comes upon me, I feel like I lose the love of God at that moment of time, and this thought of sin makes me bold without even an iota of the fear of God. Then automatically I choose to sin and lose the peace of Jesus within my life. After which I confess this sin, and run again in to the love of Jesus. And many times after falling in to the above sin I would feel guilty and ashamed of myself as a poor example of a Christian, sad to say that I have been in ministry for more than 15 years of my life serving Jesus. But to share with you I feel so bad because I have not been able to overcome the above sins for nearly two and half decade of my life. When ever I return back to Jesus in hopelessness, He will always say to me from within my heart, 'Do not worry, I will help you overcome!' I will believe His word and return back to Him and will get my peace back. Can you suggest any particular Biblical reason for my failure in this area, and also help me in a Biblical and practical way to resist it and overcome it for the Glory of God. May God bless you abundantly!

Answer: Greetings to you in Jesus glorious and wonderful name!

Thanks for sharing your struggle. I hope this post will bless many other saints around the world who are struggling in the same kind of temptations and bondage, but are not able to come openly seeking for solutions and victory over these besetting sins in our generation.

Whether you are a minister of God or a normal saint, temptation comes to all. And when we do not handle temptation properly by the grace of God, we will struggle in our Christian life. Yes when we become born again, it not based on our performance that Jesus saved us but based on our belief that Jesus has carried our sins, sorrows and sickness on to the cross of Calvary to die for us and redeem us from it all
(Isa 53:4, 5). Because we have come to tell God that we cannot save ourselves from our sins as sinners by birth, God by His mercy and grace has chosen us to freely give us His salvation for us who deserve nothing but hell fire for our works which are not good at all but looks like filthy rags before the eyes of God (Isa 64:6; Eph 2:5, 8).

Besetting sins are a sign of our spiritual weaknesses developed over a period of time by neglecting to deal with it in our lives, but we must take it all to the foot of the Cross and humble ourselves before God to overcome the sin and break the habit of it
(Jam 4:8-10).

There are certain sin that even though we might hate it
(Rom 7:14-15), do it and then confess the sin, do it and confess the sin, do it and confess the sin repeatedly over and over again, these are that which we call as "our personal entangling sins," or "our personal besetting sins," "our personal habitual sins." It is true that we all sin in various areas of our lives, but the above mentioned types of sin are very close to us because they do not attack us from the outside, but rather from our deceitful heart (Jer 17:9), and through the flesh reaches our mind to entice us over a time to birth a particular feeling of desire that are lustful (Mark 7:20-23). Once desire comes to take over our mind, it gives birth to sin in our mind and then full grown sin brings actions of death that separates us from God (Jam 1:14-15). Temptation in itself is not sin, but giving in to temptation is sin, first in our mind, then in our external actions. The sin which so easily make us fall in to it, is the besetting sin that we must deal with in our lives with the first priority to see victory over it by the power of God (Heb 12:1).

The following points will be some practical tips I will give for you to overcome this habit in JESUS mighty name. Masturbation and Pornography is just a name, but there is a name that is high above all names, that name is JESUS CHRIST, He will help you become sanctified and wait for His Coming with eagerness in your heart towards Him as you continue to please Him and do His work for His Glory!


1) KEEP YOUR HEART FREE FROM DEFILEMENT : Guard your heart, for out of it comes the issues of life which are your usefulness for God in this life, which influences your destiny and eternal success in your after life
(Prov 4:23). There are three important gates that you must open and close by the power of the Holy Spirit consistently. It is your eye gate, mouth gate and ear gate, these gates must be closed when it needs to be closed, and opened when it needs to be opened daily. So seeing lustful things, will go in to the heart to start to conceive more lust, and will try to take over your mind. Once lust is conceived, it brings sinful things like masturbation, fornication and adultery which are the external actions that come because of our internal thinking in our soulish heart. So GUARD YOUR HEART! Ask the Holy Spirit to help you stay as guard internally, so that by cooperating with Him you might keep yourself safe from the pollution of the world externally.


2) SEE THE INSTRUMENT THAT DEVIL USES AND DO NOT USE IT WHEN THE TIME OF TEMPTATION COMES, INSTEAD USE IT TO FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD : Right from the days of our first parents Adam and Eve, Satan has used certain instruments as the source of temptation to feed our lust for more of self which leads to sin, which when involved leads us to Satan, to make us do his will that further leads us to destruction and death ultimately. For example, the serpent was more cunning than all the beast that the Lord has created
(Gen 3:1). So Adam and Eve were spending more time with the serpent than with the Lord Himself (Gen 3:8), and thus Satan negotiated with the serpent to make a deal to use his body, and through it made our first parents to fall in to sin and rebellion. If Adam and Eve were watching and praying within them, immediately they would have recognized that this serpent which was taking the time of fellowship with God is the problem that will bring the very temptation for them to fall in to sin, they would have realized within them this truth even before the temptation came through Satan who used the instrument of entertainment which was the serpent to make them fall in to sin. If television, desktop computer or cell phone is taking the place of entertainment more than the personal time of fellowship with God, then beware that it might cause you to sin because anything that is loved more than God is the idol that will drive your life on any particular day, though Jesus might be the Lord of your life (Col 3:5). Covetousness is a strong desire for anything more than for God which is idolatry. So learn to spend time with God and give him the first hour after you wake up and before you go to sleep as a gratitude for keeping you alive for one more day. So shut off these instruments like television, desktop computer or cell phone that has the ability to become a substitute, which eats in to the personal quiet time of fellowship with God. Intentionally move away and keep these instruments in a public place in your home where people are there to keep a watch of how you are using it. If you try to isolate yourself with these instruments in privacy, it means that you have failed to keep yourself away from the temptation that you know is killing your abundant life of joy, peace and righteousness by isolating you (Prov 18:1). If you are alone by yourself in your home or anywhere else where there is no one to see you, then ask God to watch over you and keep you away from temptation that so easily make you fall in to sin that never pleases Him anyplace and anytime (Matt 6:13; Heb 12:1).


3) DO NOT TRUST YOUR OWN SPIRITUALITY BUT THINK OTHERS BETTER THAN YOURSELF : One of the main reason we fall and fall and fall in to sin is because of the wrong state of mind that makes us become inflated in pride before God. Such proud heart fails to submit to God humbly, so God allows us to fall in to temptation and fail in our spiritual journey of life, in order to make us understand that without His help we cannot become truly spiritual and remain a over comer to inherit His blessings and reward for eternity ahead
(Jam 4:7-8; Luke 22:31-32; 1 Cor 10:13; John 15:5; 1 John 5:4). God gives us victory over sin when we maintain our heart in the humility of faith which easily submits itself to God all the time. The word of God says, "3 For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. 4 But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. 5 For each one shall bear his own load." (Gal 6:3-5). This does mean that all prideful inflated thinking comes to us, when we start to trust that we are spiritual because of what we do for Jesus Christ. We are never something and can never become something spiritual by what we do, but only by what Jesus Christ has done for us already by his life, death and resurrection (Gal 3:1-9), so except for the grace of God we are actually in ourselves are nothing spiritual (1 Cor 15:10; Isa 53:6; Rom 3:23, 26). If it is the grace of God, what is there to boast except to boast in our God who has provided us with His grace to walk in His will and way for His glory (1 Cor 1:31; Eph 2:8-9). Never trust your spirituality, but rather when you obey God, and by His grace great things happen, tell God that you are a unprofitable servant who have only done your Job because it was your duty (Luke 17:10). When you are tempted to think great about yourself and lose the grace of God, think yourself less and others better than yourself in your own estimation, so that you will stay safe spiritually and be kept by God from falling in to temptation by lack of grace (Gal 5:4; 6:3; Php 2:3; 1 Pet 5:5; Jam 4:6). Even the slightest feeling of failing and falling in to temptation we should ask God saying, 'Without your grace I can never overcome this temptation Lord God, so I ask for your grace now! In Jesus name!' Even the slightest hint of victory and overcoming sin we should say to God, 'I thank you and praise you for the grace, without it I can never be able to overcome my temptation, Lord God!' Acknowledging God's grace is very important for a overcoming life over sin.


4) REJOICING IN THE WEAKNESS NOT TO SIN BUT TO OVERCOME IT : Apostle Paul said,
"7 Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me--to keep me from exalting myself! 8 Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me. 9 And He has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. 10 Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong." (1 Cor 12:7-10, NASB).

In the above verses we see that there are times in the lives of great men and women of God, and all saints alike, times when God allows us to fall in to certain sins out of the weaknesses of flesh, which causes insults, which brings distresses, which leads us to persecutions, further pushing ourselves in to difficulties for Christ's sake even when we ask God to give us victory, protection, overcoming power, happy times, encouragement instead of insults which brings shame in our lives. Then when we ask God why Lord why?, why me Lord?, why I should suffer like this?, why I keep falling in the same sin confess sin cycle which I hate?, why do I need to undergo shame when I do ask you to help me and hear no answer?, etc...God stays silent until we come to realize the hidden power that gets released with a name called "Grace," where lies the solution for eternity ahead. The "grace that is greater than all our sins",...Dark is the stain that we cannot hide, what can avail to wash it away? The answer comes loud and clear from God, 'Look! There is flowing a crimson tide, brighter than snow you may be today. Marvelous grace of your loving Lord Jesus, grace that exceeds your sin and your guilt! While...sin and despair, like the sea waves cold, threaten the soul with infinite loss of reward; grace that is greater, yes, grace untold, points to the refuge, the mighty cross. Grace, grace, God’s grace, grace that will pardon and cleanse within; grace, grace, My grace, grace that is greater than all your sin! Marvelous, infinite, matchless grace, freely bestowed on you who believe! You that are longing to see My face, will you this moment My grace receive?' Shall we say a loud, AMEN!!!

God does not want us to be lost in the pride of Satan, who fell from heaven because of this great sin which God hates more than all. That is the reason we fall again and again, and in spite of it all, God keeps lifting us up time and time again to make us realize that His grace is more than enough in our failures as much as in our success stories that we exhibit marvelously through the same grace acting in different dimension.

God uses us not in spite of weaknesses, but because of our weaknesses that keeps us stable with out spiritual heels on the ground to make us stay humble before Him. God hurts us in our weaknesses until we completely come to lean upon Him, give Him glory for our weaknesses and learn to rejoice in it, so that the power of God may continue to flow through our lives to bless us and many others through us. At the end of it all, God is able to give a grace to overcome the same sin that has made you fall and get tripped again and again under its power. GLORY TO GOD! Fight against the power of sin, until the time comes for you to reign over the very sin that has humiliated you
(Rom 16:20; Psa 105:17, 18-19, 20, 21, 22; Rom 6:14).


5) TAKE YOUR THOUGHTS CAPTIVE TO THE OBEDIENCE OF CHRIST BEFORE IT TAKES YOU CAPTIVE BY ITS LUST : We see the great apostle Paul who lived a exemplary Christian life that is pleasing to God all the time, shared one of the great secrets to his spiritual victory by saying,
"3 Though we live in this body of flesh, we cannot wage spiritual warfare using our body to wage war unspiritually. 4 But our weapons are powerful through learning God's truth for the demolition of strongholds of sinful arguments in our mind 5 by taking every thoughts of lust which leads to sin be taken captive within our mind of flesh, which when left in liberty builds itself up as a wall against the knowledge of God to make us rebel against God's authority and be lost in the darkness of sin by making us stand beside its shadow to be blocked away from His perfect will of staying in the light of His Presence through the meditation of the truth of His word. 6 When we use such powerful spiritual weapons on ourselves by saying within our mind, 'I take this thought captive to the obedience of Christ', and learn to stand in freedom Christ has given us, then we experience spiritual victory over temptation and likewise use the same on rebels who stand against Christ in others mind by declaring to them this truth to make them surrender to Christ's rulership in their lives too." (2 Cor 10:3-6, Paraphrased By Me).

So the battlefield for a Christian is their mind, the weapons are God's truth and the incantation and recitation within our mind about taking captive the thoughts that leads to sin to the complete obedience of Christ, of which God sees it and gives us victory. In other words, we take the thoughts of lust and sin captive to the obedience of Christ, before it takes us captive to the lure of sin in action. This is very powerful against porn and masturbation because such sin first gets conceived as lust in the mind, then become a action of solo-sex. Take preventive measure in your mind, and be vigilant to overcome the weakness of the flesh by the power of Christ that gets activated by the renewal of your mind.


6) CHANGE YOUR THOUGHTS AND DO NOT LET YOUR THOUGHTS CHANGE YOU TO ACT TO ITS WHIMS AND FANCIES:

It is impossible to expect a change within us when we do the same old stuff expecting a different result every time, it is nothing but insanity.

We need to start thinking the God thoughts intentionally, so that it will replace our soulish thinking more and more, day by day to help us become better and better to live a life that glorifies God more and more progressively, in a greater and greater capacity
(Prov 4:18). Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect in any period of time and in any place you are in (Rom 12:2, NLT).

Apostle Paul said,
"22 Throw away from you the old pattern of selfish thinking which thinks apart from God and His will to always promote your own benefit first, which only grown corrupt day by day through lust and deception. 23 Change the way you think, by letting the Holy Spirit fill you mind with thoughts and attitudes that renews your soul and body, and gives prime priority to God and the godly benefits which pleases God first and foremost. 24 By thinking such heavenly, righteous and holy thoughts of God-likeness, you are letting God work out his character in to you day by day so that you can be a new and different person, holy and good, being clothed with this new nature." (Eph 4:22-24, Paraphrased By Me).

We ought to work out our salvation in fear and trembling, because in reality it is God who works within us so that we can cooperate with Him to work out that which He works in His will and pleasure to transform us in to His likeness day by day
(Php 2:12-13).

Always fix your thoughts on what is true and good and right according to the Word of God. Think about things that are pure and lovely revealed by the Spirit of God, and dwell on the fine, good things in others even though they may not deserve to be seen in such way except for the grace of God. Think about all you can to praise God for, and be glad about it, because what we think by positive thinking of faith today is what will happen in reality tomorrow through the grace and mercy of God in which we trust and stand
(Php 4:8). God is never moved by our pleading or need or works we do for Him in his name, but rather God is always moved by what we believe about Him, (i.e.) whether we believe God is there, and that He rewards those who diligently seek to please Him. While faith in itself pleases God, but only the prayer of faith moves God to make Him work for us. When God arises, our enemies and His enemies, whether it is pornography or masturbation or every other demonic thing that makes us fall in to sin, flees out in different direction (Psa 68:1-3, 6). Praise the Lord! In short, learn to change your thinking and change the world you live in around you for the Glory of God.


7) TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR FALL AND FAILURES, AND FEED THE WORD OF GOD DAILY TO YOUR SPIRIT TO OVERCOME THE SOULISH FLESH :

Never blame God or your circumstances or others around you or your spouse with limited libido, for your failure of falling in to lustful sins like Adam and Eve did in the Garden of Eden
(Gen 3:12-13). But rather agree with the accuser of brethren who is Satan and his demons, that you have sinned when you sin before it is taken to the heavenly court by them to pass on the righteous verdict of punishment you deserve (Matt 5:25-26; Rev 12:10; Eph 4:26-27), and also at the same time if God chooses to chastise you because of his love for you and his hate for any sinful behavior in your life which takes you away from Him, embrace it with joy because his anger stays for a moment but his favor over your life will stay with you for a lifetime (Heb 12:7, 10-11; Isa 54:7-8; Psa 30:5; Jam 1:2-8). Always pray to God that His will be done in your life even when you do not understand how it can be fulfilled with what seems to be a failure to your natural eyes, and remember that God is able to turn even curses in to a blessings (Deut 23:5; Neh 13:2), and works both the good and the bad in your life in to something only good for your eternal good (Rom 8:28).

Jesus Himself said to his disciples movements before His disciples were to desert Him and run away fearing for their life,
"Keep alert and pray. Otherwise temptation will overpower you. For the spirit indeed is willing, but how weak the body is!" (Matt 26:41). In other words, many times when you will fail and fall in to the temptation of pornography and masturbation, it is because even though spiritually you might be strong within to hate these sins, but the fleshly body is weakened enough by the sin nature so it fails when lust overpowers you from within the soulish nature to fulfill its lust.

So what is the way to overcome such temptations?

Feed the Word of God and pray by faith consistently so that the spirit will rule over your soul, and your soul will obey the spirit and rule over the body, which is the right way in which a believer can discipline and rule over the body
(1 Cor 9:27). What we feed will grow, and we make starve will get weakened to be ready to die. Thus when we feed our spirit with the spiritual food of milk and meat of the Word of God (1 Pet 2:2-3; Heb 5:12-14), and drink the living water of the Holy Spirit joy, peace and righteousness more and more (John 7:37-39), then our spirit man will begin to rule over our soul man, which in turn will rule over the lust and desires of our body and bring it in to subjection for the Glory of God.

One time when I was falling again and again in to fleshly sin, I asked God, 'Lord help me die to my flesh!', what the Lord has answered me changed the way I think recently, that is, God said, 'You are already dead in Christ Jesus, stop feeding the dead man and start feeding the man in Christ who is alive and well
(Rom 13:14)! If you continue to feed the dead man, you will only let out the deathly decaying smell of decomposition to become exposed to yourself and others to become discouraged by its stink.' In other words, God has done everything in Christ for me to think in this victorious way, (i.e.) to consider myself and my body dead by believing Christ's death as mine in my mind, to make sin's appeal of lust lose its power over the spirit-man (Rom 6:5, 17). Thus a Christian led by the Spirit will not plan to sin, but rather will ask the Lord Jesus Christ to help him live as he should, and doesn't make plans to enjoy evil (Rom 13:14). Always the Lord Jesus will help us to not only hear the Holy Spirit, but obey with His strength only the Holy Spirit's instructions (Jam 1:22), who will tell you where to go and what to do, and then you won't always be doing the wrong things your evil nature wants you to (Gal 5:16, LB).

So I believe as you apply these above principles in your life, sooner or later you will inculcate the principles of Christ through which the power of Christ's grace will be revealed to you to overcome the sin of pornography and masturbation, and live for the Glory of God.

Until then daily remember to keep these small steps along with the principles discussed above to live a Christian life,

1) Accept your sin as sin before God, humans and demonic angels, but run to God and confess your sin to Him as soon as possible
(1 John 1:7, 9), then testify your faith in the blood of Jesus that has cleansed you from all sins.

2) Never give up your fight against the power of sin, and lethargically let the presence of sin in its rebellious attitude continue to stay without your heart felt confession to God for long
(Rom 6:12, 14), which will weaken your faith to paralyses it (Heb 3:12-15; 1 Pet 2:11; 1 John 2:1-2).

3) Remember, salvation is a event which is given by God to us all as a gift freely on the day we believed the Lord Jesus Christ
(Rom 6:23; 10:13; Acts 16:31), but sanctification is a process that takes years and decades because it is a process that is continued until the day we die and go on to be with the Lord (2 Cor 5:8; John 17:17; Psa 119:9, 11). The spiritual strength that comes through taking in the revelation of God's word happens over a period of time. So store in the Word of God in your heart, and you will automatically overcome the besetting sins that are bothering you for a long long time. We are not saved by our performance, but rather by our belief. So be patient and work out your salvation until God gives you a dominant victory over the besetting sins that bother your spiritual life.

Keep thanking the Lord Jesus for having already saved you, praise Him always for He only leads us in victorious path of life
(2 Cor 2:14), though to us it may seem like a path of defeat, never focus on your short term performance to become discouraged, instead allow the Lord to lead you by His wisdom which see years ahead even in to eternity. And try your best to do what you can sincerely by your faith, leave the rest to Him, He is able to keep you in His peace and give you rest spiritually within you by what He has already achieved on the Cross which is able to take you to heaven. God sees your motive, to reward you eternally for the spiritual performance which you have performed on earth, so keep working with all your heart for the Lord Jesus, you never know what great reward is waiting for you now and for eternity ahead (1 Cor 4:5; 1 Thess 2:4).

Run patiently your race of faith and humbly serve Him
(Luke 14:11), and look for big victories in your future. Until then continue serving the Lord faithfully, that is where your faithfulness will bring reward to you eternally (Heb 10:35-36; Luke 12:37-38, 39-40; Matt 25:21, 23). Discuss and confess your sins to the one whom you can trust with or with your senior Pastor or mature minister of God with whom you can freely discuss you struggle and take help, so that Satan may not be able to make you guilty and make you believe that you are unworthy to serve the Lord, when in fact you are fighting the fight of your life and are going to see great victories in your life, ministry, nation and nations around the world for the Glory of God (Jam 5:16). Praise the Lord! Hallelujah!   


Much Blessings.....



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