Have you ever been sinking… and afraid to tell anyone? Have you ever felt yourself going down the path that you never imagined you would? Did you keep telling God that you would stop? Did you ask him over and over to free you from IT ? ….knowing in your heart that you weren’t ready to stop? Have you ever cried about your sin to God, only to turn back to sin for comfort? Are you not broken enough, and tired enough yet? Haven’t you accepted that you can not do this in your own strength?
At 24 years old, I confess that I have spent approximately half of my life in addiction. Now, my addiction may not be the same as yours. The “thorn in my flesh”, may not be the same thorn that is in yours. Therefore, let my confession, remind you that God can deliver you also.
Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results. – James 5:16 NLT
Secret sins suck. Satan really knows how to introduce a temptation that has the power to shift the way that we think and operate. If he can get us to a point where the sin has a stronghold on us, then he doesn’t have to keep bothering us. You see, we will fall into a destructive pattern that reinforces the stronghold, taking us further and further down the rabbit hole of sin. It WILL begin to affect every area of our lives, making it harder and harder to maintain our relationship with the ONLY one who can free us.
People who conceal their sins will not prosper, but if they confess and turn from them, they will receive mercy. – Proverbs 28:13 NLT
I was just a kid when he introduced me to lust. Thinking I was just looking at pictures (not so bad, right), yet knowing I couldn’t tell anyone. Over the years, pictures turned into videos…pornography. Thoughts turned into actions…masturbation. More secrets to hide. More shame suffocating the possibility of confession. At some point, I stopped being able to control the when or where. Hoping, with every relocation, that I would finally (magically) be able to stop. Convinced that tonight would be the last time. Okay, this is the last week. Last month. Last year…week after week, month after month, year after year. SINKING.
Eventually…after YEARS…. I became completely broken over this. Although, I knew that I was sinking…God kept showing me (completely undeserved) grace and favor…but I was exhausted from the spiritual battle of this secret stronghold. So God introduced me to my sister Shiann who somehow had the courage to publicly share her own battle in 2018 via Facebook Live for her #ShiShiSunday. Then, (Virtually) God introduced me to Pastor Michael Todd, Transformation Church, who continues to be transparent in his sermons about his own struggle with pornography before being delivered from it. Their willingness to be transparent, gave me the courage that I needed to confess (and for that I am eternally grateful to them both).
After I confessed to Shiann, she prayed with me. Since that day of my confession, we continue to check in on each other, pray for each other, complete devotionals together, and have honest conversations about our journey to deliverance.
O God, you know how foolish I am; my sins cannot be hidden from you. – Psalm 69:5
Finally, I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide my guilt. I said to myself, “I will confess my rebellion to the LORD.” And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone. – Psalm 32:5
Maybe you don’t have a Shiann. Thats okay, you can find a small group at your church, a small bible study on your college campus, a God-Fearing friend, minister or pastor that you can confess to and pray with.
This year, it became clear to me that this struggle of mine is actually similar to other addictions that people face (drugs, alcohol, food, sex, etc.). Therefore, I needed supportive community. I needed to begin the work of identifying my triggers. I needed to prepare to grieve the loss of my “drug”, I needed to accept that there is a possibility to be “sober” for 21+ days and still relapse. (and DID).
So, on today ,Wednesday, June 19th. I am grateful to be 17 days free (and counting) from my addiction to the stronghold that enemy had on me through lust, pornography and masturbation. What about you?
So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world. Let there be tears for what you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor. – James 4:7-10