Internet Pornography is a hugh challenge in our modern society. If affects men and women, boys and girls polluting minds, harming bodies, and destroying healthy relationships. It consumes time, money, and energy. It destroys ministries.
Immoral sex has been with us since the Fall. Solomon warned of its dangers
"For the lips of a strange woman drop as an honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil: But her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword. Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on hell. Pr. 5:3-5
Jesus took it to a new level by revealing that it is not just the act that is sinful but even to indulge in lust is sin.
"But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart." Matt. 5:28
Paul bluntly states that even deriving pleasure from watching others commit sin, including sexual sin, is to be just as guilty as those who are actively involved.
knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are
worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do
them." Rom. 1:32
Of course, we know all this. No genuine Christian believes that immorality physically or through the fantasy world of Internet pornography is right. They know sexual sin of any kind is destructive and wrong. But those caught in its powerful grip find themselves seemingly helpless prisoners. The attraction can be as powerful as drinking or drugs.
So if you are struggling - or know someone who struggling - with Internet pornography or any kind of sexual sin, what steps do you take to break free? Below are some general steps and information.
1. The first thing a Christian must realize is that Christ, living in them, is more powerful than any sin. The Christian always has a choice no matter how overwhelming the temptation may seem at the time.
"No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it." 1 Cor. 10:13
"This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God." 1 John 5:3-5, NIV
Now, for those caught in any powerful sin, at the point of temptation it seems overwhelming. That is part of the Satanic illusion. But it is always a choice. We must realize that. No Christian is ever a helpless pawn of sin. God has given us a free will, which means that we can choose to do right. That does not mean it is easy!
We must begin, then, by knowing who we are in Christ. Neil Anderson has great material on discovering who you are in Christ.
2. We must strongly desire to be free. If we don't want to be free, we never will be. Sometimes we enjoy our sin, and we don't really want to be free. Of course, the problem with any sin is that at the point of temptation we want to sin. That is the pull! That is when we must make a cold-blooded decision: We choose to obey God rather than the pleasure our body craves. If our desire to follow God is half-hearted we will never break free. We must desire Jesus above all things.
We are not talking about learning ways to control or manage our sinful desires but to learn, through Christ, to have victory over them and move beyond them. One of the best books on this topic is Eyes Of Honor by Dr. Jonathan Welton. [It is also available as an inexpensive Kindle Book.]
3. We must repent of our sin. Internet pornography is sin and it is something we choose. We may feel guilty and shame and others may heap condemnation on us if we are discovered, but that is not repentance. Repentance comes with conviction of the Holy Spirit. It does not bring shame, but brings a Godly sorrow which leads to a change of direction. It does not mean that we will never choose to give in to Internet Pornography again, but it does mean that it is no longer our lifestyle. We are moving in the opposite direction and we are serious in our war to defeat this sin permanently.
4. We need to have a regular Bible Reading and studying program. It is not so important what topic or method we are using. It may not even be related to our sin, but as we study the Word we feed ourselves and grow stronger in every area of our lives. If you don't know how to study the Bible for yourself, take our free course How To Feed Yourself.
5. Praise and Worship are also keys. We need to develop our relationship with Jesus through praise and worship. This is not just at church meetings. Our lifestyle needs to be one of praise and worship. Sing Scripture and quality songs - even if you, like me, are not musical. As our desire for Jesus increases, our desire of sin decreases.
6. As part of our war against sexual sin - or any sin - in our lives we need to develop a victory strategy. We need to examine when we are the weakest and look at ways to avoid or reduce the opportunity for temptation. Sometimes there are things that trigger the temptation for Internet pornography. Can we avoid them? Can we provide for someone of strength to be around at that time? What can we do? You know the temptation is coming...plan on how do defeat it before it comes. Part of our plan can be taking a course on overcoming Internet pornography like X3pure on line. Another part of our strategy can be installing a program like Safe Eyes on all the computers to which we have access - and let someone else set up the administrators password so we cannot change it.
"The highway of the upright avoids evil; he who guards his way guards his life." Pr. 16:17, NIV
7. As part of strategy we need to be accountable to someone. This is very difficult because Internet pornography brings shame and we don't want people to know. We are embarrassed, we are afraid of condemnation, rejection, and possible job loss [especially if in ministry]. Unless we are unexpectedly surprised, it is fairly easy to hide for a long time, but we will never defeat sin by hiding - we must move from darkness to light. We can begin by taking the pure on line course anonymously, then we can find someone to be accountable to. An advantage of the program Safe Eyes is that it can be set up to automatically e-mail [or even phone] your accountability partner[s] - of your choice - if there is an attempt to access restricted websites. They can then get in touch with you to help you get back on track. You, in Christ, can defeat Internet pornography, but you may very well need a support team around you.