Roadmap to Freedom

For Fapstronauts who are disciples of Christ

  1. Kyrie eleison!

    Kyrie eleison! Fapstronaut

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    Hello everyone,

    over the last years, God has led me step by step towards freedom, with the help of some good christian books, personal council by church elders and also by showing me helpful principles in his word. I have gathered together the best advice that I've received over this time and want to share it with you guys. Also, we are going through this material in our WhatsApp-accountability group right now. God willing, I want to post some thoughts on every principle and I am looking forward to receiving more helpful thoughts from all of you on these issues. It is my prayer and my hope that this might have a positive impact on all of us and be a huge leap towards freedom.

    Five years ago I almost got free from PMO by following these principles, but then got distracted and fell back into old habits. So, for me, posting these principles here is also a way to reclaim the territory that I once had, but that the enemy stole from me. Right now, I am on Day 6 of NoPMO and I am excited to see, where this will lead me :)

    The following is an overview of the Principles that will be presented here. This overview will be edited if I find that more principles will be needed on our journey. God bless!

    -Kyrie eleison!-
    (May God have mercy on us.)


    My Roadmap to Freedom

    [1] The Gospel as our Freedom Strategy

    a) Understanding the ugliness of our sin and the beauty of the gospel
    b) Learning true repentance (2 Corinthians 7:8-11)
    c) Living in our new identity in Christ
    d) Learning to walk in Christ (John 15, John 8:31-32, Psalm 1)
    e) Being changed by the beauty of God (2 Corinthians 3:18)

    [2] Embracing the Radical Fight
    a) Be radical about your thoughts & actions (Matthew 5:27-30)
    b) Analyze your triggers and find specific strategies.
    c) Discipline as a Lifestyle (Learn taking up your cross daily, also in other areas)
    d) Finding Joy in Life! (Life is so colorful, we don't need this PMO-drug!)

    [3] Living in the Light
    a) The power of confession [Confess to everyone that you've sinned against by PMOing, e.g. your spouse, your parents, your church elders]
    b) The power of an accountability partner & accountability groups
    c) The power of Christian fellowship in general [Christian fellowship can help us focus on the right things]
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2020
  2. Sounds excellent! I will be following along with interest. Thanks for sharing your journey with us! I am praying for you and your group and cheering you all on!
     
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  3. Kyrie eleison!

    Kyrie eleison! Fapstronaut

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    Thank you so much, @Tao Jones :). We will now start with Principle 1a).

    The ugliness of our sin and the beauty of the gospel.
    Being aware of the ugliness of our sexual sin is extremely important in order to fight it effectively. When Paul starts his explanation of the Gospel in the book of Romans, he makes this remarkable statement: "I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. [...] For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth." (Romans 1:16.18)
    So, Paul actually starts his Gospel presentation with the wrath of God being poured out on our unrighteousness for almost 3 chapters before he finally unfolds the beauty of the forgiveness and grace of God in chapters 3b-8. As our generation tends to skip the first part, the Holy Spirit shows us through the Scriptures, that we first need to understand about the ugliness of our sin and our own depravity, before he lifts us up to the heights of the grace of God.

    In this sense, we want to examine first, what it is about sexual sin, that God hates so much. Is it just "wrong because it's wrong" or are there actual reasons behind that, which can help us hate the sin as God hates it? So, in the following paragraphs, I have gathered some reasons on why sexual sin is disgusting - please feel free to add your own thoughts in the comments :)

    What makes sexual sin disgusting for me?
    1. Porn/Lust objectifies the other person: it degrades the “actresses”, who were created in the image of God. They were created with a dignity, with a beautiful character and personality! We shouldn’t throw that into the garbage. By lusting, we reduce the other person to an object of our personal satisfaction in order to get a dopamine shot. A few years ago, a thought hit me: Imagine, your wife /girlfriend / daughter / loved one became a porn actress or engaged in these kinds of acts in front of strangers so that they can satisfy their lust. Wouldn’t you hate that?
    2. We degrade ourselves, as men (and women) created in God’s image and as the temple of the Holy Spirit, by engaging in sexual sin.
    We often feel that one very deeply, but always remember that there is enough grace to cover our shame. When Adam and Eve first sinned, Gods first act was to cover their nakedness and their shame.
    3. It contradicts God’s beautiful design of sexuality as an act of intimacy and love and perverts it into an act of exploitation, often filled with aggression. Lust only cares about our own satisfaction, not about the other person we’re using to get it. A member of my accountability group added that understanding more about God’s beautiful design of love and sexuality has helped him immensely to see the ugliness of sexual sin. We will also learn more about the biblical image of sexuality during this journey.
    4. Also, sexual sin leads us into a more hedonistic mindset, as another member of my accountability group noted, such that we tend to look only after our own pleasures and we become less tolerant to anything that would prevent us from doing what we want (not only in the sexual realm). Thus, we become less patient with other people around us, which will also especially affect our family lives and many of our personal relationships.
    5. Sexual sin destroys your marriage and your family by creating distrust and secrecy (it often hinders us from walking in the light) and taking away your respectability. Also it destroys your spiritual life, your ministry, etc. for the same reasons.
    6. The devil will use your sexual sin to keep you from being fruitful for God. This sin might even hinder the Holy Spirit from being able to work through us, especially if we don't fight against it with all our heart and keep it in the light.

    Another interesting thought that has occured to me during my journey is this: Sexual sin is not only wrong – it is stupid! Not just according to some nofap-youtubers, but according to the Scriptures. See for yourselves:
    1. “A man who commits adultery, has no sense (or: is stupid). Whoever does so, destroys himself. He will get wounds and his disgrace will not be wiped away.” – Proverbs 6,32-33
    2. “Fornication and wine take away the understanding!” – Hosea 4:11
    As many PMO-addicts have realized, PMO-addiction has negative impacts on our physical health and fitness, our mental health, discipline and overall motivation. I especially realized this during my university study. In the end, my grades got worse and worse, because I couldn’t motivate myself or focus on a difficult exercise for a longer time due to my addiction to quick dopamine hits. I was more and more unable to handle challenging situations, as I was used to drowning all my pain in a sea of pornography.
    Another impact of PMO, that has been observed by many nofappers, is a desensitization to the natural pleasures of this life. It becomes more and more difficult to enjoy a beautiful peace of art or music, God's marvellous creation in nature or to find joy in simple things like singing together or spending time with friends. Everything seems to become clothed in a foggy cloud of numbness and every joy seems to be distant until we get back to our daily dosis of this drug called PMO. Is this really the way God meant this life to be? I don't think so :)

    Now, finally let us look at the beautiful solution of the Gospel:
    If we have now understood a glimpse of how ugly sexual sin is, then maybe we have a little impression of how bad it must be to an infinitely holy God. But luckily, the gospel does not end at the ugliness of our sin or the wrath of God. It goes on to show us the beauty of God’s grace and his love for sinners like us!
    The grace of God and his love for us is so great, that he took his only and beloved son Jesus - who is God himself in human flesh - and poured out all his wrath on him, all the punishment that we deserved! It even sais that "it pleased the Lord to crush him" (Isaiah 53:10). Would you like to crush your own son (or girlfriend/wife/loved one), whom you love above everything? Probably not! But God was willing to crush his son (who has been his dearest treasure for all of eternity) on the cross - and Jesus even volunteered for this! Why? Because his love for us was so great that he was willing to pay the highest price in order to create a pathway for us to salvation. That's God's crazy love for us. That's amazing grace, isn't it?

    Guys, we are free now! We have nothing to fear and no reason to stay ashamed. The word of God says: “There is therefore now no condemnation for those, who are in Christ.” (Romans 8:1) and "For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." (2 Cor. 5:21). Next time we are tempted, let us first remember the beautiful love of God and what it cost him to set us free. Maybe it can help us to resist and flee into his presence. No sin is worth going away from fellowship with God for even one second :)

    May God bless all of you and help you succeed in your pursuit of purity!

    Challenge for this week
    - Make a list with at least 5 points describing what makes sexual sin most disgusting for you.
    - Take an hour to meditate on the beauty of the Gospel and have a time of worship and fellowship with the Lord. Maybe a Scripture like Isaiah 53 can be a good starting point for this.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2020
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  4. Kyrie eleison!

    Kyrie eleison! Fapstronaut

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    Learning true repentance
    The Bible shows us that sins are forgiven for those who repent (e.g. Luke 24:47, Acts 3:19, 1 John 1:9). Often, we feel regret and sorrow after we’ve fallen. But is this kind of regret always the same as repentance that leads us to recovery? This principle of learning true repentance was one of the most helpful ones in my early fight because I realized for the first time that I had not made any progress because I had lots of wrong motives and my repentance often was not real.

    In one of the books that have helped me most (“Finally Free” by Heath Lambert – I highly recommend it!), I stumbled upon an interesting quote from 2 Corinthians 7:9-10: “I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because you were grieved into repenting. For you felt a godly grief, so that you suffered no loss through us. For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.”

    So, we see that there are two kinds of grief over sin: The godly grief that produces a real repentance and leads to salvation and life. And there is the grief of the world, we could call it a fake repentance, which produces death. So, how can I tell If my repentance is godly or worldly – what characterizes godly grief and worldly grief?

    Godly grief which leads to salvation and life
    Godly grief is sad because I have …
    … done wrong to others
    … harmed and betrayed others (my spouse, my parents)
    … dishonored God
    … perverted his beautiful design of sexuality and intimacy into lust and exploitation,
    … interrupted my fellowship with him.

    We see this presented beautifully by King David after he had committed adultery with Bathsheba and afterwards sent her betrayed husband Urijah to the battle front to have him killed by the enemies (2 Samuel 11-12). After he is confronted about this by the prophet Nathan, he does not get angry about his judgement that is announced by the prophet, but simply confesses his sin because he realizes in shock what a horrible sin he had done to Bathsheba and Urijah and how he had violated God’s holy commands! His beautiful prayer of repentance is presented to us in Psalm 51.

    Worldly grief which leads to death
    Worldly grief on the other hand is grieved because …
    … my spouse has found out and is mad at me,
    … I have lost the respect of my church friends and my parents
    … I have to stop watching porn now after it was found out.
    … I have to stop watching porn because unfortunately God has declared this a sin.
    Also, it usually downplays my sin, because “everybody is doing it” or “yeah, it’s a sin, but it’s not that bad of a sin.”

    It is best illustrated by King Saul in 1 Samuel 15. After he was convicted by the prophet Samuel for being disobedient to God, Samuel prophesied that as a judgement the kingdom would be taken away from him. When he heard about his punishment, Saul immediately “repented” and said to Samuel: “I have sinned. But please honor me now before the elders of Israel!” See the spirit of worldly grief? This “repentance” is still egocentric and ignorant to the seriousness of the sin. It is apparent, that worldly grief will only bring us down, it throws us into the pit and leaves us there, but there is no salvation in it.

    The fruits of godly repentance
    Godly grief is one driving force that can lead us toward real change. In 2 Corinthians 7:11, the characteristics of godly grief are listed: “For see what earnestness this godly grief has produced in you, but also what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what longing, what zeal, what punishment! In all things you have approved to be clear (or innocent) in this matter.” Godly grief takes the sin seriously and will do whatever it takes to extinguish it out of your life. It is not a temporary mood swing that is gone the next morning, but a holy emotion that enables our hearts to hate this sin permanently and drives us to fight joyfully and with patience against this particular sin until every part of it is defeated. (I hope this makes sense. What I want to say is this: Godly grief doesn't leave us grieved, but it takes us back on our feet and empowers us to fight victoriously.)

    Godly grief will lead you to fight with all your strength, to defeat this sin as thoroughly as possible. It leads you to be willing to walk in accountability and to take radical measures in order to fight it. You will want to take responsibility and restore relationships that have been broken by your sin while the worldly grief just wants to grow grass and forget about what happened.

    The beauty is that this real, godly repentance also leads to a total 100% recovery of your relationship with God. In the example of David, he is granted forgiveness by the prophet (in the name of God) immediately after his confession: “The Lord also has put away your sin” (2 Samuel 12:13). And, as a result, his relationship with God is restored totally and joy comes back into his life, as he expresses in a beautiful worship song in Psalm 32. After repentance, there is no stain of resentment or bitterness in God’s heart, but he has totally forgiven you and cleansed you! After repentance, this grief turns into a much greater joy over your fellowship with God which by far trumps that grief that you’ve felt after sinning.

    Challenge for this week
    • Take your time for a self-assessment: Do you have worldly or godly grief about your sin? What are your challenges in this area?
    (Honestly, for me it was a mixture of both for a long time, and sometimes still is. My main problem often was that I am more grieved about the fact that God has “forbidden” these sins than I am grieved about my sin itself – that is also a worldly grief. Thus, let us pray that God grants us a change of heart so that we can have a godly grief and a true repentance over our sin – a true repentance that leads us to true life, joy and a deeper relationship with him.

    Some final thoughts
    After we have repented: Let us not forget to rejoice over the beauty of God’s forgiveness and our sweet fellowship with him: “Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity, and in whose spirit, there is no deceit.” (Psalm 32:1). – Amen.

    In the end of this little chapter, I recommend reading the following Scriptures:
    • 1 Samuel 15: The story about King Saul’s false repentance and judgement.
    • 2 Samuel 11-12: The story about King David’s sin, his repentance and forgiveness.
    • Read and Pray Psalm 51: David’s prayer of repentance over his sin against Urijah.
    • Read and Pray Psalm 32: David’s song of joy over God’s forgiveness.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2020
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  5. Kyrie eleison!

    Kyrie eleison! Fapstronaut

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    Living out our new identity in Christ
    “Better internet filters and personal regulations might stop you from looking at porn for a time, but they will not transform a heart of lust.” (“Your Brain on Porn” by Luke Gilkerson - a Covenant Eyes ressource)

    An important ingredient to our recovery and healing process is understanding, believing, and living out our new identity, that we have been given by God in Christ. This topic is huge, and it is all over the New Testament, so I only want to give you some little appetizers here, so maybe you feel motivated to study this topic in more depth. (It could be a good alternative activity when you are tempted next time).

    #1 You are God's child
    Let us start with some very profound and yet very precious characteristics of our identity in Christ. First of all, we are adopted into God’s family. We have become children of God as soon as we accepted Christ into our hearts (John 1:12, Ephesians 1:5, 1 John 3:1). This is clearly a position which we cannot earn, but also cannot lose. As our parents here on earth, God might discipline us (Hebrews 12) so that we grow in spiritual maturity and Christ-likeness, but he will never stop being our father. He is 100% faithful to his promises toward us that he will never forsake us or stop caring for us.

    #2 You are made new
    Second, we have been born again (John 3, 1 Peter 1:23), truly made alive (Ephesians 2:1-3) and been changed into a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). We are the temple of God because his spirit dwells in us (Romans 8:9) who intimately connects us with our heavenly father (Romans 8:15ff.). The holy spirit in us is also the seal that guarantees that we will reach the finish line and inherit eternal life in God’s presence (Ephesians 1:14, Revelation 22:4). He is also the divine power that raised Christ from the dead and lives in us to enable us to serve God (Romans 8:11) and to grow the fruit of the spirit in us (Galatians 5:22). Having this power in us that transforms us into the image of Christ can give us an immense hope that victory over this addiction is possible within this lifetime!

    #3 You belong to a new master
    Third, according to Romans 6, we have died to our old master called “sin”, such that he now has no more authority over us any longer. Before we belonged to Christ, we had no choice but to obey the commands of our slave master “sin”. But now, as Christ has purchased us with his blood, the old master has no legal authority to give us commands. He will still try and might also succeed now and then. But legally, we belong to a new master, Christ, who loves us deeply and only has our best in mind.

    As a German, let me give you an illustration from soccer (this may apply to other team sports as well), which I heard in a sermon recently. Imagine that up to this point, you have played for a trainer who only taught you to win by playing unfair and fouling the opposing players all the time. Now, you have been purchased by a new team and the new trainer wants to teach you the most beautiful way of playing soccer. In the next matches, you might still now and then slip back into your old ways, but as you listen to and learn from your new trainer, your play style will be transformed more and more into your new trainer’s style. Imagine, in one match suddenly your former trainer stands by the sideline and shouts to you to foul the opponent player. Of course, you can listen to him, but it would be totally stupid because you don’t have any obligation to do this and you know that his advice is not only wrong, but also will have bad consequences for yourself. In the same way we should treat our old master “sin” when he tries to command us again: just ignore him. We have no obligation to obey him.

    Honestly, I struggle with this thought a lot, but this can become reality in our lives as we follow verse 13 of the same chapter: “Do not present your (bodily) members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness.” God does not simply call us to do good works, but to present ourselves to him as instruments of his will. The secret here is our total deliverance to and dependence on him. If we give ourselves to God in this way, then he will let his lifechanging power become effective in our lives. Then, we will see gradual changes in our character, attitudes, and actions (see “Walking in Victory” by Dennis McCallum). This thought will (God willing) be elaborated more with the next principle.

    How does this impact my life?
    All of this means that we are not defined by our failures or relapses. I am not anymore “J., the porn addict”, but I am “J., a child of God, servant of Christ, partaker of the divine nature” and so much more! If this is who we really are, why should we even consider going back to the garbage dump and consume that filthy stuff? It is far below our dignity. It does not fit who we really are.

    By the way, this very simple principle is also used by many self-development youtubers. For example, if you want to read more books, do not just say “I want to read more books”, but start identifying yourself as a person who loves to learn new things and thus reads lots of books. In the same way, do not just say “I want to stop watching porn” or even “I want to be more godly”, but start consciously and deliberately identifying yourself as a beloved child of God, a temple of the holy spirit and a servant of Christ who is dead to sin.

    Finally, there is a pastoral side to this as well: We are also not defined by our wounds or what others call us, but by what God says about us. We do not need the fake intimacy and fake comfort of pornography, but we have everything we need in our relationship with our heavenly father.

    I must admit that this is one of the principles that I may not have understood enough yet. But on the other hand, it is often mentioned as one of the keys to freedom from sin. Thus, I presented my thoughts on this to you, even though they might not be ultimately conclusive. I hope that you are blessed and encouraged through this anyway.

    May God be with you!

    Challenge for this week
    • Take a moment to think about your identity in Christ. Which aspects of it touch your heart the most? How does your new identity effect your fight for purity?
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2020
  6. So, so good. You should write a book of your own!
     
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  7. Kyrie eleison!

    Kyrie eleison! Fapstronaut

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    Haha, thank you so much, @Tao Jones. I feel very honored :)
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2020
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  8. Kyrie eleison!

    Kyrie eleison! Fapstronaut

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    Learning to walk in Christ
    When I started fighting against the sexual sin in my life, I remember sitting down one day to pray and be in the presence of the Lord and just listen to what he would speak into my situation. Very interestingly, God mainly reminded me of different Scriptures that all had the same theme: “stay close to me and I will change you from the inside.”

    The vine, the branches & the fruits

    One Scripture that has captivated and amazed me from the day when I became a believer, is John 15:1-7, the parable of the vine and the branches. In these verses, our Lord Jesus speaks about himself as the true vine and us as the branches. God, the Father, is presented as the gardener or vinedresser. He is the one who planted the vineyard with the purpose of reaping good and delicious fruits from it. Those fruits are a picture of everything that is pleasing to God – some of those fruits are presented in Galatians 5:22-23 as the “fruit of the spirit”, such as love, patience, faithfulness, or self-control. One of the fruits that God surely wants to reap from us, is sexual purity.

    But now the question remains: how can we be branches who bear those fruits in our lives? Well, Jesus gives us a stunningly simple answer in verses 4-5: “Abide [or remain] in me and I in you. […] I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he is it that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.”

    His explanation is really logical if you think about it. Have you ever seen a branch of an apple tree (for example) groaning and moaning, struggling to get the fruit finished? Probably not because usually all that the branch has to do, is to stay connected to the tree, so that he receives all the nutrients he needs and the fruits grow automatically. In the same way, all that we have to do, is staying closely connected to Christ. If we do this, his power and life will flow through us and produce the fruit automatically. (The thought in Galatians 5 is similar: if we want to produce the fruit of the spirit, we have to walk in the spirit, i.e. be led by him and stay connected to him).

    In my understanding, abiding in Christ practically means to stay in an intimate prayer relationship with him, be obedient to whatever he calls me to do (be it through the Scriptures or through the impulses of the holy spirit from within) and “presenting ourselves to God and our bodily members as instruments for righteousness” (Romans 6:13), i.e. purposefully and actively presenting ourselves as his servants constantly, so he can use us for his glory.

    A tree planted by the water

    Another illustration is given in Psalm 1:1-3. This time, we are not just a branch but the whole tree, and again this is about how to yield fruits. Let us examine this passage together.

    Our responsibility

    “[1] Blessed is the man [or woman] who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers [2] but his delight is in the law [or instruction] of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.”

    When I was younger, I usually stopped after verse 1. Just stay away from all those evil people out there, avoid sin as good as possible, and that’s how you become a good Christian. I do not want to say that avoiding the influence of bad company or a sinful environment is not important – it is! But interestingly, the Psalmist does not stop there, but goes on: “but his delight is in the law of the Lord and on his law he meditates day and night”. So, how can we do this?
    (I understand the law to be a synonym for the word of God here, especially since Christians according to Romans&Galatians don't follow the law, but should be led by the holy spirit)

    Regarding the delighting, my experience is that the more you get to know God and the more you read his word, the more you will actually delight in it, especially as you understand more and more how God reveals himself through it and how it applies to your life specifically.

    The second sentence is maybe more difficult to understand. As I see it, it means that we fill ourselves with the Scriptures (by reading and meditating on it daily), saturating our thoughts to such an extent that our immediate reactions and thoughts about anything flow out of the word of God.

    I think that we can achieve this by putting aside a daily time of reading the Scripture and taking the time to think and pray about it calmly (How does this show God’s beauty? How does this effect my life?). Personally, I do this every morning before I get to work, so all my day is impacted by it. If you are not a morning person, I recommend at least reading a verse or a short devotional before leaving the house and set your actual time of Scripture reading in the evening. In my opinion, 15 minutes should be the minimum time to make sure that you do not rush over the Scriptures in a hurry and forget everything as soon as you're done. (Please do not understand this legalistically, but rather as a rule of thumb.)

    God’s promise

    “[3] That person [who delights in the word of God and meditates on it day and night] is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.”

    Again, I am truly amazed by this promise. Who does not long to be that tree standing by the water, bearing rich fruits, and having leaves that do not wither? Imagine prospering in everything that you do (like fighting against sexual sin)*! Isn’t this our dream life? When I look around, especially seeing old brothers and sisters who have lived their whole lives for Christ, I can see that this promise has already proven to be true many times. It is not wishful thinking but a real promise that God will give to anyone who is willing to follow him wholeheartedly.
    *I don't think that this is to be understood materialistically but rather spiritually, so please don't take this to support the prosperity gospel heresy...

    How to achieve Freedom

    This thought is also used by our Lord in John 8:31-32: “If you abide in my words, you are truly my disciples. Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” Guys, there is freedom from sexual sin in abiding in the words of Christ!

    Another beautiful promise connected to abiding in Christ is mentioned in John 15:8: “If you abide in me and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” Is that not an amazing outlook and something that should motivate us? You wish for freedom from the slavery of sexual sin? Well, just abide in Christ, let his word abide in you and pray for delivery. It will be done for you.

    Just one additional pastoral thought that follows from all those Scriptures: Fruits do not grow over night. It is a process that takes a lot of time. So, let us be patient and not lose heart easily.

    Challenge for this week

    - Implement a daily Scripture-reading if you haven’t already. Find a way to meditate on the word of God “day and night”. One example: Write down on a piece of paper one thing that you learn about God from this Scripture and one thing about how this Scripture applies to your life. Have a look at this piece of paper regularly throughout the day.

    - Implement a fixed daily prayer time (for me this is after dinner). On top of this, I (optionally) challenge you to set several timers throughout the day, to have additional prayer times and have fellowship with the Lord throughout the day.

    - Do you have other ideas on how to implement those principles into real life? How do you stay connected to the vine? What are your experiences concerning this? Let me know
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2020
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  9. Knowing your sacred pathway can also be a help in learning how you "connect" with God. Through understanding this better, it becomes possible to realize more fully the instruction we have to "pray without ceasing" (1 Thessalonians 5) -- essentially, to always be connected to Christ, communing with him, abiding in him.

    https://irp-cdn.multiscreensite.com/2988a589/files/uploaded/sacred-pathways.pdf
     
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  10. Kyrie eleison!

    Kyrie eleison! Fapstronaut

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    Being changed by the beauty of God
    To close the first part about being changed by the Gospel, we come to another very helpful principle which is based on 2 Corinthians 3:17-18, where it says:

    “Now the Lord is the Spirit,
    and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

    And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord,
    are being transformed into the same image
    from one degree of glory to another.
    For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.”

    This verse shows us a very simple but powerful principle: the more we behold the glory of our Lord, the more we will be changed into his image, more and more reflecting his glory and beauty. It is like Moses, when he came down from the mountain where he had met with God, and his face was shining so brightly, that the Israelites had to cover it because they could not endure such brightness. The same transformation will take place in us when we sit in front of God’s throne and gaze at his beauty. And the more we behold the glory of God, the more we will be transformed into his image. (By the way, this is God’s plan for your life, as we can see in Romans 8:29, where it says that we shall be transformed into the image of his son.)

    One very natural consequence of seeing the beauty of the Lord is, that it will make sin look more and more ugly. Sin is always fake, it perverts God’s beautiful design and maybe gives us some short-term pleasure in the first moment but leaves us more broken and empty afterwards. Also, the more we see the glory of God, the more we will be willing to trust and obey him.

    In one of the books I read, I found an interesting metaphor: Imagine, your mind is a dirty lake. What should you do, to get it clean? Well, the first and most important step should probably be to stop that dirty sewage from constantly flowing into the lake. But the lake will stay dirty for a while, until more and more clean water comes flowing in and replaces the dirty water. In the same way, it will not be enough to just “stop watching porn”, because those dirty thoughts, that flowed into our brains for so long, will not just go away, but we have to fill our minds with good things, the things of God. (I think, this idea was found in “Every Man’s Battle” by Arterburn and Stoeker)

    How can put this into practice?

    First, read the Bible and have fellowship with God and believers regularly. Do not just read the Bible out of duty, but intentionally watch out for beauties of God that you can worship him for. Talk with other believers about the beautiful facets of God that you have discovered.

    Secondly, pray for God to open your eyes for his beauty. The beauty of God is like the beauty of a diamond, it has a million different facets. If you turn a diamond just one degree, it will shine in a whole different beauty than before. It’s the same way with our God. Alone the beauty of his creation is overwhelming. But then there is also the beauty of the incarnation of God in Jesus Christ, his life, death and resurrection and so much more beauty of his character which is shown throughout all the Scriptures. Also, there is beauty in the work of the Holy Spirit which happens every day in this world.

    Challenge

    - Start a conversation with a close friend or accountability partner about the beauty of God – which aspects of his beauty are most beautiful to you right now?


    If you need more ressources, I can highly recommend the following sermon:

     
    Akeakua, judson, tyrharper and 2 others like this.
  11. KBF

    KBF Fapstronaut

    Started watching this thread. May God bless you for preparing and sharing this material.
     
    Kyrie eleison! likes this.
  12. ndrew

    ndrew Fapstronaut

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    I read that book: "Heath Lambert: Finally Free", but I don't find an accountability mentor that I read in this book.
    And even if I find one, I hardly start the Accountability with it, because I'm afraid of failures.
    If I do the sin, it is much more shame with a partner because I have to confess.
     
  13. We are instructed to confess to one another if we want to be made whole.

    James 5:16(a)
    Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.
     
    Akeakua and Kyrie eleison! like this.
  14. Kyrie eleison!

    Kyrie eleison! Fapstronaut

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    Another very helpful guide (especially for younger folks), that was published by a German based youtube ministry yesterday:



    I really like that they emphasize the importance of repentance, our new identity and walking in the spirit. So, I recommend to watch this video as well, it's a good summary of the freedom principles that Scripture shows us! God bless.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2020
    Tao Jones likes this.

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