I met up with Craig Gross this past Saturday morning in the town of Steamboat Springs, they call it Ski Town USA. It is a small town in an incredible setting; it is a place where the beauty of Gods creation is literally on all sides of you. But it is a small town in the sense that everyone knows everyone.
A lot of my youth was spent in small town Nebraska. I loved it as I look back and I know (now) that I was very fortunate for the experience…but sometimes it was not fun, like when everyone knew your business. If you got in trouble, the whole county knew. If your grades were poor, everyone knew; who you dated…everyone knew.
On this blog we talk about shame because it is the tool which satan uses to silence us. It is such a huge part of finding your way out of this; facing your fears. God is there to help us but satan will tell me all the negative things about what will happen if I share my struggle..and then I begin to “Future Trip”.
Future Tripping is when I know (I actually make it all up) everything that will happen to me in the future. For me, I knew if I sought help for this addiction everyone would “stone” me. I would lose every thing, I would never be able to show my face, I would never be able to be involved in a church again…you men know what I mean. I would imagine all the worst things I could think of and KNOW they would come true…it was so real…that is Future Tripping and it is not of God. God knows this is of satan and instructs us in the New Testament not to do it.
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Many of us stay in bondage because of future tripping. What I witnessed in this small town this weekend was truly a work of God. This room at the community center was packed with great men of God. Not only did this event draw so many people, but there were pastors there from almost every church in the city, from every denomination. These men came to an event where the signs said “Porn and Pancakes”!
A man by the name of Buck had assisted God in bringing this event together. Craig Gross of xxxchurch.com spoke to the men about the bondage of pornography…and I watched in amazement. My thoughts were filled of my own small town and what this experience would be like…but God was there and the men were there and the churches were there…and so was one other great man of God…
At the very end, a local man came forward and shared a gut wrenching story of his life long battle of sexual addiction. This man grew up in Steamboat and commented on the fact that many of the men in the room had known him since birth. He shared his struggle with masturbation, pornography and things he had done to cover up his addiction…many in that room were hearing this for the very first time…but God was there. This man…this great man of God seemed to do this without showing fear…I was in awe of his strength…I sensed freedom in his words…
“Then you will know the truth , and the truth will set you free.”
There was one more person who left me in awe of the power of God, my 13 year old son. He spoke (for the first time) in front of this large group of men and shared the hurt and the pain I had caused in his short life…thank you son…I am sorry for this pain, but watching you use it to the glory of God left me thinking of one more scripture…
And a voice came from heaven: “You are my son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”
I remember future tripping…I remember KNOWING that I had no future, no reason to live. I remember the day I decided to end it all…you see I had no family, no company, no job…life was over. I had been told by Christian leaders of churches I could never be in a leadership position in a church ever again…Satan lies, it is the only thing he does to absolute perfection. Do not live in the imagined future; live in this day which God has given you, it is such a beautiful gift.
What are you future tripping about? What truth would set you free? What lie stands between you and the freedom of the Truth?
As my son and I enjoyed the rest of the weekend…we went bike riding on the bike paths, we went to a great service at Steamboat Christian Center, we went to the rodeo that night. Through out the remainder of our stay people would come up and thank us for what we had shared at the breakfast. Thank you Steamboat’s great men (and ladies) of God…thank you for sharing a great small town experience with my son and I. Also, thank you to who ever it was who bought our dinner that night, it was yet another memory of small towns and the power of friendship.
Thank you Steamboat…God shows up there in a big way and it is no wonder with such great Christian leadership throughout your community.
God bless you all and thank you for your strength and your courage…
Steve G and my son.