This post is following a great post by Jeff Fisher of Porn to Purity titled, “10 ESSENTIALS FOR THOSE NEW TO RECOVERY FROM SEXUAL SIN.” I would like to expand on a couple of the 10 points made by Jeff.
First, number 5: “Recovery has little to do with our outward behavior.” Obviously that in no way means it doesn’t matter what your behavior is. It’s a wee bit difficult to be in recovery and still do the same things that you were doing before. That is simply denial. The writer stated very effectively that “Recovery” is more contingent on what is happening inside our hearts. I would quote Romans 6:11, “In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.” I have used this verse many times for myself and others in the pursuit of overcoming many areas of struggle. We seem to like to say, “I am dead to that area. I am no longer making myself available to that sin or rebellion or area of struggle. I am just going to stop as if in regards to that I am no longer alive. Then we have success in that area for a while, maybe even a significant time. But then it seems to creep back into our lives and rear it’s ugly head once again.
Then the deep guilt and loss of hope begins to eat at us. “I will never be able to do this!” I keep trying and just can’t succeed.” But we never make it to part “B” of that verse, In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.” We need to be alive to something. We can say we are dead to sin, but we are living active beings in a living active world that is filled with temptations and ways to give CPR to our old sin nature that just needs to look at that porn, or smoke that joint, or drink that beer, or eat that doughnut. We must replace the desires with offering up ourselves to the Lord.
I love the encouragement found in Psalm 71:
“In you, O LORD, I have taken refuge;
let me never be put to shame.
Rescue me and deliver me in your righteousness;
turn your ear to me and save me.
Be my rock of refuge,
to which I can always go;
give the command to save me,
for you are my rock and my fortress…
…For you have been my hope, O Sovereign LORD…
Be not far from me, O God;
come quickly, O my God, to help me…
…as for me, I will always have hope;
I will praise you more and more…
…Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter,
you will restore my life again;
from the depths of the earth
you will again bring me up.
You will increase my honor
and comfort me once again.”
The key to recovery is not a super human resolution in our heart to stop. Don’t misunderstand, you need to make a decision to have zero tolerance and say that’s it no more. But fill the inside with the life giving hope of being alive to Christ. That is the key to permanent life giving life changing transformation in our lives regardless of the area of struggle.
This is where point number ten brings the life. “God is close and wants to bear the burden with you.” God is not embarrassed by you for what you are struggling with. He doesn’t leave when you are struggling, He won’t run from your presence when you are making poor choices. He is there to help in the middle of the most disturbing of circumstances because He will never leave you or wash His hands of you regardless of what you are involved with. Those of us that have children perhaps have an upper hand in understanding this because I personally would take a bullet for my son. Regardless of where, what or with whom, I will always be there as long as I have breath to rescue my son when he needs me. I, however don’t represent a fraction of the love that God has for us and His willingness to rescue me. He did after all send His son to die for me and you so we could turn to Him for help. I don’t think He would do that and then turn His back on us when we need Him to help us overcome.
But, similar to the above point, we must turn to Him, we must desire His help, we must make ourselves alive to Him. 2 Corinthians 10:4 says this: “We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments.” Human reasoning that says, “ A little won’t hurt… It just makes me long for my wife… it is just in my imagination, I’m not acting on it… it doesn’t hurt anyone… I can quit anytime I want… etc. etc.” God is right beside us to help us not settle for “good enough.”