For many years, I was in the church. I prayed the “sinners prayer“, I even got baptized when I was twelve. I had no idea what I was doing. I was told it was “an outward showing of an inward reality“. But the truth was, I never gave Jesus my life. I was lost, and thought I was found. I was deceived, and there are a lot of people in that place.
Around the same time when I was twelve, one of my brothers was looking up porn on the computer, and he showed it to me. I was shocked by what I saw, but very intrigued. The image never left my mind. One look, and I wanted more. The lie had already told me that it was sweet, and I went in deeper. I can’t really say that I felt shame back then, because I didn’t really care. I just wanted to feel excited. I was a “Christian“, so sex outside of marriage wasn’t going to happen. (Although I thought about it all the time.) Thank God I never did, but I was close to it a few times.
Lust was eating me alive every day. I would look at women and imagine doing things with them. My parents found porn on the computer, and they knew I was looking at it. I remember one particular day, my dad confronted me about it. He was so angry, and I knew I couldn’t tell him the truth. I lied to his face. He was furious. He said “If I ever catch you, you’re going to be grounded for a month and that’s just the start.” With a threat like that, you would think I got the hint and stopped. Nope. I just decided to not get caught.
I didn’t really realize how bad of a state I was in. I thought it was normal. After all, I was taught that I was a “sinner saved by grace“. So being a man, of course I was addicted to porn. That’s what guys do. (What a lie.) NO. Men are strong. Men adore women, and don’t objectify them. Men protect women and cover them, they don’t remove their covering.
So, about 2013, I moved out with my good friend Peter. I was room mates with him for 6 months. During that time away, God began to prod my heart. I felt His pursuit for the first time. I had a nagging feeling that He was chasing after me. Often when I was younger, I would hear people talk about the presence of God, and it would intrigue me, but I didn’t understand. I never felt the presence of God. I remember while I was moved out, I went into my literal closet to meet with God, and all I felt was fear. I was now starting to feel ashamed.
So I wondered, am I really saved? I started to think, if I’m not actually saved, then having a false sense of security won’t do me very good on judgement day. A year passed by after I moved back home. April 2015, I was on my computer looking at Christian videos, because God was chasing me. A movie popped up on YouTube called, “The End of Churchianity.” I did not like the title. However, a thought appeared in my mind. “Lee, watch this movie.” I’m like, “Am I going crazy? Because, I don’t want to watch this.” The thought returned. “Lee, watch this movie right now.” Eventually I gave in, because it was compelling me to watch. (I now realize that was the voice of God.)
I was a mess at the end of this movie. I finally understood what it really meant to be saved. No one would tell me. I’m not saying that people don’t talk about that, I’m just saying that no one I knew really told me. This line changed my life, “What we have in the western world is this fluffy Churchianity that doesn’t get anybody anywhere. There’s no real salvation in my opinion. A real saved person is a disciple. A real saved person will leave everything and go if that’s what Jesus wants them to do.” It finally hit me, “I’m not a real saved person.”
Then a song played toward the end of the movie;
Take me to your holy place
Cover me with endless grace
I cried and cried and cried. I said to God, “God, I don’t even know You. I know about You. Take my life, do whatever You want. It’s yours.” Then, I deleted ALL of the history of pornography on my computer. I got rid of ALL of the old pictures of girlfriends. That night, I surrendered. Immediately and totally, the addiction to porn stopped. It was over. Not one day have I looked at porn since that day. That night, for the first time, I felt the presence of God fall on me.
I was overcome by love and acceptance. This time I knew it. I was in, and not out. I was loved and accepted. God chased after my heart, and broke me free from prison. I had been delivered.
What was the difference? Why after 11 years was I finally made free? I tried to stop before, but couldn’t. You see, we were all made to be “addicted” to God. So I couldn’t just stop watching porn, I needed a replacement. Jesus became my replacement. And when I tell my story, the good news is proclaimed over and over again.
You see my friend, nothing you have done is too evil for God to forgive. No sickness is too great for God to heal. And no demon is too strong for God to deliver you from. Jesus went to the cross. He paid for every thing that we needed to be back in relationship with God. He didn’t argue with His accusers. He didn’t try to fight them. He willingly laid it all down because He IS love.
“But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, And as a sheep before its shearers is silent, So He opened not His mouth.”
Isaiah 53:5-7 NKJV
Friend, no matter how deep you are in porn addiction, God can free you. Nothing you are doing is new. You are not alone. I have been where you are, and God has come to set you free. You can be strong. Wether you are a man or a woman, Jesus is strong enough to set you free.