Everything happens in cycles. Start, engage, disengage, restart.
Sadly, more believers are trapped in the cycle of lust than what we are willing to admit. Resulting in many trips to the altar to repent. Even when the prison door to your cell is open, men and women refuse to walk out and really be free of porn and masturbation.
But first, let’s look at some serious statistics.
According to one source….”95% of men admit to masturbating, compared to 89% of women. For married individuals, the rate is 70% for both men and women.”
Fewer married Christian men (61%) admit to masturbating, only 13% consider the practice NORMAL.”
More than 40% of males and 22% of females admit to masturbating daily. 55% of men and 48% of women masturbate at least once a week.”
As with any statistic, under reporting exists. We cannot “bump up” these numbers because we don’t know how many are not admitting to masturbating. Speculation destroys any chance at reaching the truth. Therefore, let’s just assume that these numbers are as close to correct as possible.
But what happens is that many of us are in remorse. There is a difference between remorse and repentance.
Remorse has a lot to do with being sorry that you got caught or the emotional pain of sinning again when you told the Lord that you would never do it again.
Working repentance is out of “godly sorrow….leading to salvation, not to be regretted.”
Working repentance declares that you are serious about stopping the cycle. You no longer want to walk in darkness while claiming to be a child of the light. This is hypocrisy.
“He that covers his sin shall not prosper but he that confess and forsake his sin shall obtain mercy.”
That’s Proverbs 28:13.
This is what we do when we cover our sin. Notice 1 John 1:6 from the NLT… “So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practicing the truth.”
We find ourselves suppressing the truth and we deceive ourselves to engage in the pleasures of sin for a season.
Why? After the “remorse,” the urges and impulses return and we do the same sin over and over again. This is what born again believers do everyday. Those that profess faith in Jesus, go to church, read their Bibles, sing praise and worship songs, etc.
After many episodes of feeling the pain of watching porn, you get to the point where you want to get rid of porn. However, you have to ask the question. “What is driving you to watch porn?”
It’s called fulfilling the desires of the flesh and the mind to engage in masturbation. Self sex. Solo sex. Mono sex.
Porn is an accelerant. Porn brings intensity to solo sex. But it won’t be long before you will act on the temptation to commit adultery, fornication, homosexuality, or become a whoremonger.
Millions of men and women go through this every day. But something happens after you experience the pain of remorse.
The reset button was hit to engage in more sexual gratification.
What will it take for me to break free?
Galatians 5:22 says “The fruit of the Spirit is………self control…”
When you are not under control, something or someone else is. Something or someone else is ruling your life. Something or someone else is your god and lord.
In the world and even among professed believers, many have fallen prey to the lie that “masturbation is healthy.”
According to several sources, studies “suggests” that masturbation prevents “prostate or cervical cancer.”
Really? Think about how dumb this is.
As I was deceiving myself with the false notion of justifying masturbation, these and other arguments circled my head because of my refusal to sever emotional ties to the pleasures of masturbation.
CNN did a study about prostate cancer. The men that were diagnosed with an aggressive form of prostate cancer were men that engaged in adultery. This is not to suggest in any way that masturbation is connected to prostate cancer. Neither should we assume that a suggestion gives a green light to masturbate to avoid or reduce the risk of prostate or cervical cancer.
Let’s get back to spiritual morals based on the Word of God.
It’s about self control or the lack thereof.
To escape the cycle of lust, a man or a woman that is a child of God must look to the sexual discipline of the Lord Jesus.
Paul articulated the kind of discipline that Jesus employed when He walked the earth.
Look at 1 Corinthians 9:27. “But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.”
While this is on the level for preachers, it is good for disciples too.
We need to discipline our bodies. In other words, we must tell our body not to engage in sexual immorality. It takes the help of the Holy Spirit to obey the Word of God to refrain from porn and masturbation. Just in the area of masturbation, it is a very tough habit to break and it takes constant vigilance to maintain your sanctification.
Preachers in particular are disqualified from ministering to people when we fail to maintain our sanctification.
The initial deliverance is met with jubilation. You believe that you are free. Everyone is excited but what happens afterwards is the moment of truth.
You are by yourself. You get the feeling that the urges and impulses are returning. You are on the Internet. Or you are walking the street and a hot looking woman or man walks by you. You take a peak, a glance, a stare. The magazine stand has a smoking hot body and you “check it out.”
The image is fixated in your mind. You meditate on it. And next thing you know, your flesh craves for what it had a day or two ago.
The moment of truth always comes at just the right moment when you thought you had it all together.
It is there that the Lord is with you according to 1 Corinthians 10:13.
“No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”
God will not allow that temptation to overcome your will to resist.
2 Corinthians 12:9 says “And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”
The Living Bible says “My grace shows up best in weak people.”
It is when you are weak that the moment of truth comes. But that’s the moment where His grace shows up strong. It is now left to you to accept this grace and overcome, or yield to temptation and be overcome.
James 4:7 says “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”
Successful resistance comes out of willful submission to God.
1 Peter 5:8-9 says, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.”
You must remain sober and vigilant at all times. Do not let your guard down for one split second.
This is what Jesus did and this is what Paul did.
They constantly kept a watch on their lives by submitting to the Lord in prayer and the Word of God. Jesus need to submit to His own Word. It is amazing that the Word submitted to His own Word.
This is how we end the cycle of lust for porn and masturbation. We constantly keep a watch on our spirit, soul, and body.
Proverbs 4:23 says, “Keep your hear with all diligence for out of it (your heart) flows the issues of life.”
Psalm 119:9-10 says, “How shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your Word. With my whole heart I have sought You; Oh, let me not wander from Your commandments! You Word have I hidden in my heart that I might not sin against You.”
Joshua 1:8 says “This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth but you shall meditate in it day and night that you may observe to do according to all that is written therein, for then you shall make your way prosperous and then you shall have good success.”
Guarding your heart is a day and night job. Paul said in Ephesians 4:27 “Neither give place to the devil.”
We close off all avenues where he once had access. Then we place a watch to prevent the enemy from returning.
2 Corinthians 10:4-5 says “For the weapons of our warfare are mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds, casting down imaginations (reasonings) and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.”