Day 1 – Freedom Is Like Riding a Bike

Do you remember learning how to ride a bike? In the beginning, you likely had training wheels which helped keep you from falling. This was helpful for a season, but eventually, the day comes when you inevitably have to take off the training wheels and progress to the next stage. Here, you have to find your balance, learn how to pedal to create momentum, and how to make the necessary adjustments to keep yourself from falling. 

Not falling is a big deal when you are learning to ride a bike. It consumes you. Inevitably, you fall a few times, skin your knees, and get some gravel in your hands. Naturally, you begin to do whatever it takes to avoid repeating that painful experience in the future. 

For the first season of learning to ride a bike, not falling takes a huge amount of focus. Then, as you progress, it becomes less of a concern. Eventually, there comes a time when you barely have to think about falling at all. 

And here’s the thing—are you ready for it? Getting free from porn and stubborn struggles in our lives feels a lot like learning to ride a bike.  

In the beginning, it feels like most of your conscious energy is put toward the goal of not falling. To this end, you take steps to protect yourself. You have some “training wheels” in place, along with some other mechanisms of protection. But over time, as you find your balance and rhythm, the journey becomes less and less about not falling, and more about just riding. You begin to enjoy going places you couldn’t before. You feel the fresh wind in your face and the exhilaration of racing over the pavement on a summer day. You make memories riding together with friends, laughing, racing, and having fun together. It’s liberating. 

Said another way, you begin to feel alive. 

Whatever your reason for getting free—that’s really the point, isn’t it? You want to feel alive. And if you feel like that’s not a very spiritual reason, you don’t have to worry. Look no further than the words of Jesus himself:

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full..” —John 10:10 NIV, emphasis added

If you ask the average church-going Christian why Jesus came, you’ll probably get an answer like, “Jesus came to die on the cross for our sins” or “He came to save the world.” Answers like that might answer the what—but they fail to address the why. Jesus’s birth, life, death, and resurrection had a mission behind it—and that mission is this. He wanted to bring us back to life and lead us into the life God has for us. 

Why doesn’t God want you to look at porn? Is it because He needs you to follow rules for Him to be happy—or is it because he knows where looking at porn will take you, and he is grieved when you walk away from the life He created you for and into death? 

Read this next statement very carefully. Write it down. Recite it. Memorize it. Do whatever you need to do to get it deep within you. 

Jesus doesn’t want me to look at porn because He knows it leads to death, and His heart for me is that I would be fully alive. 

That’s what this journey is all about. This is about nothing less than getting your life back. 

And if we want life—if we want the life to the full that Jesus talks about—we have to go after it His way. What is His way? That’s what we are going to be diving into in the remainder of the next 30 days. See you tomorrow in day 2 of this journey. 


Day 1 Freedom Work

Scripture Reading — Read John chapter 10 several times slowly. 

Journaling Exercises — Answer the following questions at length in your journal. Aim to write for about 5-7 minutes per question:

  • What has been the fruit of porn in your life? What has been its effect on your relationships? Your view of yourself? Your view of others? Has porn led you to the life you want? Where has it led you—to death or life? In what ways?
  • What is the life you want? Where could you be in three months, a year, and five years if you stopped struggling with porn? Be very specific here. In this future without porn, what does your family look like? How do you feel personally? If you are married, what does your marriage look like? Is this something you really want, or are you OK with the way things are? If it is something you really want, what is keeping you from stepping into a life without porn?

Prayer — Jesus, I thank you that you have come that I may have life, and have it to the full. Help me to trust you here, and to let go of things that have led me to death. I want life—true life—the life you offer, and I recognize that to get there, I need your leading in my life. You are the good shepherd. Help me to trust that you are leading me to life even when I do not understand what you are doing or asking of me. I repent of my broken attempts to find life outside of you. Help me to make you my very life. 

Tax Information

Messenger International is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. Your contribution over and above the fair market value of any goods or services received is tax deductible as allowed by law in the United States.

© 1992-2021 Messenger International

Dr. Joseph Serwadda's Story

Over the past decade, numerous pastors and leaders from all over the world have been crying out (and even begging us) for discipleship resources in their language. This may sound extreme, but in America we have an abundance of books and resources that are available to us that are often taken for granted. In many ways, we have access to excess.

In some developing nations, people have never seen a book in their language. When leaders from these nations are given a book, they treat it as sacred gift! They even hand-write books and Bibles word for word so that they can spread this message of hope to others in their sphere of influence.

Dr. Joseph Serwadda, a leader from Uganda who oversees a group of churches that number approximately 27,000, echoes this need among pastors and leaders all over the world: “Our biggest need is not money or bigger buildings, but solid teaching. We lack literature for people to read and study on their own. The more people we have in church who are less instructed in the Word of God, the less solidity we have. Come and help us preserve the harvest. This is a Macedonian call!”

Pastor Yassir's Story

Over the years, Cubans have long suffered under the oppression of a single message: communism. Despite this challenge, Yassir is committed to sharing a new message with his people, a message of transformation that can lead to national revival.

Cubans, in general, have been conditioned toward communistic consumption. That’s why Yassir wants his people to embrace a new identity: a life defined by what they can give. This shift requires growth and maturity that can only come through a new perspective.

He explained, “The Cuban church is strong and filled with passion. But I believe it’s important that we shift our mentality. We need to see how the Gospel goes beyond our own needs. Ultimately, we need to take responsibility for ourselves and our nation, and not just wait for outside intervention.”

There aren’t many Christian resources in Cuba. So, Pastor Yassir’s church, along with many other churches throughout Cuba, have been profoundly impacted by the resources Messenger International has provided for them in their own language.

In our conversations with Pastor Yassir, he often cited an ancient proverb: Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you’ve fed him for a lifetime. He sees MessengerX as a tool both to feed his people and teach them to fish.

It’s become evident that after many years in our ministry, the most effective way to transform a village or town is not to construct a church building. This just keeps the local leadership dependent on us.

We are much more effective if we give the indigenous leaders such as Pastor Yassir spiritual knowledge that will empower them to influence their village, town, or city. Such knowledge helps produce the faith needed to grow and sustain the work, which, if necessary, will include buildings and other resources.

Stories like Pastor Yassir’s fuel our mission, because we believe that everyone deserves to know life-transforming truth!

Nura's Story

Before Nura became a follower of Christ, her life was a living hell.
After the death of her husband—from whom she endured many years of abuse and suffering—she became a widow with four children. In search of peace and inner healing, she sought solace in religious places and practices, which only led her deeper into depression and financial debt.

Her last resort was Jesus.

“I came to the Christian church and begged for help! I accepted Christ after I heard of the promise of peace and healing that is found in Him,” Nura wrote. “I slowly began to recover, but there was one thing hindering my healing—unforgiveness.”
Filled with regrets, Nura struggled to forgive her husband. But the grip of offense began to weaken when her pastor handed her a copy of The Bait of Satan.

“I forgave my husband after I learned how much I, too, needed forgiveness,” shared Nura. “Now I am healed, and I have peace for the first time in my life. Some even say I look ten years younger!”


Pastor Raphael's Story

Pastor Raphael was raised in Kenya, immersed in a culture of darkness. As a child, he lacked affection because his father believed that strong men don’t show love. He continually witnessed his father beat and belittle his mother. Everywhere he looked, insidious behavior was practiced toward women and infants—families were being destroyed and lives were ending before they had a chance to begin.

This was the destiny Raphael was headed toward.

But everything changed when truth entered the scene. The first area to be transformed was Raphael’s heart—which, in turn, transformed his marriage and his family. And with a strong and healthy family, his whole outlook toward life has changed.

“Through the resources of Messenger International, a relentless passion was ignited in me to see the people of my country free from lies,” shared Raphael. “I discovered my purpose to train up others and bring God’s transforming truth to remote villages.”

Raphael has trekked miles through mud and rain to reach people, often rising early and returning late. He would travel over 50 miles a day with his bicycle—but through the generosity of the MessengerX community, he was given a motorcycle, which has enabled him to double his efforts while easily transporting the resources and supplies he needs to facilitate his classes. Raphael has seen over 200 of his students graduate in the villages he serves.

“Thank you for investing in my people,” expressed Raphael. “Each day tribal warriors are transformed into children of God, marriages are infused with love, and the innocent are protected. Your generosity has given us the tools we need to rewrite our story and reclaim our humanity.”

Dahlia's Story

Formerly a Muslim, Dahlia fled to Turkey after she was expelled from her Iranian school and excommunicated by her family. Her crime? Becoming a Christian.

You can now find Dahlia in a refugee camp, far from what she once called home. But despite the upheaval, she has found purpose in her pain. On a daily basis, Dahlia walks through her makeshift town and prays over the people. They have become her people—the audience of her message.

Dahlia has become a messenger, and she is often spotted lovingly serving those around her and sharing her faith with them. Despite language barriers, people are drawn to her because they see something different in her. And what’s amazing is that she’s not only reaching the people in her refugee camp, she’s also impacting those she left behind in Iran.

“I’ve had calls from Iran,” writes Dahlia. “People who mocked me because of my faith now believe in Jesus and want to know more. So, I tell them about MessengerX, which has a lot of translated discipleship resources.”

As we continue to provide people like Dahlia with life-transforming truth in their own language, we’re helping them grow in their faith and discover their purpose—and we’re equipping them to make a difference in their world.

“I am beyond thankful for all of the books that I’ve been able to read in my language, such as Driven by Eternity, translated in Farsi,” shared Dahlia. “I read them again and again. The messages keep me company in this lonely season, and they inspire me to reveal Jesus to the hurting people all around me.”