Strap yourselves in for today’s freedom reading. We are going to do some deep digging and expose the root of addiction to porn (and any other stubborn sinful behavior). But to get there, we have to go back in time. Way back. All the way back to the beginning of everything.
(At this point, please pause and take some time to read Genesis chapters 1 through 3, as this will prepare you for the rest of today’s reading.)
If you’ve been a Christian for any length of time, you are no doubt familiar with these passages of Scripture. But as best as you can, let’s try to look at this story with fresh eyes. Let’s hit a few of the cliff-notes.
In chapter 1, God creates everything, and it’s good. Then God creates mankind, blesses them, and for the first time says over His creation that it is very good. Pay attention to how many times the word “good” shows up in chapter one. What God creates is good. He is the author and creator of everything good. There’s more to chapter one than that, but if you are looking for a top level summary, that hits some of the main points.
Then in chapter 2, we uncover a more personal telling of the creation story. This time, God creates a man, Adam, and places him in a garden, Eden. God then gives him a command. Verse 15 reads,
“And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it, you shall surely die.” (ESV)
Again, note the reason for God’s command—He knows that eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil will lead Adam to death, and he does not want that for Adam.
God then goes on to say that it is not good for Adam to be alone. He then gives him a job—to name the animals—but as he does so, no suitable helper for him is found. Then God causes him to go into a deep sleep, and fashions the woman (who we will refer to as Eve, the name given to her by Adam at the end of chapter 3), and brings Adam and Eve together. Note that the final creation is not man or woman, but marriage. The culmination of God’s creation is when he brings the man and the woman together to be one.
Now let’s skip ahead a little to the beginning of chapter 3. Enter the serpent. He comes into the story saying,
“Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden?’” (v2, ESV)
The story continues,
“And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, let you die.” But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (v2—5, ESV)
Let’s pause for a minute and take note of a few things going on here, because, as you will see, each one of us can find ourselves in this story.
…In order to get us to go against God, the enemy must first get us to doubt the goodness of God, and must get us to look outside of what God, the creator of all that is good, has given us for our enjoyment and sustenance. God, who is good, had richly blessed them with the ability to eat from a myriad of trees—with only one restriction. But the enemy, seeking to pervert the way they saw God, got them to take their eyes off of everything God had given them to the one thing he hadn’t, planting a seed of doubt that God was truly good.
It’s only after this seed of doubt entered into Eve’s mind—that God was withholding from them and that perhaps He could not be fully trusted—that we read this:
“…when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked.” (v6–7, ESV)
So what happened here? If we can get some insight into what led Adam and Eve to fall into the enemy’s trap, we will gain insight into why we fall into temptation.
At the end of the day, it all comes down to this, so if you get nothing else out of this lesson, make sure you take this idea to heart.
Adam and Eve fell into the enemy’s trap and sinned when they doubted that God was good and could be trusted.
What began as unbelief in God’s goodness eventually led them to act out their unbelief by taking the forbidden fruit. They bought into the lie that there was goodness to be found outside of what God had given them, and it cost them dearly.
Here is a truth you can take to the bank—the areas of your life where you struggle with sin are the areas where you do not fully believe He is good. Wherever we don’t believe God is good, we will not be able to trust Him, and we will inevitably get stuck and fall into bondage. When we get a revelation that God is love and that He and that His heart toward us is always good, we begin a beautiful journey of repentance. The way we see things is fundamentally transformed by His love and goodness toward us—and we are set free to live differently.
We were created for goodness. When we doubt God’s goodness, we will go looking for it elsewhere. The fruit of this is death. How does this apply to our sexuality? It’s simple, really. When we don’t trust that God’s heart toward us is good, and that only His ways will lead us to life, we start pursuing goodness in things like lust, porn, and other forms of unhealthy, broken pursuits. But as you are well aware, this does not lead us to the life we desire, but rather to death. It cripples relationships, causes division, dehumanizes us and others, degrades the imago Dei, the image of God in us, leading to pain, shame, and brokenness.
Thankfully, God has so much more in store for us than to leave us in our sin. As you stay the course and lean into His love, He will lead you back to life.
Day 2 Freedom Work
Scripture Reading — Read Genesis 1-3 slowly and carefully.
Journaling Exercises — Answer the following questions at length in your journal. Aim to write for about 5-7 minutes per question:
- Adam and Eve fell when they doubted the goodness of God and pursued goodness elsewhere. Where do you struggle to see God as good? Do you feel like you can fully trust him? Do you feel like He is withholding from you? Get gut level honest here. It’s not about getting the “church” answer. It’s about getting a clear window into the root of your struggle.
- What lies does the enemy have to get you to believe about God before you give into temptation?
- How does doubting the goodness of God tie into your sexual struggles with porn and lustful fantasy? What would your life look like if you truly believed God’s heart for you was good and that He could be fully trusted to lead you to life in this specific area?
Prayer: Father, I thank you that though I often struggle to see it, you love me and your heart towards me is good. Help me to see the areas where I struggle to trust you. Expose any lies I have given place to and bring light to the things I cannot see. Help me to trust that you are good to me all the time, and that I can only experience true life if I follow your lead. Show me the specific areas that I struggle to see you as good—and break the lies I have believed about you that have held me captive. I have tasted death, and I have seen the broken promises of the enemy time and again in my life. I want more. I want the life you offer. Amen.