Day 2 – The Root Cause of our Struggle with Sin

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.

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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.”