A number of years ago, I (John) had a friend who was addicted to smoking cigarettes. Despite knowing how bad the habit was for him, he would still find himself smoking four packs a day. For years, he prayed and asked God to set him free from it, but nothing changed.
Then, one day, he saw a friend in his church get instantly delivered from the same problem.
My friend was so frustrated.
Angry, he went to God and exclaimed, “I’ve been crying out to You for two years! Why haven’t You delivered me?!”
God spoke to him and said, “Because you still like it.”
He was stunned, overcome by the revelation that God couldn’t deliver him from something he still liked and desired. That’s because God will never override our free will. He repented, asking God to help him to stop desiring the very thing that kept him in bondage, and was instantly delivered. This man went from smoking four packs of cigarettes a day to none—and he’s been free till this day.
Paul exhorts us, “Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good” (Romans 12:9 NKJV).
If you want to get free, you can’t be double-minded. You must passionately hate the sin you want to be free from. It was only when my heart began to break over how my struggle with porn was breaking God’s heart that I began walking in freedom. When I started to see my sin the way God sees it—for the destructive, damaging, detestable thing that it was—I hated it through and through.
Pray that God would help you see your sin for what it is. Ask Him to help you hate it. When there is no part of you that still loves your sin, you’ll find it so much easier to let go of.
Day 5 Freedom Work
Scripture Reading — Read Romans 12, taking time to sit and really meditate on verse 9. Read James chapter 1 as well, noting how it applies to getting free.
Journaling Exercises — Answer the following questions at length in your journal. Aim to write for about 5-7 minutes per question:
- Take an honest assessment of yourself. Have you truly hated your sin through and through, or is there a part of you that still loves it?
- If you fully hated sin, and not just the negative effects it produces, what would that look like in your life? How would fully hating porn rather than having a love-hate relationship with it contribute to you getting free?
Prayer: Father, I repent of loving my sin. I have hated it in some ways, but in other ways, I have looked to it to meet my needs, and have struggled to fully hate it as you do. I recognize that you are not going to take control of me and force me to lay something down that I am still holding onto. Search my heart and show me the ways I have not fully hated my sin. By your Spirit, renew my mind so that I can fully hate that which kills, steals, and destroys. Give me eyes to see as you do—and may I not call anything good in any way that you have called evil. I want to be singular in my love for you and my hatred for evil. Help me to live with an undivided heart. Amen.