Today, we are going to explore a simple truth. If you’ve struggled with porn (or anything else) for any amount of time, you identify with the words of the Apostle Paul in Romans 7:
“I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate.” (Romans 7:15 NLT)
“I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me.” (Romans 7:21-23 NLT)
At one point or another, we’ve all felt like this. We want deep down to do the right thing, but we also wrestle with powerful desires that can seem to take control of us and pull us in the opposite direction. And while this can make us feel powerless—you are never without choice. Just take a look at the words Paul writes,
“Don’t you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living. Thank God! Once you were slaves of sin, but now you wholeheartedly obey this teaching we have given you. Now you are free from your slavery to sin, and you have become slaves to righteous living.” (Romans 6:16-18 NLT, emphasis added)
However powerless you feel at times, God’s Word says you have a choice. You can choose to obey God. You have to stand on that.
Today’s idea is a simple one. The way you got into your struggle is also the way you get out. Over time we condition ourselves by the things we say yes to and the things we say no to. You got into your struggle by continually saying yes to the wrong thing. The way out is by continually saying yes to the right thing. There is no other way out than consistently making different choices—and you can make different choices. Don’t ever buy into the lie that you are stuck or that you can’t change because of your past or whatever else the enemy throws at you.
Whatever it is that you face, you can overcome it.
“The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.” (1 Corinthians 10:13 NLT)
You have a choice. The way into the life Jesus offers you is to begin using that choice differently.
Day 7 Freedom Work
Scripture Reading — Read Romans 6-7 and 1 Corinthians 10
Journaling Exercises — Answer the following questions at length in your journal. Aim to write for about 5-7 minutes per question:
- Do you feel like you don’t have a choice when it comes to temptation or do you feel that giving in is inevitable? Does this agree with what you see in God’s Word?
- Do you take full responsibility for your choices, or do you shift the blame for your actions to something outside of your control? What would it look like to fully own your choices, good and bad?
Prayer — Father, I do not want to agree with any lies of the enemy that I am powerless and must therefore eventually fall. Thank you that whatever temptation I face, I always have a choice, and I can use that choice to obey you. Expose any lies I’ve believed that I am stuck and cannot get out. I see that your Word says that I have a choice to obey you, and I choose to stand on that over anything I feel to the contrary. I know what it is to be a slave to sin. I’ve tasted the death that sin leads to. I want the life you offer instead. By your Spirit, help me to know what it is to be a slave of righteousness and lead me into life.