Recovery: Getting Started Part 1
Recovery: Getting Started Part 1
At PornFreeShameFree these are our desires for people in bondage of any kind:
Seeing God for who He really is
Understanding the purpose of life (worship)
Seeing our desperate need for the cross
Seeing ourselves as adopted by God the Father in Christ
Learn how to worship God with every ounce of our being
No matter the extent of bondage, learn how to pursue freedom
Free to Worship:
We were created by God and for God (Col. 1:15-16)
God is so big He is beyond our comprehension! (Isaiah 40:12-15)
God is holy & glorious (Isaiah 6:1-5; Exodus 33:18-23)
God is worthy of all our worship! (Deut. 6:4-9)
This includes everything!!!
Can’t worship, why? We fall short of His glory & holiness. (Romans 3:23)
We are in desperate need of the cross (Romans 3)
Jesus wants those who are in need. (Matt. 9:12)
Believers are adopted by God according to His pleasure & will, to the praise of His glorious grace. (Ephesians 1:5-6)
Christ’s love motivates & compels us to follow Him. (2 Corinthians 5:14-15)
Ask yourself this, "Am I free to worship Jesus and Jesus alone?" If yes, praise the Lord! If not, why not?
I promise I am asking myself the same questions. Let’s tear down idolatry! Why?
God is calling us to do this.
He is worthy of nothing less than our whole self worshiping Him!
Practical Things (Today we will look at CONFESSION and the whole idea of having a MENTOR/SPONSOR):
Identify the idol (My idol was pornography. What’s yours?)-
Identify what your area of struggle is. In essence, ask yourself, "Is there a false idol I am bowing down to?" To help you determine this, ask yourself, "What occupies my mind's attention and my heart's affection the majority of the time?" If it's not Jesus, then it might be idolatry.
Read Psalm 51 and confess your sin to God. God wants our hearts to be broken over our sin before Him. If you have never surrendered your life to Christ, now is the time to do it. Freedom only comes in Christ. After confessing to God, confess your sin to someone in spiritual authority who can help. Confess to those in your life that you have hurt because of your idolatry (parent, boyfriend, girlfriend, fiance, spouse, children, other family, friends, etc.)
It is possible that you are reading this and do not know God. Matthew 5:3 says the one who is poor in spirit is the one who experiences God's Kingdom. Poor in spirit simply means powerless. If you are battling idolatry on your own, please know that it will not work. Admit your powerlessness to Jesus! Surrender your life to Christ and in doing so you enter into a relationship with God!
If you do know Christ, I think it is really important to first repent of your sin to the Lord. When we do, 1 John 1:9 tells us that we experience His cleansing and forgiveness. This forgiveness you experience serves as a motivator to pursue freedom in Christ. Romans 2:4 says God's kindness leads us to repentance. Galatians 5:1 says it is for freedom that Christ set us free.
After you have confessed to the Lord, I think you need to find someone who is more mature in their walk to confess to. Galatians 6:1 tells us that the one who is more mature in the Lord is to restore the one in sin gently. This confession to one in spiritual authority can serve as accountability down the road as one is trying to pursue freedom.
The next confession is often the hardest. James 5 tells us the one who confesses experiences healing. I believe that you don't need to necessarily share great detail in confession, but you must, on some level, tell the people closest to you in your life that you have violated their trust. You then have to let them experience the various levels of anger and hurt that are to follow, but I believe it is a must to reveal your idolatrous struggle to them.
Why all of this confession? 1 John tells us that to have fellowship with God we must walk in the Light. If we want fellowship with other believers, then we must walk in the Light. This process of confession helps one get it in the Light. When it is in the Light, fellowship occurs. When fellowship occurs, growth occurs.
Therefore, confession is a step to begin or continue to grow spiritually. So what next? If you are in a mess, confess! Confess immediately! Confess today!
If you are not in a mess, pray that God would break the hearts of those walking in willful sin!
Find a mentor to meet with who understands how to walk in freedom from idolatry. It is ideal if you have someone further along the journey walking with you and leading you. Meet weekly if possible.
Contact this person daily to check in so they can hold you accountable. Be honest with them about your struggle each day. Do this for at least the first 30 days, sometimes longer.
MENTOR and SPONSOR (more details) -
It is extremely important to find someone to help you on the journey of life who has been where you have been. This is true in all of life, but especially as we try to tear down idols in our lives. How do you find this kind of mentor? Ask people in your life if they can help. Ask people in your life if they know someone who can help. As you look for a mentor, make sure it is someone of the same sex, and meet with them on a consistent basis.
Let's say you can't find a mentor. I would encourage you to pray and fast and request of the Lord to find you a mentor. Another option is to let certain authors you read mentor you through recovery. (Michael Cusick-Surfing for God (specific to sexual sin), Tim Keller-Counterfeit Gods, Apostle Paul-Romans 1-8, Ephesians 1-3, Colossians 1-2).
Ultimately the greatest mentor you can have is the Holy Spirit. If you have surrendered your life to Christ, then the Holy Spirit lives inside your life, and He wants to empower you and walk with you step for step (Ephesians 5:18, Galatians 5:16). If you will constantly run away from temptation and run to the Holy Spirit, He will lead you on your journey of recovery.
It is also great to find someone who can sponsor you as you go through idolatry recovery. Again, this needs to be someone of the same sex. Your sponsor cannot be your boyfriend/girlfriend, fiancee, or spouse. You contact this person every day (phone call, email, text). What do you tell them? You are honest with them. You tell them you ran away from idolatry that day or you gave in. This person's commitment to you is to pray for you on your journey of recovery. Contact them daily for at least 30 days. This helps you get in the habit of living in the light with your struggle! It is no longer a secret.
One of the things you will see in this portion of the recovery journey is the commitment required. It is hard to contact someone every day. It is hard to find a mentor. It is hard to not get discouraged during the search to find a mentor. Question: How committed are you to this sin not being in your life?
For me personally, it was very humbling to contact someone daily. It was very discouraging in my quest to find a mentor. However, I was persistent. I did not want the idol of pornography in my life any more, and God in His grace empowered me to contact my sponsor. God in His grace helped me find 2 men who could help me on my journey as mentors.
Final thoughts: Are you willing to do whatever is necessary to pursue freedom? Are you willing to be as persistent as necessary? Are you willing to be humbled? I can speak from personal experience. It is absolutely worth it, and Jesus is absolutely worthy of it! Go pursue freedom in Christ and ask God to direct you to people who can help you on the journey!