Recovery: Getting Started Part 2
Recovery: Getting Started (Part 2)-
Last blog we looked at how sexual sin idolatry leaves us in bondage, but we were created to be free to worship Jesus. God wants to crush the bondage of sexual sin and allow us to walk in the freedom we have if we are believers in His Son, Jesus. In that blog we looked at the role a mentor and a sponsor plays in the freedom that Jesus provides, as well as the importance of confession to God and others (and the healing and freedom that confession brings). This Blog is simply part 2 in the “Getting Started On Recovery Journey”. We will look at the concept of a sexual sin inventory, as well as the importance of a Media Fast when struggling with things like pornography, sexual sin, etc. Please remember we want to help you!!! We desire for you to be porn free and shame free in your pursuit of following after Jesus. May these tools you read about today help you on that journey!!
Sexual Sin Inventory (overview)-
Get a piece of paper and write down every sin ever committed in the idolatry arena that you struggle with and read Isaiah 6:1-5 (reflect on God's Holiness), then confess each sin to God and read Isaiah 6:6-7 (reflect on God's forgiveness that comes in Christ), and finally destroy the list (If you are in Christ, your idolatry does not define who you are).
Sexual Sin INVENTORY (more details) –
Write down every sin ever committed in the idolatry arena that you struggle with and read Isaiah 6:1-5 (reflect on God's Holiness), then confess each sin to God and read Isaiah 6:6-7 (reflect on God's forgiveness that comes in Christ), and finally destroy the list (If you are in Christ, your idolatry does not define who you are).
Let's break this down. To do the inventory assignment you will need several hours alone. This was not a fun experience for me at all, but it was one that was definitely needed! It took me about 4 hours to do. Why should one do this assignment?
I believe that a person cannot truly find freedom from bondage until they see the ugliness of their sin compared to the holiness of God. When you write down every act of idolatry, you see the wretchedness of your sin. When you read Isaiah 6:1-5, you see God's glory and holiness in the face of your sin.
It is possible after writing all this down that you feel some sense of shame. If that is the case, I would read Genesis 3. This helps you see what God does with our shame. He does not want us to try to cover up or hide from Him. He wants us to know that He can meet us in our shame and cover up our shame.
How does He cover our shame? He covers us with Christ's sacrifice on the cross! After you have written down every sin, you go back and confess each sin to God.
Let me pause by saying that it is possible you have not committed your life to Christ. The person who does not know Christ and is in bondage to idolatry does not have any covering for their shame. The only way to experience covering for our shame and freedom from bondage comes from surrendering control of our lives to Christ and receiving the forgiveness that He offers. If you have not done this, then do this today!
If you know Christ, you are not confessing each sin to be more forgiven. You are confessing so that you can remind yourself that you are forgiven. Isaiah experiences God's forgiveness in Isaiah 6:6-7. When you do this assignment, you too can experience a fresh forgiveness from Almighty God.
Not only do I believe one must know how they have violated God's holiness, but I believe one must understand how completely forgiven they really are! When you do this assignment, you experience both. At least that is the goal any way.
When you finish, you destroy the list. Some recovery programs encourage you to share this with someone else. I do not think you should do that! I think the details of this is between you and God. When finished confessing, I would encourage you to destroy the list. I threw mine away. I have known people to shred them or burn them. The bottom line is you destroy it! Why? If I know Christ, the sin on that paper does not define who I am. Jesus and His righteousness defines me!
Like I said, this is not a fun assignment. I did not enjoy it at all until the end. It was at this point that God revealed to me my sin was as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12) and is buried in the depth of the sea (Micah 7:19). That is great news! That is the gospel! Jesus forgives our sin and sets us free!
If you find yourself in a pornography mess or another sexual sin type mess, what are you waiting for? Confess your sin to God and those close to you in your life. Find someone to walk with you on the journey as you pursue freedom. Get alone with God and unpack that inventory before Him, and He will help you experience true cleansing!
We all must remember: For the one who knows Christ, sin does not define us! We are defined by Christ and His cross and His empty tomb!
30 Day Media Fast (overview)-
Read Romans 13:14 and know that you must starve the flesh. Media is an access point for many forms of sexual sin, pornography being a big one. (only media allowed to be participated in during fast is media needed for school or job, instead of media, let's run to Jesus by spending time in God's Word, by praying, by listening to worship music or sermons, by being with God’s people, etc.)
30 DAY MEDIA FAST (more details)-
God is a jealous God, and He wants us bowing down to Him and Him alone. If we are honest with ourselves, we would admit that media has a big influence in our lives. All of us are significantly influenced by media.
Stop for a second and realize that I am not telling you that all media is bad, and I do not want to be legalistic about this. Consider this though: How many unwanted things penetrate our heart and our brain on a daily basis because of advertisements or commercials or pop ups we did not ask for?
Just take this challenge: For the next 30 days do not participate in media. Only use media that helps you do your job or school or stay connected with close friends and family and Jesus. I think that would severely limit your media usage.
Every time you want to participate in media, run to Jesus! Spend time in prayer. Spend time in His Word. Spend time reading a good Christian book. Listen to one of your pastor's sermons. Listen to worship music. Spend time connecting with God’s people. At the end of the 30 days, evaluate how this has helped your relationship with God. Ask yourself if your temptation to bow down to your idol decreased or increased. Do you accept the challenge?
A great tool to help you during this 30 day challenge is www.cravefreedom.com. It will provide you 30 days of God honoring media to look at daily as you are avoiding most other types of media. It will give you a video of me encouraging you. You will get suggestions on what to read and meditate in God’s Word, as well as how to seek after God in prayer, etc. Please take advantage of this free tool on your journey to freedom!
May our heart only bow down to Him!
Remember what you have learned or been challenged in on the recovery journey so far.
Find a mentor or sponsor
Confess your sexual sin struggle to God and others
Do a sexual sin inventory
Participate in a 30 day media fast
Jump on cravefreedom.com to help you daily during that media fast