Almost too late… when God spoke to a man like me
I was raised in a Christian home, yet somehow I got caught up with MB at 12. Filthy material was always available to use to gratify my newfound love and I used it with much lavish. Even at that young of an age I somehow knew it was wrong, viewing porn and MasterBing, and hid it well. I often felt guilty and alone so I taught my younger brother how to do it and sent him on his way. Now there would be two of us with a problem, not just me. Presently, of course I am very ashamed of teaching him that, but back then it made me feel like at least I wasn’t the only one in serious trouble.
As my addiction grew so did the ways to gratify it. I would peep on neighbors, stay up late and catch HBO, get up early and watch women exercise in scantily dressed clothing, cut out every last picture from books and magazines that remotely aroused me. I had become an absolute slave. My mind was centered on one thing daily, from the moment I got up to the moment a feel asleep. It was all I thought about and all that mattered.
Sure I had grown up in a Christian home and sure I had asked Jesus into my heart several times, but my addiction never changed. It became worse. I would look for new ways to satisfy myself because each time I did it the excitement and arousal would grow less and less. It was like I was taking a drug and my body was becoming more immune every time I did it.
I married at the early age of 19 due to my sexual addiction, coupled with the fact I had become more conscious that porn and MB was sin and I was separating myself from God further and further. I thought marriage would help me, but it would not be the savior I had hoped for. Even though my wife was gorgeous and very shapely I desired the girls in the magazines and movies more. Not because they were better, but because sin is selfish. It wants what it can’t have and it destroys what it does have. Needless to say, due to my addictions my first marriage ended in divorce.
I decided to find God and returned to church finding my place in a singles group where I dated some and sinned much. Even though I knew I was in deep, deep sin and had tried many times to quit, even praying about it often, I still had found no answers. Only disappointment and bigger opportunities to gratify my addictions was my lot.
I tried so hard to be a good Christian, but the addiction was always there cutting me off from a real relationship with God. I found myself tired of saying sorry, tired of asking forgiveness, sick of returning to the sin like a dog to his vomit. The pleasure would last anywhere from 10 minutes to eight hours, but the sense of guilt and sorrow and separation from God was an everlasting burden of such weight that sometimes I asked God to either kill me or cut off the very thing that was used to bring me momentary pleasure. God did not answer that prayer.
So I married again and the addiction was an ever-present tumor, growing bigger, more evil. It told me my wife was nothing compared to the girls that were in the books, magazines, movies, commercials, TV programs, at my work, at the mall, in the cars on the road next to me, and everywhere I went and would see women. Sometimes I would even begin to have thoughts of men and I would have to wrestle those thoughts away, but it was becoming more difficult by the day. The festering perversion threatened to consume me at any moment and the only weapons I had to fight were the hopes that God would eventually answer my prayers and save me from myself.
Like the little boy who put his thumb in the dike and saved his town from a destructive flood, I too managed, by the grace of God, to not get caught up into homosexuality. It could have easily gone there. Nevertheless, despite that small victory, I became a manager at a restaurant and sexual thoughts controlled me. I now had even more access to gratification.
Almost every woman that walked in was gorgeous and dressed provocatively. I could not peel my eyes away from them. I began cheating on my wife without remorse or concern. Not to mention I began to steal from the company to support my newest brilliant idea to bring the addition greater satisfaction. I began to frequent the strip clubs every Friday—or every chance that came available. What was worse I had started to spend my stolen money on escort services. The pit was getting ever so deeper. It appeared as though I would never get out. One night I cried out in fear to God, but then next week it really didn’t matter.
Soon I wanted a divorce because sin had utterly convinced me that my wife could never make me feel like all those other women did when I looked at them. I now didn’t care about God, or friends or family or my 2-year-old daughter, or my job or anything other than myself and how best to please me! My heart had become so hard and so independent of God. I only cared about me.
Besides, I had tried to quit and couldn’t. Really I didn’t even want to. I saw the need, but the pleasure was much too great to ever give up. I almost didn’t care whether I was saved or not, but that was just a matter of time.
Then suddenly, while driving one lonely Friday night to a strip club right after I had told my wife I was leaving her, God spoke to me. Yes He spoke to me. I had heard Him before when I was younger, but until now it hadn’t been for years.
He said, “Tonight you need to go to church Chris”.
“What,” I exclaimed. I knew what church He was talking about. It was “Bethel where Christ is the Answer.” I knew that they had services there on Friday nights. There was no way I was going to give up feeding my flesh to go to church. I almost laughed. I could picture all the fun I was going to have at the club. But for the past few months His Spirit had begun to work on bringing people into my life that would point the way to Bethel, and to Himself.
He said, “If you don’t do it tonight it will be too late for you.”
It suddenly hit me. Here I was living a life of sin completely forgetting about God and everything else that really mattered to peruse a life that was an absolute evil slavery and bondage that would eventually take me to hell. I can’t say for certain what He meant by “it will be too late for me” but I sure didn’t want to find out.
Amazingly, after He had spoken to me I still had a hard time deciding! Can you believe that?
I actually had to pray for God to make me go to church that night. I didn’t want to go! Sin had such control and power over me and I was blind to it. I did know right from wrong, but I either didn’t see or didn’t care that sin had an utter stronghold on me like the tentacles of an octopus squeezing out the life of its prey.
That night at Bethel (currently moved to Parkland, WA and now known as Church for all Nations) I could have been the only one in the service for the message was as if God was talking right to me. The blindness fell from my eyes. It was then and there He made me realize that all this time the reason why he couldn’t help me was because the addiction was something I really didn’t want to give up. I would rather have had the pleasures of the addictions than a relationship with the Creator of the universe. How shamefully sad. It was all so true though. What a liar sin had been to tell me that it was better than what God has for those who love Him. What a liar!
God spoke to my heart and melted it and I cried and cried. I abruptly took a survey of my entire life and was so ashamed and frightened. I saw what a selfish, fleshly, sinner I was, and I so desperately needed what God was about to give me. He let me see where this addiction had brought me and what I was ready to give up for it. It would have been all my Earthly joy and life, and probably my soul. I had called myself a Christian all these years, but nothing but my “claims” in my life suggested that I was. It reminds me of a verse: There is a road before every man that seems right but leads to death. I was on a road to death, and so are some of you reading this right now.
But I have AWESOME news for you. Not from me, but from the God who loves you and me more than the greatest strongholds in our lives! And He is reaching His loving hand out to you right now! Actually He has been reaching out for you all your life, but only He knows when you are ready to take His hand and let go of all the other hands pulling you down.
Well, that night I repeated back to God what He had shown me. I said, “all my life I have tried to do things my way, to please only me. Even though I never meant to, I left you out. Other things were more important than you. I made other things my god and not you. But tonight I want to surrender everything I was and will ever be to You if You will take away my pornography addiction and help me be a real Christian. Not just someone who just claims to be. You have bought me with a price, I am yours. My life is not my own anymore. I will pick up my cross and follow you and not look back. Not on my own strength, but by the power of your Holy Spirit.”
One key to surrendering is how much are we willing to give of ourselves? God can only accept 100%. We can’t give 65% or 20% or 99% and expect God to change us. We have to give all of ourselves in order for God to do His work. What if Jesus came and was willing to die for us only 99% or 65% or 20%? No way would would that be acceptable. Jesus had to die 100% for us and bear 100% of all our sins, and because of that we are saved 100%! God isn’t asking anything more of us than what He was willing to give. Praise your Holy and Precious name Father God. You are so amazing! Tears well up in my eyes just remembering what You have done for me. He can do the same for you too. He loves you no less.
It is now a year and a half later and I have not once returned to the old vomit. I am a free man. I have more time to enjoy the second chance God has given me. I have even confessed everything to my wife and she has not left me. She is the one who turns me on now. I don’t need any other substitute or lie. Our God is such an awesome God who is faithful and true even when we are not.
Not only did God purge me of the habit of porn (and let me be honest, some days I am tempted to look at it, but the strength I have in Him is far more powerful, plus all I have to do is remember the liar it is and was, and I am sickened) but He has made me a happy, patient, kindhearted, honest, and successful person. I would never ever ever want to be outside His perfect will for my life.
I do have to tell you that my new life isn’t all peaches and cream. I do have problems, but I know He is there ready to be by my side even though I may walk through the valley of the shadow of death. It’s through Jesus I can do all things as He strengthens me. If God is for us who (or what) can be against us. God has a plan and a purpose for every single one of us if we would only surrender and learn to love an oh so lovable God. God is more real than our addictions or sin or habits. He is more real than our problems and trials and pain and suffering. He is God and He is ours if we will let Him be.
If you have been struggling with sin and addiction there is a certain and absolute hope for you right now! God can deliver you from any mess you have gotten yourself into. He can take away your shame. He can take away your guilt and sin. He can even bring you forth from out of the pit of your addictions no matter how many you may have. All you have to do is give to Him everything that you are and will become.
Just surrender 100% and He is there waiting to transform you like He did me. Giving 100% of yourself is hard, I for one know. But ask yourself what percent of your life have you given to other things in your life, like sin? I couldn’t and didn’t do it on my own and God doesn’t expect you too either. And just remember that if God takes something away from us He will always replace it with something far better.
Just look at Job for an example. He can bring us from the gutter-most to the utter-most! Praise be to our Awesome and Mighty God who is worthy of all Praise, Honor and Glory!
Jesus once said, “you are either for me or against me.”
A year and a half ago I told Him, “I am 100% for you, Jesus”, and I have never been the same since. What percent are you?