“Where Freedom Begins, Self Ends”
REPENT TO GOD for how my sin replaced and misrepresented Him.
“My lust is a counterfeit god mocking my Savior. I am beginning to see how offensive my lust is to God and how much pride I express trying to be/replace God. I repent not merely because my lust hurts other people or disrupts my life, but because God is superior to my lust and lovingly enables me to love Him (I John 4:19).”
Memorize: Joel 2:12-13 (ESV), “‘Yet even now,’ declares the Lord, ‘return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; and rend your hearts and not your garments.’ Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love; and relents over disaster.” As you memorize this passage reflect upon these key points:
- “Even now” – Do not let the shame associated with sexual sin convince you that you are beyond God’s forgiveness.
- “Return” – Repentance is about more than the emotions of remorse; it is ultimately a change in life direction.
- “Rend your hearts” – Repentance is a heart change where your primary allegiance changes from self to God.
- “Not your garments” – Joel did not want the outward expressions of verse 12 to be confused with true repentance.
- “For He is” – The effectiveness of repentance is rooted in God’s character that God’s law embodies (Exo. 34:6-9).
“People should repent, change their ways, and get right with God. I always agree with these statements. The sexual behaviors that become addictive are sinful… Repentance, behavior change, and a deeper relationship with God are all goals of the healing journey for the sex addict. I usually respond to this question with another question: How long do you expect repentance and change to take (p. 24)?” Mark Laaser in Healing the Wounds of Sexual Addiction
“Here are three common reasons why people want to kick their porn habit: (1) to prove ourselves to God – so he will bless us or save us; (2) to prove ourselves to other people – so people like us or approve of us; (3) to prove ourselves to ourselves – so we feel good about ourselves… None of these reasons work, because they put ‘me’ at the center of my change project. And putting myself at the center is pretty much the definition of sin (p. 68)!… For some people, porn offers redemption, in terms of acceptance and affirmation, an alternative forgiveness. ‘I just want to feel that I’m OK. I turn to porn instead of God because the gospel doesn’t tell me that I’m OK. It tells me I’m a wicked sinner and Jesus died in my place. The gospel demands that I change. Porn says, ‘You’re OK just as you are (p. 57).’” Tim Chester in Closing the Window
“The fantasy partner is all caring, all attractive, perfectly nurturing, and completely sexual… The addict believes in the illusion of control because he or she controls the illusion (p. 30)… The fantasies of a sex addict are feeble attempts to gain what only God is capable of giving, which we will experience partially on earth and fully in Heaven (p. 31).” Harry Schaumburg in False Intimacy
“All that we call human history – money, poverty, ambition, war, prostitution, classes, empires, slavery – [is] the long terrible story of man trying to find something other than God which will make him happy (p. 53-54).” C.S. Lewis in Mere Christianity
“Confession can be a helpful part of repentance, but it can’t take its place. It’s possible to feel bad about something and even tell someone else but not genuinely turn from our sin (p. 142-143).” Joshua Harris in Sex Is Not the Problem (Lust Is)
“A repentant person is freed from defensiveness (p. 50)… Repentance needs to be understood as both an event and a lifestyle change. The event is like having a tooth pulled; the lifestyle change is like entering a total dental care program: it’s a lifetime commitment (p. 69).” Earl & Sandy Wilson, et al in Restoring the Fallen