A few years ago, I was diagnosed as a sex addict. After losing my marriage over this, the Lord graciously rescued me and I was also attending a local program that dealt with my addiction.
Going to massage parlors and prostitutes was the most outwardly destructive part of my addiction. I was doing well in not acting out in those areas but I was still frequenting a particular porn website that I will simply denote here as ‘xx-xx.com’. I did this consciously and admitted to Him that I could not stop this part of my addiction alone. I went about my regular devotions of Bible reading, study, and fellowship. Amidst all that, I still made those internet visits. At least, that is, until one memorable night.
The Lord gave me a picture in my sleep. I was reading the Bible and scattered here and there, overlaying and replacing words and phrases in the text, was the exact name of that web site. Below is an example of what I saw:
"4 A xx-xx.com goes and a generation xx-xx.com, but the earth remains forever. 5 Also, the sun xx-xx.com and the sun sets; and xx-xx.com to its place it rises there 6 blowing toward the xx-xx.com, then turning toward the north, the xx-xx.com continues swirling along; and on its circular xx-xx.com the wind returns. 7 All the rivers flow into the xx-xx.com, yet the xx-xx.com is not full. To the place where the xx-xx.com flow, there they flow again. 8 All things are wearisome; man is not able to xx-xx.com. The eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor is the ear filled with hearing."
I was astonished! He was telling me that, though He was not condemning me for this weakness, it was preventing me from getting as much of the His Truth and healing as He had for me. This was a frightening challenge to me. However, the Lord had given me a vivid description of His will in that matter.
I can honestly attest to you that in the few months that followed that dream a dramatic lessening of my visits occurred to the point of total abstention. One slip, though, months later, convinced me that I needed to install a porn filter controlled by someone else. To this day I have Hedgebuilders' filter on my computer and have no intention of removing it.
I have virtually no new input of titillating images and ideas since I have also given up TV and most movies. But there is still enough fodder in my memory to bring on occasional attacks. These I have learned to ask Him to take captive and to delete entirely and He faithfully does so.
I do not want to suggest that simply removing occasions of sin and cessation of addictive acts is an end to itself. The work His Spirit is doing in me, can do in everyone, goes far beyond overcoming destructive behavior to an outward look of normality. His Best Stuff just begins there. He goes deep to the root causes of sin, the emotional traumas that led to them in the first place. When we cooperate with this heart searching and sign up for the forgiveness that we must give and receive over them, then we begin to see the abundant life of love He has for us.
He is rebuilding my life to the point where He has now given me a wonderful woman to love and a second chance to be a loving and faithful man. Before Him, I had no capacity within myself to live in either of those characteristics. I still don’t, but He does.
I offer this as encouragement and hope to anyone who has not yet found how powerful His Spirit of Renewal can be in this area of brokenness.