If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand – Mark 3:24
Are you where you want to be in life?
How many of us reach the ages of 30, 40, or 50 and have accomplished even half of what we thought we would?
As children, we all imagine ourselves changing the world or being a pillar in our community when we grow up. Remember your high school graduation when someone told you that you could change the world?
Instead, many of us stumble into the latter parts of our lives with health problems, broken relationships, an empty heart and shattered hope.
But dare we insult the magnificence of our Creator by assuming our limitations and sufferings are divinely imposed?
No, we cannot blame God. Our birthright is and always was abundance and glory…
“Bring all who claim me as their God, for I have made them for my glory. It was I who created them.” – Isaiah 43:7
Does suffering bring more glory than success? NO.
Can lacking reveal the infinite more than abundance? Impossible.
Clearly, limitations are not God-ordained.
But it seems as though–like Esau–we trade our birthright for stew.
Life Is A War:
The truth is life is a war between good and evil.
While it is true that we are at the crossroads of eternity, where forces beyond us may impose influence on us, the real war is “of our own household”.
“Your enemies will be right in your own household!” – Matthew 10:36
We are at war…
It’s as if we have split personalities.
On one hand, we have “The Spirit of God”: Power, love, and sound mind. A knowingness that all of life’s riches belong to us as our divine inheritance. The ability to move mountains.
If this was all there was to it, Heaven would be all we would know…
But we also have this dark side that tears us down whenever things get going well.
Something tells me this side of your personality needs no explanation.
It is CRUCIAL for you to understand that this self-sabotaging side of your nature is the only thing that stands between you and becoming the man you want to be.
If you don’t control your dark side, your dark side will control you.
So, let’s talk about 4 key strategies for managing your dark side.
#1. Walk in the Light (Let God In)
“I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do” – Romans 7:15
Darkness can feel perpetual. One minute you’re dipping your toe in the river and the next you are being swept away by raging currents.
One minute you’re looking at a provocative picture on Instagram, the next thing you know you’re back full blown into your pornography addiction.
One day you’re doing great on your diet, the next thing you know a single piece of birthday cake sends you right back into a cycle of gluttony.
We make a mistake and then we condemn ourselves. Additionally, the weight of our sin brings pain, and that pain pushes us toward an immediate relief in that which causes it.
Most importantly, we think that God abandons us in our sin. Shame takes hold, the mistakes are already made, and we feel that God already disapproves…
What’s one more time?
How can we possibly stop this cycle?…”The curse of sin”.
Instead of thinking that God abandons us in our sin, you need to know that God is loves us even when we sin.
He knows that’s when we need His strength…
“Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” – Lamentations 3:22-23
Every day is a new chance. Every day the Lord washes you as white as snow.
No matter how far you’ve strayed, the Father always welcomes the Prodigal Son back with open arms and the fattened calf.
When you’ve drifted toward your darkside and can’t find your way back, call out to Jesus:
“Help me, oh Lord, My rock and my redeemer. Save me from my own destructive self. I know that you love me and have so much good in store for me. Heal my heart and my hurt and help me to receive my good! Amen.”
#2. Track Your Behavior
If you’re like me, the time you are most susceptible to your destructive nature is when things are going well. After all, he who can only steal, kill, and destroy will thrive when there is something to destroy.
When we are winning, our ego gets in the way. We forget how much we need God, and we think we can get away with a taste of the forbidden fruit.
When everything is going great, we forget the pain we had to endure.
The key to overcoming your dark side is to recognize your patterns of descent and have markers to warn you when you are getting into the danger zone.
One of the best ways to do this is to keep a journal.
By recording your patterns of behavior, you can see triggers that precede your mistakes. In doing this, you can get ahead of them and remind yourself that it’s never “just once”.
As I wrote in my free eBook, 10 STEPS TO LIVING PORN FREE:
“I have found the longer I go without journaling the more likely I am to mess up. Journaling keeps me focused and attentive to triggers and other attacks that will cause me to falter. Journaling keeps my guard up. It keeps my goals and the tools I use to avoid temptation in the forefront of my mind.”
Journaling doesn’t have to be complicated…
Simply take a daily summary of what went wrong and what went well.
As you do this every day, you’ll see definite patterns emerge which you can use to understand yourself better and stop any potential destruction BEFORE it happens. You’ll also know what methods you used in the past with great success.
The simple decision to disengage before indulging in a vice can literally change the trajectory of your life.
#3. Do Good (Even When It Hurts)
“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” -Romans 12:21
Temptation, by nature, is tempting. This is because sin is merely a perversion of our natural desires. Temptation triggers natural desires through unnatural means.
Knowing this, you can fill in the gap with the original substance…
For example, sex is natural and beautiful. Pornography perverts the purity of sex, although your primitive brain still thinks porn is sex. Hunger is a natural desire and food a necessity. But overindulgence in unnatural foods is not the divine design.
Therefore, whenever you attempt to remove a destructive behavior, you still need to replace the sense of reward to reach a point of satiation and satisfaction.
Whenever temptation arises, you have the free will to choose a natural outlet and fulfill the longing in a constructive way.
Instead of watching porn, be intimate with your wife. Instead of drinking alcohol, perform a workout.
Whatever sin is whispering in your ear, know that there is a natural way to get the reward without leaving destruction in your wake.
Once these cravings are naturally supplied, the need to satisfy them with sin evaporates.
“See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse” – Deuteronomy 11:26
#4. Find Accountability
No man is strong enough to fight a war on his own. To march into a battle alone would be foolish.
Whatever your war whether it’s pornography, alcohol, food, etc. – you need a brother to help you see it through to victory.
Your commitment fluctuates with your emotions and circumstances. Your accountability partner always maintains a non-emotional outlook and holds your end result as the top priority.
A good brother can see through the B.S. you tell yourself and try to tell others. He won’t let you falter or head down the wrong path.
We all need someone who will tell us what we need to hear instead of what we want to hear.
We need a brother who will check up on us and make sure we’re doing what we’re supposed to be doing.
The reason many of us put off getting accountability is because we aren’t sure that we are actually ready to leave our vices and sin behind.
You have to hate your sin more than you love the immediate pleasure it gives you.
But if you’re truly ready to change, find someone who can be a rock for you–a pillar of grace.
Don’t skip this step!
For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them — Matthew 18:20
I offer one-on-one coaching if you feel you need someone to come alongside and support you in your battle. I provide personal guidance to create a plan to fight your addiction and accountability to keep you on track. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or Direct Message me on Twitter if one-on-one coaching could help in your battle to live porn free.
Imagine a life where every day added to the one before…
No more tearing yourself down. No more recovering for days from careless mistakes. No more torment of guilt, shame, and the feeling of being disconnected from God’s love.
This is not only possible, but it is entirely within reach.
Whenever you feel like you are losing control of your thoughts and actions, implement these four strategies.
You’ll be amazed what you can accomplish when all of your actions lead to Life!
All you have to do is walk in the light and beware the dark side.
“But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.” – 1 John 1:7
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I Offer One-On-One Coaching
If at any point you feel like you need a brother to come alongside you and support you, I’ll be there. I’d be happy to get on a call with you to provide personal guidance to create a plan to fight your addiction and accountability to keep you on track. I’ve already helped dozens of men overcome their addictions; all who thought they were helpless. I’ve discovered that every battle with porn shares the same few threads that, once unraveled, release you from the chains of addiction. I’d love for you to be the next success story!