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Nextlevel's Blog focuses on men's issues to encourage and challenge men in their walk of faith with Jesus.  



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How do I go and sin no more?
March 23, 2015
Here’s one Ontario man’s testimony of how he’s getting free from habitual sins (like pornography, masturbation and binge drinking) so he can now experience the fullness of his life in Christ.

Woman caught in adultery

[We are familiar with] the story in John of the woman caught in adultery.  She was brought to Jesus by religious leaders for punishment, but once confronted by Jesus, no one was willing (or should I say "able") to throw the first stone.  The story ends with Jesus saying to her, "Go now and leave your life of sin" (John 8:11).  Jesus doesn't condone her sin, nor does he condemn those who have a saving faith in Him.  This is great news, but how do I go and sin no more?
This feels like one of those moments where we normally run into "7 Steps" or "10 Keys".  I'm not going to try and do that...there are lots of books that will take you there.  I'm simply going to share what God is using to address the sin in my life and help me progress toward the life He offers.

We all struggle with sin in our life.  For me the habitual struggles span across different decades of my life.  They have been binge drinking, pornography and masturbation.  You can insert your own areas of struggle here.  Christ has overcome all three in my life and continues to work miracles.  So how has that happened?

First, I had to recognize and acknowledge the sin.  Sometimes that's obvious and sometimes it's not so obvious (or at least the world wants to lull us into thinking something is normal, natural or plain okay).  Being made in the image of God (man and woman) means all of us (believers and non-believers) bear His image.  Therefore we are created (wired if you will) with an inherent sense of right and wrong.  As helpful as our wiring is, these are the five things (here comes the list) that God has used in my life as I pursue "leaving my life of sin".

1. Time in the Word - reading the bible, searching scripture and committing impactful verses to memory have had an enormous impact.  For example - while I was working through a study of the book "Every Man's Battle" two key Scriptures kept turning up: 

"I have made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a young woman. Job 31:1
"Flee from sexual immorality...You are not your own; you were bought with a price.  Therefore honor God with your body. 1 Corinthians 6:18-20 

As I committed them to memory and walked through the study with my Band of Brothers, I was convicted deeply over my struggle with masturbation.  Through time in the Word and the steps below I have been free from this sin for over 5 years.

2. Prayer - this is an area I don't feel I do well (yet) because I am too busy and easily distracted day to day.  How do I know?  At Bootcamps during the mandatory silence my prayer life comes alive - sometimes to the point of feeling like I am in conversation with God.  Though I can't get face to face with Him yet - this may be as close as I come here on earth - a lot gets accomplished when I start listening.

3. Counsel of Godly men & women - this has had an immeasurable impact on my life.  As hard and as long as I tried to deal with my porn addiction on my own, God kept encouraging me to come clean to my wife and give her and two other men permission to hold me accountable.  They have done so, in love, and that desire is all but gone because I eventually began to seek to understand what my addiction was a symptom of.  I came to recognize that porn wasn't actually the root of the problem, something else was and I needed to take the hardest step - the next step.

4. Inviting Jesus to come in to the deep places of my heart, mind, body & soul and heal my deepest wounds - this is a process...and it can be one of the hardest things you will ever do.  The past four years have been a journey to bring me face to face with myself - a Poser.  As I acknowledged my life (more than 3 decades worth) of posing and began to repent (turn away) from it, I began to - slowly at first - let Jesus enter into some deep wounds and healing has begun.

5. A willingness to "work-out" that healing patiently in trust and faith - so I here I am...almost 50 years old, a Christian for 40 years, experiencing the gentle, healing touch of Christ in my life.  Taking 3 steps forward and every now and again a step or two back, but pressing on.  
What I have found is that the more my heart is filled with Christ, the less room there is for sin.
I don't know what path you will have to take to get free to experience the fullness of life that Christ has for you, but I am encouraged by those who have gone before me, by my own story, and the writer of these verses in Hebrews:

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.  Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”  Hebrews 12:1-3
Filed under: Personal Growth


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