How I Beat Porn

Written by Josh Wood

Pornography is an epidemic in our culture, and it’s affecting everyone. 

And while it’s a subject that impacts so many people, it is rarely talked about in our culture.

Why is that? 

I think it’s because there are so many people who feel hopeless about this issue. I’ve sat with countless men who have lived their entire lives convinced that they will always struggle with this, and that the best they can hope for is managing it to some degree.

The problem with any sin, especially this one, is that you can’t manage it. If we were capable of managing it, it wouldn’t be an issue.

Truthfully, that’s how I lived much of my life. I went from day-to-day, week-to-week, trying to manage something that was stronger, bigger, and more persistent than me. 

No wonder so many people feel hopeless. 

The problem with thinking that way, is that it fails to realize that Jesus died to save us FROM all sin, and FOR freedom from it. 

 

Galatians 5:1 says, “It is for freedom that Christ has set your free.” 

 

In other words Jesus is the only one stronger, bigger, and more persistent than sin. He destroyed sin’s power once and for all on the cross. And he did it, not so we could try and manage it again, but so that we could be free from it.

The first time that really sunk in, it changed my life. So my hope is not that I can beat porn. My hope is that Jesus beat pornography and every other sin in this world so I could be fully free.

But just knowing something is true, doesn’t transform us until we change our actions. Here’s 3 things I did to help me find freedom that lasts:

1) I Stopped Trying Harder

I prayed the prayer “God, this is the last time I’ll do this” more times than I can count. I got up so many mornings thinking that this day would be different, only to fall again. Sometimes, I could get on a streak of good days, but that also never really lasted. 

Then one day, I did something radically different. I learned what it meant to really surrender, and I surrendered big time. 

Technology has made porn more accessible to our culture than ever before. So, I gave up some control.

At one point, I actually gave up my iPhone completely (which is a big deal to me as an Apple enthusiast). 

It seemed like a radical step, but radical freedom requires radical surrender. 

Today, I have an iPhone again, but I don’t have open internet access. Why? 

Because the freedom I have today, isn’t worth me trying harder to do something that never worked for me before. 

I’m a lot happier with freedom and 50 trusted websites, than I am with 8 billion websites that can cause major problems for me. 

It wasn’t till I learned what surrender meant, that I found Christ’s power starting to give me freedom.

2) I Took God Up On His Offer

I followed Jesus for my whole life. My Dad was a pastor during my elementary years. My dad would give me scripture memory papers when I was young so I could know as much scripture as possible.

Knowing Scripture, and living out the truth of Scripture are two very different things.

I knew the verse in 2 Corinthians 5:17 where Paul says “You are a new creation. The old is gone and the new has come.” 

But I always felt like the same old person, and thought that verse must not really apply to me. Or, if it did, it didn’t quite work.

When I got into a Pure Desire group, and started processing why I struggled so much, I realized how much this issue had affected my mind. 

So I gave it everything I had. I told God that I would learn what it meant to live out of who He said I was, and not listen to the voices of shame that told me there was something wrong with me.

I took God up on his offer - that I was a new creation, that I had the mind of Christ, that his grace is sufficient for me, and a hundred other promises - and God’s Word was good. 

I stopped believing the shame lies. I started believing the gospel truth. And sure enough, Christ’s power continued to give me freedom.

3) I Found Some People Who Wouldn’t Judge Me

This might be one of the most important steps of all. Why? 

Because this step is the evidence that I stopped trying harder, and I took God up on his offer!

The reason I resisted fully telling my story to others is because I thought they would judge me, or at least look down on me. The truth is, there are many people who understand what it’s like to struggle and are willing to walk with us to find freedom.

The biggest evidence of someone trying harder is when they try to beat it alone with just them and God.

Secondly, God says that if we confess our sins to him, we are forgiven (1 John 1). But he also says that if we confess our sins to someone else, we are healed (James 5).

I limited my ability to heal when I didn’t allow others to be part of the process.

So the first time I sat down in a Pure Desire group, I had never felt such grace and acceptance from people in my life. 

Suddenly, I began to feel accepted by them, even at my worst. And that helped me feel accepted by God as well. That’s such a freeing feeling.

I still talk to some of those guys today - and we all agree on this one big thing: The freedom we have today, is worth it, and we’re not looking back.

So ask yourself this: What would I give, if it meant that I could have freedom from this struggle with pornography?

For me, I jumped "all in" to a pure desire group for a season, and today I’m living out of the freedom that comes from God’s power at work in me.

Have you been trying harder, resisting God’s power, or trying it all alone? 

There’s a place for you. Come and find the same freedom I found.

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Vegas Update from A Local Pastor

Jim Crews is a friend of Brave Church and guest speaker who was with us several months ago. He pastors in Las Vegas and asks our church for prayer and support for the members of their church community that lost their lives and all the people who were affected.

This Sunday, show up to honor and remember those whose lives were lost. Our prayers will be with the people of Vegas and Pastor Daren will be delivering a message that helps us all find hope...Even when it hurts. 

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A Few Reasons Among Many to Join a Home Church

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Our 2017/2018 Home Church year is about to start and here at Brave we are excited.  If you are not certain whether to join check out a review of last year from one of our many Home Churches.

In September 2016 we gathered on Monday evenings.  We were a new group, none of us knowing each other before the start except for a few weekly hellos as we attended Sunday Gatherings.  We started small with nine of us meeting regularly, and added a further four as the year progressed.

"We were a new group, none of us knowing each other before the start except for a few weekly hellos as we attended Sunday Gatherings."
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Fifteen people who didn’t really know each other and yet through the year these people became my friends.  We’ve shared our lives together.  We went through highs and lows of sickness, home purchases, house moving, job changes, and exams. We had Engineers, CEOs, HR specialists, Teachers, Worship Pastor, Stay-at-home Moms, Sales Representatives and Writers.  Each week we met, talked about the Sunday message, prayed, discussed life, drank a lot of tea, and united over our love of good food and Jesus.

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Show me your friends, and I’ll show you your future.  The people you’re hanging out with today are shaping the person you will become tomorrow. -Craig Groeschel

 

Here at Brave, the Church is not a place or an event that happens once a week on a Sunday, it’s friends on a mission together.  As the year progressed, our Home Church did other things together. We had dinner, board game nights, exercised, discussed life over coffee, and my definite favorite was the weekend we went skiing. It took us six weeks to come up with two weekends free that the women and then the men could head to the mountains...Because our calendars were overflowing with the busyness of life - Yet each of us in our group was determined to make it work. This is precisely the reason we love Home Church. The friendships we formed are important. These friendships are a priority. This time away not only took us deeper with each other, but Jesus came too, and each of us came home a little bit more like him.

We Love Jesus. Our Church has an awesome facility, but it’s not the building that defines us, it is the people who make our Church Brave.

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Our Home Church was not alone, each week we have hundreds of people who attend our Sunday Gatherings, and approximately a quarter of them attended one of our weekly Home Churches located across the San Ramon Valley. This semester we already have a higher percentage of people registered than last and we are hoping to see everyone find community in a home church. 

We saw various social media posts shared from various Home Churches celebrating the arrival of babies being, friends attending weddings, supporting each other in difficult times, but amongst all those photos and posts what stood out most was Jesus gathering with us, Jesus’s presence in these moments, and our lives changed by him because of his Church. 

All of us are excited for this new season, and we’re looking forward to hearing your stories of how Jesus and His Brave family are encouraging you.

 

If you're interested in doing life with our community this Fall - Here’s what to do next:

Sign up for a Home Church by clicking on the link below and if you need a place for your kids, sign them up for Super Thursdays!