So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 1 Cor. 10:31 (ESV)
A young Christian woman struggles
with guilt, fear, and depression because she struggles to resist viewing pornography
on the internet. She has a filter on her computer and an accountability partner
but continues to struggle with temptation. To fight off her sinful
desires she has Bible verses that pop up on her computer, her smartphone, and
her tablet each time she logs on and she memorized numerous passages of
Despite her stated efforts to
avoid internet porn she regularly fails.
When she comes for biblical counseling she is angry and confused. She tells me all the steps she has taken to
avoid falling back into sexual sin and doesn’t know why she can’t overcome
it. Usually people in this predicament assume
memorizing more Bible verses will do the trick, or more praying or reading yet
another book by a noted expert on the topic will be the missing piece to their
While those are all good things
to do, they are not going to fix the real
problem, which is idolatry at the heart level (Ezk. 14:3). The idols of the heart must be identified if
she is to overcome sin! Thus far, this sweet gal has become a legalist who
hopes she will be changed by keeping the law while worshiping the idols in her
It is clear to me that she
continues in her idolatry because she is still fulfilling her own desires. Satisfying those desires has become a matter
of worship for her, and practically speaking they have replaced her worship of
God (Isa. 45:5-7, 18-19). Her worship of
self is evident in disobedience.
My counselee has to understand she
was created in the image of her Creator (Gen. 1-2), the results the Fall had on
her (Gen. 3), and then her identity in Christ as a Child of God (Eph.
1-2). She has to understand God is a
jealous God and will share His subjects with no one (Deut. 6:14, Ex. 34:14).
She must daily choose who she will
worship, God or herself. If she chooses
God then she must pursue the path of righteousness and follow in His steps of
obedience. This will be a long walk of
progressive sanctification as she is faced many times a day with the temptation
to indulge in self worship. By denying herself
and choosing to glorify God in worshiping Him she can and will break free from
the enslaving sin of sexual lust.