Rethinking Temptation – The Church of Porn or the Arms of Jesus

The number of men I speak to that describe how afraid they are of temptation is incredible. I suppose when you think of it, it makes sense after all. Temptation can lead to falling into sin, and with a history of falling we begin to fear the temptation itself.

But I would like to propose a different way of thinking about temptation. I honestly think that shifting our thinking can not only help us resist temptation but also draw us closer to God.

Woman outside church doors

 

 

I was at a conference a short while ago called the “Set Free Global Summit” and it was all about the church and its response to the epidemic of pornography. It was an incredible experience and I was encouraged by the sincere group of pastors and lay people willing to engage and tackle a topic that has been a problem for many years.

 

But back to the point, one of the speakers mentioned something along these lines, “Porn, or at least the use of it, is essentially worship.”

 

This statement may or may not be a new concept to you. It wasn’t entirely for me, but I hadn’t heard it put into those words before. It brought added clarity and life to the concept I have been sharing with men when they talk of their fear of temptation.

 

The concept is this, what if your temptation and moments when you are tempted aren’t moments to fear but instead opportunities for us to realise that there is a void in us. When there is room for temptation, it means that there is a longing in our soul for something. We, as Christians, know what that something is, it’s for a relationship with God, through His son Jesus. You see, temptation is an offer to enter into a place of worship, that might be a church or a place where you find your soul refreshed by God. When we are lonely and feeling empty and hollow, we long to fill the emptiness with something. Psalm 42:2

 

It’s those moments that we are most vulnerable to alternate gods or objects of worship, because they are “easier” or “carnal” or whatever else they feel like to us. Essentially though, those moments are in fact moments where our soul is crying out for comfort, peace and wholeness. There is only one thing that can fill that void, and it’s Jesus. Romans 1:25

 

So my encouragement to you is this, don’t be afraid of temptation, recognize it for what it is, your soul crying out for fulfillment and Jesus is waiting to be invited in to fill it. It is INCREDIBLY freeing to let go of our fear of darkness and recognize that Jesus, in all His light and glory, is waiting with open arms to fill our deepest longing and emptiness.

 

Who will you worship? Will you enter into the church of temptation (porn or anything else really) or be engulfed in the arms of Jesus?

 

Lets embrace those moments, not fear them – we have Jesus as our strength after all and only He can satisfy our soul cravings. John 4:13-14

Romans 1:25; Psalm 42:2; John 4:13-14

 

 

2 Comments on “Rethinking Temptation – The Church of Porn or the Arms of Jesus

  1. I struggle with this concept of emptiness and filing it with God. Maybe its because I’ve never really done it successfully. I’m not sure. Its a nice concept but what can be done from a practical standpoint to push towards God instead of giving in to temptation to take away the pain of loneliness or the void of feeling alone?

    1. Thats an incredible question, I struggle with how to articulate that too. I think that for me the “loneliness” factor… was something I eventually had to embrace as good, if I had the time and emotion to feel lonely then I had the time to spend with God. I proceed by thanking Him for that time and space that many don’t have. 1 Cor. 7:35 So some of it is a shift in our thinking… Some of it, too, is not wallowing in our own self pity – which I struggle with too, or even my natural and culturally formed concept that I am entitled to “feel” happy or complete. I can only feel contentment in Him, so I should stop trying to fix my feelings of inadequacy, Holy Contentment only comes through my relationship with Him.

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