During anti-porn week, we identified from secular research what viewing porn does to a person.
This week presents practical advice of how to stay away from the influence of porn.
The gospel Paul declared is a message of anticipation and expectation, what Paul calls the “hope of righteousness.” Our great hope is that one day Christ will judge the world (Acts 17:31). He will destroy sin and death forever. He will recreate the world, and we will be just like Him (1 Cor. 15:51-55). This is our astounding hope.
For Paul, faith in the gospel does not merely mean we assent to these grand promises but that we give ourselves wholly to them: we center our lives on them. Far from being a passive thing, faith is active. It engages the mind and the heart. As the author of Hebrews says, faith is the assurance and essence of things hoped for (Heb. 11:1): it is the delightful conviction that the things we hope for are real.
Walking in the Spirit means we stir up this hope in us, or as Paul says, we “eagerly wait” for it (Gal. 5:5). We all have hope, but it is not a perfect hope. We all suffer from the distractions of the world and sin. It is for this reason the apostle Peter urges us: “set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Pet. 1:13, italics added).
Practically speaking, this means just as we have fed our minds on pornography, we should now feed our minds on eternity. Just as we have spent hours engrossed in sexual media, we should spend time filling our imaginations with the eternal promises of God. We must, as Paul says, set our minds on the things of the Spirit (Rom. 8:5), on the glories of our inheritance as God’s children (v.17).
It is amazing how this renewed hope combats the mind-warping impact of pornography. When our imaginations are filled with anticipation of the coming kingdom of God, we become more and more determined to taste this future hope in the here and now. The apostle John reminds us that though we are now children of God, “what we will be has not yet appeared,” but we know when Christ appears we will be like him, because we shall see Him face to face (1 John 3:2). He follows this glorious promise with the practical application: “Everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure” (1 John 3:3). Knowing we are destined for an eternity of breathtaking purity and holiness, we purify ourselves here and now because we want to have a taste of this future hope.
As intense as pornography is, it cannot compare to the life-sustaining hope we have in Christ. Far from shutting down our desires in what we never dreamed of, C.S. Lewis reminds us:
" Indeed, if we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased....Do you think I am trying to weave a spell? Perhaps I am; but remember your fairy tales. Spells are used for breaking enchantments as well as for inducing them. And you and I have need of the strongest spell that can be found to wake us from the evil enchantment of worldliness."
Tomorrow, we talk about the power of God's Word.
This post is taken from the booklet, YOUR BRAIN ON PORN by Luke Gilkerson. The booklet can be found at: http://www.covenanteyes.com/brain-ebook/
BE A MAN.