A funny thing happens to your addiction to lust when your heart starts to change. You become willing. Your will starts to become God’s servant instead of saying “Yes, master,” to sin. And that’s what happened to me.

Man, talking about an uphill battle! For years I had literally been sucking up pornographic images almost intravenously, absorbing them into my soul and filling my mind with their psychic bile. Yuck. So then I wake up one day and realize my heart is changing and I want to take a stand. Perfect. I’ll say no to porn. Easier said than done. Not buying more magazines didn’t actually gain me much ground, because I already had two hundred of ’em stored in my internal hard drive of a brain, jumping up and down volunteering to be used. And whenever the temptation would hit, a kaleidoscope of images would literally deluge my senses. Masturbation was still a big problem.

BTW, I think the Bible does actually talk about that. Jesus is talking to guys to “look at a woman lustfully” in Matthew 5:28. His next line is, “If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out…if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off…” (5:29,31). Come on… you don’t think that maybe the God of the universe knew about the connection between eyes, right hands, and lust?

Which is where “taking my thoughts captive and making them obedient to Christ” came in. II Cor. 10:3-5 tells us to do that. I studied the Greek on that passage and it refers to a guard at a city gate with orders from the commanding officer. A stranger strolls up in the middle of the night, say. The guard pins the person to the wall, gently applying the spear to their chest. Friend or foe? If you’re a friend, you may pass. If not, well, goodbye. Get out the mop and bury the infidel. So that’s what I did, probably a hundred times an hour. Every time a lusty thought reared its ugly head, I’d run it through and send it to hades. Exhausting work, but over time, the internal library began to fade.

And there was more cutting off to do. I avoided going into certain stores by myself. Or watching TV late at night. You know the drill. You know the ways you edge closer to sin, justifying your actions because it’s not sin YET… well, that’s deadly thinking, people. And I started cutting it out. Off. It was like watching Braveheart.

Enter my enemy. Yes, I’m serious. I was in so deep that there was an evil spirit or two that got ticked with my progress and started digging in their claws. I actually saw one flare up in front of me in my basement. I had painfully wicked nightmares. But gradually, with the power of the Holy Spirit, we gained ground and sent the enemy packing. The stronghold buckled, cracked, heaved, and then gave way with a shudder.

Victory, right? Nope. That was just the beginning.

Read Part Four: Accountability