After finding myself trapped in the lustful addiction I described yesterday, I probably cried out to God for deliverance 10,000 times. Meaning, the prayers weren’t working. At all.

Oh, the guilt was ramped up. The shame sucked the life right out of me. I was a Christian, after all — and I was a youth leader in my church. How could I be such a hypocrite? I often felt sick, weak with disgust and regret and a growing self loathing.

One day in my parent’s basement, I hit rock bottom. I was lying on my face before God, bawling my eyes out, literally clawing the carpet in desperation. I finally voiced my frustration: “God, I’ve prayed more times than I can count, and you don’t seem to be helping me at all. Why? WHY?!”

“Because you don’t want me to,” was his gentle but firm reply.

I wanted to defend myself, to deny it, to kick and scream and argue, but I couldn’t. He was right (He always is). Bottom line, lust, like all sin, has a payoff. It brings a measure of pleasure, short term. I was still stuck because I liked it, and until I admitted that I would remain stuck. The reason God couldn’t get in to my dark places was that I wasn’t willing.

The revelation stunned me. Rocked me to my core. The tears stopped. The anger melted away.

“Then I’m willing to be willing, Father,” I prayed. “Change my heart.” And that became my prayer a dozen times a day for a couple of months. Change me. Change my heart. I want to be willing. It felt like so little to offer.

It was enough.

Read Part Three: Mind Games