Eph 4:22 "You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness."
James 5:16 ..."confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective."
Matt 6:34 ..."do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."
There has been some posting recently about resiting and overcoming temptaion in regards to porn. I believe these passages give us some really useful pointers in that battle.
Firstly, we need to recognise that the desires of the natual man are not going to go away. The old self is going to go on being corupted by it's desires. Furthermore these desires are described as "decietful" meaning they will try and trick us into justifying or excusing the very behaviour we know is wrong. Knowing this will call us to be forever vigilant and on guard.
We take this vigilance and we turn it to action. We get "made new" in the attutides of our minds. Our thinking needs to be washed in the word of God. Our thoughts need to be correctly focused. The things we think on and fill our heads with need to be made new in the image of Christ. Scriputre, Fellowship and Prayer are all so important in helping to make our minds new.
I myself am not a big fan of prayer "routines". Rather than make sure I get my 15 min quiet time every morning... I prefer to have a more fluid prayer life. "Turn your thought life into a prayer life", I've heard it said and I think that's brilliant. Bring your conversation with God into everything you are doing. Let your prayer be honest and passionate and from the heart. I don't mind routine... but I just want a more dynamic prayer-life that moves with the flow of my life. When things are going well I can be thanking God for that.... and then as soon as things start taking a turn down I can immediately call out for help.
I can't count the number of days I've begun with praise and worship and feeling really great about my walk with God only to fall (within hours or even minutes) into a desparate struggle with temptation in which I feel powerless to resist. It's great at those times to STILL BE IN PRAYER. "Oh Father, here I go again. The sin is so desirable and I so SO want to give into it, I'm so hungry for it and unless You help me right now!! I'm going to give in to it." or "Father, here I am falling into sin AGAIN! please set me free, please help me to stop".
Next is confession. I learnt the hard way that confession is NECESSARY to overcoming. It wasn't until I began to confess my addictions to others who could support and encourage me that overcoming finally became possible. We need to speak up and get help. You don't have to tell the nature of WHAT you're looking at... just that you are having trouble and be accountable to someone. Have someone praying for you. Have someone you can call on when temptation is looming. I find that if I can talk to someone when I'm feeling overwhelmed by desire to give in that most often the talking and prayers of my brothers will be enough to help me resist. Having contacts on instant messaging is great in that regard because you've got somewhere to go when you're alone at home on the internet. Porn or IM?... choose IM... confess... pray... get free! Praise God!
Finally, take it one day at a time.
If I think about the future I start fretting: "Go without forever!!! I don't know if I can do that!... I'm sure to fail... I'm never going to make it!:... and then I start sinking: "what's the point?... I can't do this.. I'll never overcome."
I have to stop myself thinking about the future. I limit my focus to right now only: "All I have to do is get through today. Today's not so long... I CAN DO today."
Father, overcoming temptation can often seem so hard and impossible. Help us to know that You are with us. That Your mercy and help are available. Help us to not be overwhelmed by our failures but to be in awe of the fact that you gave Your own Son Jesus to secure our victory; to destroy sin, to give us Holy Spirt power to put off the old nature, to walk in new, holy, victorious life. Please provide us with others who can hear our confessions and pray for us to be healed of our addictions. Help us to live lives that honour You one day at a time. We ask this in Jesus name.