As an unmarried teenager not walking closely with God, I had some incidents under the heading of sexual promiscuity, although I never went the whole way. During that time, I had several opportunities to engage in inappropriate sexual involvements with girls, but a strong sense of discretion usually led me to resist and often to flee. I know now, that strong sense was the Holy Spirit. After turning my life over to God, I repented of my youthful lust and took a strong stand for morality in my life. Then, for more than twenty years, I kept myself free from immoral activity. I wouldn’t watch sexy movies, think immoral thoughts, go to places of temptation, or give erotic sights a second look.
In time, I became a professional counselor and a pastor of a local church. It seemed as if every sexual addict who came to the counseling center for help was assigned to me. All I knew to do was recommend what I did for myself—memorize Scripture, wear horse blinders until your head hits the pillow at night, repent 4000-plus times a day, think about hell a lot, and other nifty tools of infallible victory that I had in my repertoire of strategies. Basically, all I knew to offer these men was self-control, in contrast to God-control.
Unfortunately, none of my tools ever seemed to help these men become free. I guess I thought they simply didn’t fear God enough, which may have been true in most cases, but telling them that alone didn’t seem to do the trick.
I didn’t view them all as perverts. I actually had compassion and wanted them to be free, but when you’re coming from over twenty years of sustained victory, you tend to have a bit of smugness when dealing with others who simply aren’t where you are.
The Raging Lion Inside Me
Toward the end of my twenty-year avoidance of trash, and toward the beginning of my journey into sexual illumination, I began to realize that I was getting weary of the intense sexual battle going on inside of me.
At times, I felt the caged up, wild, ferocious, sexual lion inside of me, violently roaring and always trying to get out of his cage. Although the lion raged, I was disciplined enough to keep the lion in the cage.
I figured that my sexual feelings were normal: We are men—sexual to the core. But, oh, how that lion would rage! Honestly, it felt as if the lion was digging a tunnel out of my soul, like The Great Escape, and would soon burst out into freedom.
The lion’s tenacity made it harder and harder to catch these lusty thoughts.
I would be in situations where I rubbed shoulders with heathen men while their talk centered on a sexy movie they saw, or perhaps on the way some women’s libber protested by taking off her top in public. My blood pressure would soar. I would fight like anything to recover from the dagger of desire inflicted in my soul—and in other parts.
But I was victorious, as victorious as a mouse in the mouth of a cat. Well, I thought I was victorious, because I truly did not give in. There certainly was nothing wrong with my NOT giving in, but there was something wrong with the fact that I wished I would have given in. It was as if I was fighting this battle 24/7.
Do you ever feel this same way? Do you feel like there is a roaring lion on the inside of you trying to be unleashed? Maybe you've kept the lion in its cage thus far, or maybe you've let the lion out. Either way, I'm here to tell you that you don't have to continue to live this way!
In my book, To Kill a Lion, I discuss my journey through this healing process and how the Lord can set you free from sexual lust, while not losing your sexuality.
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May God bless you and keep you as you walk through this journey.