5 min read
By: Cale Baker
Trapped in Sexual Sin
We often feel that our addiction to porn is too much to overcome.
I know I’ve reached that despairing moment within addiction where I started to believe that Jesus’s power wasn’t enough to help me. The baggage surrounding my sexual sin seemed too complex and too deeply rooted, making it difficult to see any light in the midst of the darkness. In these moments, I felt so trapped that I lost sight of what it even meant to turn to Jesus, so I distracted myself in the hope that it would all go away.
That kind of despair can cause us to forget that He’s with us, and we fall into the exile of our own addiction.
Remarkably, Jesus is still there when we turn to Him.
Years of Entrapment
The Israelites all too often became the victim of their own sin. They would experience God’s deliverance, but eventually drift back into their sin, forgetting to turn to God in surrender and worship. God would then deliver them into the hand of their enemies because their hearts were not postured in surrender.
In Judges 6, God allows the Israelites to be ruled by Midian for seven years, during which the Israelites were “brought low because of Midian” (6:6). By Old Testament time standards, seven years doesn’t seem like much compared to the roughly 400 years of exile in Egypt. It might seem easy to gloss over “seven years,” and think “that’s nothing compared to the other times of exile.” But many of us know all too well the despair of being trapped for years on end.
Personally, I’ve known what it’s like to be trapped for years in deep rooted, sexual sin. Seven years is nothing to gloss over, and it’s a long, long time to be trapped in sin.
After seven years passed, Israel called out to Yahweh for help, and even after their wonted forgetfulness, He still awaited their call.
After they reached the despairing point, Israel re-postured their hearts in surrender and turned to Yahweh. Then, He sent the most unassuming of men to bring about Israel’s deliverance. The Angel of Yahweh approached Gideon, whose name means hewer—literally, one who cuts wood, stone, or other materials—to act as God’s judge for Israel.
The first thing Gideon does is question God: “Yahweh, if you are with us, why did all this happen to us?” (6:13). He then goes on to ask Yahweh for a sign. Gideon brings Him a basket with meat in it, and the Angel of Yahweh lights the meat.
Then, Gideon, still unsure of Yahweh, asks Him for two more signs. He puts out a fleece one night and asks that God would allow only the fleece to get wet from dew in the night, leaving the rest of the ground dry. So, God does it. Gideon, however, still not convinced by this sign, asks Yahweh to do it again.
Yahweh doesn’t tell Gideon that once was enough, but instead, He gently delivers the sign to Gideon a second time.
Surrender and Victory
God is all too familiar with questions of His presence in the midst of our despair—think Job, Thomas, or even Jesus on the cross. Yet, His promise of never leaving or forsaking us still stands. He’s willing to show us that He’s with us, and He’s patient with us as we question Him. He knows the depths of despair better than we do, and he knows our inability to escape. He just wants our surrender.
Once Israel surrenders to Yahweh, He prepares Gideon for battle. Gideon gathers a 22,000 person army, still largely outnumbered compared to the Midianite army of over 100,000. After Gideon gathers his army, God, not wanting to give Israel any space to forget His faithfulness, tells Gideon that his smaller army is too big. Queue Gideon’s reaction, as well as our own: “What the heck, God?”
After Israel gathers all they can muster to fight the Midianites, they are still vastly outnumbered, but, again, God tells them their army is too big. And then He brings their army down to 300 (different than Leonidas’s 300 Spartans, in case your mind went there).
After Israel has been brought low by the hand of Midian for seven years, God brings them lower, pushing His people to a deeper surrender. God goes on to use these 300 men to throw the Midianite army into complete disarray. He doesn’t lead Israel in a charge against the 100,000 man army, but instead, Gideon’s army surrounds the Midianites in the night, and proclaims with trumpets: “A sword for Yahweh and a sword for Gideon!” The Midianites, thinking they were under attack, start killing every man in sight, destroying themselves by their own hands.
Israel is freed in a way that only God could bring about.
Surrendering to Porn
Addiction to pornography can feel despairing, as we’re trapped against a massive enemy. Our addiction can feel like 300 vs. 100,000, and the reality of our addiction is that it really is exactly like the 300 vs. 100,000. The odds are not in our favor.
The depths of our addictions run further into us than we know how to comprehend, corrupting our heart, soul, mind, and strength. And when we fall victim to this kind of exile, Jesus is waiting for us call out to Him in surrender.
As Christians, Jesus lives within us, and He knows the parts of ourselves that we can’t even see. He knows the ways pornography has trapped and corrupted our souls, and He waits for us to posture our hearts in surrender so that He can indeed begin to uncover and de-root the corruptions.
But we’ll always surrender to pornography until we begin surrendering to God.
Surrendering to God
Fighting addiction to pornography is certainly a battle, but Jesus doesn’t call us to fight in the conventional way of fighting. He calls us to surrender. Surrendering to Jesus, however, doesn’t look like waving the white flag in the face of our enemy. It looks like bowing before Him in trust that He will deliver you. It looks like going before Him every day and giving Him your addiction, so that He can begin moving through you.
Gideon went before God, unsure of His faithfulness. God didn’t rebuke Gideon for his doubt, but He gently gave Gideon assurance of His presence. Surrender to Jesus involves intimately knowing Him in relationship.
Pornography clouds that relationship. You have to forsake your relationship with pornography in order to know relationship with Jesus. Then, we can trust that Jesus will work in the face of an enemy that’s larger than what we can handle, giving us freedom as we walk in surrender.
If God can save and use Gideon, a man least in the land of Israel, then He can save and use me, as well as you.
Join us at our October 19th conference in Lynchburg Virginia!
— axe throwing
— keynote speaker
— did we mention axe throwing??
Cale Baker is currently working on a Masters degree in English at Liberty University. He works as a Graduate Student Assistant where he gets to teach English to college freshmen. Cale finds himself most fulfilled when he gets to teach, read and write, and hang out with people. If he could do all of these for the rest of his life, he’d be a happy camper.