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Background
I’ve been trusting Jesus Christ as both my savior and lord for a week now. Most of my life I thought I was a good Christian, but my lifestyle proclaimed a different story. I’ve written a good amount on my past life, which was steeped in sexual addiction and sinful habits, but some folks have been asking what is new in my life. This is what I’ve noticed so far.

Clarity
Perhaps the biggest part of my new life has been the increasing clarity of the truth that is coming due to having a new heart and the breaking down of various barriers in my life, both of my own making (lies I believed over the years and lived by) and spiritual warfare (attacks/oppression of demonic origin). Once all of those were dealt with, my understanding of Scripture and even my communications with my wife have taken on a dramatic change on my end.

I read a Scriptural post by my wife a couple days ago before dealing with the demonic issues, and I felt criticism and harshness from her from the message. Following the changes above, I reread the post, and I can’t tell you the difference! It was now filled with love and hope, and just the right words to encourage and help me on my new pathway, and I also sensed God telling me that this was from him and that my wife was just the messenger. In fact, all these years she has been writing and sharing, God has been pursuing me and reaching out with his words of love and grace, yet I saw them in a different light. What a difference! Her whole post, from 1 John 4, "Love and Acknowledge", is my new John 3:16 passage of God’s love and living in truth and love. There is no medicine that could have been taken that would have given my heart a better healing at that time that what God gave her for me.

Truth
Another huge change in my life has been the abundance of truth instead of lies. My old life was filled with lies and manipulations and denials, but God is shining his light of truth on me now, and the peace and freedom from no longer hiding and no longer living for myself is amazing!

This morning I read Psalm 139 in a new light, because of the clarity God has been giving me, and now the truth is awesome!
O Lord, you have searched me and known me!
2 You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from afar.
3 You search out my path and my lying down
and are acquainted with all my ways.
4 Even before a word is on my tongue,
behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.
5 You hem me in, behind and before,
and lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is high; I cannot attain it.
7 Where shall I go from your Spirit?
Or where shall I flee from your presence?
8 If I ascend to heaven, you are there!
If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
9 If I take the wings of the morning
and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
10 even there your hand shall lead me,
and your right hand shall hold me.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
and the light about me be night,”
12 even the darkness is not dark to you;
the night is bright as the day,
for darkness is as light with you.​

In the past I often saw this as God pointing out my sins. Most times I would feel guilty and then confess, but then would go back within a short time. I also thought David was trying to hide from God’s presence because of his sins or so he could sin, but knowing he couldn’t hide. So often I tried to ignore God while I was rebelling and sinning against him, but I also knew I was never out of his presence, and I always knew when I was sinning against him - it was like I would put my hands over my ears so I couldn’t hear him say, “Stop!”

A good friend from the Charlotte area once said that he couldn’t understand why it mattered to him if his friends knew if he was sinning or not, but he was okay with God knowing. I get that! The fact is God is always with us, and in my new life, that is such a blessing and a comfort; not a threat! And I believe now that David was so enthralled with the joy of God’s presence in every part of his life that he was saying, “There isn’t anywhere I can go that you’re not with me – how cool is that!” (I think David might have used that expression if it was around then).

Getting back to the truth in Psalm 139:
17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 If I would count them, they are more than the sand.
I awake, and I am still with you.​

This truth is so fresh and exciting to me as I think about the freedom and joy of living in the Lord instead of my old life – wow! There is no comparison! He truly is with me and in my thoughts when I awake now – I never imagined that would ever be possible for me.

Unselfishness
Another huge change God is working in me is opening my eyes to my old life of selfishness and making it possible for me to think of others and be unselfish. I was unbelievably selfish and self-centered most of my life – I even was blind to a lot of it and thought I was a pretty good guy!

One training ground for this change, which I really appreciate, is my opportunities to think first of and show love for my wife. I’m about a million behind her in that area, and I mean to do my best to treat her the best I possibly can going forward. I cannot describe how grateful I am for her faithfulness and for God’s faithfulness to me!

Surrender to Jesus Christ
One of the first and most important ongoing keys to my new life is my surrender to Jesus Christ. He is in charge of my life. I am so used to checklists and doing things myself, but I am learning day by day to live by faith, and give the agenda and the control over to him. This is a real battle, not because I want to be in charge – I already know how that will end up – but because I do it so automatically. Please pray for me that I will be reminded regularly of this permanent change and my need to obey him instead of jumping in without even a thought of him.

Regardless of my past life, God was still able to cover all my sins and make me a new creation in him. I’m on board now, and ready to follow him in my new freedom. I know he may continue to use me to reach out to other men who have come from my past of sexual addiction, and I will gladly do whatever he wants. They are a very large and very tortured group of guys who have almost nowhere to turn, especially if they are in a spiritual leadership position. I am hardly equipped to counsel anyone at this time, but I know a God who knows everything about us, and can change our hearts and make all things new. He did it for me! What else do I need to know?

What’s new with you?
 
Loyal
@Rick Love

Give God the glory my friend with your new found communication with God and with your wife.

Remember me and my wife as we struggle with a church problem that we cannot solve. Our pastor, a 92 year old widower, has been serving God since 1936. For the past 5 years he has been without his wife to support him. There are forces in our little assembly working to take over when he passes from this life. They have wanted him to quit, but even they realize by now that he will never do that. Likely his time remaining won't be long, but one reason he holds onto this life is that he knows what is happening around him and it hurts him in ways worse than did the passing of his wife of 66 years.

My wife and I made his wife a promise on her deathbed to stand with him when she was gone, and we work at this, but it is hard not get bitter and tell people about it. My wife especially, who has always been quick to anger and very blunt, often has to bite her tongue and pray for God's help to maintain herself in God's Way. Pray for our pastor, for us and for those who are waiting seemingly like vultures to take the reins as their own. Let God have His Way in all of these things.
 
Member
@Rick Love

Give God the glory my friend with your new found communication with God and with your wife.

Remember me and my wife as we struggle with a church problem that we cannot solve. Our pastor, a 92 year old widower, has been serving God since 1936. For the past 5 years he has been without his wife to support him. There are forces in our little assembly working to take over when he passes from this life. They have wanted him to quit, but even they realize by now that he will never do that. Likely his time remaining won't be long, but one reason he holds onto this life is that he knows what is happening around him and it hurts him in ways worse than did the passing of his wife of 66 years.

My wife and I made his wife a promise on her deathbed to stand with him when she was gone, and we work at this, but it is hard not get bitter and tell people about it. My wife especially, who has always been quick to anger and very blunt, often has to bite her tongue and pray for God's help to maintain herself in God's Way. Pray for our pastor, for us and for those who are waiting seemingly like vultures to take the reins as their own. Let God have His Way in all of these things.
Yes, God is so good and so faithful. So sorry to hear about your situation. Only God can make a miracle out of something so difficult. I will pray for you and your wife and your church situation. God knows why he still has the pastor there - that must be so hard on him! Thank you for your encouraging words and sharing this prayer request!
 
Member
I was Born Again at the age of 54 and I am now 69! When I too went to a church for 30 years but realized 15 years ago, I was just a "Bench Warmer". Welcome to T.J..
Joe
Thanks for the welcome and the encouraging words. God is so good to go after even us old timers and still give us a chance to serve him and honor him with our lives.
 
Unworthy Servant
Staff Member
Greetings,

I keep looking to see if there is an update, Rick.

Don't be too long before getting back to us and letting us know what else is new for you!!
The Lord is faithful and takes our little faith if we are happy to give it to him.... much like the young lad who gave his lunch to the Lord when there was no food for the thousands.


Bless you ....><>
 
Member
Greetings,

I keep looking to see if there is an update, Rick.

Don't be too long before getting back to us and letting us know what else is new for you!!
The Lord is faithful and takes our little faith if we are happy to give it to him.... much like the young lad who gave his lunch to the Lord when there was no food for the thousands.


Bless you ....><>
Thanks Brother Bear,

One reason I have hesitated to write much recently is because of the challenge of my recovery. As one recovering from sexual addiction, as with most addictions, the baggage that goes with it is a platform of lies, deception, bloviating, theory, and performing. I have a long habit of writing and even teaching theories and truths that are not being lived out in my life. I also have a habit of minimizing the severity of my sinful tactics and overstating the voracity of my recovery. The bottom line is, while God is working in my life and I see what I consider are real changes, I cannot yet rely upon my own ability to assess them truthfully. So, I have been waiting until I see real changes that are verifiable, and after that, when I feel I have something worthwhile to share. Oddly, my struggle has not been in the area of my addiction, but in the tactics learned to keep it in place and the immature ways I still deal with conflict.

Another reason I have hesitated in sharing more was because I felt I was told this forum was not interested in my journey and struggle which includes sensitive issues; just in the results once God changed me. I am far from living in victory, but I am learning to daily trust in Jesus Christ, like the boy with the fish you mentioned. Part of my struggle has included several false starts in different directions, and while now more than ever I am convinced that it is only through Jesus Christ that I can have true victory and freedom from addiction rather than living in some maintenance mode, I felt I was not free to share some of how I got there. I received what I believe was good and loving advice here, but was quite sensitive to how I was told what I could do and say, and felt the wind knocked out of me as far as sharing.

Since I started writing on here, primarily because of my wife and how she was received and treated lovingly by the folks here, I have examined a few semi-secular and several Christian programs and organizations and books, and have joined some local addiction support groups (secular and Christian) and left some of them. I have learned much about the subject and what is involved, much which I believe would be helpful for others who are where I am. “Read your Bible and pray”, while that has been my practice often over the years and it is the truth, did not give me enough help. My self-help following the Lord didn’t work because I didn’t really walk with him by faith, but still ran things myself ultimately.

Please permit me to share one of the best quotes I’ve read in the past five years on the subject of addiction recovery, taken from “Freedom From Addiction”, by Neil Anderson and Mike & Julia Quarles, page 110:

The only way anyone will have freedom, peace, joy, and fulfillment is through Christ alone. It won’t be Christ plus any program, treatment center or support group, but Christ can and does work through such programs, if they will teach us who we are in Christ, how to walk by faith and rely on Him.

I believe added to that must be us doing more than claiming an identity in Christ, but living in obedience to him by faith as a validation of that identity, much like what James tells us in faith vs. works. But their point is, and I agree with it because it is starting to change me, that it must be centered in a surrender to Jesus Christ as savior and lord, and daily walking by faith in him. With that foundation, meeting with others who are also walking by faith because it is the only way they can live victoriously, is helpful and also scriptural. This group can be in a church or men’s group, or in Christian support groups where that is their focus rather than just trying to be better addicts. I want all of Jesus Christ in charge of my life, for:

His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. 2 Peter 1:3-4
 
Active
First of all Rick, I love all the testimonies and felt like chiming in......always remember, we are all sinful and fall short of the glory of God but, he truly loves us and has offered a away!

I also have a habit of minimizing the severity of my sinful tactics
Don't we all...such a nasty human habit!
when I feel I have something worthwhile to share.
Your Christian ( all- be-it with a fairly recent Born On Date), you always have something worthy to say and we are anxious!
his forum was not interested in my journey and struggle
Sorry to here that...sure we are!!!!
Part of my struggle has included several false starts in different directions
I always feel that bad or false issues arise from some form of bondage to untruth......like God can't love me!
but was quite sensitive to how I was told what I could do and say,
If what you say comes from a positive and a good place, it is holy, righteous and blameless!
The only way anyone will have freedom, peace, joy, and fulfillment is through Christ alone. It won’t be Christ plus any program, treatment center or support group, but Christ can and does work through such programs, if they will teach us who we are in Christ, how to walk by faith and rely on Him.
Wise man! Christ is the answer and he definitely works on his own time-table. I have addictions as well and have always lamented why there was no change. But as I look around, these problems seem to "all-of'sudden" going away....God is good!
 
Loyal
Hey Rick good to see you posting again. I once suffered similar to you, I tell you once I got really serious with God and started reading the bible every day, and repenting things slowly started changing, then when I slipped up I would fast the next day an pray to God for help, but fasting was my way to show him I was serious and truly sorry. then Longer and longer intervals of stumbling happened. Now it has been the longest ever so Long I can not remember, but it did not happen at once but slowly and I was constantly in the word and in prayer and fasting. I hardly ever even have a urge any longer which is a miracle, and when I do have a urge, I look to Jesus right away and it goes away. It was not always like that it took time and focus. But the intervals of stumbling really were inspiring on the way, because they were always way longer between. God bless you for the courage to post your struggle and to be honest about it, your not alone.. My suggestion is Fast brother fast, it has helped me so much in my journey it really works. I will pray for you brother

another suggestion maybe would be get into a life group that studies the bible together and holds each other accountable for living in obedience to the word, and do life togeather to encourage and help each other.
 
Loyal
@Rick Love
The key to you and all of us as we walk with the Lord is to never ever quit. If we must repent again, if we must surrender to Him again, if... and so forth.

God knows all of us and our frailties and shortcomings. We must admit these weaknesses about ourselves and ask Him to help us to repent where needed and to surrender also as often as is necessary. When we simply cannot do it, then we ask for His help:

"Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened." Matt 7:7-8

There is never a time to give up. There is always another time, while we have time, to ask Him to help again. He always loves us and will not refuse a sincere request that is not amiss.

Give God the glory!
 
Unworthy Servant
Staff Member
@Rick Love

Greetings,

thank you for taking the time to get back to me. I do appreciate it.

While I could read between the lines and scrutinize all you say, I only want to say, "thank you".... and,


Bless you ....><>
 
Member
Thanks Bro Bear, not trying to complain, just responding to why I pulled back some here. This sin road is one I paved for myself, so I can't blame anyone else, but finding the right answers to addiction has been very hard and the church has been of little help in the process. I wish that wasn't so, but it is.

My initial enthusiasm of joining this group was immediately tempered by instructions to limit both the volume and the content of my writings by the leadership. I believe two of my first posts were blocked, and even my welcome post contained responses with warnings and limitations on what I could say that essentially removed portions of my recovery journey from any discussion or Christian input I might have needed from this site.

I recognize that my past lifestyle has been a topic on this forum, and no one wants to change that lifestyle more than I do. But, I understand this site is not set up to minister to recovering addicts, though it contains some discussions that start to touch on some of it. The problem is like with churches - nobody wants to talk about it, so 80-90% of men, including Christian men and even pastors, struggle with pornography and sexual issues. The Bible is full of these discussions, with the New Testament churches as the recipients of the letters. But out of respect for your apparent wishes or preferences, I have sought out and found others with whom I could walk this part of my journey.

If I am wrong about what I said in my original post or this one, I apologize. I believe your concern for my wife and me to be genuine, and your prayers are needed very much if we are to make it through this tough road together. I am totally incapable of changing or loving her properly apart from the work of Christ in me. I have plenty of desire to do so, but my flesh is not to be trusted.

I very much appreciate your getting back with me to follow up - that means a lot to me and speaks of a kind and caring heart. Thanks very much.
 
Unworthy Servant
Staff Member
Greetings Rick,

while I have a moment, may I try to explain to you about what you 'experienced'? I do this here since you brought it up. It may help others to understand, too?

From what I understand, the posts that were in any way edited or removed or had replies that seemed off-colour to you (from memory, so please all excuse me if I get it wrong) had enough content to valid such actions/replies.

May I explain?

TalkJesus is and has been a fairly safe haven for all to come to and write and share, and in doing so have a form of fellowship with one another. As a long term Moderator, I have seen many times when a certain subject is up and running that it is like a magnet to the internet and we get a surge of related sort of new members either joining or wanting to. As you should know we are a welcoming community BUT there are quite a few that are not welcome due to their intent.
Another thing that can become difficult in containing discussions over the years is that if we allow one person to write certain things, we have no option than to allow all to do likewise. This goes for any topic. We are not into censoring and gagging but it is a tricky job to keep everything as clean and decent as possible for all Members, which demands that our level of 'acceptance' of things has to be such that all members can feel safe and that the main theme here which is to TalkJesus is adhered to. We get plenty of flack and hostility and Chad gets the most, being the Admin here.
Alternatives to this is that we could loosen up and have no boundaries and let anything go. I seriously do not think that anyone presently active would want to stay for long.

Rick, (and all others), this is not a personal attack towards you, nor am I suggesting anything to you so I ask you be man enough to see that) there are plenty of forums out there that are open to all and anything so if people want to they can join them and post away and have no control either over themselves or any chance of having control over replies. At the same time, a lot of forums out there are places you enter at your own risk due to the insults and vicious and hateful responses a person can get. At least here at TalkJesus you and all other have some protection from this sort of open shooting ground mentality.

So, your posts were edited etc because we want to keep things in a bit of order here. If we don't, the place would go to ruin very quickly. It is hard enough as is, as some discussions get a bit personal at each other in replies (across the forums).

PLEASe understand that you, Rick, are welcome and your posts are welcome but also please understand that we do have across the board decisions to make regarding the above.
It is easy to get offended and feel unloved or unsupported if we chose to go that way but we don't have to.

Your personal past sexual habits are not something we will want to hear about in any detail and the amount of mentioning the fact of sexual past actions is enough to trip the search engines to a point that we get anything and everything.

Not everyone can deal with talking about sex related problems and most are not really in a place to go into any sort of counselling about sexual behavioural patterns. TalkJesus is not a sex counselling shop. We are here to offer support to anyone and most here have plenty of ability to be a friend and fellow Christian and thereby deal with the real problem which is if one is in relationship with God or not.
It doesn't matter if you or anyone has this past hang up or that, could be gaming addiction, eating addiction, gambling addictions, etc etc, but all have the exact same need and that can only be found in Jesus Christ the Lord and it is He and His name that TalkJesus is here for.

Writing about our past is OK to a point and when we are discussing things, we don't need to use lots of detail and major on the wrong bits that we want to correct. I was thinking about the Apostle Paul, where he did refer to his past and for a good reason, he did not go into any detail about the heinousness of any particular past action but did make it clear that his victory was and is in Christ Jesus ... and, that is the victory that all can share in by grace, through faith, in the Son of God Who loved us and gave His life a ransom for us, that we might be saved.

I am not particularly well at present and my words here might not reflect perfectly the things I am trying to say/write and I am not saying that all Staff here at TalkJesus would be entirely happy that i have covered everything properly and fully, but, Rick, please accept that you are very welcome and may I add that if you try to join in a bit more in other peoples lives and do so by getting into some of the many forum topics here, even how to cook rice, you would not only find that you are as important as everyone else but it could help you get focused on something other than your own personal struggles.
I am not saying they don't matter, but rather, often we can get past problems when we leave our load with Jesus, take up His burden and start sharing in fellowship with others about their lives.


Thanks for writing back here and please know that I do care and more importantly, besides being welcome, the Lord cares for you and will see you through it if you will only believe.


Bless you ....><>
 
Unworthy Servant
Staff Member
@Rick Love

Greetings again Rick,

as I mentioned I am not function at 'my' best at present and am a bit slower than normal, for me.

How about we start a thread in the Men's Forums?
Men | Talk Jesus Forums
That forum is closed to non-members and women do would offer us all an opportunity to reach out for help and for helping one another with Addictions.
I am sure that if the women folk would like to do the same sort of thing, they could and should.
Women | Talk Jesus Forums

Having the 'closed' Men's and Women's forums offers a safe place to talk/write.

I'll pop over there now and see what can be done,


Bless you ....><>

EDIT: https://www.talkjesus.com/threads/dealing-with-addictions.60815/
 
Last edited:
Loyal
they way we discuss about any sin is important in the body of Christ, we should never glorify it, and we should always understand there may be children reading this forum, I think those two basic guidelines should allow us to discuss any topic
 
Member
@Rick Love

Greetings again Rick,

as I mentioned I am not function at 'my' best at present and am a bit slower than normal, for me.

How about we start a thread in the Men's Forums?
Men | Talk Jesus Forums
That forum is closed to non-members and women do would offer us all an opportunity to reach out for help and for helping one another with Addictions.
I am sure that if the women folk would like to do the same sort of thing, they could and should.
Women | Talk Jesus Forums

Having the 'closed' Men's and Women's forums offers a safe place to talk/write.

I'll pop over there now and see what can be done,


Bless you ....><>

EDIT: https://www.talkjesus.com/threads/dealing-with-addictions.60815/
Thanks Bro Bear for the explanation. I understand your concern and will do my best to honor the wishes of this forum. I appreciate you opening this up and kicking it off in the Men's forum, setting the tone and guidelines for discussions. Part of my absence or slowness responding is I have limited access online, so browsing for cooking tips or many other meanderings might be out of scope for a time while I focus on recovery, my marriage, and especially my relationship with the Lord. Hope you get feeling better soon. Thanks!
 

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