MY QUEST FOR PURITY
By Dan Luehrs
"But put on (clothe yourself in) the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts" (Romans 13:14).
This is my story for the purity of my heart while living in an unpure world. I feel the need in my heart to write this short article on pornography because so many men and women have been taken captive by the enemy and are now slaves to this addiction. Many Christian men and pastors have been affected to the point of half the church is now addicted to the stuff with no way of getting out. After years of battling cravings I can say that I am free to sit down by myself and not be tempted to look at unbecoming sites on the computer. You might ask, “Aren’t you tempted at all?” If I said that I never had any thoughts or temptations I would be lying, but I have learned that I can take captive my fleshly thoughts and over the demonic powers that are inciting them. God knows our feelings and the temptations that are trying to overcome us, for He is the only one that can deliver us from the power of this sin and if we will cry out to Him with all of our heart He will deliver us. We cannot just cry out to Him after we have sinned, but before, during, and after the fact to deliver us from the power of the evil one.
"Give heed to my cry,
For I am brought very low;
deliver me from my persecutors,
for they are too strong for me.
"Bring my soul out of prison,
so that I may give thanks to Thy name;
the righteous will surround me,
for Thou wilt deal bountifully with me"
(Palms 142:6-7 NAS).
My battle against pornography began for me in 1997 when I was in a motel room and a voice said, “Do you want to watch an X rated movie?” I thought about it and was tempted for a second and said; “No I don’t think that I should start doing something like that!” There had not been any other real strong attacks against me with pornography since I was 17 when a friend and I watched an X rated film and I was so disgusted at what I saw that I did not have any real problems with it until many years later. Nevertheless the seed was planted!
The first time that I went online was 1995 and as I was leaving my office I turned around and looked at my computer and said to myself, “There is something sinister about this, but I don’t know what it is?” I had been on the Internet for about five years before having any problems with it. Then in late 1999 a friend of mine started emailing me several times a day and I would look for them and write back to him. Because of me being alone in my study daily I would spend many hours there and emailing was an easy escape from the routine, but Satan would use it as a trap for me. It became a habit for me to go online and even an excitement would fill me when being connected. There is a reason why they call it a Web, it’s a trap for many people and some polls are saying that as many as one in five ministers are hooked on Internet pornography. Pornography was once emailed to people by pornographers and this started to get men curious about what was out there and is a great temptation for most men to look, but their curiosity sets the hook of the enemy in them. I have had this spirit pull on me and the best thing I could do was to get the Internet out of my house so that it would not be a bother to me.
I wish that I could say that the battle was over for me and that I never had another problem with it. Satan wanted me in bondage to this stuff to feed my man of sin with it, but God always has a way of escape. My friend that was emailing me told me that he was having a problem with Internet porn and told me some of the things that he was looking at and he decided that the best thing for him to do was to throw out the computer. When he and his wife were at my house one-day, I asked them how do I find porn on the internet and they said to type in these different names and when I did many things came up to view. I am not blaming them because it all comes down to the sin in my own heart that was hidden there. But I sure wish my friends would have scolded me and tried to set me strait, but God has reasons for everything. This is where the battle of my mind begun, even though I was getting the victory over it when I threw the Internet out of my house, but Satan is sly and tries many different ways to lure us in if he sees that we have some interest in it.
THE BATTLE RAGES ON
One time I was out walking and the Lord said to me, “The enemy is going to try to seduce you.” I was not sure what to expect, so as I continued to walk, I walked right into a porn magazine on the side of the road. The next time one was by the school bus stop. And the next time there was a magazine by the garbage in the park. But this one takes the cake! I was driving one Sunday morning in front of an elementary school and there were at least ten magazines on the road that people were driving over and pictures where scattered everywhere! I thought I am not stopping to pick them up and throw them away, let someone else do that. Then I thought people already have driven over them many times with no one stopping to pick them up and what happens tomorrow when the children come and the ditch and sidewalk is full of porn? Who is going protect the kids? I did turn around and pick them up and threw them away. Satan seems to stop at nothing to get us hooked, but my God made away of escape for me.
The summer of 2000 I was in my hometown at a house where they were moving and my boys stayed behind in their house and when I came to the house the Lord said to me, “Your boys were watching pornography!” I was startled because they we 12 and 14 and I have tried to protect them as much as I could from it and here they were getting it from my hometown. I remember finding the films and viewing a few minutes of it thinking, “Satan you would just love for me to sit here and feed myself with this junk rather than the word of God!” So I took the videos and smashed them and threw them in my friend’s garbage and told him and his wife about it. I knew that the devil was hard on my trail to try to ensnare me with this stuff. One night I was tempted in a hotel that had porn in it, but I never viewed it. That night I had a dream that someone was pounding on my door and I literally woke up startled to see who was there and there was no one at the door. I said to God, “What was that dream about?” He said, “The enemy is knocking at your door with pornography and wants to come in!” After this happened I viewed porn one time on the Internet and I felt it pulling me back into it and I laid on the floor praying for the power to overcome it, then I said to the Lord, “I feel like I need this stuff.” He said to me, “You do!” Because my flesh desired it, it was like crack cocaine that gets people addicted with one high. Now the battle was on!
In May of 2000 Jesus came to me walking over a lake and had me drink from His cup, the cup of His suffering. I was going through such a time of suffering and wondered why He was allowing all this stuff in my life when He could just as well deliver me from any pain and suffering that I was going through with porn. But He didn’t! That leads me to believe that God is involved in every part of our life and He allows these things to happen to us for our good to help others and to make us more like Jesus.
Even though I did not have the Internet in my home for awhile I still struggled with the thoughts of lust and I would ask God, “Why is this happening to me, I am not thinking about sex or fantasying about sex or about having sex with other women. So why am I troubled by these temptations?” He never gave me an answer, but that it was a trial, an attack on my mind that I had to walk through so that I could help others that were going through the same thing even though it seemed hopeless of being free. It is so easy to judge others in this, unless you have gone through it and know that the battle still rages within them. There is no difference from gambling, drugs, alcohol, smoking, and sexual habits or whatever else has you. There is a vacuum on the inside of each of us that must be filled, and if Jesus is not filling us and satisfying our inner need we will look elsewhere for them to be met, sometimes even without knowing it! But we must fight against this great temptation and seek God with all our heart and get back on track with Him if we want to be an overcomer and sit with Him upon His throne. You can try and run from it if you like, but there is nowhere to hide because it is everywhere as I have found out. You can run for awhile but eventually you will have to stand your ground and fight for your purity. I asked other friends to pray for me against this struggle, but I don’t think anyone took me serious about it, no one ever asked me about it when I gave them permission to, or were they also addicted not wanting to admit it?
We live in a sex crazed society, so why should we Christian’s think that we could somehow be unscathed by everything that was going on in the world around us? God had clearly shown me that porn was a great plague on society and was causing great tribulation for many saved and unsaved people, so why would I not be tested? Who do I think I am? I am a man that lives in a natural body and I think that women are beautiful, what’s wrong with that? I live in Florida where it is hot and many women wear things that are seductive and luring for the eyes of men. But what most men don’t know is that when they look at women for more than a few seconds it begins to feed their fleshly nature and puts a greater desire in them for more. But because most women like the attention that men give them, they what to turns heads and feel good about themselves. One day God was showing me something in the spirit realm about lust. In a vision I saw a women dressed seductively and I saw a demon walking with her and the demon would whistle loudly and cry out as she walked, “Hey guys come and take a look at this one!” The men not knowing that they were being sucked into a deep lust problem stared at her and drank her beauty in as they desired her. This is called the battle of every man!
Over the next few years I would battle porn on the Internet because I would have to have the Internet in my home to update my web site for the ministry, but it would never be on for more than a day or so. I told another Christian about my struggles with the Internet hoping that they would pray with me and for me, but all they said was, “It must be meeting a need in you.” I was floored! Here I bared my soul to them and they don’t even care enough to pray with me. So I would throw out the Internet again in my house, as it would try to creep back in to my life little by little. I would fight against this stuff because I knew of the destruction that it would bring into my life if I did not, I was not willing to pay that price. But I was willing to pay the price of serving God even though it was very difficult, because God has an eternal inheritance to be gained!
There seems to be lust everywhere you look from the commercials and programming on TV, to the billboard’s on the street, to the Super Market tabloids. There is no escaping it except through the person of Jesus Christ and dying to it daily within us! I wish women would truly know of this battle and some do, but the truth of the matter is that the flesh loves it because it feeds on it! “Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality” (Galatians 5:19 NAS). It is only right and normal for the flesh to want this slop, that is why it is everywhere! But we are not called to be normal; in fact we are called to live supernatural lives above all this stuff, for the God of power in us will live through us a holy life. It must be His strength, not ours that will overcome this enemy of ours!
In 2005 the battle was ragging again and the devil said to me, “Your wife (former wife) doesn’t care about your needs so why not look at porn!” I had a choice to make and I said that I am not going to be your slave whether my wife wants me or not because I was married to Jesus and I needed to stay pure for Him! At that same time I started to listen to a Christian talk radio show and the man on the air that day wrote a best selling book called, Every Man’s Battle it was a national best seller. I ordered a copy and God used it to open my eyes to know how to fight against all these things that I was seeing daily. I then began to understand, when a man looks at attractive women for to long there is a sexual connection in his heart without even knowing it.
Lust must be won over by love in order for us to be freed from this terrible sin. These two are opposites of each other, lust takes, where love obtains by giving and caring for the other person. True love would not dare use another person for sexual gratification through the eye gate or through physical pleasures. True love waits and protects the other person, where lust will do about anything to get its needs met. We see this played out in the press daily when someone sexually abuses children in their care, classroom, or in the market place. Perversion and lust reign in the world and only through Jesus can we possibly hope to be free.
Below is a letter that I sent to a person that contacted me about lust controlling their life. They said that the letter was helpful to them, so I hope it will be to you also.
“I know your feelings! But the truth of the matter is that you cannot go back to a life of sin because there is nothing there for you that will satisfy you. Who could be a better friend to you then Jesus and who could you talk to at anytime who understands?
I do believe that I have the answer to your question on how you overcome your sin. You must stay so full of Jesus that you have no more room for that sin. Sin is death; a better word is [separation] from God because our heart will not let us get close to Him when we feel so ashamed and condemned like Adam and Eve were. So the answer to dying to self is staying filled with the LIFE of Jesus! Life conquers death, its that simple. “I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh” (Gal 5:16 NKJV). To walk in the Spirit is to stay filled with the Holy Spirit by waiting on Him each and everyday.
The presence of Jesus is life to our bodies and death to the darkness that is in us, it is like turning on the light in a dark room, only the light is left. Ask God to fill you each day as you spend time with Him and His word, this alone will bring death to the man of sin that is in you. Death to sin comes only by His life in us!
“For we who are in this tent (body) groan, being burdened (with sin), not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed (with life), that (death) mortality may be swallowed up by life” (2 Cor 5:4-5 NKJV).
Having His life is the only way to death of self! He loves you and does not cast you away because of your sin, ask God to take the desires away from you and stay away from people that you know could cause you to fall. That’s where your guilt is coming from and wanting to quit. I have been there! We must live in the Spirit in order to die to the sin. Increase in His life and you will decrease in death that is pulling on you.
“There is, then, now no condemnation to those in Christ Jesus, who walk not according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit; for the law of the Spirit of the life in Christ Jesus did set me free from the law of the sin and of the death”
(Rom 8:1-2 NKJV).
His life sets us free, get His life daily and you will see how you overcome through His power!
I like your honesty and not wanting to hide, this will take you very far in the kingdom because you are not trying to hide from Him or anyone else.”
“Run from sexual immorality! Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the fornicator sins against his own body” (1 Cor 6:18 CJB).
Before I close this article I would like to share with you some insights the Lord has shown me about opening the door to the demonic realm through sexual sins. Some of this you may never have heard of before and it might scare you a bit, yet I think if we will realize what we are playing with we will stay clear of it as we would a charging bull! According to the Bible, fornication is all types of sexual sin that affects the body from the inside out. It steals our peace, our joy, and strength to live for God. What this means to me is that sin continues to weigh heavily upon the heart of the person committing the sin until it crushes the life out of us. I have heard of some people so given over to sexual sin that’s all they wanted all the time like an alcoholic or a drug addict until it destroyed their life. We may wonder how an adult person can sexually abuse a young child that was given over to their care. But when we begin to understand the powers of darkness and the door that we can open to them, we then begin to understanding how and why. Because they lost all control in that area of their life to the demonic powers.
I have already written about the time that I was in a hotel and I dreamt that someone was knocking hard on my door and when I literally got up and checked, no one was there. When I asked the Lord about this, He said that the enemy wanted to come into my soul with lust. At that time I did not quite understand what that all meant, but now I have a deeper understanding of it.
We can allow many things into our soul through dramatic happenings in our life, such as, a spirit of fear can enter our soul through a fearful event in our lives. A lustful spirit can enter through molestation in our younger years or by listening to or viewing lust filled materials. An alcoholic spirit can enter in through a drunken night while being passed out.
In George Ritchie’s classic book called Return from Tomorrow he had an out of the body experience with Jesus when he died at the age of twenty. In one of his experiences he saw people passed out from alcohol in bars and then saw departed spirits entering the body of the drunken person. He also saw many departed spirits that were caught up in sexual sins and were bound to a sexual hell in the after world.
What I am about to share with you few people have ever heard of and even fewer would believe what I am going to write. I am referring to people having sexual intercourse with departed spirits. I personally have talked with several people that have experienced this and having great fear because of it. Our mind will try to deny that this is even possible, but trust me I have heard of Christians caught up in this kind of sin through the deception of the demon. One demon comes as the person of Jesus Christ telling the women that he came to consummate the relationship of the marriage. Another demon came to a woman and said that he was her former spouse in a prior life and she fell for it daily. When these women would not give into the demon it would turn on them and begin to beat them up until they submitted to them. This is scary stuff without Christ; we must shut the door tight!
These people have somehow opened themselves up to demon possession in this area of their life and are possibly opening many more areas to them where these evil spirits are wakening them in the middle of night. These spirits will need to be cast out in the name and the blood of Jesus. They will not stop until they have destroyed that person’s life and have dragged them to be tormented in hell, which they already are living in! If this has happened to you or someone you know, cry out to God for deliverance and share it with mature spirit filled Christian to pray deliverance with you.
This is nothing new because the Bible tells us about a time when the sons of God were having sex with mortal women and giving birth to a giant race of people that David and his men had to kill off because of their great wickedness.
“The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men, and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown” (Gen 6:4 NAS).
Now we like David must kill off these uncircumcised Philistines before they try to make us their slaves. They are meat for us! In other words as we overcome we gain strength to overcome them and to cast them out of the lives of others that are fighting the same battles.
"And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might” (Deut 6:5 NAS).
Love is the greatest power in the universe and with it we can and will conquer all of our enemies. Jesus overcame because of His love for the Father and for His will to be done on earth as it is in heaven. When we love God more than ourselves we will always do what is pleasing in His sight.
We all have been given a portion of faith and what we do with it determines if we will receive more from the Lord. Either we use it or we lose it like our muscles! The Bible clearly teaches us that God has given each person some gifts and talents of some type to bear fruit for the kingdom. What we do with them will determine our placement in the kingdom for eternity. A person may receive one talent from the Lord and another two, another five, but we all must give an account to God for what we have been given and how much we have multiplied the Lords talents that have been given to us.
The same multiplication process is true of love also, for God is love and if we want to become like Him we must become love. The only way for that to happen is for us to grow more and more like love. When we were born we grew into adulthood and as Christians we grow up into the likeness of Jesus Who is the luminary of love.
When we choose to obey God’s word and not to lust after the flesh and give into its cravings were are using the love of God in our heart to overcome our shortcomings. Let me try to explain it this way. A person had a vision of two young men, one was a street person, while the other was raised a strong Christian and went to Bible school. In his vision he saw the street person walking and starting to kick a cat that crossed his path but he refrained to do it. Then in his vision he saw the Christian man serving people and sharing the gospel with them. The Lord said, “Which one pleased me more?” The man said, “The Christian man!” The Lord said, “No the homeless man.” He was incredulous and said, “How is that possible?” The Lord went on to say, “The homeless man was given three portions of His love and used them all to overcome his temptation to kick the cat, while the other Christian man was given one hundred portions of love and was only using seventy five.
We may think that love is just showing expressions of kindness to others, but from this story we can see that love is used in many different ways. One type of love is to serve others, while the other is to overcome our fleshly tendencies by loving God more. How many points of love have you been given and how many are you using to love God so that you might overcome your sin? Do you love God more than the other person you are looking at? If we are walking in love we will not obey the lusts of the flesh because they are opposites of one another and we will overcome our enemy through loving God first and foremost.
If you are caught up in this web of sexual sin do not fear! God has not forsaken you even if you feel like He has, He’s not even mad at you and still loves you with an everlasting love. So do not despair and give up on yourself, because God will NEVER give up on helping you and forgiving you as you continue to run to Him in your time of need.
Kissimmee, FL 34744