In this compelling and inspiring podcast, join Chris and me as we share our journey of overcoming our fear to freedom in our faith in Jesus while conquering a porn addiction. We share our struggles and how living in a community can hope, healing, and strength to break free from the chains of addiction. Through Chris’s story, we explore the link between addiction and fear and how true freedom comes from trusting in God and renewing our minds with the truth of his word. We share practical tips, tools, and strategies that helped us overcome our addiction and live a life of freedom. The vulnerability, honesty, and transparency will inspire and encourage listeners struggling with addiction, fear, or other life challenges. Join us in this powerful podcast as they share their triumphs, lessons learned and faith journeys.
Who are you protecting? Are you living a life of self-protection? Are you hiding a secret life? Do you hear the lies “If someone really knew me, they wouldn’t love me!” Self-protection builds walls that keep people out and keep you in! God has created us to be known and know. Not only God but others. Will you keep denying God’s intention and purpose for your life by continuing to live a life of self-protection? Have you found a safe community? Do you even know what to look for in a safe person? You need safe people and intimate relationships in your life. God has created us to have these things because we are created in His image. So what are you not talking about, what are you not getting out, and what are you going to do to stop living a life of self-protection? Who are you protecting?
I will reject perverse ideas and stay away from every evil. Tyndale House Publishers, Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2015), Ps 101:4.
Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results. Tyndale House Publishers, Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2015), Jas 5:16.
When the ground soaks up the falling rain and bears a good crop for the farmer, it has God’s blessing. 8 But if a field bears thorns and thistles, it is useless. The farmer will soon condemn that field and burn it. 9 Dear friends, even though we are talking this way, we really don’t believe it applies to you. We are confident that you are meant for better things, things that come with salvation. 10 For God is not unjust. He will not forget how hard you have worked for him and how you have shown your love to him by caring for other believers, as you still do. 11 Our great desire is that you will keep on loving others as long as life lasts, in order to make certain that what you hope for will come true. 12 Then you will not become spiritually dull and indifferent. Instead, you will follow the example of those who are going to inherit God’s promises because of their faith and endurance. Tyndale House Publishers, Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2015), Heb 6:7–12.
Am I a dooms day prepper?
Do we know why we do the things we do? Do we go to bible study, small groups, and conferences to prepare ourselves for the doom and gloom of life? Am I a dooms day prepper? Are we just trying to feel better by filling your life with good things, all the while holding your sin close to our chest? Deep down you are not ready to let go of the earthly things that bring you comfort. You want the “best” of both worlds. You want to be the “King” of your own life and have all the blessings of the “King of Kings.” You have to find your patterns of sin and eradicate them in your life. How can you let go of your kingship if your pattern keeps putting you back on the throne of your life? You have to surrender it to the Lord. In that surrender, you are going to find your purpose and calling in your life. You are going to figure out what it is costing you to keep chasing these patterns. Do you want to pass on a legacy of sin or righteousness? In this free gift of grace and salvation, we do have a part to play. We have lived a life worthy of our calling and pursue Christ with a full heart! We cannot keep going back to the things of dead life. So what is God telling you, and what are you going to do about it?
19 Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. 20 Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires. 21 So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls. 22 But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. 23 For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. 24 You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. 25 But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it. 26 If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless. 27 Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you. Tyndale House Publishers, Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2015), Jas 1:19–27.
1 John 1:9
9 But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. Tyndale House Publishers, Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2015), 1 Jn 1:9.
16 Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results. Tyndale House Publishers, Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2015), Jas 5:16.
We’re in this together episode description
We’re in this together! Are you? I have been wrapped up in the world of pornography addiction most of my life. And in my journey, I have found grace through the example of Jesus my wife has given me. This week Angi and I sit down talk a little about our journey through redemption and what it looks like to live a life of oneness together. We talk about how in my broken state, we were missing out on what it truly meant to live as one in Christ. I don’t think we understood what it really meant to in a state of oneness until I started living a life in a community of men and breaking free from that bondage of porn. I was able to pursue who I am meant to be in Christ and lead her in our marriage. Listen as we talk about these things, and be encouraged that you can find the same things in your marriage.
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We need to remember that we are in a fight! The fight of our lives, our brothers’ lives, and our families lives. And in that fight, it ain’t about how hard you can hit. It’s about what happens after you are knocked down. Do you get up again? Are you preserving? Are you fighting the right fight? We have an enemy, and it’s not your spouse, your job, or even your kids. Join me on this journey of identifying my target and attacking it by surrendering to Jesus.
Verses Mentioned in It ain’t about how hard you hit!:
1 Timothy 6:12
Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of eternal life to which you were called and about which you have made a good confession in the presence of many witnesses Christian Standard Bible (Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers, 2020), 1 Ti 6:12.
Then as I looked over the situation, I called together the nobles and the rest of the people and said to them, “Don’t be afraid of the enemy! Remember the Lord, who is great and glorious, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your homes!” Tyndale House Publishers, Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2015), Ne 4:14.
As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend. Tyndale House Publishers, Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2015), Pr 27:17./
1 Corinthians 9:24-27
24 Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! 25 All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. 26 So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. 27 I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified. Tyndale House Publishers, Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2015), 1 Co 9:24–27.
Do you even know who you are? What areas of your life are you living in the counterfeit? We have been called by name to a purpose in the kingdom. Husbands, Fathers, Ministers, and Leaders. How are you being effective in the kingdom if you are stuck in bondage to sin and addiction? We must work out our salvation and pursue a life worthy of the kingdom of God. If He has called you to it, He will get you through it. He provides a way to escape sin, but we have to take the offerings. You are built for more, you are loved, and you need to share the good news of Jesus.
13 Afterward Jesus went up on a mountain and called out the ones he wanted to go with him. And they came to him. 14 Then he appointed twelve of them and called them his apostles. They were to accompany him, and he would send them out to preach, 15 giving them authority to cast out demons. 16 These are the twelve he chose: Simon (whom he named Peter), 17 James and John (the sons of Zebedee, but Jesus nicknamed them “Sons of Thunder”), 18 Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James (son of Alphaeus), Thaddaeus, Simon (the zealot), 19 Judas Iscariot (who later betrayed him). Tyndale House Publishers, Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2015), Mk 3:13–19.
1 Thessalonians 2:9-13
9 Don’t you remember, dear brothers and sisters, how hard we worked among you? Night and day we toiled to earn a living so that we would not be a burden to any of you as we preached God’s Good News to you. 10 You yourselves are our witnesses—and so is God—that we were devout and honest and faultless toward all of you believers. 11 And you know that we treated each of you as a father treats his own children. 12 We pleaded with you, encouraged you, and urged you to live your lives in a way that God would consider worthy. For he called you to share in his Kingdom and glory. 13 Therefore, we never stop thanking God that when you received his message from us, you didn’t think of our words as mere human ideas. You accepted what we said as the very word of God—which, of course, it is. And this word continues to work in you who believe. Tyndale House Publishers, Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2015), 1 Th 2:9–13.
17 Dear brothers and sisters, pattern your lives after mine, and learn from those who follow our example. 18 For I have told you often before, and I say it again with tears in my eyes, that there are many whose conduct shows they are really enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 They are headed for destruction. Their god is their appetite, they brag about shameful things, and they think only about this life here on earth. 20 But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior. 21 He will take our weak mortal bodies and change them into glorious bodies like his own, using the same power with which he will bring everything under his control. Tyndale House Publishers, Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2015), Php 3:17–21.
1 The Lord is my light and my salvation— so why should I be afraid? The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble? 2 When evil people come to devour me, when my enemies and foes attack me, they will stumble and fall. 3 Though a mighty army surrounds me, my heart will not be afraid. Even if I am attacked, I will remain confident. 4 The one thing I ask of the Lord— the thing I seek most— is to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, delighting in the Lord’s perfections and meditating in his Temple. 5 For he will conceal me there when troubles come; he will hide me in his sanctuary. He will place me out of reach on a high rock. 6 Then I will hold my head high above my enemies who surround me. At his sanctuary I will offer sacrifices with shouts of joy, singing and praising the Lord with music. 7 Hear me as I pray, O Lord. Be merciful and answer me! 8 My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.” And my heart responds, “Lord, I am coming.” 9 Do not turn your back on me. Do not reject your servant in anger. You have always been my helper. Don’t leave me now; don’t abandon me, O God of my salvation! 10 Even if my father and mother abandon me, the Lord will hold me close. 11 Teach me how to live, O Lord. Lead me along the right path, for my enemies are waiting for me. 12 Do not let me fall into their hands. For they accuse me of things I’ve never done; with every breath they threaten me with violence. 13 Yet I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness while I am here in the land of the living. 14 Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord. Tyndale House Publishers, Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2015), Ps 27:1–14.
1 Corinthians 10:13
13 The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure. Tyndale House Publishers, Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2015), 1 Co 10:13.
I don’t think you can handle this! Can you handle what is opposing your walk with Christ? What sins are you hiding? What sins are you just disregarding? Guys, we must get to the point of being broken over our sins. We must get past the pride and talk about what is going on in our lives. Find other men who are further along in their walk so they can lead you. Dive in the word! Work out your salvation and learn what it means to pursue Christ. Expose the sin in your life! Figure out what it will cost you to follow Christ in your life. What boundaries do you need to set so you can work on heart change while maintaining a behavior change?
6 You rejoice in this, even though now for a short time, if necessary, you suffer grief in various trials 7 so that the proven character of your faith—more valuable than gold which, though perishable, is refined by fire—may result in praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him; though not seeing him now, you believe in him, and you rejoice with inexpressible and glorious joy, 9 because you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
Christian Standard Bible (Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers, 2020), 1 Pe 1:6–9.
How do we deal with addiction and discipleship? What does it mean to be a disciple of Jesus? I want to say it must have been easy for them when Jesus walked alongside them, but I don’t think that is true. The 12 had to reshape their theology, mindset, and everything they thought true. How is that any different from today? Everyone has their belief system. They worship and seek comfort in/from something. When we, as believers, try to disrupt their beliefs, we are causing a crisis of faith. A change in what we know to be true. Does our truth bring us comfort from the things of this world, or does The Truth set us free? The 12 disciples were able to watch The Truth and The Life firsthand. They saw miracles happen right before their very eyes. I have been able to watch miracles firsthand. To see Jesus working in someone’s life to the point where they realign what they know to be true. To flip what they believe on its head. So, what are we doing with that knowledge? How are we teaching others about Jesus? What do we do with our idols that we are addicted to? How does our life live out for others to see that following Jesus is different from anything else in this world? Where am I stepping out in faith? How am I leading my family? What do others see in me? Am I turning the world upside down?
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16Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.19Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,20and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
42And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward.”
15 He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.16Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.17And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues;18they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”
22 “All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and no one knows who the Father is except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”
26“If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple.
31To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.32Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
35By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
8This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
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For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of his death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of his resurrection, knowing this, that our old self crucified with Him in order that our body of sin might be done away with so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again, death no longer is master over Him.
Here Paul is reminding us of our place in Christ. If we are a believer, then we are united with Him. In death and the resurrection. We have been made new through the cross, and our old nature has been laid on the altar. This means we are no longer a slave to the things that displease God. We are free to choose a life of pleasing God. In choosing a life with Christ, we should not fear death, for we are also united with Him through eternity’s future. We cannot be separated from the God of the universe.
What exactly does being united with Christ in the likeness of his death really mean? Yes, it says that our old self is crucified, so our body of sin might be done away with and no longer slaves to sin. But how do I live that out in my life? Is the goal to follow rules that measure up to a righteous life in Christ? Am I to read the bible cover to cover every year? Take notes on what and what not to do. Is that how I become free from the slavery of sin? Overcoming my broken flesh by working harder at righteous things so that my works win out?
That sounds like a painfully long, excruciating life. How does any of that set me free? I would be trading the master of sin for a master of works. Neither have grace involved. But when we find the One full of grace, the bible still calls us slaves of Christ. I thought I was finding freedom in Christ and still being called an enslaved person. I get that Jesus is our example of holiness and righteousness, but He was also perfect. I am an imperfect man living in an imperfect world that is broken and wants something more significant than self.
What does it mean
I think our issue is we are applying a modern definition to an older word. Slave, servant, and bondservant in the Greek text all are Doulos. A bondservant was someone indebted to someone else. If the indebted individual could not pay the debt, the individual would become a bondservant to pay off the debt. They would use work to free themselves from debt. A bondservant/slave was not a lifetime requirement. However, when the individual reached the end of the term to repay the debt, the individual had a choice.
Do I go back out in the world with what I have, or do I stay with the master willing? Will my life be better if I try to do things on my own, or will my life be better under someone else’s authority? I am making a choice. But in that choice, I must be fully committed to that choice. There was no halfway. In my decision, the individual was marked, and everyone knew that the individual belonged to a master freely chosen. No one decided to be marked and six months later changed their mind. You were all in, or you weren’t.
Where do you fall in your choice? Have you been freed from the bondage of sin, or do you still free trapped by the sin that so easily entangles us? Do you call Jesus Lord? Has the master marked you? Does it mean that being under the authority of the master, we won’t ever struggle with sin? Of course not. We are still broken people who do the things we don’t want to do. But now, we at least have the ability to be an overcomer. Before believing in Christ, we had no chance of moving past our sins controlling us. We were at the mercy and will. Could we have good days when the struggle was lighter than others? Sure.
But to overcome and be free to choose not to follow through in sin comes from being united with Christ in death and the resurrection. We now have the option and opportunity to choose to follow God instead of our flesh. Our freedom comes from knowing Him and the power of His name in our lives. We can do nothing in ourselves; it is Christ living in us. His power is the power to overcome, to say no to disobedience. It is his righteousness that the Father sees in us. I think the church needs to understand better who we are in Christ and what it means for Christ to live in us.
Father, help us understand what it means to be free in Christ.
What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it? Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore, we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. Romans 6:1-4
Here Paul starts with a question. Do we get to sin more because God’s grace covers us? Is the freedom given through the abundance of God’s grace in Christ a free ticket to indulge in every sinful activity under the sun? Paul has an emphatic no! Them asks if we are new in Christ and died with him, how are we still living in sin? Do we not understand? Those who proclaim to be Christ followers through the example of baptism proclaim a new life. One that died to sin and is raised to walk in this new life.
The word or concept of counterfeit has been coming up a lot in my life lately. Most of the time, it is a preacher, sermon, or a Cristian-based book discussing the idea of something being counterfeit. What does it mean to be counterfeit? Merriam-Webster dictionary says counterfeit is made to imitate something else with intent to deceive or insincere. Have you ever had something in your life that you thought was authentic only to find out later it was a counterfeit? Or did you purchase an item knowing full well that it was an imitation?
Years ago, I worked with a guy that used to buy boxes of “Oakley” sunglass and sell them to the guys he worked with. He never tried selling them to us at the price of Oakley sunglasses; it was always much lower. They looked like the real thing, but I knew they weren’t. I broke a pair or two just putting them on. The item was from a distance; I could look like I could afford hundreds of dollars in sunglasses. The reality was they were twenty-dollar knockoffs that were cheaply made. But I knew that when I bought them.
Where is the counterfeit in your life? Do you know that it is counterfeit, or do you walk around believing that whatever it is authentic? How can you tell the difference between the two? What do you use to measure what is real in your life? What if you are the thing that is being counterfeit? Does depending on where you are, make a difference in how you are perceived? Is there a church version of you, a work version, a party version, or any version of you that has the intent to deceive or be an imitation of the real you?
We live in a culture of death, but as Christ-followers, the wrong things are dying. Instead of dying to sin, we kill that still small voice of God. When we should be dying to ourselves, we indulge in what the world has to offer. We find ourselves immersed in political views, sides of opinions, and dealing with distractions of every kind. Instead must be focused on a life of freedom in Christ. If we are made new in Christ, we are free from this world’s pressures. We should find our “want to” of loving our neighbor instead of tiptoeing around what can and can’t be said.
Are we in Christ? Or are we slaves to sin and bondage, living in fear of men and this world? I think we all want to live free. To sever others. I want us to encounter God regularly and be stirred in our souls to be Christ-like. But our distractedness, we miss out on that stirring and turn to those fleshy things that help us deal with the pain of life. We will encounter hard things. Life is not promised to be easy. What will it take for us as believers to take that step toward a holy and just God? To die daily for things I want in my flesh and strain for the Kingdom of God. We can do it! But will we do it?
Father, we are sinful people who get wrapped up in our kingdoms and neglect Yours. And your loving kindness always leads up to repentance. It is an absolute miracle that you are always there waiting for us no matter how often we choose sin over holiness. Let us never get to thinking more sin equals more grace from you. Let us find the will and want to choose You over everything. To bring you glory in everything we do. Amen.