That thought: — “I must not be a real Christian” — was at the heart of a message from a young reader. When Jan shared this young man’s message with me, we began discussing how we could reassure this reader and really encourage him. This post is the result of our conversation. ~ Joanne
Here is the young reader’s message
“I am thirteen year old boy, and a Christian. But recently, my mind’s been clouded with bad thoughts that make it hard to pray. I thought that I must not be a real Christian, since I thought that a real Christian would be able to handle those thoughts. But I read your article, and I am going to try what you suggest! It is very encouraging, and I thank you for writing it.”
To all adults reading this, and especially to parents:
Wouldn’t you love to just hug the stuffing out of that young man?
How wise he was to go online and search for Bible wisdom on how to overcome an issue that virtually all of us struggle against!
Here’s what God REALLY thinks about you:
The LORD your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing. (Zephaniah 3:17)
Note the underlined text:
8 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:8~9)
God is patiently waiting for you:
9 The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you,[a] not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. (2 Peter 3:9)
Q: how do you get out of this mess?
A: You stop believing lies!
You stop giving in to the Enemy. You come before the Father and you say:
“Heavenly Father, I’m bringing my sin before you in the Court of Heaven. Satan lied to me to entice me into pornography. He told me it would be fun and exciting and pleasurable. I hate it. I want out. Here–take it. I’m giving it to You. I ask You to forgive me for believing Satan’s lies and giving in to pornography. I ask You also to remove from me anything that has come down my family lines that has anything to do with these sins. I forgive anyone in my family lines that gave in to pornography and I turn them over to the Court of Heaven for judgment.
I ask You, Holy Spirit, to make it very clear to me who is speaking to my mind and enticing me toward unwanted thoughts. Remind me that they are liars and that you said that “the Truth would set me free.”
Jesus, You said:
31 …If you remain in My Word, you will truly be my disciples, 32 and you will know the Truth and the Truth will set you free.” (John 8:31~32)
That is what I want. I want to be free — free to be with You — free from these unwanted thoughts — free to feel Your Love –free to feel Your forgiveness.
God, I can’t do this by “trying harder.” I know that there is power in Your Word. I need You to lead me.
You said, “You will give us another Helper, even the Spirit of Truth, the Holy Spirit to dwell within me.”
Note the underlined text:
Jesus Promises the Holy Spirit
15 If you love me, you will keep my commandments., 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, 17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you. (John 14:15~17)
You also said, “If anyone loves me, he will keep My Word, and My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.” “My peace I give you—not as the world gives do I give to you.
Note the underlined text:
21 Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.” 22 Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, “Lord, how is it that you will manifest yourself to us, and not to the world?” 23 Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. 24 Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me. (John 14:21~24)
We have to pause and ask:
According to the underlined words in the two Scriptures quoted directly above: when you really love God and and are acting in obedience to His Word, you have the Holy Spirit, the Father, and Jesus Himself resident within you and acting on your behalf… what does the devil think he’s going to do??
Resuming the prayer:
“Jesus, You also said:
27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. (John 14:27)
Satan will continue to attack—but now you have the Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God, to use against Him. You know now that you have a powerful weapon that you can use against him anytime you want. This is where your Power lies.
Every time you realize that you have sinned. immediately go before God and repent—ask God for forgiveness. Talk back to the demons. Say things like, “O, no you don’t, you lying spirit! I will not listen to you! Go back to the Pit of Hell in the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth!” They can’t stand the mention of the Blood of Jesus and His Mighty Name.
Instead, choose to saturate your mind with the Word of God. (I’l show you how easy it is to do that in just a bit.) Spend time with your Loving Father. Don’t believe the lies that He is mad at you or that he doesn’t love you. He LOVES you. HE is the Great Lover of your soul!
Get to know Him.
You know Him by what He says and what He does. He wants to be intimate with you. Ask Him to reveal Himself to you. He will never say no to that.
Your spirit KNOWS His Spirit. He is not far away as Satan would have you to think. God says, “They shall all know me.” Say to God, “I want that. I don’t want to stay stuck in this mess that I am in.I ask You to deliver me from Satan’s trickery. He told me that You are not good and that You could never love me—and that there wouldn’t be any consequences to my following his enticements. Now I know what the real Truth is—I am in a war for my very soul. Satan wants me so that he can hurt You. I stand on Your side, Father. Help me to see the Truth here and to always choose You and Your ways. I look forward to the closeness that is ahead of me. I want You. Simple as that.”
Some Additional Thoughts:
You are NOT an evil person!
You have simply been deceived by to the lies of an evil spirit.
Here’s One Of the Strategies Demons Use:
A demon presents you with some kind of enticing thought– for example, some kinds of pleasurable sexual images. After he gets you to think on these–or even act on them–he turns around and accuses you.
The demon will say something like, “You terrible person! How could you call yourself a Christian? God doesn’t love bad people.”
Even here he is lying to you. God does indeed love sinners. We are all sinners, every one of us.
Why would God bother to send His Son to die on the Cross if He wasn’t even going to save one person?
Do you see the trickery involved in this? The demon presented you with a pleasurable lie (“you are going to have a great time with this”), and when you fell for it, he took away your self-worth by nailing you for being a terrible person. This is the same pattern he uses every time.
How do you fight it?
Your weapon is the Truth of God’s Word.
Say to the enemy, “I know who you are, you lying demon. I am not going to fall for your lies today. Get out of here! Go back to the Pit of Hell in the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth!”
Now that you know the truth — that you were being set up to fail like this — you have to be persistent in your response. This means that you have to give the same response every time a skimpily-dressed girl walks by — “I choose not to look at her in a way that would make her uncomfortable if she knew. I refuse to let images of her come up in my mind later.”
I also urge you to memorize the following Bible passages.
1 I have made a covenant with my eyes; why then should I look upon a young woman? (job 31:1)
20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)
24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. (Galatians 5:24)
Here’s an easy way to do it:
Get some 3″ x 5″ recipe cards and write the Scriptures above on them. Read them out loud just once or twice a day. Eventually, you will be able to recite the words without looking at your cards.
Recite them before you turn out the light as you go to bed. We’re talking just a few minutes here. It will transform your life.
Why? Because God’s Word is not natural; it’s supernatural! It’s the one thing in this world that the devil cannot control.
Commercials on TV in these times are full of sexual images. You must choose to avert your eyes immediately when these come on, or Satan will have you pondering them later. You must decide to throw away any pornography that is around your house and you must delete any sexual images on your computer. You know these websites have been a problem for you. Lock yourself out of them. Block every junk mail provider that has been sending them to you. Refuse any advance from any kind of sexual chat room. These are all choices on your part.
On the other hand, get involved in real life situations where you learn how to be socially appropriate with the opposite sex. After all, God made us sexual beings for marriage — not lust. Pornography leads to a lonely, self-serving lifestyle. This is not the role that God intended for you. He made you to be a great lover of someone of the opposite sex where you will respond to each other in love. Spend your time learning to be a great listener, a person who truly enjoys others and is very supportive of them.
This is what a great life is about — what we have been created for — loving a marvelous God and the people He has placed in our lives.
Will pornography continue to bother you?
Yes, there are times when you will fall for the enticement again. What will you do? Go back to the Father with it. “Father, forgive me for looking at the girl/boy with lust. Please deliver me from that demon of lust and restore a pure heart within me. I am sorry that I gave in again to the lies of the Evil One. Give me Your strength to make good choices. Open my eyes to the battle that we are in, and to our need for You and Your Holy Spirit. I choose to turn away from these sins. Forgive me, please, for falling for Satan’s lies once again. I want to be close to You.”
But guess what?
The more you make the right choice — the “God-honoring” choice — THE EASIER IT BECOMES! And with the power of God working in you, you will ultimately prevail!
Falling down is not failure. Not getting up and going on — that’s failure!
23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, And He delights in his way. 24 Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; For the Lord upholds him with His hand. (Psalm 37:23~24)