February 12th

Idolatry in Sex Addiction

18They do not know nor understand; For He has shut their eyes, so that they cannot see, And their hearts, so that they cannot understand. 19And no one considers in his heart, Nor is there knowledge nor understanding to say, "I have burned half of it in the fire, Yes, I have also baked bread on its coals; I have roasted meat and eaten it; And shall I make the rest of it an abomination? Shall I fall down before a block of wood?"  20He feeds on ashes; A deceived heart has turned him aside; And he cannot deliver his soul, Nor say, "Is there not a lie in my right hand?" 21 "Remember these, O Jacob, And Israel, for you are My servant; I have formed you, you are My servant; O Israel, you will not be forgotten by Me!  22I have blotted out, like a thick cloud, your transgressions, And like a cloud, your sins. Return to Me, for I have redeemed you." Isaiah 44:18-22 NKJV

Idolatry is sometimes the less-recognized sin involved in pornography addiction. The combination of sex and idol worship was often a diversion for the Israelites during their journey from Egypt and habitation of the Promised Land. God was greatly angered and grieved by their actions.  He repeatedly warned them of the consequences of their sin.

Pornography today offers a similar powerful draw to people. Sex and bodies are glorified, displayed and enhanced so people can fantasize to their heart’s content.  As a result, sex addicts give thoughts of sex a “high place” in their minds, which is just like the altars for idol worship that the Israelites made throughout their land.  The sacrifices sex addicts make on these mental altars include time, talent, sleep, money and family relationships. 

Make no mistake, this “mental idolatry” of sex is just as serious as worshiping carved idols.  God has called us to worship and serve Him only; not things that he has created. When we rebel by worshipping sex, our life begins to decay from within.  We grieve the Holy Spirit by our repeated disobedience, and his power evaporates from us.  Our conscience of sin becomes dull and we become easy prey for further deception.  The above passage gives additional details:

If any of these symptoms are familiar to you, there is still hope! God reveals the way back to Him and the new life that Christ bought you in verses 21-22:

21 "Remember these, O Jacob, And Israel, for you are My servant; I have formed you, you are My servant; O Israel, you will not be forgotten by Me!  22I have blotted out, like a thick cloud, your transgressions, And like a cloud, your sins. Return to Me, for I have redeemed you."

The steps to regain spiritual vision and clear conscience are:  Remember that God made you, you are His servant and He will never forget you. Next, you must know that He has blotted out your sins through Jesus Christ. He has redeemed your life from the pit of hell and has broken your bondage to sin, so that you can now serve Him in spirit and truth. Finally, return to God by embracing His commandments for healthy living.  

I encourage you to go through our study Freedom Journey for specifics.  The benefits of living for God will far outweigh any pleasure you ever had in sin. Consider the psalmist’s words:

"Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from destruction, who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, who satisfies your mouth with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s." Psalm 103:2-5 NKJV

Questions for further thought:

·        What did God use to blot out the sins of Israel and all who would place faith in Jesus?

·        What are some practical ways to keep your mind from idolizing sexual thoughts? (2 Corinthians 10:5; Colossians 3:1-2; Philippians 4:8)

·        How is pornography degrading to God? (Genesis 1:27)

Prayer:

“Heavenly Father, Thank you for creating me.  Thank you for the wonderful gift of sexuality.  I confess that I have idolized sex and lusted about people sexually.  Please forgive me for these sins by the blood of Jesus.  Please help me destroy any altar or high place I have created in my mind for sexual idolatry.  Please teach me through the Holy Spirit how to keep my mind from idolizing sex.  I commit to learning about your commands for healthy living and following them each day as I walk forward.  Thank you, Lord! In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.”