December 6th

 

Poisoned and Bound

18And when Simon saw that through the laying on of the apostles' hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money, 19saying, "Give me this power also, that anyone on whom I lay hands may receive the Holy Spirit."  20But Peter said to him, "Your money perish with you, because you thought that the gift of God could be purchased with money! 21You have neither part nor portion in this matter, for your heart is not right in the sight of God. 22Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you. 23For I see that you are poisoned by bitterness and bound by iniquity."  24Then Simon answered and said, "Pray to the Lord for me, that none of the things which you have spoken may come upon me."   Acts 8:18-24 NKJV 

Dealing with the thoughts of the heart may be the most difficult task of walking to freedom from sexual addictions.  Thanks to technology…sound, video and print…sexual temptations and fantasies can be loaded into our hearts (minds) at light speed.  Years of work at keeping the mind free of lustful thoughts can be destroyed with a click of a mouse.   

This story of Simon the sorcerer helps us gain insight on how to deal with the mind that is contaminated with evil thoughts.  Simon, a recent convert to Christ, sought to purchase the ability to give the Holy Spirit through the laying on of hands.  Peter rebuked, Simon, telling him that his heart was not right in God’s sight.  He then instructed Simon to repent and pray that God might forgive him for the thought of his heart.  Simon agreed and repented. 

Why didn’t Simon recognize his attitude was wrong, requiring Peter to point it out?   Peter saw that Simon’s heart had been poisoned by bitterness and bound by iniquity.  The bitterness and sin in Simon’s life had poisoned and bound him, preventing him from distinguishing right from wrong in his heart.  In the same way, sin that we allow in to our life can blind our “spiritual vision.” As we practice the sin over and over, our conscience can get desensitized to it, such that eventually we may not think there is anything wrong with the sin.   

God has a way of lovingly revealing our sin to us.  He loves us so much and doesn’t want sin to hinder us from enjoying the full potential of the new life in Christ.  He used Peter’s rebuke for Simon, and he may use people, circumstances, dreams or even websites to call attention to things in our lives that need to be dealt with.   

If we have allowed a sinful habit like sex addiction to corrupt our hearts and minds, we can take these steps to get started in recovery:

For more detailed guidance on how to do these steps, please visit my online study Freedom Journey I. 

Questions for further thought:

Prayer:

“Lord God, thank you for the healing and restoration that is available to me through Jesus Christ. Father, please shine your light of truth into all the dark areas of my life. Please reveal the truth to me about the lies that I have believed and the sin that I have practiced.  (pause for time of silent prayer and reflection)

I repent specifically from: _________________ (list sin).  Please forgive me, cleanse me from any poisoning of my heart and free me from any bondage that ensued.  I pray for your help as I commit to taking my thoughts captive and making them obedient to Christ.  I will study your word daily now and receive the truth that sets me free. Thank you, Lord God!  I praise you now and forever, Amen.”