Helping men and women find hope, help, healing, restoration and redemption
leading to lasting victory over sexual addiction through a growing, vibrant, powerful relationship with Christ.
Why do you look at porn? Why do you lust? Why do you masturbate? Why are you choosing to sin?
Your heart's “motivation” for doing something is the reason you have behind each choice you make and action you take. Even your sinful choices have a motivation behind them. You have been looking at pornography and masturbating for a reason. You do what you do because in your heart you want what you want.
In today’s Point of Purity Podcast, we are going to talk about the motivation of your heart. Man looks on the outward appearance, but God is looking at your heart (1 Samuel 16:7) Join us as we discover the real motivation of your heart, and how to always make the right choices.
The goal is simple enough - stop looking at porn! You’re tired of the battle; you just want to be free. But every time you’ve tried to get serious about this - you may do well for a little while - but at some point, you mess up and fall right back into the same old habits again and again.
In today’s Point of Purity Podcast, we are going to talk about the motivation of your heart. Why do you do what you do?
Your “motivation” for doing something is the reason you have behind each choice you make and action you take. Everything we do has a motivation behind it. You eat because you’re hungry. You sleep because you’re tired. Even your sinful choices have a motivation behind them. You have been looking at pornography and masturbating for a reason.
I’m your host Steve Etner, and today we are going to help you discover the hidden motivations of your heart. Welcome to Episode #4
(01:00) Why Are You Doing This?
I wish we could be sitting down together right now, person-to-person, face-to-face, heart-to-heart because I have three important questions to ask you here – and I would love to just chat with you about them for a while.
Even though it’s not possible to be in physical proximity to each other right now, it’s still vital that you answer all three honestly - straight from your heart. Don’t try to give answers you think are the “right” ones. If it’s not coming from your heart, it’s a wrong answer. OK?
So here’s Question #1: Do you want to experience real victory in your life over sexual temptation and sexual sin? Do you WANT genuine freedom – to never again be plagued by the temptations of lust, porn and masturbation?
That may seem to be so fundamentally basic that you wonder why I’m even asking it. It’s almost like asking if ducks quack and is water wet. And yet, again I ask: Do you - with all your heart - truly want to be victorious - to experience real, lasting victory in your life in the area of your sexual purity?
I’m going to assume your answer is yes, or this is going to be a very short podcast. Now I want you to consider this: simply wanting something doesn’t make it happen. As of this podcast, I want to lose 20 pounds. That’s not just a great goal for me, but a smart one as well. It will improve my overall health in a number of ways. HOWEVER - unless I actually DO something – I don’t know, like maybe change my daily routine to include a specific diet and exercise program (something, by the way, that I’ve not been too keen on doing) – the fact is, losing that weight just isn’t going to happen; no matter how much I may think I want it.
You see, your “want to” will always end up being a “won’t do” if your heart isn’t in it.
Now I have a follow-up question to question #1. If you truly want to be sexually pure, if you honestly want to be free from sexual impurity ... what are you doing right now to achieve that goal? And no – the answer is not “well I’m listening to your podcast aren’t I!” I mean all day today ... what are you doing right now, right now, right now and so on. What are you doing right now to achieve your goal of sexual purity?
For many years I thought I wanted victory in my life. I was under the misguided impression that my deepest desire was to be free from the vice-grip that lust, porn and masturbation had on me. Yet my daily actions and consistent life-choices painted a totally different picture. My day-to-day behavior was shouting loud and clear that I didn’t want it bad enough. My “want to” had become a “won’t do”
Oh, please don’t misunderstand me. The “desire” for purity was definitely there. I hated the man I was becoming. But I was enjoying the perceived pleasures of my sin way too much to take it any further than a token acknowledgement that “yeah, there’s a definitely a problem in my life ... and I probably should deal with it sooner than later.” However there was still a strong part of me that just didn’t want to let it go. I didn’t want the victory more than I wanted the war. And so, the battle in my heart raged on.
OK, so here is Question #2: What do you want to be victorious over?
Again, you may wonder at the simplicity of this question, but there is a point here. I want you to be specific. Precisely what do you want victory over? What needs to change in your life? Now, I know this may be a big step for you – maybe even a hard step. It’s not easy to verbalize these kinds of things.
But, as we will see later, sin loves darkness. This beast wants to stay hidden in the shadows where it can continue to do the most damage. So, as you threaten to reveal it, you can expect it to fight back. One step in the path to genuine victory is to expose our sin to the light. Yes, that’s scary ... and it’s risky, but let’s get serious about this once-and-for-all ... and trust God. What do you want to be victorious over? Speak your answer out loud. Right here and right now say “I want total freedom from ______ and name the issue your struggling with.
You see, as long as our struggles and issues remain vague and nameless, we don’t know exactly what it is we’re up against. When you don’t know what you’re fighting, you won’t know how to combat it. The result can be frustrating. You end up taking potshots in the dark, swinging aimlessly at nothing but air; hoping against all hope that maybe, just maybe will connect and strike a blow. Let’s face it: that’s not only frustrating but discouraging, not to mention exhausting ... exactly what the enemy wants you to feel. By keeping your sin nameless, by keeping it in the shadows, hidden in the dark recesses of your heart – you’re giving it exactly what it wants ... anonymity – and autonomy.
Alright, now let’s move on to our 3rd question: Why do you want to be victorious? What is your real, deep-in-your-heart-of-hearts reason for wanting this victory? Ahh, now here is the crux, the foundation upon which everything else is built. Your honest answer to this question will reveal much. You see, it is upon the real motivation of your heart that have been building all your efforts and hopes for victory and freedom. So, think carefully and then answer … Why do you want to be victorious?
In fact, if you can, pause this podcast and write out your answers to all 3 questions.
So, if you can, pause right now and write out your answers. I promise you, this exercise will be very beneficial.
Now let’s focus our attention for a moment on question #3 “Why do I want to be free?” I want you to consider very carefully your answer. That answer represents your core values ... your heart’s motivations for change. It is the foundation upon which you have been trying to build a victorious life.
Let me share with you the list I originally came up with – be sure to listen for a key word that pops up with every one of my responses:
Again, let me emphasize the importance of honesty as you answer this question! It’s not about you being honest with me, not even with your pastor or accountability partner or even your spouse (all of which are important by the way). You need to be honest with yourself. To experience real change, we need to take a close, long, hard introspective look. A real gut-check. If you were candid and sincere in your answer, you are beginning to catch a glimpse of your heart.
By the way, as you listened to my original list, did anything stand out to you? What one word repeats itself in every point? Where was my focus? I was all about King Me. Now think again about your list - where is your focus?
In John 8:36 Jesus says, “If the Son sets you free, you really will be free.” – John 8:36
Think about what Jesus is saying here. This verse promises us that when Christ sets you free, you are truly free! Can you imagine what genuine freedom from the lure of lust, the pull of porn, and the magnet of masturbation will feel like? Can you picture standing up in church and singing from the bottom of your heart to the top of your lungs “my chains are gone, I’ve been set free”? Listen carefully my friend: You CAN be free! I don’t mean “free for a while” ... I don’t mean “free until the next time I cave in” - I mean totally, permanently F - R - E - E free!
However (and right now some of you are thinking “yup, I knew it - I knew it sounded too good to be true - there’s always a ‘however’ tucked in there somewhere” … just hold your horses before you go shuttin’ down on me; let me finish). However, this kind of freedom doesn’t come easy and it’s not going to happen overnight. It took years to create your sexual habits, and it will take time and effort to gain victory over them.
If you’re anything like me, it’s that “time and effort” thing that can be so discouraging. Wouldn’t it be great if God - the Wizard of the Word - just waved His magic wand or snapped his fingers (or even wriggled his nose) and made our struggle just go away? Sure it would! Right? Actually, no - it wouldn’t. I know, I know … I’m sounding like a nut case at the moment but hear me out.
If God simply made the problem go away, how is that helping you? How do you learn to stand firm in your faith and resist the Devil if God kept the enemy always at bay? How do you develop the spiritual strength necessary to fight off your temptations if you never have to encounter them? How do you gain the knowledge and understanding of what the Christian life is all about if you never have to face the enemy? How do you learn to trust God for His divine power to help you in your time of need if you never have a time of need? Nope - this aint’ no free ride my friend. It takes sacrifice.
Now let me clarify something here for you. This “effort and work” that I’m talking about isn’t what you might think it is. I’m not talking about white knuckling your way through a temptation. I’m not talking about barely holding on by the skin-of-your-teeth. This isn’t a “do this” and “don’t do that” and you’ll be free kinda thing.
You can experience lasting freedom from this battle, but you must apply the biblical principles we’re teaching you through these podcasts to your daily living. The thing that is going to take your focus, your energy, your time, your discipline and your hard work is choosing to invest your time in the daily study and memorization of God’s Word. Yup, you heard correctly – you must commit to doing this daily.
If you look at this Point of Purity Podcast as a way to learn what to do and what not to do; if you’re expecting me to give you some sort of checklist to run through each day, you’re wrong. This isn’t a checklist kind of thing.
In order to change your behavior, you need to change the core of your heart. You must transform the way you think - and only God’s Word will do that.
Proverbs 30:5 tells us that “every word of God is flawless, it’s true, it’s tested and it’s pure”
Think about that my friend. God’s word is flawless - there are no errors in it. That’s what God’s Word IS! God’s word is true - there are no lies in it. That’s what God’s Word IS! God’s Word is tested - it has not failed in any way, ever. That’s what God’s Word IS! And God’s Word is pure - there is not even a hint of sin in it - that’s what God’s Word IS!
2 Timothy 3:16-17 tells us that God’s Word is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness so that you can be thoroughly furnished with everything you need to not just fight the temptation, but always come away from the battle totally victorious!
Do you BELIEVE that?
Let’s assume for a moment that your answer is Yes; I believe that with all my heart. Is your life currently backing up your answer? Are you daily in God’s Word? Are you walking in faith and in obedience to all that God is telling you from His Word?
Consider this: God promises to shield you, to protect you from being defeated by lust and porn. Please note that God doesn’t promise to shield you from porn. He doesn’t promise to keep you from being exposed to the lure of lust. His promise is to protect you from being defeated by it.
This 3-headed dragon of lust, porn and masturbation doesn’t have to dominate your life. You don’t have to give in to your sexual temptations. Porn doesn’t have to take you down; it doesn’t have to destroy you. You don’t have to live a defeated life. That’s God’s promise to you found in God’s Word - a promise that is flawless, true, tested and pure!
In Proverbs 2:6 we read that it is the Lord that gives us wisdom. It is from His mouth, His Words that we gain knowledge and understanding. IOW: If you want to know how to be free from the lure of lust, if you want to understand how to fight off the pull of porn, if you want to no longer cave-in to the magnet of masturbation you need wisdom ... God’s wisdom that comes from God’s Word. To be pure and to stay pure you must be IN God’s word daily!
As we wrap up our thoughts for today, let’s look at a verse in the Bible that can be applied to our temptation to look at porn, lust and masturbate.
In Isaiah 42:16 God says, “I will lead the blind down a new path, guiding them along an unfamiliar way. I will brighten the darkness before them and smooth out the road ahead of them. Yes, I will indeed do these things; I will not forsake them.” Isaiah 42:16
Notice that God says, “I will lead the blind down a new path.” Lust, porn, self-gratification, giving in to your sinful sexual desires has blinded you. The promise of relief from your frustration, your stress, your boredom, your loneliness or sadness, the anticipation of that pop, that rush, that sense of something better is lying to you. It’s deceiving you. Think about it. When has it EVER actually kept its promise to you? It always over promises and will always under deliver.
However, God ... who does not lie (because He cannot lie) – God has promised you that He will lead you down a new path. A perfect path of purity. A path filled with exquisite joy and pleasure that you can only experience through a vibrant, growing relationship with Him.
Although right now, because you’re blinded by your sexual temptations, you cannot see that path, you cannot see how God’s way could possibly be better than what lust, porn and masturbation has been promising you – if you would just choose to (as Proverbs 3:5-6 says) trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own ability to understand ... if in ALL your ways you would choose to acknowledge Him, acknowledge the fact that His way IS the perfect way, HE WILL direct your path. HE WILL lead you to something far far better than what you are attempting to experience on your own.
And according to Isaiah 42:16, not only will God lead you down a new path, but He will guide you along an unfamiliar way. Think about that for a moment. The path of genuine, lasting purity is unfamiliar to you. Living a life that never gives in to lust, never looks at porn, never masturbates is at best a pipe-dream. Something that up till now you’ve dreamt about but have no clue how to get there – let alone stay there.
God’s promise is to guide you along the path to purity. Now I want you to focus on the fact that God is your guide. When someone is leading you, and guiding you, what is your responsibility? You need to be willing to trust that they know where they’re taking you, and they know how to get you there. You also have to be willing to follow their lead.
And when you choose to let God be your guide, when you choose to follow His lead in every aspect of your life, He promises to brighten the darkness before you and smooth out the road ahead of you.
In the upcoming episodes we will walk together down this road called “sexual purity and integrity.” I promise you that although right now it feels like it’s this tiny, obscure “path” that is hard to see, difficult to understand, and a challenge to navigate; ... the more you walk down it, the easier it will be to travel. In fact, I can assure you that one day soon it can become a super-highway that you are traversing with great joy.
Understand though, that this is a process that will take time.
(23:16) Closing Sound Track
This is a process that will involve many struggles. A process that will include great and awesome victories as well as the occasional discouraging defeat.
Remember this: The purpose of the process isn’t promotion. It isn’t about you being free from this battle. It isn’t about you restoring your marriage, or saving your job, or repairing the emotional damage, or even about you stopping the lust, porn, and masturbation. No. The purpose of the process is praise. It’s about God receiving the honor and God getting all the praise for giving you His power to win the battle. It’s about you being able to live in pure freedom so that God is glorified through the victory that He will give you.
And know this my friend – you do not have to go this process alone. I look forward to meeting with again next week on The Point of Purity Podcast!