i am doing a mini-series on how we break free in response to a reader who contacted me with a desperate plea: How do we break free?
In Part 1 i focused on coming clean, that vital step of owning up to the truth of all you have done in pursuit of satisfying your addiction.
In Part 2 i started discussing the need to develop a warrior mentality. Here in Part 3 more needs to be said about the warrior mentality.
Developing and maintaining a warrior mentality while living in the comforts of 21st Century America is tough. And for my readers outside of the United States, i am assuming some similarities between living in the States and living in other parts of the world.
We are all very comfortable now. And while comforts are good in many ways, they often obscure the deeper reality, the spiritual reality, that we are living at the intersection of two kingdoms in conflict. Even as many of you read that last sentence you thought i was being melodramatic.
But here’s the thing: God Himself is a warrior, (Ex. 15:3) and we are made in His image (Gen. 1:27). So in our understanding of what it means to be created beings who follow our God and King, there must be an understanding of our identities as warriors.
We are not warriors only. We are also, to borrow from the mythic archetype, poets. That is to say, we are men who know how to balance our warrior nature with the beauty of relationships; with the restraint that tempers our use of strength; and with the focus on the Kingdom of God rather than any attempts to establish our own kingdom.
All of this is crucial because our struggle is not against flesh and blood, even as our struggle with porn and lust is very much set in the context of the Flesh. This is where is it easy to lose the plot.
Our temptation to fleshly lust and pornography indulgence is actually a spiritual conflict that calls for the warrior within us to rise up and fight. We fight with God’s strength; we fight with His divinely powerful weapons (2 Cor. 10:3-5); and we fight for all that our King values, rather than for our own pleasure.
But we must fight. We make meaningful decisions all the time that have an impact on the struggle and our relationship to the temptations that face us.
One of the books i read in the early years of my journey was Ed Welch’s Addictions: A Banquet In The Grave. In that book Welch talks about “getting violent” in retaliation against the temptation that leads to the addiction and against the addiction itself.
Our freedom from addiction is worth fighting for. We need to be warriors. We need to be intentional.