The Preoccupation Stage

The other night as the Intentional Warriors gathered we discussed what Michael John Cusick talks about in Surfing for God as the Preoccupation Stage.

That’s when the thought of indulging in some porn or lustful fantasy starts to form and then gathers momentum until it’s the controlling impulse that drives all of our actions.

One man said he finally realized that he’s been living the last decade or more of his life in a 24/7 Preoccupation Stage. And everyone present understood exactly what he meant.

It’s only now, as he has experienced a period of several weeks of freedom and sobriety, that he can see it for what it was. He was so deep into it that he had no insight or clarity about his life and his relationship with porn and lust.

This is what i refer to as the Pornographic Mind. It’s an orientation of thought that always operates either on the immediate front burner of our brains, or in the background, that has porn as its main object.

It took me months of freedom and sobriety in the early months of my journey to see this in my own life. And i was shocked. Sadly, many men just consider it normal male behavior.

This is where the battle is waged and the Sword of the Spirit — God’s Word — is essential. Taking every thought captive; having our minds transformed and renewed; renouncing the Pornographic Mind each time we become aware of its operation — these are vital in the conflict. The battle is spiritual and we cannot fight it in the flesh. The truth and power of God break the pattern. And we must play our part in responding when the Pornographic Mind asserts itself.

The Preoccupation Stage can be halted and we can chart a different course. The hope of the Gospel is that Jesus’ death and sacrifice achieved a victory over sin that makes a real difference in the midst of real life and real temptation.

At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared,he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washingof rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.  — Titus 3: 3-7

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