Saturday, January 19, 2013
The following testimony is very personal. I just finished - for the second time - the Setting Captives Free (settingcaptivesfree.com) course on Purity. I am sharing it here because I know that "no temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man."(1 Cor 10:13), and I know that sometimes food issues are closely tied to sexual issues.
For years I had been in bondage to the sin of self-gratification. My father had porn around the house and this affected my understanding of what was normal. When I received the Lord, fantasizing and self-gratification was still a stronghold, but I was uninformed, ignorant. The Lord was dealing with other issues in my life. After I was married, even though my husband and I had a good enough relationship, I still resorted to self-gratification if I did not feel completely satisfied. But the Spirit began to convict me that this was not pleasing to God, and so it became a struggle as I wanted to cease, but could not. There came a time when my husband's illness and disability contributed to the problem, and I tried to rationalize that self-gratification was better than adultery. But of course, I was committing adultery in my heart! When a brother in Christ (fallible like me!) saw my vulnerability because of my marital problems, and nearly seduced me, it alarmed me because the flesh wanted so much to give in. Later I confessed the matter to my pastors and my husband, who forgave me, and I became desperate to be free from the mental porn I had accumulated, from the thing that interfered with my relationship with the Lord. The Holy Spirit was preparing the way, through sermons about giving up "hidden sins" (I knew they were not hidden from the Lord).There was an opportunity at church to go forward for prayer for deliverance, and so I did. I began to experience a breakthrough at that time -- and soon after, I was referred to the site Setting Captives Free. Through this Bible study course more light was shed on just what it is I was battling. I was especially smitten when I realized my self-gratification was spiritual adultery against my Lord Jesus who endured so much to save me! Through prayer I had been delivered, but through the course I had learned to walk in that liberty. The accountabilty, bringing everything to light, sharing that with my husband...the principles I learned here have been so valuable. I continued in freedom, going on to be a mentor,for about two years. After my husband passed away in 2011, I made a return mission trip to Peru. There a long-standing friendship blossomed into something more. I only had a few days with my new love, and wondered if we could take a short-cut to marriage. The Peruvian government only recognizes civil marriages, and I did not have any of the necessary documents for one. My fiance's father was a pastor, and I asked if we could at least be married in the eyes of the Lord in an informal ceremony, until the following year when I could return with all necessary documents to please the civil authorities. Eager to have his daughter-in-law, he agreed. So Levi and I consummated our committment. When I returned to the States, I let myself return to self-gratification, justifying it by saying that since we were apart, and my body was his, and his was mine, in his proxy I could gratify myself. (The improvement being that I fantasized of him alone) But God is too good to let me continue in self deception. When I returned, we discovered we STILL needed a couple of documents and could not have the civil ceremony. We still had relations, and I considered myself married to him in God's eyes, but finally Levi said we could not expect blessings if we did not do everything in order. Well, I returned, STILL unmarried, to the states, and occasionally gratified myself, but finally was convicted that if I was not really his wife, I needed to be restored to purity and put self-gratification out once and for all. I returned to the Purity course to help me break free again, reviewing the principles. I want to go back to the mentor course and help others too. No excuses! I have such overflowing gratitude and worship to the One Who set me free and through His grace brought me into closer fellowship with Him!