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Longing For Egypt: How to Break Free From Porn’s Pull

August 20, 2009


** Guest blogger Luke Gilkerson from Covenant Eyes continues his thoughts on “Longing For Egypt.” 

Yesterday Luke reflected on how God’s children (who had just escaped slavery in Egypt) longed to go back to their slavery when things started getting tough.  Those who are escaping porn have a similar pull when life gets challenging. 

Today, Luke shares the roots of this longing and how to break free from porn’s pull.  


The Sin of Unbelief

What root sin caused the Israelites to long for Egypt?

The book of Hebrews tells us: “For good news came to us just as to them, but the message they heard did not benefit them, because they were not united by faith with those who listened” (Hebrews 4:2). There were some, specifically Joshua and Caleb, who trusted God’s promises about entering the land of Canaan. But most did not have this faith. They were unable to enter because of UNBELIEF (Hebrews 3:19).

Egypt was better than the wilderness.  But that thought trusting Egyptian slave masters was easier than trusting God. Egypt was a cruel place, but at least it was predictable.

Slavery to porn wasn’t all that desirable for me, but it was easier than trusting God.  I knew the cruelty of the slave master’s rod, but at least, in front of my computer, predictable rations were delivered. In the wilderness of trust, however, I would be asked to die to my demanding nature and enter the unpredictability of following God’s Spirit.

In order for me to get to the root of my porn addiction, I needed to own up to my sin of unbelief.

– – – –

The Fight of Faith

bibleFaith is a deep, firm, and welcoming conviction.  It enables us to feel and act as if we have seen the invisible and future realities of which God’s promises speak (Hebrews 11:1).

To have faith is

  • to trust God
  • to eagerly anticipate His faithfulness to His covenant promises
  • to live our lives accordingly.

Faith is also something we must fight to maintain because we live in a world that is contrary to God’s ways. We have a powerful enemy—Satan—behind each temptation. We live in an atmosphere of autonomy; the world around us would just as soon forget God and deny His authority over us. Lastly, our own brains and bodies still impulsively react in almost animalistic ways to this decaying world. We are like fish swimming upstream.

CommitmentAnd yet we are told by the apostle Peter amidst this battle that we may “become partakers of the divine nature,” mimicking Christ in His virtue (2 Peter 1:3-4). How? By God granting to us “his precious and very great promises.” The Spirit of God enters our dead hearts for the purpose of inspiring in us fresh faith, enabling us to see the greatness and the preciousness of these promises. Every step we take towards deeper life in God is a step of repentance: a choice to turn from unbelief towards a wholehearted belief that God is faithful, that He will deliver what He promises.

Practically speaking, for me, this means laying hold of the promise that the pure in heart shall see God (Matthew 5:8), and that some day I will see Christ face to face when He comes to set the world right. On my way to the abundance of the promised land, I have the past acts of God’s deliverance to inspire me, the Word of God to guide me, and the Spirit of God to give me a taste of that land. Only by that new and powerful affection can there be any hope to remove my longing for Egypt.

To be sure, until that day, Egpyt will still be in my blood. I will bear the scars of my former slave master’s whips. In my foggiest moment I will naturally be drawn to the memory of the pots of meat. But God has given me a taste for milk and honey, and he has given me traveling companions that constantly remind me that we are on our way home.



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