Setting Captives Free by Mike Cleveland has a very intense and challenging course called “Way To Purity.”
I’ve taken and completed this course and received a certificate. I can say that this course challenged me in more ways than I could ever imagine. But it gave me the fortitude and determination to forever kill, deaden, and deprive of power the animal impulses that were lurking in my members. The porn part was killed in November 2008, but the masturbation lingered until 2009. Since that time, I’ve had some relapses until I needed to stop the hypocrisy and live a life the way Jesus did in His sexual discipline.
Since the last relapse early this year, 2014, I’ve been able to finally put to rest the urge to masturbate. Because Jesus did, I can because it is by His grace. I’ve learned to set a watch over my life the way that Jesus did and I catch every little move I make. The fastest way to lose the anointing over your life is when you do not catch yourself in an instant and remind yourself that you are a dead man. Dead men do not respond to sin. I am alive unto God and that’s the only way to live. Dead to sin, alive to God. Obeying His Word and denying the flesh any chance to run amuck.
Also I am back on the street preaching beat. You can’t talk about deliverance, full and complete if you are a hypocrite in front of sinners. You can’t preach with unction if you commit sin like sinners. As Lenard Ravenhill once said, “A praying man will never sin, and a sinning man will never pray.”
Setting Captives Free deals with porn and masturbation in the lives of men.
The last time I checked the site, there were over 3 million hits.
But I’ve also noticed the amount of men and women that actually either started the course or have completed this 60 day course.
The amount of men and women that started or completed the course was approximately 300,000 persons.
Unless I am wrong, that’s 10 percent that dared to break free of porn and masturbation. The course is designed with an accountability partner that will not let you off the hook should you fail to maintain your pursuit to holiness and purity according to the Scriptures.
Not everyone will appreciate an accountability partner because depending on who you get, it will not be pleasant. I believe in accountability because when we attempt to do accountability on our own, we will do a “mulligan.” We will make up the rules and should we feel the need to cheat, we will do so unhesitatingly.
I do not believe that because of an accountability partner watching your answers at the end of each course, whether you’ve watched porn or masturbated in 24 hours is the reason why many would not do the course.
I believe that it may be part of the reason but it is not to be blamed. The accountability part is there as a very serious integrity factor because in the end, you have to answer to the Lord. You can lie about it but you will be guilty of two things.
1. Sexual immorality.
Both of these are listed as persons who will be cast into the lake that burns with fire and brimstone forever according to Revelation 21:8.
Pornography, for most men is just fuel to the fire. So a man could masturbate without watching porn.
If you are really honest with yourself, you will note that masturbation is the most difficult part to break because solo sex is muscle memorized. The mind and body expect you to release sexual tension anytime. To have to answer the question about whether you’ve masturbated or not is a very embarrassing question because it shows that you are either in control or not.
One of the fruit of the Spirit is “self control.”
As a born again believer, you have within you the Spirit of God. Paul also calls this the Spirit of Christ. There is a reason. You have Jesus in you by the Spirit. The same self control that Jesus exhibited when He walked the earth is in you. This means that at anytime, you can obey the Word of God every time.
This doesn’t mean that you are perfect. This means that you can stop masturbating any time you want to.
When you are driving a car, and you approach an intersection. The light turned red. What do you do? You come to a stop.
At every intersection, the same thing happens. The urge to run that red light is tempered by the fact that you will hurt or kill yourself and others. That’s the top of your worries. The secondary worry is a ticket, a fine, or a suspension, or revocation of your driver’s license.
These things reinforces this one fact that it is in your best interest to stop.
When it comes to masturbation, we do not think about stopping.
We invent ways to get it done and we deceive our minds into thinking that the Lord would forgive us.
1 John 1:5-10 serves as a reminder that when we deceive ourselves, we are not fooling God. 1 John 3 declares to us that when it comes to sin, we either have the seed of God or we are of the offspring of the devil. We cannot practice sin or lawlessness and practice righteousness at the same time.
So mastering the urge to masturbate must be a way of life until death.
Jesus was a man subject to the same passions as we, yet, He didn’t sin (see Hebrews 4:14-16). Jesus sympathizes with our weakness and He identifies with them. What we need to do is identify with His obedience and His desire to please the Father at all times. Mastering masturbation begins by learning how Jesus obeyed the Father.
John 8:29 tells us that Jesus always did those things that please the Father. Jesus went to the place of prayer and He was found customarily in the temple or synagogue reading the Word or the law. As long as He found Himself doing these things, temptation would come, but He would master these temptations by obeying the Word.
Jesus learned obedience according to Hebrews 5:8 through the things He suffered.
Jesus said in Matthew 25:41 that the “spirit indeed is willing but the flesh is weak.”
In our weak moments, the grace of God is at its strongest. But we have to “find grace.”
In other words, we have to exert the effort to get before God to prevent ourselves from falling into temptation. The urge to masturbate usually occurs in the morning or late at night. But anyone could masturbate at any time. The male system is designed to be sexual at any time. However, it is during these times that a man is aroused the most. His mind is not engaged at work and is at rest so when a thought or image of sex comes, it is very easy to engage the hand in sexual self foreplay.
It is in these moments I believe that Jesus was challenged the most. But the Lord had developed a way out every time. He got up to pray. He changed His venue. Many times I thought about the fact that the Lord Jesus got up to pray but my only reason was because He wanted to be more anointed to minister.
Luke 4:18 tells us that Jesus was anointed.
Not only did Jesus wanted to fellowship with the Father, He got up to pray before He fell into sin after temptation.
The Bible says that Jesus sympathizes with us and that we do not have a High Priest who cannot be touched with the feelings of our weaknesses. In other words, Jesus never would tell us to deal with it because He dealt with temptation Himself. Jesus knows what we go through so He can help us defeat the urge to masturbate provided we change our venue, get up and pray.
It is too late to pray for strength after sinning.
I used to think that if I just go through the process of masturbation without ejaculation that I didn’t masturbate.
That was a lie and I deceived myself. Any form of sexual self contact that arouses the flesh is a violation. To prevent myself from doing this, I had to change my venue like Jesus. Additionally, I had to tell myself that it is hypocritical. The hands had to stop traveling and the mind had to stop self deception. The urges are strong but they are never stronger than the grace of God given in times of weakness and weak moments.
Any laps of the mind and hands and you will find yourself where you shouldn’t be.
So learn to change your venue. Get up and pray. Get up and read the Word. Change what you are meditating on. Refuse to look for ways to get around the sin of masturbation. Learn to discipline yourself before you wreck yourself. The Holy Spirit will give you a way out to overcome temptation. He is the same Holy Spirit that worked with Jesus during His time of temptations according to 1 Corinthians 10:13.
You can master the urge to masturbate just like Jesus did.