Booty (the lust & Sin of Todd)

Matthew 9:10-13(new international version) While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew's house, many tax collectors and "sinners" came and ate with him and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, "Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and 'sinners'?" On hearing this, Jesus said, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice.' For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners."
Ok, I'm a preacher for Jesus, ordained by His church. I'm happily & successfully married for over 13 years to my soulmate Yolanda, and I have two great kids. Yet, guess what else, I was addicted to lust & pornography, struggling like crazy to overcome it for 8 straight years! Now after that confession I could make myself feel better by talking about the huge role lust & porn play in this world, & how many others struggle with this too. Yet, I ain't gonna rattle off statistics, I'm not gonna make this about the masses. This is personal, this is about me & God. Why do I write it in my blog? Because I know I'm not alone.
The lives of Christians is gritty, its not the "rosey" picture many religious folks paint it out to be. What I write in this, is the true battle of a spiritual person. It's why Jesus had to come here. This is about a sin that grew larger & larger within me. And it seeked to wipe out my spiritual salvation! And I had to overcome it!
James 1:12-15 (New International Version) Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. When tempted, no one should say, "God is tempting me." For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.
Since I was the age of 6, I remember lust being my personal little refuge. I've always been a visually stimulated guy. Being an artist, beauty in all forms stimulated me more than the average person, lust sort of fell easily into that fact. For years I really didn't think it was wrong to lust. I'm sure that I really knew it was wrong, but so many others did it, and outward expression of sexuality was so common, that I just rationalized the guilt away saying, "that woman wants dudes to look at her". However, in 1996 I became a disciple of Jesus. I studied out the holy scriptures, I learned the difference between right and wrong; what God desires and what he DOES NOT tolerate. It's been 12 years since then, and after many years of obedience, I still ended up falling into Satan's trap far too often, I gave into temptation so much, til I was caught in a loop: Sinning, feeling like a hypocrite, saying I'll NEVER do that again. Then later on, rationalizing my sin saying, "A lil lust won't physically hurt anyone". All the while I was allowing Satan to destroy my true purpose, my relationship with God and my family!
However, Jesus in his faithfulness and love spoke to me, and what he says is always humbling:
Revelation 3:19 (New International Version) Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. Revelation 3:1-3 (New International Version) I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your deeds complete in the sight of my God. Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; obey it, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you.
Lust is never harmless. It harms, and it kills. Jesus Christ is serious about people putting an end to it!
Matthew 5:28-30 (New International Version) But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.
Is there any way to lust after a woman, and it be harmless? This scripture answers that question:
Proverbs 6:27 (New International Version) Can a man scoop fire into his lap without his clothes being burned? Proverbs 6:23-25 (New International Version) For these commands are a lamp, this teaching is a light, and the corrections of discipline are the way to life, keeping you from the immoral woman, from the smooth tongue of the wayward wife. Do not lust in your heart after her beauty or let her captivate you with her eyes
The truth is, I tried to be pure, free from the chains of lust and porn. I confessed my sin (as the bible teaches), people prayed for me, I studied this issue out in the bible for years. I've joined "addiction" programs, put various blocking and accountability software on my computers, even went to a therapist for insight into my behavior. I had some victories, but it was hard to break the cycle! Why should I be surprised the bible speaks of this:
Proverbs 5:22-23 (The Message) Mark well that God doesn't miss a move you make; he's aware of every step you take. The shadow of your sin will overtake you; you'll find yourself stumbling all over yourself in the dark. Death is the reward of an undisciplined life; your foolish decisions trap you in a dead end. Yet in the book of James it shows there is still hope, even for a sinner! James 4:7-10 (New International Version) Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.
When anyone runs to a false source of relief to deal with their problems, whether it be drinking, smoking, drugs, etc. There is a emotional state of arrested development, (halted or stunted growth). I feel because of my reliance on lust as a way to cope with my life's drama, I had the emotional maturity of someone much younger than I really was. That made it that much harder for me to resist when I was tempted in this area. Even today voices come into my head telling me, "look at her body, check her butt out, you know you deserve the thrill, its harmless." Listening to rap music, m.c's make lust out to be a great thing, all fun with no consequences. I all too often had been a hypocrite condemning hip-hop for it's saturation of women in bikini's yet in my lustful binges enjoying every minute of it! I was double minded in my convictions and therefore unable to embody the spirituality God intended for me to have! Deuteronomy 13:3-4 (New International Version) The LORD your God is testing you to find out whether you love him with all your heart and with all your soul. It is the LORD your God you must follow, and him you must revere. Keep his commands and obey him; serve him and hold fast to him.
I went to church, I even preached, I heard the message of Christ all the time! But hearing and doing is two different things! For me, I had repented many a Sunday, but fell again on "Monday". My inability to follow through with God's commands through the hard times had weakened my ability to withstand the worlds various lust-filled attacks on me.
Matthew 7:24-27 (New International Version) "Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash."
Notice how Jesus never says there won't be storms in life, instead He states the difference of those who practice His word and those who simply hear His word. Followers need to hear and OBEY his word in those late hours of the night, or during that concert tour when all the women are dancing with revealing shorts on. And why should you deny this urge? Why should we resist these heavy feelings to lust after beauty or even fantasize? The reason can't be - fear of hell, or simply because the bible tells us to resist. It has to be because of a deep LOVE for God!
Deuteronomy 11:1 Love the LORD your God and keep his requirements, his decrees, his laws and his commands always.
Deuteronomy 11:8 (New International Version) Observe therefore all the commands I am giving you today, so that you may have the strength to go in and take over the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess, and so that you may live long in the land that the LORD swore to your forefathers to give to them and their descendants, a land flowing with milk and honey.
Isn't the point of a Christian; that he or she actually gets the fact that God is awesome? He showed His love for us by the death of Jesus. He constantly shows us love despite our sin.
Knowing what I know, how will I respond? How should any true believer respond?
2 Corinthians 5:14-15 (The Message) Christ's love has moved me to such extremes. His love has the first and last word in everything we do. Our firm decision is to work from this focused center: One man died for everyone. That puts everyone in the same boat. He included everyone in his death so that everyone could also be included in his life, a resurrection life, a far better life than people ever lived on their own.
But again, it's easy to give into temptation, especially if you had been "good" for a period of time. (feeling like I deserve a little lust - I deserve a break! yeah, But a break from Christ..?!)
But God says to me:
Galatians 6:7-9 (New International Version) Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
I many times fooled myself into thinking, if my wife, or a friend didn't catch me or "punish" me then I got away with it. But the truth is, God saw me and the consequences of my sin are still there! I'VE NOT GOTTEN AWAY WITH ANYTHING! Yet... God still can forgive! The truth is: I could have lost my wife literally, or at least her confidence in me because of this sin. I had lost some of my zeal in the Lord because of this sin. I had to repent! The thrill of sin's pleasure is not worth the price one has to pay.
I am successful, I have money, I travel a lot! I am my own boss and have a dream job. I have no particular person on Earth that I report to...but I am not free to sin. For the prize of salvation/heaven & a relationship with God... I willfully decided to follow Jesus, and be His slave!
1 Corinthians 6:18-20 (New International Version) Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body. Did I really believe that I could change this? Theoretically - YES! But practically - not quite! So, to this day, I consistently train myself how to think correctly through the scriptures.
God promises to me:
1 Corinthians 10:13 (New International Version) No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.
There should be signs that tell the truth about lust: 1.) At the door of every strip club:IF YOU WANT TO GO TO HEAVEN! 2.) At the intro of 99% of all rap videos: THIS WILL MAKE YOU FALL FROM GOD'S WILL DO NOT RISK IT! 3.) Tattooed on the butt of every girl in the world: DEADLY - UNLESS THIS BUTT IS YOUR WIFE'S! 4.) On every Porn or Bikini site:DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT!
To those fans of mine reading this: Many of my songs addressed my struggle: Slave of it all / The List goes on / Night Time Demons / I'm Ignoring You / Take The Challenge And from my upcoming solo album, "The Grown Folks Table" - Words Unspoken / Fading Away
For those that love me, watch for me (without judging). I tour around the world, If you see me starin' at a girls booty, remind me of my true role, and my love for God! If you see that I've straight up fallen off the horse, then question MY strength, not the validity of Christ. As all Christians we're striving to live up to the salvation that we've already attained.
Today's my birthday (Oct. 25th). I always wanna be the man that God intended for me to be. And in the immortal words of the negro soul group, Cameo....Word up! :-)

12 comments:

Hasani said...

Thanks for posting this, I myself have struggles in this area and still do, and am trying to overcome it.But its usually when im not in prayer and the word as oft as i should that i do fall. Thanks again, Hasani

B. Hold said...

Speech,

I love your thoughts, man. That's a struggle I've had for a long time as well. Your blog is great and I'll be checking it out from time to time. Is there a way to become a "follower" of it? On my blog page, http://zenandtheartofshutup. com, there is a link to "Follow This Blog" but I didn't see one on yours.

Anyway, I've loved your music forever and I look forward to reading your insights in the future.

Peace,
B. Hold

Rocky said...

This is a Power ful message, and one I can relat e to! Thank s for posti ng it !
rocky

Anonymous said...

check out myspace. com/xxxchurch
they're a Christian organization that helps those struggling with porn. i want to encourage you brother, that i went thru something similar to this for a short period of time, and as i've found with all things that people, even Christians may struggle with, it's only the Spirit of God & turning it over to him that gets us out & not our own efforts, of course we have to choose to say no. but just like that scripture you quoted about no temptation but as is common to man, but notice is says it's the Lord that provides the way of escape. i pray the Lord just shows you His awesome love & how you're NOT a hypocrite. He loves us even when we fall, a righteous man falls seven times AND GETS BACK UP AGAIN!. i could go on forever, so if you'd like more just holla
Galatians 6:1-3
God bless, i love you man

heritage row magazine said...

It takes a true exper ience with the Almig hty to bring a real man to this type of liber ation , ' cause where the Spiri t of God is there is liber ty. Conti nue to walk in His Light .

james-Michael said...

Encou ragin g words , man. Thank s for shari ng this strug gle that so many of us deal with or have dealt with for so long. Much appre ciate d.

the great nateholio said...

Deny urges not only becau se of your love for YVWH, but also becau se you were creat ed by him and shoul dn' t let yours elf be contr olled by anyon e or anyth ing other than Him and his Word - take pride in being creat ed in His image ! Good post though, and I'll pray for you. the great nateholio

vet said...

Amen and AMEN. . . Thank you for your candor. That took some courage and conviction and was much appreciated. I believe we go thru things to be able to, of course, learn from such experiences and also to tell the story later . vet

beth said...

Thanks for this post slot of great scriptures that honestly I am going to read over further as this is an area that a lot of us can fall into. Anyhows thanks again hope that you have a Happy Birthday! beth

JMS said...

Thank you, Speech.

And thanks again for your recent post on your battle with Lust. It's a determined enemy that haunts so many of us. As a pastor, particularly as a SINGLE pastor, I've had my share of battles with it and probably will for many many years to come. (Though hopefully the singleness won't last that long! lol)

be blessed brother,
JMS

Todd said...

Speech, my man. Awesome post. You're one of the few that I've "met" who live up to your wrongs. And especially one wrong that is so often misunderstood. Happy celebration of your birth. Many more to you, my friend in Christ.

Todd

PS...when are you going to sprinkle us with some love down here "south of the south?"!!!

Godsown Girl said...

AMEN bro! Keep striv​ing to be like Jesus​!​ I appre​ciate​ the post and pleas​e keep telli​ng your testi​mony.​ It will help heal many of God'​s peopl​e who are strug​gling​ to stay deliv​ered to overc​ome satan​.​ Revel​ation​ 12:​9-​12 9.​And the great​ drago​n was cast out , that old serpe​nt,​ calle​d the Devil​,​ and Satan​,​ which​ decei​veth the whole​ world​:​ he was cast out into the earth​,​ and his angel​s were cast out with him. 10.​And I heard​ a loud voice​ sayin​g in heave​n,​ Now is come salva​tion,​ and stren​gth,​ and the kingd​om of our God, and the power​ of his Chris​t:​ for the accus​er of our breth​ren is cast down , which​ accus​ed them befor​e our God day and night​.​ 11.​And they overc​ame him by the blood​ of the Lamb,​ and by the word of their​ testi​mony;​ and they loved​ not their​ lives​ unto the death​.​ 12.​There​fore rejoi​ce , ye heave​ns,​ and ye that dwell​ in them.​ Woe to the inhab​iters​ of the earth​ and of the sea! for the devil​ is come down unto you, havin​g great​ wrath​,​ becau​se he knowe​th that he hath but a short​ time.​