So Esther’s negative cycle continued, and her self- confidence gradually dwindled away. She felt all alone because she couldn’t confide in anyone about her struggle. How could she? She was a leader in church, and was supposed to be a role model; to believers and unbelievers alike. Yet, her secret kept tormenting her; she could almost hear the devil laugh at her inability to rid herself of this destructive pattern.
One day, Esther reached out to a Man of God on radio. She had been following and enjoying his teachings on faith. Esther thought “He sounds genuine, and he doesn’t know me, so I am safe”. She took his number down as it was called out towards the end of the 15 minutes long message on radio, and proceeded to call him.
While waiting for Pastor David to pick up his phone, Esther rehearsed all she wanted to say mentally. She was so nervous, she was visibly shaken. Pastor David picked at last.
“God bless you, Good morning”
Good morning Sir. Thank you so much for this opportunity. I got your number from the radio. Please Sir, I have a problem, I need to talk to someone…”
Esther broke out, she couldn’t force back the hot hears anymore, she let them fall freely and bit her lips whilst the tears burnt her cheeks.
With the kindest voice ever, Pastor David asked her to calm down and pour her mind out to him.
Esther willingly did.
Are you born again? He inquired?
Will you love to re-dedicate your life to God?
Okay, repeat after me….
Esther re-dedicated her life to God right there on the phone with Pastor David. Pastor David proceeded to give her some godly advice
“My dear, it all starts in your mind. Once your mind has conceived it, it is impossible for your body to say no. As a Man thinketh in his heart, so is he. Esther, I want you to watch your thoughts. As soon as the thoughts of masturbation come in, refuse it; shift your thoughts to other good things. Avoid staying alone for too long. Do not watch pictures or films which may suggest sex to you. Guard your mind……..”
For some days, Esther was successful. She was grateful for two things; one, Pastor David had not condemned her, she had even assured her that God loves her regardless of her struggles. Secondly she had confided in someone, she had exposed her secret to someone other than her.
After a long time of “abstinence”, Esther fell again. Someone must be wondering “Wetin dey worry this girl sef?” Please don’t judge, it is easier to pick up a bad habit than to leave one. It is hard to stop the sin you enjoy.
At a point, Esther turned to “Google” for support. She started browsing for topics such as “How to stop masturbation”, “Dangers of masturbation”, “Steps to getting yourself free from addiction” etc.
None of these worked….
Esther even made a vow once to God, she told God to take her life is she ever masturbated again. God however doesn’t involve himself in petty deals, so when she fell again, God didn’t slay her”.
Esther’s miracle really started when she read a book titled “Self-development and the way to power”. It was unlike any other book she had ever read. She learnt that Man has to possess 3 things before any kind of change/development would be possible- an ardent desire, a firm will and alert intelligence.
Desire awakens, stimulates, and propels us to change
Determination, strong will and perseverance keeps us on
journey to change.
The force of desire, directed by the will must be
supplemented by an alert mind.
Esther came across the scripture Phil 2:12-13 which admonished Christians to work out thier salvation with fear and trembling, for God was working in them both to will and to do of his good pleasure. She had a part to play! She wasnot a weakling! She was not helpless! Of course, she was not depending on her strength alone, but she was confident now more than ever that this could be defeated.
Furthermore, Esther reached out to a friend who became an outlet of God’s grace for her. In the presence of true light, darkness is dispelled. In time, Esther defeated masturbation! She was free forever, she got her confidence back, and her appreciation to God for his love and his help soared.
There are lots of Christians out there, just like Esther- having struggles, suffering silently, and yet puttingMup a good show in the presence of outsiders. Our false “perfect state” makes us acceptable in the Christian community. I want to scream “Stop the pretense and help one another grow in love!” That’s what Christ would want, that’s his desire for his bride- the church. The church is not for perfect people, it’s not for robots that never make mistakes. It is for the weak, and the beaten, the downtrodden and the oppressed. In heaven, we will be perfect.
So to the current “perfect Christians”- Help us hear? We want to be perfect like you. We that are struggling are begging.
To the unbeliever- You are sure missing out if you do not have Christ. How do you even survive?
And to the Christian struggling with sin, remember first you are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. You have all things pertaining to life and godliness.
Secondly, reach out. In secret places, secret desires spring forth. Locate someone you can trust and tell him/her of your struggles. You may be surprised that that your very spiritual brother/sister has either been through that road before or he/she/ is presently journeying on it.
Finally and very importantly, true change comes from the willingness of man’s heart to change. If you really, desperately want to stop that sin, you will. Remember, you will never be free from the sin you enjoy.
George William Jordan said “Man has two creators,—his God and himself. His first creator furnishes him the raw material of his life and the laws in conformity with which he can make that life what he will. His second creator,— himself,—has marvelous powers he rarely realizes. It is what a man makes of himself that counts.
Thanks for patiently reading. You are awesome.
This article was previously published on matthewadedoyin.com