For over a decade I was addicted to porn. I led student events, went to worship conferences, and even worked at a church for seven years. I spent over ten years lying to myself and others. I became an expert at doing and saying all the right things to make me look good in front of people, but no one knew the secret I kept buried deep inside my heart.
Over the years God would convict me in so many ways: through my pastor, through the words of a friend, through churches or other videos I'd watch online. I was so frustrated at my inability to stop looking at porn. Why couldn't I just stop?
I knew the one thing I needed to do was simple: Confess.
But I continued to convince myself that I would take care of it later. That it would get better after I was married. That it would get better if I could just put a filter on my internet access. It would get better if I just prayed more or read my Bible more. I tried so many things except the one thing Jesus was constantly leading me to do.
During this season, some friends were over at my house hanging out. One of them casually told me their parent had a dream about me. In this dream a person came up to her mom and told her "Jon will never get to where God wants him to be if he doesn't confess sexual sin in his life." Holy crap! I was caught! My heart was beating so loud, I was sure that people would hear it. I did my best to pretend I didn't know what she was talking about—I'd been found out, but how did they know?!
We all laughed it off as crazy, but that phrase took root in my heart and would not let go.
You'll never get to where God wants you to be unless you confess sin in your life.
Nearly four months after, on January 21, 2010, Jesus still wouldn't leave me alone. I couldn't take it any more—I had to confess my sin. It was difficult. It was messy. And it didn't get better over night. But with that simple act of confession, Jesus began to change my heart.
Confession is a scary thing. What will people think? What if people don't accept you? What if they judge you?
The reality is that your confession of sin will most likely cause someone pain. Sin hurts. The conversations you have have will be uncomfortable. But left unchecked, unconfessed and allowed to grow, sin always leads to death.
Think about that for a minute. Which is worse: being hurt and uncomfortable—or being dead?
_"Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away.These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death."
I like the way the Message puts it: “Lust gets pregnant, and has a baby: sin! Sin grows up to adulthood, and becomes a real killer.” If you don't put the sin in your life to death, it will grow and cause more damage than you realize.
Fast forward to 2012. I had just moved to Anderson, South Carolina to take a contract position at NewSpring Church. (This had been my dream job for nearly 3 years.) Everything had been unloaded into the apartment, and everyone who had shown up to help was leaving to go home. I looked at the date on my phone: January 21, 2012. The entire conversation with my friend about her mom's dream came roaring back into my head. Exactly 2 years after confessing sin, I had moved into the exact place God wanted me to be. My mind was blown.
It all begins with confession—admitting to ourselves, to God, and to others that we need help. Sometimes the most difficult part is just admitting to yourself. We like to think that if we just try harder we'll be able fix things on our own, but the reality is that you need Jesus to help you. Once you tell Jesus, you're free to confess it to others, and I believe that is when healing can actually begin.
Is there any sin in your life that you need to confess to someone?
What's the first thing that came to mind when you read that last sentence? That sin. The only thing keeping you from confessing is pride. Is your pride worth more to you than your freedom?
It's not easy and things may not get better immediately, but I can promise you, that on the other side of confession there is freedom and healing. And that freedom will make any amount of pain you may go through completely worth it.
What do you need to confess?
November 18, 2014