John Bevere

The First Step to Get Free from Porn

By John Bevere
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What’s your kryptonite? 

For many years, mine was porn. I was introduced to pornography at a young age from a friend whose dad had some magazines, and I quickly became addicted. It just had a pull on me. By the time I was in high school, the battle with lust had begun to consume me. Even after becoming a Christian in 1979, I just couldn’t shake it. I was leading campus Bible studies, studying the Word, praying frequently—even winning people to Jesus. But in spite of all of that, I just couldn’t get free.

Then, when I was twenty-three, I thought I finally caught my big break. I married my dream girl, Lisa Bevere, who I considered to be the most beautiful girl in the world. I thought that would alleviate the problem, but instead of making it easier, it actually got worse—and now it was having devastating consequences on someone else as well.

I continued to struggle for several years into our marriage, and it was affecting us in the bedroom and beyond. It didn’t seem to matter how much I hated it. Something about it just kept drawing me back, and I’d eventually find myself falling into it again.

It was killing me.

At one point, I was so desperate to be free that I confessed my struggle to a world-renowned minister. I thought if anyone could help me, he could. I didn’t know anyone with a stronger deliverance ministry! Like a good father, he rebuked me strongly, saying, “Stop it! You just have to stop it!” Then, he prayed a strong prayer over me for deliverance from this addiction. Still, I remained in bondage. It seemed that no matter how hard I tried, nothing worked to break free.

Then, nine months later, I went on a four-day fast—and everything changed. I’ve been totally free now for thirty years.

Now I was happy to finally be walking in freedom, but as I looked back on things, I was somewhat puzzled. So I asked God why I wasn’t able to get free when I opened up and confessed my struggle to the minister nine months ago. I wanted to know what was different, because I was at a loss.

What God revealed to me was profound. The entire focus of my prayer life had changed dramatically over that time period—and the results were that my life followed suit.

When I couldn’t get free, my prayers sounded something like, “God, use me to reach nations. Use me to impact multitudes for Your Name.” My prayers were about what I would do for God. I was scared that my sin would get in the way of my ministry—that eventually, it would rear its ugly head and take me down like I’d seen happen to many others. I feared that.

But in those nine months leading up to that fast where I got completely delivered, the language of my prayers changed. I started praying, “God, I want to know You the best a man can know You. I want to walk intimately with You. Keep me from doing anything that hurts Your heart.”

In other words, the focus of my prayers had pivoted from being self-centered to other-centered. My primary concern was no longer the fear that my sin would limit me from my calling. It was that I didn’t want to hurt the heart of the ones I loved—neither God, nor my beautiful wife, Lisa. Where my primary motivation before had been fear, my new motivation was love. That was a game-changer.

Fear will always keep you a slave. It lacks the power to set you free. It is a tyrant. And while it may operate under the guise of protection, it stems from selfish roots. That was at the heart of my problem to begin with! At the core of my ongoing struggle with pornography was self-centeredness—so how could fear, which focuses one’s attention inward, possibly lead me to freedom? It was taking me in the exact opposite direction!

What set me free was love—love for God and love for others.

Up until that point, I desired to be free because I feared the negative personal consequences of my sin. Fear is never a strong enough reason. It won’t lead you closer to God.

When my prayer life shifted, getting free became about something so much more. The driving force for change was that I didn’t want to hurt the heart of the one I loved. It wasn’t a worldly sorrow focused on myself. It was a godly sorrow that led to true repentance. When I saw how much God loved me, it pained me greatly that I would ever do anything to hurt Him. How could I possibly go on grieving the One who loved me so deeply?

If you’ve been trying to get free for a while and feel like you’ve been spinning your wheels, I’d encourage you to really examine your motivation. Start praying differently. Begin crying out to know God intimately. Ask Him for a deep sorrow over things that grieve His heart. Make it about genuine love for God and others rather than fear of personal loss. When you do, you’ll find the power to walk out what you couldn’t walk out before.

Remember, love never fails.

 

P.S. If you’ve read this far, I want to give you my eBook Porn Proof for free. This resource will give you a step-by-step battle plan to cut porn out of your life, get control over your devices, and start living in freedom. Get your free copy here. You’ll also want to check out my free course Porn Free, which you can access at no cost inside the MessengerX app.

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