I remember the day vividly.
I sat in the ashes of destruction. Everything crumbled around me. My marriage teetered on the verge of separation, possibly divorce. I honestly couldn’t see any hope in that moment. Or any in the near future.
I had never felt so lost, devastated, and condemned in my entire life. I was nothing more than an empty shell of humanity.
Pornography stood over me with its arms raised high in victorious celebration. The addiction had finally managed to destroy me and everything I held dear in this life. It had successfully annihilated all trust between my wife and me. Tainted my ability to be a loving father and husband. Kept me prisoner to the darkness, chained to secrecy and deception.
Turned me into a compromised Christian. One who raised his hands to sing that it’s all about Jesus, when it was truly all about me. Somewhere along the way, I said a prayer and gave God my heart, but held everything else back with a tightly clutched fist.
Then God reached down.
To this day, I still can’t clearly articulate what happened. All I know is I had reached the very bottom of my existence, and I didn’t know what else to do but surrender.
I wanted nothing more to do with porn and all the secrets and lies that came with it. I was so disgusted with myself, I couldn’t even look in the mirror. I was sick of my life, so why not let it go and give it to God.
All He ever wanted me to give up was something I was never created to be in the first place. I was never created for anything other than His image. My identity was lost in an addiction for 33 years. It was time to let that thing die in order to live.
I was baptized months later and the old man, the self that had dictated my life for so long, laid dead and buried at the bottom of a swimming pool.
I killed him.
It’s difficult to express in mere words the freedom that overwhelmed me the instant God reached inside and transplanted my old heart with a new one. Everything changed. Drastically.
My entire way of thinking about and seeing the world around me changed. I began to peer through His lens, not through the lens of self. I began waking up every morning to love people, not hold them to certain expectations. I finally understood that no man owes me anything.
I was able to see clearly why God placed me on this planet.
I was created in His image and He is love.
I was created to be love.
It’s not complicated at all. It’s a matter of dying to self, picking up our cross, and following the carpenter from Nazareth. The one who laid aside His divinity, became fully human and accomplished what no man on Earth could. He then died on the cross, not to expose my sin, but to completely remove my sin. He revealed my true identity and created value.
Jesus never said for us to say a prayer, fight the devil, and follow Him.
He said to deny self.
It’s the one thing that will keep us from entering into intimate fellowship with our Father.
The day I killed my self was an amazing day.
It was the first day of the rest of my life.