Masturbation Recovery  

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After removing the roots and praying for healing, now we must take actions to "secure the beachhead" of freedom that we have established.  We can count on the devil testing us to see if we are in fact free.  

The first area the devil will test us in is our faith, because faith is the means by which we withstand his attacks.  In 1 Corinthians 16:13 NKJV Paul wrote, "Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong."  Faith also composes a key piece of our spiritual armor, the shield of faith, which we are to use to "extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one" (Ephesians 6:16 NIV).  

The devil's strategy to weaken our faith is to bombard us with lies.  If we believe the lies, our shield of faith will be weakened because it is no longer based on truth, and the devil's arrows will get through.  To repel  an attack on our faith we must use the truth that destroys the lies.  This is why it is crucial that we get into the Bible at least once a day (typically in a "quiet time") to learn the truth that sets us free (John 8:31-32).   Knowing  God's word will also build our faith up (Romans 10:17).  

If you want to maximize your battle readiness, memorize key verses that apply to the temptations you normally face.  With the verses in your mind, you won't have to flip through your Bible at the moment of temptation, looking for a verse to use.  Jesus demonstrated this  strategy when he faced Satan in the wilderness temptations (Luke 4).  To every temptation Jesus responded by quoting the scripture that diffused the lies.  

I recommend using a simple system to memorize verses.  During my quiet times I write out the verses that are meaningful to me on 3 x 5 note cards (see suggested verses).  I review the verses during the week while exercising, waiting for appointments, sitting in traffic and other idle times.   Once I have memorized 12 verses,  I start a new group.  Another system that works well is the Topical Memory System, published by the Navigators.  

Making the effort to memorize key verses will pay off.  I've found that the Holy Spirit will remind me of my memory verses throughout the day, particularly when I'm being tempted. Having the verses in mind also helps me keep my thoughts trained on God instead of carnal things.     

To illustrate how to use the verses, here are some typical lies the devil uses and sample replies using memory verses:

The second area that devil will test us in is the old patterns or "triggers" of temptation that used to lead us to sin.   These will obviously vary from person to person, and usually will relate in some way to the roots we examined in the previous section of this study.  For example, some of typical triggers for masturbation can be:

Take a moment to ask God to show you what your particular triggers have been for masturbation and write them down:

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When we respond to a trigger and move toward acting out, we'll find it's easy to go back down the old familiar road of temptation and follow through with masturbation.  What we need to do is determine a Godly plan of action on how we will now respond to a trigger when we encounter it.   God gives us several options for how to respond, including:

To illustrate how to put these responses to action, here are some typical triggers and possible actions to take:

Now, for your particular triggers from the previous section, brainstorm on actions you can take to break the pattern for each one and write them down below: ________________________________________________________________________

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Take a moment to declare to yourself and the Lord in faith that you have the power to choose differently and break the patterns that have plagued you in the past.  You can pray:

"Heavenly Father, I am a new creation in Christ and the life that I live now I live by faith in God, who loved me and gave himself up for me.  The Holy Spirit lives in me and is strengthening me now to live as the truly changed person that I am in Christ.  I have the power through Christ who strengthens me to break my old trigger patterns of masturbation.  I commit myself to breaking the trigger patterns. Father, please strengthen my conviction to reject any trigger that I may encounter.  Please sharpen my conscience and passion for purity.  Thank you, Father!  In Jesus' name I pray, Amen."  

Finally, back up the commitment you just made by sharing it with a trusted friend, accountability partner or pastor who will agree with you in prayer and encourage you in keeping your commitment over the coming months.

Next page:  Masturbation Study Wrap-up

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