Freedom from Pornography

Overall, I was a good kid; but I had a lot of dark secrets. I must warn you that the following information may not be suitable for some, so please use discretion. Nevertheless, it’s a story of the power of God.

When I was very young, while playing outside with a friend of mine, I was approached by some older boys in my neighborhood and sexually abused. At the time, I didn’t see it as abuse; and before I knew it, I was no longer a victim but rather a participant. A spirit of perversion laid hold of me at a young age, and I carried it with me for years.

Before I knew it, I found myself at the age of nine or ten in another friend’s house pretending to play hide and seek. What we were really doing was consistently hiding in his parents’ room because my friend had found some erotic magazines under his dad’s bed. That was the birth of an addiction to pornography that plagued me for years.

All through this time, I continued attending church and pretending to be the most upright Christian there ever was. I read my Bible every day. I strove for excellence in everything I did. I was even in a few ministry positions as I grew older.

All the while, I knew my addiction was wrong, but I couldn’t break free. I would go for a week or two without looking at any pornography, but I was nevertheless trapped in my condition. It seemed as though it didn’t matter how much I loved Jesus or how hard I tried to please Him — I simply couldn’t break free.

A Taste of Freedom

One day, after changing churches and becoming involved in a vibrant youth group at the age of 16, a traveling minister came to our church and held three evening meetings. There he spoke of freedom and deliverance in Christ. I was so desperate to escape my mess, but I was so entrenched in lust and immorality that I felt completely hopeless. Nevertheless, at the end of his message, I approached the front of the room for prayer.

To be honest, it was mostly because of my pride. Everyone else was going, and I didn’t want to be the last one still sitting in my seat! Before I knew it, the preacher was right in front of me. And with an intriguing combination of clear determination and gentle lovingkindness, he asked me, “How can I pray for you?”

My eyes darted away. I had never confessed my sins to anyone before. What was going to happen to me? Was I really ready to give all this up?

No. I’m not ready, I thought, but I’ve got to go through with this. I NEED to be free…

“I hba pblm wf lst,” I mumbled sheepishly.

“Huh?” he responded, almost comically.

This time I decided to just let it out: “I have a problem with lust.”

“Oh,” he responded nonchalantly, “Well then, spirit of lust and sensuality, I command you to leave in the name of Jesus.”

It was that simple. I really wasn’t prepared for what came next, though—I can only tell you exactly what happened. As soon as he said those words, I physically jumped back about six feet and landed on the floor unhurt. I felt like a million pounds was lifted off my back. And for the first time, my mind was completely clear of the nagging perverse thoughts and temptations. I was FREE!

For six months I walked in total freedom from lust and pornography. I shared my testimony at youth group, and others began being set free as well. It was an awesome time!

But then I drifted. Before long, I had allowed temptation to get a grip on me again. Looking back, it’s ridiculous; but at the time it made all the sense in the world — mostly because I wanted it to make sense. I thought to myself, Everyone has heard my testimony now; that means I can start looking at pornography again and get away with it.

I followed through, and I was in worse shape than before. After all, Jesus said that when an unclean spirit comes out of a person, it returns later. And if it finds the “house” clean and in order — but still vacant — it will return and bring seven more demons worse than itself. I was a living example of this scripture.

True Freedom at Last!

Fast-forward a couple years. I was part of a team preparing to start a new church in the rural community of Fowlerville, Michigan. In the midst of my sinful condition, I had been a worship leader, youth leader, small group leader, Sunday School facilitator, and more. I had all the credentials the world would look for in someone who would help to plant a new ministry. But my dark side stayed hidden.

Hidden, that is, until my new pastor required his new staff to attend a weekend retreat that focused on issues of inner transformation and freedom in Christ. I was raring to go, but I had no idea what would transpire.

On the first night, we were asked to write down the “story of our lives” and include anything the Holy Spirit brought to our memory. It didn’t take long before all my repressed memories about what happened to me as a young child began to surface. These were events that I had buried beneath my mask of so-called perfection. I struggled to write them, but I did it anyway. I took an account of those boys in my neighborhood approaching me and the activities that followed. I wrote down every instance where I had personally spread that plague of perversion to others. I even included my return to pornography, lust, and sensuality.

Over the course of the weekend, the Holy Spirit helped me forgive those boys for what they did, confess my bitterness against God for letting it happen, and forgive myself for my own involvement. I verbally renounced those things in my life that had been separating me from a thriving relationship with God.

People prayed for me and cast those spirits away yet again. This time there wasn’t any dramatic physical demonstration (like flying backwards), but I felt that weight lift again. I had finally dealt with the root issues. All this time, I had simply needed to allow Christ to help me forgive all those people.

For the first time in my life, I was able to share the full story of my past without any shame or guilt. Instead of it being a story of my wickedness, it had become a testimony of Christ’s power and deliverance! I was finally free!

That Brings Us to Today

I’m not perfect, nor do I claim to be. I’m just like anybody else who has been set free from a life of sin. You see, sin is separation from God. It’s not first of all an activity; it is first of all a state of being. When we live in separation from God, our actions follow suit. When we live in sin, we begin to commit sinful acts.

In other words, I’m not free from making mistakes or slipping up here and there, but I am free from the canyon of separation that once stood between me and God. I have a genuine relationship with Him! And you can too!

I don’t share my story for my benefit but for yours. God created you with a destiny and a purpose. He created you to have a relationship with Him. Everyone’s story is different, but we can all turn our lives over to the same loving Author; and He will write a future for us that is far greater than we could have ever imagined.

Today, I’m a new creation. The old “me” has been put to death with Christ at the cross, and the Holy Spirit has breathed new life into me. I’ve chosen to live in unity with Christ — not that I am Christ, but that He gladly shares with me His character, authority, and relationship with the Father through the Holy Spirit.

By His grace, I’ve been a part of many miraculous things! I’ve seen people healed of cancer and other “incurable” problems. I’ve seen storms move supernaturally. I’ve had spiritual encounters that can only be attributed to the Holy Spirit’s presence and activity…AND YOU CAN TOO!

Here is Where You Come In…

I don’t have the whole picture. I’m just one little puzzle piece when it comes to revealing Christ in this world. The Bible says that the Holy Spirit gives different people different gifts so that we can all live as one body — the Body of Christ. That means apart from you revealing Christ in the manner God has appointed, Jesus is not fully revealed!

As you read my writings or hear my teachings, I pray you’ll see Jesus in ways you never had before; and as you share your thoughts and testimonies with me, I pray that through you I will come to see Jesus in ways I never have.

The only way this is possible is if you too have chosen to give your life over to unity with Christ. Consider your sinful nature to be dead by recognizing that it died when Jesus died. Don’t be afraid to confess your condition openly — it’s the first step to being able to share your testimony openly.  I’ve learned that Jesus hung naked on the cross; and if we are to put our sins up there with Him, then they too must be naked and exposed for everyone to see. It’s a risk, but it’s the path to freedom. Some may laugh at you; some may mourn for you—but death is death, and it’s the only way to move on to resurrection.

That’s stage two (because Jesus didn’t stay dead!). Ask the Holy Spirit to give you new life and make you a new creation in Christ. He will do it. If the Holy Spirit can physically raise Jesus from the dead, then He can certainly do the same in you on a spiritual level. Let Him transform your mind and emotions. Ask Him to guide your actions and decisions. Allow the Holy Spirit to cleanse you (like He did me) by revealing things from your past that need to be dealt with.

As He does this, you will find yourself more and more free from the impact of the world. You’ll start to walk in authority and in relationship with God the Father in heaven. How? Because you also get to be a partner with Christ in His ascension into heaven to sit at the right hand of God the Father (Look it up in the Bible in Ephesians 2:6).

There’s so much more to discover, but I hope you now see the simplicity of it. Find a “spiritual family” of believers in Christ who will pray for you, encourage you, and pursue God with you. Seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit to direct your life. And regularly put yourself into living contact with the living Christ through prayer, reading the Bible, interacting with fellow believers, and sharing the Good News about Him.

Real Christianity is not about having all the answers; it’s about knowing the Answer. It’s not about having all the power; it’s about having an intimate relationship with the Divine Power. True Christianity is not about merely attending a church; it’s about being the Church.

I won’t give you advice on how to be a “good religious person.” Rather, I pray you’ll discover a vibrant, life-transforming, miracle-working, supernatural relationship with the One who loves you most and created you for this very purpose.

God bless,
–Art

Art Thomas
Art@SupernaturalTruth.com

3 Comments

  1. Nick Shirley
    Nov 09, 2014 @ 05:05:40

    Dear art,
    Thanks for your testimony, I can really identify with this. I had a similar situation happen to me when i was younger with another neighborhood boy when i was around seven years old. Shortly after my parents separated I had this similar situation take place, I not knowingly, participated multiple times and even attempted to perpetrate the same perverse behavior onto my younger brothers. After about a year or 2 living of with my mother she attempted suicide and my father stepped in and moved my three siblings out to live with him. Much of the traumatic instances ceased but some of the residual effects remained. A spirit of perversion grabbed me as well, I began looking at porn from about 11 years old all the way up to today at my age of 27.
    Prior to 2012 I was a devout atheist and was very antagonistic towards Christianity and to all those who operated in a faith belief. I wasn’t until the end of 2012 that I was debated by a friend of mine that was a believer into the existence of God. He used my pseudo intellectual ideals against me and with simple conversation something inside me clicked. I was a little dumbfounded but not to prideful to admit defeat. From there not much changed. I had been in a dwindling 6 year relationship with my girlfriend, I moved out of state to pursue a career in film production with a few friends which brought us to a house in the woods of rural washington. My life had not really changed in that though I believed in God, I didn’t know him, answer to him and didn’t really do anything different from being an atheist.
    Some things continued to change though, My relationship with my girlfriend ended badly, I wasn’t really enjoying my time in the fledgeling film company, I was constantly watching porn up to six times a day or more. And to cap off 2012, my mother died about 15 days before Christmas. To put it lightly, I had reached a low. A life of drugs, sex, sin, anger and resentment all sort of boiled to a head. My relationship with my mother was always sort of off and on, very rocky. She struggled with alcoholism her entire life and ultimately added to her death I still felt bad that I closed myself off from her not knowing how much she must have been hurting. My relationship with my girlfriend was a very cherished part of my life and after it finally ended almost felt worse that when my mother died. i began medicating pain with porn, drugs, alcohol, and the like. I couldn’t figure out why my relationship ended, why i felt so broken, why I felt so lonely.
    Around the same time the house we were staying at had some strange presences going on that more than one of my roommates had noticed and mentioned. Strange feelings in the middle of the night like a presence was there, very uncomfortable. I spent a lot of time ruminating on my failed relationship, trying to figure out why it had failed, did i do something wrong? was I inadequate? or not good enough? 6 years is a long time and we dated for a year prior to that. I laid in bed, watched some porn on my laptop and went to bed. In the middle of the night around 3am I was awoken by a dream that felt as though I was pulled out of my sleep by something. I was drenched in sweat and blurted out in my rooms the very words, “oh my god I’m gay” terri screeched over me. I felt awful, the memory from my childhood stood right there with the incident ringing flush in my memory. Fear gripped me and I was absolutely terrified. The following day I spent much of the morning hearing the same voice repeating over and over again in my head, “I’m gay, I’m gay.. ” over and over. I tried rationalizing it, I tried thinking that if i said it it would maybe relieve the pressure in my chest and heart, with no luck. I figured that since there was no relief that it couldn’t be true.
    I managed to keep myself together for a while during the remainder of my time in washington and survived a mortifying 20 hour drive home to California where i am from. Something changed in my thoughts during this time, I knew that at this point there was a God, but now something inside me said I needed Jesus. I knew I had a bible at my house in california I could get to it and get to know this Jesus. I had heard the simple and more popular bible stories, walking on water, adam and eve, nailed to the cross and blah blah blah. All i knew is that this guy was a healer. I got home and struggled to make it through the bible, or even parts of it. Im capable of understanding old english writing but making sense of what was going on in this book took some time. Over the next two years I struggled to loose this reoccurring thought from my brain and it continues to rack me. I have learned a lot about much of the bible, who jesus is and who he is to me. Much of my confusion has come from within the church and much of their denominational beliefs. I sought biblical counseling and made some ground up, from there I was introduced to an interesting ministry of a man named Andrew Womack. Hadn’t really heard such victorious teaching and positional truth in the entire time i sat in my previous church. I began looking for ministries in my area that taught similar victory and did finally find one. I currently attend an assemblies of God Church in southern california, I am not delivered from my sin of nor of my reoccurring thought in regards to homosexuality pornography and lust yet (both of which i am convinced of as being demonic), but I am encouraged by your testimony to do the hard thing to my small group and admit that i have a problem. To not leave anything out and to confess my sins to them that I might be made whole. I want to ask for your prayer that I may gain victory through confessing my sins to my small group members, that I may be encouraged by the lord to seek the help I need in the lord. I want to thank you again for your ministry, I believe God led me here tonight to encourage me so that I can be set free as well. thanks again.
    Nick.

    Reply

  2. Pascal
    Jun 15, 2015 @ 19:53:05

    Hello Art,

    My name is Pascal and want to give glory to God because he healed me through your appearance in “Sid Roth it’s supernatural show” I had a pain in my left wrist for weeks and I kid you not, as soon as you mentioned that someone with a wrist pain is being healed, the pain left right away and hasn’t come back. Praise God and thank you for doing the work of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    Pascal Guerre

    Reply

  3. Manny
    Sep 07, 2015 @ 06:11:32

    Pastor Art Thomas,
    I just wanted to give a praise report. Today is September 7, 2015, I was sitting up listening to different sermons on YouTube and I stumbled across your Ministry of healing. I had pain in my right bottom foot for some reason which was not there before but I believed God would heal it and He did, through obedience listening to you pray the prayer of Faith. God bless you man of God and stay encouraged, I honestly got healed and I am believing God for more supernatural healings. Praise God for His goodness!

    Reply

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