Jim felt the evil presence fill the room. He turned off the computer, fell to the floor and began to plead with the Lord to drive the evil away and clean the room, the computer and him.
Jim had an addiction to pornography. It had started recently with an email attachment to check out a “dating service.” Jim was single and was drawn in by the pictures. That led him to more pictures and other sites and still more explicit sites. He was hooked. He didn’t know what to do. He didn’t know where to turn. He felt helpless.
Then Jim attended a Christian 12-Step meeting. He heard about freedom from addiction through turning it over to Jesus. He listened as he was told that he needed to admit that addiction had power over him and that he didn’t have power over it. He understood the concept of God being powerful and willing to take over the will and the life of anyone who allows Him to. Then the concept of confession that leads to healing made sense. Although being vulnerable frightened Jim, he knew he needed healing.
One meeting in the men’s small group Jim opened up. He shared about his addiction to pornography. He shared how he never had been tempted with magazines or programs on TV, but the computer hit him broadside. He talked about how easy it had been to get into it, but how hard it was to get rid of it. When he finished speaking no one condemned him. No one seemed shocked. No one snickered in the background. Rather, the men thanked him for sharing and someone else started to talk.
The Power Was Broken
From that moment Jim understood what he had been told about cutting the power of addiction by talking about it. The secret was out. The power was broken. He felt renewed energy to face his problem and with God’s help conquer it.
Jim erased his files. He reformatted his computer. He felt different. Addiction was not holding him in a stranglehold anymore.
Then came the email about a local dating service. He opened the file and that evil presence filled the room as mentioned at the beginning of the article. This time Jim knew what to do. He erased the file, turned off the computer and started to pray. The evil presence left and Jim was free.
He shared the experience at the next 12-Step meeting and told how he was set free. Other men shared their experience of finding victories over their addictions. All agreed that keeping open and vulnerable to other men was giving them power to live free.
Nearly 2,000 years ago James told us: “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective” (James 5:16).
James understood the power of confession. Jim was learning it.
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