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As the end of the year approaches, many people have resolutions in place striving to be a different person they were the year before. For others, however, it serves as a reminder of some of the people or things they may have lost, but for the porn-addict, it provides a sense of hope. Let me first say, that there is absolutely nothing wrong with desiring to be porn-free—that is actually a good thing—but I just wanted to share three potential dangers of what can happen when we place our hope in resolutions:

 

We can become ensnared by our words.

Are we striving to be porn-free because of our own resolution or because of the desire to please the Lord in all of our ways?

As born-again Christians, our aim should be to live a life pleasing to the Lord Jesus Christ. Our inward man delights in the law of God and we hate the sins that remain within us, producing much suffering. It is also important to understand we are still flawed; we do not always keep our vows. Therefore it is better to not make an oath to the Lord than to do so and not keep it (Eccl. 5:5). Not only have I experienced it, but I have heard many say they will not "fall" again, only to stumble in a moment of weakness. We swear to ourselves, others and to God that that time will be the last and we truly strive hard to ensure that happens; but we must ask ourselves, are we striving to be porn-free because of our own resolution or because of the desire to please the Lord in all of our ways?  Bizzle said in his song "My Confession," “We spit about the sin that we overcame, it’s easy to talk about your past crime, but what about the one you’re still on today, but last week you said it was the last time?” The agony felt after a fall can be immense, because we trusted in our word rather than trusting in the finished work of Christ. [click-to-tweet] New Year’s resolutions are profitable for many things, the fight against sin isn’t one of them.

We fail to see the enemy’s strategy in regards to temptation.

While studying the Gospel of Luke, I seen just how persistent the devil is when it comes to temptation. It is understood that we have evil desires within us (James 1:14), but we are also at war against the powers of darkness who work tirelessly to deceive and destroy us. In the Gospel of Luke we see how Scripture tells us “when the devil had finished every temptation, he left Him until an opportune time” (Lk. 4:13). Matthew Henry said Satan had “emptied his quiver.” The enemy exhausted every temptation possible and fell short of his goal since he did not have anything in our Lord, but that still did not stop him from trying. However, we have all sinned and fallen short of God’s perfect standard, therefore January 1st will not stand against the devil’s fiery darts. Rather, we must stand on the Word of God or the “Sword of the Spirit” (Eph. 6:17) just like our Lord did.

We risk losing sight of Christ’s finished work on the Cross.

I mentioned this briefly on one of my other points but I feel that it is important for us to meditate on what Christ did for us on Calvary over 2,000 years ago. Indwelling sin can cause us to doubt whether if we have truly been redeemed but the fact that there is a struggle (let the reader examine if this is true in their life) is an indicator we have been born again. Before Christ, we were dead in trespasses and sins, haters of God and without hope in the world; but the Lord laid down His life and purchased us with His own blood (Matt. 20:28). He destroyed the works of the devil (1 John 3:8) and more importantly He satisfied the wrath of God in order that our fellowship may be reconciled to our Heavenly Father (Rom. 5:9). He has completed the work all by Himself, so to place our hope in January 1st is to trust in our own works. It is Christ who makes all things new, not the New Year. In Him we have new mercies every morning so every day is “Day One” for us, we do not have to live by a system where we have to count the days that we’ve been free when He has already set us free once and for all (Gal. 5:1).

Again, I want to reiterate that there's nothing wrong with resolutions in themselves, only when we place your hope in them. Therefore, work out your salvation with fear and trembling (Phil. 2:12) while resting in the sufficient grace of Christ Jesus. No matter what day it is, in the words of Steven Lawson, “we fear God, follow Jesus, flee sin and fight Satan.” 

I don't want to be porn-free in 2017, I want to be porn-free every day as I strive to live a life that honors and glorifies my Savior. Let us all resolve to do just that.