Thanks for your encouraging message. It took me well over 20 years learn what it takes to break free so I know where you are coming from.

True recovery is a 2-step process. You have to starve the flesh and feed the spirit. If you neglect either side of this principle you will eventually slip. Starving the flesh means removing anything that feeds your sinful desires. For people like us with a character flaw that makes us weak toward sexual addiction, we have to get to the root of the temptation. That is compromise. I had to find what led me to temptation. I don't believe the battle is lost at the point of temptation, but at the point of compromise and also the strength you build with your relationship with Jesus Christ. I found that looking at pretty women led me to the desire to look more. then the desire to look at 'innocent' magazines like swimsuit issues. Then more risky pictures and eventually the temptation of porn was overwhelming. If you can't resist compromise, you can't possibly resist temptation.
Equally important is the need to build your relationship with God. Without a daily renewal, you will begin to loose focus and the importance of resisting will become unclear. This is beautifully illustrated in Psalm 119:36-37, "Incline my heart to Your testimonies and not to covetousness. Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things, and revive me in Your way." This covers the whole spectrum. Incline your heart to God's testimonies ( that means God's word and his proven ways ), avoid coveting that is desiring anything that does not belong to us ), turn my eyes away from worthless things that draw us from God and revive in God's way. That is renewal. Renewal must be daily. Every single day it is important to take 10-15 minutes for reading God's word, 10 or more minutes in prayer and guarding your mind. I have found that memorizing scripture is invaluable. It will change your mind but it takes commitment. Also taking time out atleast once a week and more if possible to have an extended quiet prayer time with God.
If you haven't already done so, read the message entitled 'Overcoming Sinful Habits' that is located on my webpage at .
I also recommend reading the two-part message called anchors in faith. I would like to add you to my prayer list and my weekly emailing if you have no objections. This emailing goes to over 150 men and women and I blind copy everyone so only you will see your address.
Take care and keep in touch,
Eddie Snipes
----- Original Message -----
From: Andy
Sent: Sunday, September 19, 1999 10:13 PM
You have a very good site here. I will use it alot in the future. I read your article on porn and know it has had an effect in my life. Trying to fill a void that only He can fill. Thanks for this site.
God Bless You.

I have had a little bit of delay in mailing this weeks message. I am doing more travel than usual and the month of October will be even more travel. I have written this week's message to coincide with a Bible study I was asked to teach on a TV ministry. I dislike teaching from a lesson book because it comes across as a canned message so I took the general theme and wrote a message that complemented it. If your church uses the same material, you may recognize it. This message airs locally on October 24th and is titled, 'Experiencing Spiritual Breakthrough by Repentance'. I also recorded 'Spiritual Breakthrough in the Family' but I haven't decided if I should use this as a weekly email.
Please continue to pray for the ministries that I am involved in. God has exceeded my expectations and I pray that He would be my focus and draw others to Himself. Please continue to pray for Eric. His jury selection begins this week. Pray for every false testimony to be exposed and for a discerning jury. It was a huge answer to pray that Eric was freed until the trial. He was denied bond twice but prayers were answered and he was released. Pray for safe travel for me also. Also, if you are on this mailing list, you are on my prayer list.
This week's message:
Proverbs 14:34 Righteousness exalts a nation, But sin is a reproach to any people.

In our culture today, tolerance is a favorite buzzword. Repentance is not a popular subject because to repent, we must acknowledge we are in opposition to God. We all sin at different times in our lives and we all fail. When we make sin a part of our lifestyle and we become desensitized, we will loose the power of God in our lives. We are commanded to 'Be holy as God is holy'. The problem is that we can't measure up to the holiness of God. We are in constant need of renewal. That is why Romans 12:2 tells us, "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God."
The first step in renewing our minds is to acknowledge our sins. God called David a man after His own heart, but there was a time when David struggled with holding on to sin. David committed adultery and used his power to cover it up and even issued the order to have the woman's husband placed on the frontlines of battle alone so he would be killed. He became so tolerant of sin in his life that he refuse to acknowledge or repent until he was confronted by a prophet of God. David suffered greatly for his sins, but God forgave him. David wrote most of the Psalms. Lets look at Psalm 51:1-6. This psalm was written during David's time of sorrowful repentance. 1 Have mercy upon me, O God, According to Your lovingkindness; According to the multitude of Your tender mercies, Blot out my transgressions. 2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, And cleanse me from my sin. 3 For I acknowledge my transgressions, And my sin is always before me. 4 Against You, You only, have I sinned, And done this evil in Your sight- That You may be found just when You speak, And blameless when You judge. 5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me. 6 Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts, And in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom.
Repentance is critical to restoring our fellowship with God that is broken when we sin. Repentance is an active change of heart. Repentance literally means to change direction - make a 180-degree turn. Repentance is not asking God for forgiveness with the willingness to sin again. Repentance is when I acknowledge my sin, regret my sins and commit to change that leads me into a lifestyle that cultivates godliness and removes habits that lead me toward sin. Repentance is an action. True repentance requires brokeness. We see brokeness in David's prayer. As long as we tolerate sin in our lives, we will not have the power of God. When we sin, in essence, what we are saying is that we are not willing to trust God to give us His best. We would rather sacrifice the abundance of God's blessings so that we can have a moment of fleeting gratification. Sin is a lack of trust in God or an unwillingness to acknowledge His authority in our lives. Often times, God does not give instant gratification and He does not offer us the easy way out. But we do have God's promises that are built on obedience and claimed through faith. We often sacrifice the goodness of God because we don't believe He will follow through or we want what we want and we want it now.
Next lets look at verses 7-9. Seek the removal of sin. This deals with seeking God to remove sin from our lives.
7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. 8 Make me hear joy and gladness, That the bones You have broken may rejoice. 9 Hide Your face from my sins, And blot out all my iniquities.
It is important that we seek God's renewal. Verse 7 refers to David's prayer asking God to purge, wash and make clean. When our sin is purged, God can begin to bless us - joy, gladness and healing a spirit broken because of sin. David was chastised and asked God to heal him after his sins were made right. Verse 9 asks God to hide His face from sin and blot out the iniquities. We have that promise. 1 John 1:9 tells us that if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Colossians 2 tells us that our iniquities are blotted out when Jesus wipes the slate clean. When we by faith trust in Christ, Jesus takes all the written record against us and nails it to His cross. Psalm 103 tells us that our transgressions are as far as the east is from the west. North and South meet, but east and west never meet, therefore we are assured that our sins are never recounted against us.
Next I want to examine Psalm 51:10-12. Part of asking God to cleanse us of our sins is trusting God to renew us. Starting with verse 10: 10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me. 11 Do not cast me away from Your presence, And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. 12 Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, And uphold me by Your generous Spirit.
Once we ask for forgiveness and renewal, claim it according to the promises God has given us. Our tendency is to visit the gravesite of our sins, dig up the bones and carry them with us. That is called guilt. Guilt has no place in the Christian life. There are two ways to carry guilt. Refuse to deal with sin, or visit the gravesite. Unconfessed sin will always fester into guilt. Sin in our lives is like a disease of the soul. The most feared disease in the Bible was leprosy. In the early stages of leprosy, there is pain, but as the disease progresses, the nerves die and the victim feels no pain. Many victims get severe infections simply because they are unaware of a wound and fail to treat it. That is what sin does to our spirit. When we sin, at first we feel guilty. If we deal with it quickly, we can easily be renewed to fellowship with God. If we run from God, our conscience becomes deadened and eventually we are completely unaware of the sin that is festering in our lives. We cannot cure ourselves of sin, we can only go to Jesus Christ and allow Him to cleanse us.
One problem we struggle with is using a human view of God. By nature, we are not capable of unconditional love toward each other. Because of this, we tend to view God the same way. We believe the voice of guilt and are too ashamed to reach out to God for restoration. It is critical that we change our ideas of God. God is holy and just, but He is also compassionate and merciful. The Bible tells us that those who will receive Christ into their hearts, God gives them the privilege of becoming children of God. This is an affectionate picture given to us. When my kids disobey, I don't reject them and cast them out of the house. I don't withdraw my love from them. They are still my kids when they disobey and I love them just as much. I have to deal with their disobedience but my love has not changed at all. How I deal with their actions depends on their willingness to respond. If I correct them and they obey, no further action is needed. But if they refuse to listen, I will increase my response until I get their attention. My focus is to restore the relationship without compromising my values, or my goal is to protect them from harm they cannot see, or my goal may be to instruct and shape them for their own benefit. I believe God deals with us the same way. His law is not grievous, it is a guide for us to direct our lives by so that we can glorify God, help others and find what God has planned for us. Now I want to look at Psalm 51:15-17. This passage expresses the importance of maintaining a readiness to repent and praise of a merciful God. 15 O Lord, open my lips, And my mouth shall show forth Your praise. 16 For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it; You do not delight in burnt offering. 17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, A broken and a contrite heart- These, O God, You will not despise.
Part of maintaining a lifestyle that focuses on God is adopting disciplines that promote a godly lifestyle. Praising God is a key ingredient. David focuses on praise and stresses that praise is more cherished by God than sacrifice. David acknowledged that his brokeness over sin was not overlooked by God but instead was an acceptable sacrifice. David's sin was great, but his deep brokeness touched God's heart and God healed and restored David's relationship with God.
When reading the scriptures, you can clearly see that the secret to David's consistency was his total focus on God. Going back to verse 10, David's prayer was first for a clean heart and then for a steadfast spirit. Our nature is to seek God when we are troubled, but when God cleans up our lives we begin to fade and the return to the mire. How do we become steadfast - or consistent in our walk and firm in our convictions? How do we get off the roller coaster ride and become steadfast. I believe it boils down to focus. When God becomes our focus and our affection, we will be steadfast. It is when we take our eyes off of Jesus that we begin to waver.
James 1:14 warns us, "But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed." I firmly believe that the battle against temptation is not won or lost at the point of temptation. It is won or lost at the point of compromise - when we set the direction of our lives. We are drawn away or enticed by following our desires and leaving the presence of God. It isn't the temptation that gets us, it is the first compromise. We all have weaknesses. If I can't resist a small compromise, how will I resist the real temptation when it is put before me. We may not be able to justify a headlong leap into sin, but we can easily justify a dozen small compromises. The first compromise is where the decision was made. The remainder is finding a way to justify to ourselves so we don't feel ashamed until after we get what we want. I like to refer to this as the carrot principle. We are going happily along, thanking God for helping us to overcome the habit that once haunted us when all of a sudden out of the corner of our eye temptation is dangled. It isn't the whole deal, just enough to get our attention but not enough to raise our guard. Do we examine the possibilities or do we turn our gaze back to Christ? Most of us take a closer look but then the carrot moves just out of our reach. Do we go a few more steps or do we return our focus to Christ who is calling us? Once our focus gets on the carrot, we begin to be consumed with getting what is barely out of our reach. We never are satisfied with the end result but we continue to chase each time.
Take care and keep in touch,
Eddie Snipes