Haunted. Such an eerie word. Haunted Christians. Seems like an oxymoron. Can Christians really be haunted? In short, absolutely! And millions, perhaps even billions of Christians (and non-Christians) are literally haunted by the effects of their pornography use, their promiscuity in the past, and perhaps even a full-scale sexual addiction that continues to wreak havoc in their own life and the lives of those close to them.
Haunted – According to online dictionary:
As an adjective
- inhabited or frequented by ghosts: a haunted castle.
- preoccupied, as with an emotion, memory, or idea; obsessed: His haunted imagination gave him no peace.
- disturbed; distressed; worried: Haunted by doubt he again turned to law books on the subject.
As a verb (used with object)
- tovisit habitually or appear to frequently as a spirit or ghost: to haunt a house; to haunt a person.
- to recur persistently to the consciousness of; remain with: Memories of love haunted him.
- to visit frequently; go to often: He haunted the galleries and bars that the artists went to.
- to frequent the company of; be often with: He haunted famous men, hoping to gain celebrity for himself.
- to disturb or distress; cause to have anxiety; trouble; worry: His youthful escapades came back to haunt him.
As a verb (used without object)
- to reappear continually as a spirit or ghost.
- to visit habitually or regularly.
- to remain persistently; loiter; stay; linger.
As a Pastor, Pastoral Counselor, and Christian brother/friend, I have had hundreds of conversations with some amazing people who are seeking to walk closely with Christ and to be in deep fellowship with the Holy Spirit, but they are tormented, disturbed, distressed, preoccupied, obsessed, worried, anxious, ashamed, and hopeless about their past and in many cases their current (ongoing) thoughts and actions related to sex. They are haunted and feel helpless and that they cannot ever be truly free from the memory of past encounters or even what they have visually exposed themselves to. The addiction and practices have taken them further than they ever thought they would go and they are caught in a vicious cycle of fantasy, acting out, shame, repentance; fantasy, acting out, shame, repentance; fantasy, acting out, shame, repentance. So overwhelming and tiring!
Many have felt temporary victory and freedom only to have their thoughts flooded with past images of pictures they have seen, movies they have seen, and actual physical encounters they have willingly engaged in. For many, something happened at an early age that set this path of Sexual Addiction in motion. Perhaps it was finding Dad’s Playboy magazine under his mattress and now 20 to 30 years later you can recall every curve, contour, and longing look the centerfold was showing and then something sparked. You were not sure but you knew you liked it…a lot! And wanted to see more and then to experience more.
Or perhaps as a young girl, the teenage neighbors who were watching you just for a short time while your parents ran an errand and then neighbors did what should not be done to someone so young. It may have been limited and not so horrific at the time; but you knew it was beyond what should be done. Through no fault of your own, something was awakened that was on the one hand pleasurable and yet you felt ashamed…and perhaps still do feel ashamed.
Some of you may have experienced abuse from a sibling, parent, or other relative. Multiple times and each occasion escalated to more. Now several years later, you may feel extreme shame and not like you have fully overcome the abuse. For some who have experienced abuse you may have unfortunately stepped outside of your marriage for multiple encounters with other men or women. Now that your spouse has discovered your unfaithfulness he or she is deeply wounded and confused. You are also likely deeply wounded, confused, ashamed, and feel distant from the Lord.
Friends, I know many of you want freedom so your marriage or future marriage will be pure and blessed – Unencumbered by the ghosts of relationships past. You long to be a person who is not just forgiven of past sexual sins, but set free and renewed. You cannot be in sexual sin/bondage and have a thriving relationship with the Lord. You will be limited in your joy and your true connection with the Lord and others if you are actively engaging in fantasy, pornography, and/or promiscuity.
Jesus came to set the captives free. He wants to make you whole and holy in His love. There is a way to be free and it all starts with getting real about where you are, assessing how deep your addiction goes, and honestly answering do you really want change?
John 5:1-8 (NIV) says, “Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals. 2 Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda[a] and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. 3 Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed.  [b] 5 One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?” 7 “Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.” 8 Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” 9 At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.”
Jesus can and will transform you. But he will not force himself upon you. It starts with you. Do you want to be well? If you want healing then it begins with proclaiming your desire for healing, transformation, being made whole! It is a declaration and empowers you to make the journey to wholeness and restoration.
We invite you to talk with us at Care to Change. We have a process of moving from hopelessness and defeat to renewal, wholeness, and ongoing victory over the call of our sensual culture. If you or your loved one is haunted by the ghost of past (or present) relationships, abuse, pornography, promiscuity, or full-blown sexual addiction, then we invite you to set up an initial appointment to begin the process of restoring wholeness. There is a way to feel good again! You can do this! Call us today. 317-790-9396
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