The Serpent of Pornography and How to Crush it
I imagine Satan being very much like a cobra. Known for the hideous hood it extends when preparing to attack, it actually spits into the eyes of its victim before striking. With its target blinded and helpless, the serpent could easily squirm away into the brush. But this viper is not content with escape; it enjoys killing. With bared fangs, it lunges, injecting its deadly poison into its victim’s body. This is a fitting picture of the man lured into viewing pornography.
The Serpent of Pornography Deceives You
The temptation usually begins when he comes across a glimpse of flesh and/or a sexually suggestive hyper-link. It is just enough venom to temporarily blind him to the impending danger. The initial presentation is stimulating, creating a sensual atmosphere which spiritually incapacitates him.
It seems irresistible because it is laced with deception—namely, that the act of sin will bring about tremendous pleasure and satisfaction. The tantalizing thought is presented and all thoughts of resistance are forgotten. The act of sexual sin looks absolutely intoxicating and therefore irresistible. The serpent is extremely cunning. He slithers up to his unsuspecting victim, camouflaging the sin, presenting it under the perfect illusion of innocence. He times his attack to best accomplish his purpose, “to steal, and kill, and destroy’ God's property.”
Now the serpent moves in for the kill. That one glimpse of porn unleashes a poison that rockets into the man’s soul and instantly spreads throughout his being. Just like a snakebite victim, he enters a catatonic state of mind: a sexual trance where all reason seems to abandon him. Lust rushes through his body; his face flushes with excitement; his palms get sweaty.
Solomon described this spiritual stupor this way: “With her many persuasions she entices him. With her flattering lips she seduces him. Suddenly he follows her as an ox goes to the slaughter, or as one in fetters to the discipline of a fool, until an arrow pierces through his liver; as a bird hastens to the snare, so he does not know that it will cost him his life.” Proverbs 7:21-23
The Serpent of Pornography Impairs You
Once a snake bites, its victim then becomes vulnerable to other predators.
Some time ago, I watched a National Geographic special that showed a lioness who had been bitten by a cobra. For days, she suffered under the effects of its venom. Weakened to the point of collapse, she faced great danger from a roving pack of ravenous hyenas. She was helpless to defend herself from their savage attacks.
This is certainly true of the man who views pornography. Its poison, rather than dissipating after he has completed his act of lust, continues to contaminate his heart over the coming days. Its toxin remains in his system, altering his perspectives, polluting his mind, and spreading darkness over his soul. The lust it initially appealed to is now inflamed into burning desire. Rather than satisfying the man’s sexual passion, it only serves to further ignite it.
Not only must the infected man deal with the after-effects of the bite, but now he is even more weakened spiritually against the enemies of his soul. He attempts to go about his daily routines, but lascivious memories continue to haunt him. These images are like Third World beggars crowding around him, clamoring for another handout. No matter how much you give them, they’re never satisfied. Indeed, every gift only emboldens them to demand more.
The Serpent of Pornography Must Be Crushed
Christian men must do everything within their power to crush the serpent of pornography. Two practical measures a man should take include: installing a filter on his Internet devices, and controlling his television viewing. However, the fact remains that we live in a snake-infested world. In our day and age, it is almost inevitable that men will face this temptation at some point. The wise believer will prepare himself for that day with the Word of God.
When a man “receives with meekness the engrafted word,” he will discerns the source of temptation that comes his way. He understands that, behind the beautiful illusion of pleasure, there is a snake—coiled and ready to strike. He has been bitten by it before and has learned the hard way the price that is paid for every indulgence. He has the heart-knowledge (much different from head knowledge) to “be a doer of the Word” and turn away from the temptation.
Time spent in the Word everyday builds up a man’s immune system against the poison of pornography. The scriptures are simply the thinking and perspectives of the Lord. As a man continually immerses himself in the Bible, he will gradually take on God’s mindset toward life, people and, yes, even sexuality. A man who devotes daily time to the Word is given spiritual insight into the power of temptation and how it works. Just as the Word of God prepares a man to face temptation, it is also the only antidote for the man once he has been bitten by the serpent of lust. Regular doses of Scripture are the very thing he needs to be built up spiritually and thus counteract the effects of the poison of pornography. “Precept upon precept; line upon line; here a little, and there a little…” Isaiah 28:10
It is only the “Sword of the Spirit” that can sever the head of the serpent of porn.
Steve Gallagher is the Founder and President of Pure Life Ministries. He has dedicated his life to helping men find freedom from sexual sin and leading Christians into the abundant life in God that comes through deep repentance.
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