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Episode 1 – Overcoming Temptation

Episode 1 – Overcoming Temptation

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IAM Episode 1 – Overcoming Temptation
Show Notes

Why did Overcome Temptation get come into existence?

  • To keep me accountable and reach a higher level of purity. Temptations and triggers will always be present. Nobody is immune to relapse. The only way to win the battle is to prepare one’s self-daily.
  • To be a source of encouragement and support for others looking to overcome their addictions to sexual immorality. This podcast is a perfect way to set your mindset for success on your way to work in the morning.

 

What is an addiction?

An addiction is something that you want to change, something you want to move away from, but for some reason you keep finding yourself falling back on the same path and even getting worse.

 

What is the definition of insanity?

Doing the same thing and expecting a different result.

 

Bible Verses Referenced in Podcast

“For I can do everything God asks me to with the help of Christ who gives me strength and the power.” -Philippians 4:13

“Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body.” -1 Corinthians 6:18

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” –Romans 3:23

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” –John 3:16

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” –Matthew 6:34

 

Quotes in the Podcast

“Inch-by-inch life is a cinch, yard-by-yard life is very, very hard.” –Leo the Cat

“Your past does not determine your future.” -Sam

 

Types of People

1) The first type of person lives in the past and dwells on their mistakes corrupting their chance at a better future.

2) The second type of person lives in the future and does not put any actions into place in the present to ensure the future they want comes to fruition

3) The third type of person looks to his past to learn from his mistakes and clearly envisions the future they want, but lives in the present implementing immediate actions that will give them the best chance for success.

 

Podcast Transcript (Note – Parts of the podcast have been edited to read more cohesively.)

Thank you so much for joining us for this first episode of Overcome Temptation.

I guess the main thing we want to start off with is why this site exists. Overcome Temptation started for basically two simple reasons, the first is to help me stay accountable in my actions and win the battle against sexual temptation.

Every morning we wake up and we tell ourselves we are going to win the battle against whatever it is we are fighting. We’re going to be good at work; we’re going to be good with our family. We’re going to win our battles against sexual purity or win the battle against alcoholism, drugs or whatever it is we are going against. It might be gossip or slander, or greed or lust. There are a million different things that we can be telling ourselves we are going to do better.

This podcast focuses specifically on the issue of sexual temptation and remaining sexually pure. I know in today’s society that’s kind of a moot point. The idea of being sexually pure seems nearly impossible. And if it is impossible, why should we even try? I feel it is because God has called us to a higher standard.

I know I have struggled with sexual addiction for many years and that was my mindset, “You know, I cannot beat it. I cannot win. It’s just what everybody does, so why not just go along with it?” In order to be held accountable and to win the battle, I realize it’s going to take a lot more than just me saying I am going to win the battle and just saying that I am going to overcome this because if that were the case I would’ve overcome this struggle many, many years ago. If you’re like me, you’re probably in the same spot, you succumb to the temptation, you feel guilt and remorse, you say you’re not going to do it again and then somehow (you have no idea how) you end up right back in the same place.

The first reason I started Overcome Temptation was to hold myself accountable. By coming here every morning, writing down my thoughts, getting into God’s word, having accountability partners – having everyone out there that I am accountable to. That is what is going to help me win the battle.

The battle for sexual purity is something we all hold so close and personal. It is something we don’t want to talk about. It’s not shared, it’s a battle that millions of people struggle with, but yet nobody wants to talk about it because it is so intimate and personal. And I think that is what Satan wants. Satan wants us to keep that to ourselves because if we are not taking it out into the light, talking to other people, we are not ever going to get the help that we are looking for. And we are going to keep falling into the same path that leads to guilt, remorse and not getting ahead. So, the first reason this site exists, it’s kind of selfish, but is to help me overcome my battle for sexual purity.

And the more I have gotten into this, gotten into purity groups, gotten involved at church, I’ve realized there are millions of people that are struggling with this issue. I think the big fallacy is everyone thinks they are at this alone. That they are the only one, that nobody else struggles with this. This is their deep dark secret they are hiding inside and they can’t share it, because they will be mocked and ridiculed or that they’ll be kicked out of the church or banned form the workplace. The reality is that there are so many people struggling with this it is unfathomable.

In fact, I was looking at one study where they tried to study the affects of pornography on the mind. That is, those who watched pornography versus a control group that has never watch pornography. They went to a college, and they couldn’t even find any college males that had not been exposed to pornography.

Everybody is doing it, but just because everybody is doing it, doesn’t mean it’s what’s best for you or that it’s what you should be doing. I think we were called to a higher standing. I think that our lives can be much more pure – free of guilt, free of remorse. Think about it, if it were something good to do and something that didn’t affect our lives, there would be no divorces, there would be no falling apart of families. You wouldn’t even feel the guilt and shame, but God has programmed us to a higher moral standard and that is why we feel that. Now there is a possibility that we have gone so far in one way that our hearts have been hardened and we don’t feel that guilt and remorse anymore and we need to pray. If we have friends that are there or you’re there, please feel free to call, send me an email because life can be so much better.

That is the one thing I have realized, God has called us to hit the mark. He wants us to hit this mark because life is better over here – there is no guilt, there is no shame, there’s no remorse. We can fall asleep every night, put our head on our pillow and not worry or feel guilty. And that’s what He wants for us. But in today’s world what is good has become evil and what is evil has become good. It has flip-flopped and that is why I have started this.

Second reason is to help others that are struggling, so that we can all hold each other accountable, and that we can be there to support one another and so that we can, together, win this battle. I think that is something that I have struggled with for a long time – I have kept all of this internal. I told myself that I was going to overcome temptation, but I failed. And the reason I failed was because I never brought it into the light. I never shared my struggles with anyone. It was something that I thought I was the only one that was struggling with this. Why would I share it? And plus you don’t share your sexual temptation, air that dirty laundry, I mean, that’s horrible, Why would you share that? At least, that is what I told myself. And you know, for decades, I struggled down this path and until I found my local church purity group. However, we met in secret, we met at night because you know we wouldn’t want anyone to know we are struggling with this.

I just wanted to create this podcast to get it out there. First and foremost there are millions of men and women that are struggling with pornography, there are millions of them. Porn does not just affect blue collar workers, it is widespread. Blue collar, white collar, professionals, the upper-class – all are susceptible to porn addiction. There have even been high percentages of church clergy, preachers and pastors whom have struggled with pornography. This is something that affects everybody and a lot of us have just become so numb to the issue of sexual purity due to the sexual imagery that is out there everywhere. You cannot escape it. Even the TV shows of today that are on mainstream TV would have been R or possibly even X rated, 20, 30, 40, or 50 years ago. What used to be inappropriate is now mainstream. We’ve been so desensitized that we just accept it. I think we all know deep down though that it is not the way it should be, there is a higher calling for us and we can take a stand against sexual purity.

If you’re like me, you’ve probably come to this site because you realize your temptations are winning the battle. I’m not sure what your temptations are. They might be drugs, alcohol, abuse, pornography, or sexual addictions. The reality is, it doesn’t matter what your temptations are. The only thing that matters is the fact those temptations are making us feel trapped and shameful and we need to find a way to move past that. The past is in the past. We can’t do anything about our past. It’s there, we can’t keep looking in the past and looking in our rearview mirror. The only thing we can do is learn from the past and focus, right now, on this moment.

Let’s be honest, I think the hardest step is admitting we have a problem. I’ll admit I have a problem with sexual pornography – sexual purity. I fed my mind for years with those images and thoughts and I have a problem. It is something I have to struggle with each and every day. If you’ve come to this website, something in your heart is telling you this might be an issue you need to take a closer look at. “Overcome sexual temptation” or the “strive for sexual purity” is not a random search. Everyone is going to come to this place on his or her own.

That is one thing I found going to my purity group is, men will come in and we ask “why are you here?”

“Well, my wife caught me doing this and now she’s mad at me and this could lead to divorce. It is an extremely tumultuous time in a relationship.”

But the reality is, they are not really there because they want to make a change, they’re there because they got into trouble. I think it’s great, you get in, and you meet those guys that are there to support you. Unless you are really at a point where you’re willing to admit, “I’ve got a problem and this is what I need to change in my life.” It’s going to continue to be a battle for you.

Even after I went to the purity group I still screwed up. I was there because of the same kind of reasons, I got myself into a predicament and I wanted to change, but I really wasn’t a hundred percent committed. I really wasn’t a hundred percent honest and you’ve got to just come to that point when you’re ready. God is going to work on your heart and He is going to bring you to that place where you can really start to make changes.

Overcome Temptation is here to support you, provide scriptures, to encourage you. We are here to provide encouraging messages each week so that you have positive things to think about to lead yourself away from falling into that same mindset – falling into those same traps and snares. It’s here to give you some encouragement and to get out of that same rut. That’s basically what an addiction is. An addiction is something that you want to change, something you want to move away from, but for some reason you keep finding yourself falling back on the same path and even getting worse.

It’s really funny, because in business I’ve led several companies and I remember one thing a consultant told me is the definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result. I have worked with several companies that want to make a change, or get more sales, or they need to trim costs, but they never change anything. They talk about how they’re going to go out there and get all these sales and rah, rah, rah but the next day, the actions don’t change. Yet the company expects, because of the fact they talked about it, all of a sudden all of these new accounts and sales are going to flood in the door.

I think we do the same thing when it comes to our sexual purity. We get caught by our girlfriend or spouse on a website so we feel horrible.

However we never take any actions that are going to truly move the needle and allow us to make those changes. It is all lip service. I think deep down we all feel some sort of remorse or guilt or taboo. That’s why movies have ratings, because we don’t want our children to see those images, but at some point, once you become an adult, it becomes more mainstream. Still, if it was ok, there would be no reason to not let children watch or to have restrictions against it.

We all know deep down that pornography and sexual temptations are bad and it does weaken the moral fiber of our society.

I think the reason we give more lip service to it than action is because that is the current societal norm. Everybody that wants to make a change in their life, and let’s say we are overweight, so we pick up a book on fitness and a book on eating. Maybe at work we’re not achieving our sales goals so we go get a book on sales. What’s in those books is great information, and odds are the action items can help you achieve your goals. The problem is that 98% of people that read a book or go to a conference fail to ever take any steps that put those practices into place.

We are all really quick to read a book or go to a conference or hire a consultant. The problem is the real change takes place after we have acquired that information and we determine what we are going to do with that information. We all say we are going to beat sexual temptation and we are not going to look at those images and we’re not going to go to that strip club, but we never put any safe guards into place ahead of time that are going to train our mind on how to respond when temptation comes our way.

I know many of you can relate to me. After something happens there is always a certain level of guilt, shame and remorse and we think to ourselves, “Oh my gosh! How could we have done that again? I can’t let this happen. This was the last time. This is the last time I am going to click on that link. This is the last time that I am going to look at that picture. This is the last time I’m going to go to that strip club. This is the last time I’m going to have an affair.”

I have heard so many stories about, “the last time”. We all tell ourselves it’s going to be the last time, and then what happens? Maybe a day, a week, a month later there’s another temptation. Something just takes us to that point. You know what happens. We have not taken any actions, we have not put any barricades up to keep us from stumbling. We have not done anything to prepare our minds.

Then, when temptation comes knocking, we are right back down that rabbit hole. Right where we were 2 weeks ago, 3 weeks ago, a month ago when we said we would never do that again. When we said this is the last time. Sadly, we find ourselves right back in that same situation.

This is what I want this Overcome Temptation to be. I want to have scriptures, so that we have verses on tap, ready to go. “Flee temptation, flee sexual impurity.”

“Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body.”

1 Corinthians 6:18

When these issues come up we have the scriptures right there that we can draw from. We have the stories of other people, what they did to succeed. When we come upon those struggles, we haven’t done anything but hey this struggle is coming up and all of a sudden instead of just being like, “I’m going to click on that link”. You’re sitting there, something comes up and you know what? All of a sudden that temptation or trigger comes along and you say to yourself,

“For I can do everything God asks me to with the help of Christ who gives me strength and the power.Philippians 4:13

I can do everything God asks me with the help of Christ who gives me the strength and the power. You know what I have got God on my side; I don’t need to click that link! Or we can think, “I am going to go listen to this podcast episode just to remind myself that I don’t want to go down that path.” This is what I would really hope for this podcast.

I am going to try and keep it to 20-30 minutes long as the average commute to work in America is 26 minutes. So to start your day, these podcast will have scriptures in them, positive messages in them. We will have success stories from people that have found victory and what they’ve done and what made a difference in their life.

You can start your day off feeding your mind with good thoughts you can start putting those positive actions into place; so that when a temptation or a struggle does come, you already know what you are going to do. “God gives me the strength to overcome everything! I’m going to listen to this podcast. I’m going to call an accountability partner. I’m going to talk this through but I am not going to go down that rabbit hole again. I have taken the actions that I need to make sure I am moving forward.”

This is our goal for the podcast!

The key to beating our addiction: first, we need to admit we struggle with sexual temptations. As a male, in a society filled machismo and bravado, it is easy to tell yourself everyone watches porn and it is OK, but the reality is God wants us to lead pure lives. The reason He wants us to do this is because there is so much better of a life on the other side – a life without thoughts of guilt or remorse or worrying about being caught.

The ability to lie down at the end of the night and think I didn’t do that, I didn’t look at those images! I respected my wife. No fear of begin caught, you’re being 100% honest, there’s no reason to lie. I think that type of life is amazing, and I think that is what we are all working towards.

I think one of the biggest struggles in the battle is dealing with the enormity of the challenge. There used to be this show on TV, I think it was a movie called the Millionaire Cat. It had a quote in it that has really stuck with me through almost everything I’ve done whether it’s building a company, consulting or sales. When we look at the battle against pornography and say, “I am never going to look at porno again.” That is an undertaking that is immense. Anytime you try to bite off a big chunk like that, what a struggle!

It seems like an overwhelming undertaking that is never achievable, but in the Millionaire Cat, there was Leo the Cat and he had a very simple line and it stuck with me. It is:

“Inch-by-inch life is a cinch, yard-by-yard life is very, very hard.”

I think right there is the key of winning the battle against sexual purity. We need to look at life inch-by-inch, right here in the present.

There are 3 types of people and I think the majority fal into category 1 or category 2. Th first category is people that live their life today based on their actions in the past. We all have baggage behind us, we’ve all made mistakes, we’ve all made horrible choices. That is why God came; God came because we have all sinned. For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” –Romans 3:23

We all have the mistakes in our past. We have all sinned. If we hadn’t sinned, we wouldn’t need God. But the fact God came and sent his own Son to die for our sins shows that none of us are above reproach.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” –John 3:16

And there is nothing we can do, we are going to sin and that is why we need Christ as our Savior. The problem is living your life looking in the rearview mirror thinking, “I can never be a good person. Look at my past. I’ve made so many mistakes; it’s hopeless for me.”

The reality is God came. God died for our sins so that we could move forward, see His face and continue to try and live a better, more pure, holy life that glorifies Him. If we are constantly looking in the rearview mirror, we are never going to get ahead.

If you are driving down the highway and you’re constantly looking in the rearview mirror, what’s going to happen? It’s not going to be long before you collide into another car or barricade. You can’t live in the past. You see what you’ve done, acknowledge what you’ve done and ask God for forgiveness. You make amends to those people you have hurt and you learn from from your past – but do not live there.

Look at your past. Acknowledge your mistakes and look for patterns or triggers that kept you coming back to your addiction. What are those triggers? My trigger was stress. Every time I got into a stressful situation, whether it was building a company or taking on too much. I would tell myself, “I am really good at handling stress,” because I thought I was good at handling stress, but the reality is I was not good at handling stress. Somehow, pornography had become an escape for me, so yes I have made mistakes in the past.

I look at the past to learn from it, but I can’t dwell there because it is just going to take me back to a place I do not want to go. What I can do though, is look at those patterns and realize stress is a trigger for me – I really need to watch my stress level, if I start to feel stressed I need to get to the gym or I need to talk to my accountability partners(s). Stress will lead me down a path that I don’t want to go, based on my previous history.

So yes, the past can be beneficial if you look at it from a lesson-learned opportunity. But if you are looking at it in a way that, “Oh I have made so many mistakes, I am just a horrible person and I’m never going to amount to anything.” You are just going to cripple your ability to overcome.

When we admit that we have made mistakes, when we learn from our past, and we truly turn our lives over to God; He can move mountains with your life. You could be the one person able to relate to an individual who is truly struggling and you guys can build each other up and support each other and reach whole new levels of sexual purity. The two of you can be an inspiration to hundreds of people. Your past does not determine your future, so please do not get hung up in your past.

The first type of person lives in the past and dwells on their mistakes corrupting their chance at a better future.

The second type of person lives in the future. This was me for years. This person is so focused on the future, they don’t ever look at the past and they don’t really spend any time in the present. That’s the way I was for the longest time and because of that I never learned from my lessons in the past. I was always focused on the future. I never put any barricades up to prevent my mistakes in the past from reoccurring. I needed to put up roadblocks and watch for those temptations and triggers.

I would just tell myself, “I can be good in the future and I can beat this.” And tomorrow would come, I would mess up and again I would tell myself, “I messed up today, but that is in the past. That’s behind me. OK, in the future, I am going to be good and I am going to overcome this.”

However, I never did anything in the present to prepare for future success when it came to sexual purity. In business I’d be like, “We are going to increase sales and we’re going to cut costs, etc.” and I would be putting practices in place today to make sure that my future truly did look like that. When it came to the area of sexual purity, I drew a line at looking to the future. “This is where I am going to go,” but I took no steps to ensure the future look like what I envisioned.

In the present we just leave it all to luck and figure we’ll get there – magically perhaps?

The second type of person lives in the future and does not put any actions into place in the present to ensure the future they want comes to fruition.

We need to get more like the third type of person; the third type of person has a really good balance. I think this is what God calls us to be in the verse:

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” –Matthew 6:34

Live today. What are we going to do today? Inch-by-inch life is a chinch. The battle for sexual purity, if we try to bite off a day at a time, a week at a time, a month at a time, a year at a time, is overwhelming. I can be sexually pure this minute, right now though. This moment, I do not have to click on that. The next minute, I don’t have to look at this either. I can win the battle minute by minute. There are some people I have met with, who think about porn or other women all the time – they are overwhelmed with the challenge of overcoming temptation.

You might have to fight the battle one second at a time. When the thought of lust and impurity comes into your mind, corral that thought. “Dear God, put this thought out of my mind, help me overcome this!” Call your accountability partner, tell them what you are struggling with, right that second. Don’t worry about the next minute or the next half hour. All we need to do is live right now. And right now in the present what are we going to do? What roadblocks we going to put into place? Are we going to start recognizing what our triggers are based on our actions in the past? Are we going to start trying to build our path today based on what we want our life to look like in the future? What are we going to put into place today to get us to where we want to be?

The third type of person looks to his past to learn from his mistakes and clearly envisions the future they want, but lives in the present implementing immediate actions that will give them the best chance for success.

This is what the Overcome Temptation podcast is all about. This podcast is about inspiring us to live in the moment of today, so that we can glorify God today and with all of our future actions. It is about preparing us with scriptures we can all upon so thatwhen temptations come, we have a solid biblical foundation to steer us in the right direction. It’s about making new friends that can support us and encourage us in our walk as we struggle against the battle for sexual temptation.

It is about giving you the armor you need to go out, take on your temptations and walk out victorious. There reality is our temptations are never going to go away. There will never be a day where you don’t feel the desire for sexual temptation. The temptations will always be there. So, it is not about removing our temptations, but instead taking the steps that are going to help us achieve victory over our temptations and triggers when they come our way.

This is my prayer, that each of us will focus on overcoming our battles inch-by-inch. So that when we add up all those inches the next thing we know we have won a foot, we have won a yard, we have won a mile. All those inches eventually add up and soon we gone a day and then a week and then a month without stumbling. We may never have dreamed that we could go a month and be 100% sexually pure. We may never have dreamed we could go a minute, but if we can achieve seconds at a time corralling our thoughts and filling our minds with positive thoughts when we look back…. oh my gosh, we have gone 6 months.

This is what Overcome Temptation is all about. In the upcoming episodes we will focus on scripture and what that means for us? What does our mindset need to be? What can we learn from the past? And how can we connect those dots? What does the future hold? Why should we be sexually pure? We are going to have inspirational stories from people that have fought the battle and have come through victorious on the other side tell what that means to them and what their life is like on the other side of sexual temptations. Those people whom thought they would never get there and those people who thought it was pointless, but now that they have arrived what are their thoughts. How has it changed their lives? We are going to get some experts on that can talk about the psychology behind it and why we do things the way we do.

We look forward to having you here on all of our future episodes. If there are ever any thoughts or questions you want to ask, please go to the website or shoot me an email. You can even click and leave a voicemail directly on the home page.

We want to hear your questions. We want to hear your success stories. We want be an encouragement to others so our victories can truly give glory to God and inspire others to reach a new level of purity. We look forward to seeing you here on our next episode. New episodes will be released every Friday so that you can listen to them first thing on your way to work on Monday (or any other day of the week). Please share Overcome Temptation with your friends.

We can’t change society or the world overnight. I think there are a lot of churches praying for revival and for sweeping change. The reality is the only thing we truly have control over is ourselves, and at that God truly has control of everything.

We can change ourselves though and move to being a sexually pure person that other people can see and think, “What is that confidence that he’s got? How does he go though life so happy and so joyful? What is it that he has?”

When you share that you struggled with addiction and support and encourage others in their fight to pursue purity you can create a ripple effect of change – two people change and those two people help four people. When we live a life that glorifies God, others will take notice. This is how you change families, communities, cities and society, but first we have to focus on ourselves. We can’t be focused on changing other people; we have to focus on ourselves and let other people see our light within. That is what we want and that is what we are here for. We are here to help make your life better by helping you win the battle against sexual purity.