Daniel Baker wisely said, "Lust can turn a peaceful home into a nightmare, a fruitful and growing ministry into a shadow of itself, and a person’s joy and confidence into shame, guilt, anger, despair, and depression. It will kill a father’s ability to lead his family, wreck his marriage, and compromise his discipleship of his children. His heart will overflow with guilt, shame, fear, anxiety, and conviction. His prayers will be flat, his worship will be a lie, and his spiritual leadership will be a joke. If he does not repent he will eventually be exposed as a fraud and removed from any role of significant influence. He will start out thinking it is chocolate cake and end with a mouth full of maggots and road-kill. Lust is precisely as Solomon described: it is putting “fire next to his chest” (Proverbs 6:27) and “walking on hot coals” (6:28). It consumes and destroys. Far from being harmless, it comes only to “kill and steal and destroy” (John 10:10). ...Lust promises pleasure without obedience, intimacy without commitment, love without cost, oneness without holiness, sin without consequence. Lust is truly a fantasy."
He writes elsewhere, "...Maybe you have experienced the devastation that sexual sin can bring. There is the personal side of it: grief, guilt, shame, depression, self-hatred. There is the relational side of it: a strained marriage, a relationship exploited, a job lost, a ministry devastated. There is the spiritual side of it: prayer now seems pointless, God seems distant, the Bible feels irrelevant. ... No matter how old you are or what your track record is like with this sin, there is something you need to acknowledge if you will have any success. You must see that you have a battle to fight. If you think of battling lust as anything less, then you will become much more familiar with defeat than with victory."
I agree with his assessment of lust. While lust can appear in degrees and take from us in various forms, the reality is that it is truly insatiable. What was once pleasurable in the secrecy of our home in the middle of the night or at the office after-hours has now brought us to greater depths of depravity because what was initially arousing and captivating when we first viewed porn (even for the first few months) has now become dull and no longer exciting.
Our lustful cravings and acting out in various forms of sexual pursuit have become a habit and stronghold stealing more time than we have, eating away at any desire we used to have for our wife or husband, has distanced us from God, removed our longing to have family devotions, filled us with anger or rage if we can't have our fix (whether that be a prostitute, weekly visit to a strip club, porn consumption or excessive masturbation), and created a monster within that is always searching for raunchier entertainment or more thrilling experiences to pacify our cravings.
Suddenly adultery doesn't look so forbidden. We begin to communicate less with our spouse, no longer look forward to being intimate with her or him when we arrive back home from a week-long trip, and have become more pleased by the intake of pornographic films and self-gratification than the thought of pursuing our spouse and being willing to both give and receive pleasure in the context of a daily and committed relationship.
We soon find ourselves dwelling on many fetishes, may even desire same-sex porn, and are aroused by often degrading acts that would have been repulsive to us just years before.
Our lust has consumed us, continues to destroy our willpower to do what is right in the sight of God (and by our families), and we are a slave to our addictions; serving (often times against our will) a tyrannical master who rules over us with an iron fist and demands more of our time, well-being, money, and soul with each new beckoning of viewing or engaging in our sins of choice. Our sins show us "no mercy!" and always seek to be had in greater depths, lengthier periods of time, and in more degrading ways. Our thoughts might bring us fear because we realize how perverted we are inside and our desires can be too shameful to even say out loud. (Porn has a way of making the forbidden permissible - at least in the world of fantasy - and then distorting our view of sex to the degree that we would permit and even encourage the forbidden in our relationships if only our spouses or girl/boyfriend would oblige).
It's pretty crazy how despite the fact that our relationships, job, bank account, health, and self-esteem are withering before our very eyes (viewing porn may cause us to feel respected or loved in the midst of our fantasies and private viewing, but then comes the aftermath of our choices and the lows we feel when not viewing it!), we still feel unable to get a hold on this.
Romans 7: 15-25a states, "For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate. But if I do the very thing I do not want to do, I agree with the Law, confessing that the Law is good. So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good. For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!"
And the beloved hymn beautifully says:
"What can wash away my sin?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
What can make me whole again?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
For my pardon, this I see,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
For my cleansing this my plea,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus."
So, the question then becomes: What are your reasons for not turning to Christ? What makes you believe that your situation is different or cannot be mended? Do you doubt God's ability to transform you and sanctify you overtime? Do you fear giving God full control - even of your sex life? May the words of C. S. Lewis weigh on our hearts until we finally surrender our lives in their entirety to God, "To what will you look for help if you will not look to that which is stronger than yourself?"
To work through the issues that caused your actions to begin with (or deal with any underlying problems that must be addressed), are you willing to seek help through Biblical counsel, accountability, renewing your mind (Romans 12: 2) through the regular reading of God's word, and studying resources that address sexual sin and purity?
You have nothing to lose and everything to gain! There is nothing like a quieted heart, a calm conscience, and walking in genuine freedom!