When I was 21 years old, I began to have a desire to get closer to God. Having grown up in the Catholic Church, I figured that getting back to weekly mass was the best place to start. I was dating a girl at the time, and we were involved sexually. I knew this was against the will of God, and I wanted to stop, but it's pretty hard to quit. One night I told my girlfriend that I didn't want to have sex anymore. After that, our relationship lasted about a week.
I felt good about my decision, but I knew I still needed to ask God to forgive me for having sex outside of marriage. I decided to go to confession. I told the priest what I'd done. He asked if I used protection when I had sex. I asked him if he meant a condom. He said, "Yeah." I said, "Yes." He said that it was O.K. as long as I use a condom.
I walked out of that church a happy man. I resumed my sexual activities. A few months later, however, the guilt returned. I knew it was wrong, condom or not. I stopped having sex and decided that I would try not to have sex until I got married.
A friend of mine invited me to Horizon Christian Fellowship in San Diego. Having never studied nor read the Bible (or been encouraged to by the Catholic church), I enjoyed the sermons very much. I heard the gospel and understood it, and believed it, but I wasn't ready to repent (change my ways). I thought I was cool with God since I wasn't having sex anymore. Then I heard the Sermon on the Mount from Matthew, chapter 5-7. Jesus said that if you lust after or fantasize about women, it's just as bad as committing adultery as far as God's concerned. I'd stopped having sex, but I hadn't stopped lusting after girls or fantasizing. I figured that if I set my mind to it, I could probably (maybe & hopefully) hold out from having sex until I got married. This was a possibility. But I knew that there was no possible way on this planet that I was going to stop fantasizing or looking at and lusting after beautiful women. No way.
I continued going to the Bible study and learned about the power of the Holy Spirit. The Bible says that God can give you power to resist temptation (1 Corinthians 10:13: No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man, but God is faithful, and will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will allow you a way out, that you may endure it). I figure that made sense. If God is all-powerful and if He can do anything, then yeah, He can keep me from lusting after women.
So, after about two months of Bible study, I prayed to Jesus and asked Him to forgive me of my sins. I asked the Holy Spirit to come into my life and give me the power to live the way God wants me to. This happened at a service at Horizon Christian Fellowship at a Miles McPherson service on a Wednesday night.
The very next night, I got a call from a girlfriend that I hadn't seen in months. She wanted to take me out. She had never offered to take me out before this night. The only time we ever spent together was when I went to her house in the middle of the night--maybe once every couple months. Now, she wants to drive over and pick me up and take me to her "special place,"--some mystery location that she wouldn't reveal. I remembered something about being tempted after you get saved. I thought I probably shouldn't go out with her. But dumb as I was, I told her to come get me.
She arrived at my house at around 10:00 PM. I asked her to stop by the post office before we went to her "special place." The Sports Arena post office is open late into the night. As I was leaving the post office, I noticed something on one of the counters. The place is usually cleaned by that time. This object caught my eye. I picked it up. It was a Bible. A little red Bible booklet with Old English type. I immediately remembered something about God always being with you and helping you resist temptation. I put it in my pocket. I got back in the car and headed for the "special place."
I grew up in San Diego. I'd ridden my bike and driven my car all over San Diego. This "special place" is visible from the I-5 freeway (a road I'd been on many times), yet I had never seen it. I'd heard about this "special place" but had never been there until this night. The "special place" turned out to be the Mount Soledad War Memorial--A thirty-foot tall CROSS. Yeah, a cross. So now I'm standing there looking at this cross with a Bible in my pocket. I was so happy. I felt like God was saying, "You're my boy now." All I could think of was how awesome God is. All I talked about was God, and the cross, and, "Ya know, when I was little, I went to Sunday school, blah blah blah . . . " Of course, my date was frustrated, so we left. When we got in the car and turned on the radio, there was a PREACHER on!!!!!
It was a commercial or newscast or something. I was laughing at this point. God rules! We ended up at her house. Now, for the past few years, I hadn't set foot in this girl's house without ending up in bed. But tonight was different. Sex was the furthest thing from my mind. We sat in the kitchen. She gave me a hot chocolate. After about ten minutes of nothing, she asked if I wanted her to take me home. I said, "Yes." And that was the end of that. That used to be the end of this story, but a few years after this happened, she called me out of the blue, and I invited her to a Harvest Crusade (outdoor evangelism meeting, similar to a Billy Graham service). She ended up getting saved, and she's been walking with the Lord ever since--PRAISE GOD!!!!!!!!
God totally delivered me from sexual sin AND from fantasizing & lusting after women. When the desire to lust comes, when that initial thought comes, I'm able to stop it immediately by the grace of God. I got saved at age 21. Six years later, I married my best friend. Having kept myself pure for so long, I was able to come into a marriage relationship without the excess baggage that comes with being in one sexual relationship after another. I praise Jesus for setting me free!!!! God can do anything. He can change your life, no matter what you've done. JESUS CHRIST IS LORD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Santa Ana, CA