The Eden Garden Won’t Edify You

When I recently talked to a young married man who was struggling with porn and extramarital relationships, I struggled hard to help him see the root cause of his problem.

He keeps saying, “No, Missy, you don’t understand. You see, here in Europe, it is not like America. I know, in America, you guys at least hear the word of God in your local radio and TV stations. We don’t! They throw on our face all kinds of sexual stuff all day long. Young and beautiful women throw themselves on you, begging you – – -. You know what I mean? You don’t understand! And on top of that, my wife demands a lot from me. She nags me all day long so I spend time with her and our son. I have two jobs. I have no time to do that.”

I was tempted to say, “But you do find time to watch porn and flirt with other girls live and on social media, don’t you?” But I changed my mind because what is the point?

So, I said, okay, what if I say to you, “I know what you’re talking about,” will you be interested to hear what I have to say?

He was stunned, opened his mouth as if to say, “I can’t believe you said that!”

I said a short prayer in my heart which is something I learned to do during counseling. In that way, I calm myself down so I won’t react in my flesh, be able to focus on the issue and bind any spiritual force that comes to disrupt the counseling.

So, I said to him: My friend, I’m here to help you solve your problem. If you knew how to solve it, you wouldn’t be here, am I right?

He grudgingly agreed with me.

So, I said, “Good! Okay. So, I kindly ask that you listen to me carefully. I have no other agenda but to help you. Your problem, I think, is not your environment or your wife but you.”

He was not happy with that at all! He said, “What? Me?”

“Yes, you,” I said in a very low voice without making any eye contact so I wouldn’t make him feel attacked.

I continued, “You see, my friend, you and I can refuse to be victims and products of our environments by fighting our own battles that are raging in our own minds. The devil wants to take over our minds and guess what? The God of the Universe wants His word to take over our minds and thought lives too (Galatians 5:17). Until we start resisting the devil as we continuously choose to let the agenda of God prevail in us, we will continue to be defeated and become victims of our surroundings (James 4:7).

When we are asked to give account about our “not-good” acts, we always blame our circumstances thinking that if it wasn’t for our environment, we would have acted differently. With that kind of wrong thinking and conclusion, we make absolutely no progress in our Christian walk. And if we continue like that, we become bitter and resent God (Hebrews 12:15).

One of the 20th century preachers, Martyn Lloyd-Jones, once said,

“The terrible, tragic fallacy of the last hundred years has been to think that all man’s troubles are due to his environment, and that to change the man you have nothing to do but change his environment. That is a tragic fallacy. It overlooks the fact that it was in Paradise that man fell.” ~ Martyn Lloyd-Jones [1899-1981]

As Dr. Jones said, if God puts you in the Eden Garden in the situation you are in now, you will be defiled not by the Garden but by your own faulty, carnal and wrong thinking and belief that you take with you into the Garden. And, what edifies you is not the pure and holy Eden Garden but the life giving word of God, the Spirit of God, you hid in your soul (Ephesians 5:25-26, Psalm 119:11).

So, my dear brother, you and I are called to live in this world, not out of it. And when God called us to live for His glory in this world, He gave us all we need that will enable us to live as we ought to (2 Peter 1:3).

So, let’s strive to be who we are called to be. God doesn’t get surprised and quit on us when He sees us stumble and fall because He knows that we are “work in progress.” He uses all our failures and shortcomings to grow and mature us in Christ.

So, strive to be who you are called to be: the Son of the living God, the husband of one wife and a father of one little boy. Then your surroundings and environments gradually will have little or no influence on you. Sure, you will be distressed by what you see and hear, and you stumble and fall here and there but you quickly bounce back and take your original place. And through time, the number of times you stumble and fall will decrease.

Then, only then will you be able to notice how the light that is in you gets brighter when the darkness around you gets darker. Don’t ever forget that! ///