My mouth feels dry as I turn and wake through the silky stealth of my duvet cover. It is another Sunday morning. I already feel defeated before the day starts. I look at my wife. She is breathing peacefully as she sleeps. I am fake. She deserves better than me. I think to myself. Through her longing looks, the continued impression is that she thinks the world of me. I sigh. I want to tell her of my struggles. But, how can I? I am sure it will crush her. I am sure she would be so disappointed to know that last night, after our 7- days dry fast, I could not help myself again. While she sleeps beside me, I turn to my phone to watch my dirty video stash while I jerk off quietly.
Today, I am teaching “righteousness and holiness” to the youth in the church. They also look up to me and tell me of their struggles during our counseling sessions. I tell them, “Trust God – read your bible and pray every day. The more of the Spirit you have, the less of sin in you.” I feel so hypocritical. I have been born-again since I was 16. I am now 42. I am still in search of victory over this sin in my life. Look at my son. He is now a teenager. How do I genuinely tell him to live a holy life when I don’t know how to? I think this must have been how Paul felt in Romans 7:24:
“Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death?”
I get up and walk to my study to begin to pray. I start with Psalm 51 and echo the words of David as I ask for forgiveness of my sins from last night. As I close my eyes and pray in tongues, scenes from the videos I enjoy flash in my mind. I get turned on again. I switch immediately to praying in my understanding. I rebuke the devil and his thoughts. I quote Philippians 4:6-7 while confessing vehemently that I think on things that are true, noble, excellent…. Then I break out in tears. I cry. Not from the weight of my sins. I cry. Knowing that I’ve been through this cycle for over 24 years now. I cry. Because I know my prayers are futile. I cry. I will still fall again before the week runs out. I cry. Because I don’t understand why God would not let me stop sinning in this abhorrent way. I cry. For I want to know the way out.
My ministration is powerful. The young men and women from the campus fellowship are in tears as I preach my sermon passionately. I shout, “Without holiness, it is impossible to see the Lord… who can ascend into the hill of the Lord? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart… my brothers and sisters, you cannot see the Lord, if there is sin lurking in your life – come out before the Lord and confess your sins to him – tomorrow may be too late”. As they troop out, I speak in tongues. I feel the Holy Spirit flow through me as I begin to speak some word of knowledge. I relay specific issues in the lives of the growing crowd flocking to the altar area in front of me. As I speak, ladies are gnashing their teeth in regret and gasping for air. They confess all sorts of atrocities. The men on their knees are groaning. I join them. Agonizing on my knees. I pray with them. They don’t know. My pain isn’t just for theirs. I am praying for myself too. I feel the burden I carry to church gradually lift.
I drive my wife and two children home as we listen to Dunsin Oyekan’s new album. I think of my life’s journey in and with God, about how much He uses me mightily. I know that I love God and sincerely want to serve Him and live life for His pleasure. I think of the times I tell mentors about my struggles and when they pray for me. I think of the word God once told me while in prayers. That He has delivered me already from all sins. I think of when the reality of this revelation, this assurance, would become flesh. I think of the new week about to start.
As I turn to enter my compound, I gently whisper the words, “God, help me to please you this new week.”