Freed From The Henchmen: Deliverance From Sexual Addictions & Emotional Dependency
As a young man I grew up in the world and thus into carnality. As a teenager, I began to be attracted to girls. One thing led to another and by the time I was seventeen, I was involved in fornication and pornography. Truly, it was the way of a young man who was not told about God, nor about His laws and the consequences of breaking them. During my college years, this lack of knowledge led to a pregnancy and an abortion. After the stress of arranging the abortion, I was different. Satan had made an entrance into my life to destroy it. In this testimony, I will relate how Satan's henchman would attempt to take my life in a very tangible and in a very real way. Many don't believe he is real. I found out the hard way.
I hadn't rejected Christianity; I just didn't know what Christianity really was. What I had rejected was "Religious Christianity"-this thing I observed that was without a real relationship with Christ. At the age of fourteen, I stopped attending Sunday School and for several years thereafter, it and church faded out of the picture. By the time I was eighteen, church had a funny feeling to it and I didn't like it. I neither knew the Lord, nor did I know anyone that really did. I had never heard of an invitation to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior from the front of any church. It may have been that I did not have spiritual ears to hear. No one ever asked whether I had accepted Jesus as my personal savior or if I even wanted Him in my life. The "die was cast" during my college years; humanistic and liberal influences etched a Godless mentality into my soul. "When you died, you died," I thought. Certainly, Darwin's "Theory of Evolution" played a roll in this.
I had two loving parents; however, I don't remember much interaction between my father and I. He was in his fifties, as I became a teenager. He was good to me and I loved him. He died when I was nineteen and this left me with an emotional vacuum. I exhibited some of the symptoms of what is called the "absent father syndrome." I wanted and needed male attention. Why were male relationships so difficult? I always felt that older men were talking "at me" rather than too me. I needed male relationships, but was fearful of them at the same time. It was very important for me to relate to men, yet I didn't seem to be able to develop meaningful relationships. When I had a friend, I noticed that I was possessive and jealous of his attention. If his attention turned to another, I would get angry without really understanding the basis of this anger. I was overbearing in the relationship to a fault, this is what I have come to learn is emotional dependency or what is also called emotional idolatry. After my father died, my mother slipped back into alcoholism. This, combined with some pill taking, resulted in several attempted suicides. At the age of nineteen, I felt alone in the world. My mother never fully recovered from the loss of her "rock" and continued to turn to her escape mechanism until late in life when she began to turn to the only Rock, the solid foundation, by confessing her need for Jesus Christ. She and I prayed many prayers during those last years.
Having rejected Christian "Religion," I had to find another answer. Silva Mind Control provided no help for me and Transcendental Meditation offered no lasting changes either. Yoga exercises were very relaxing, but they certainly were not a foundation upon which one's life is built. I read about Madam Blavatsky and her mystical treaties on creation, but no help there. Then I tried a little "I'm OK, You're OK." Interesting, but it didn't make my problems go away. I began reading about mysticism, Rosicrucianism, Hinduism, Taoism, and Confucianism, but "the answer" eluded me. Eastern religions, I discovered, are religions of self-effort for the purpose of disentangling, and disengaging yourself from the world, and then earning your salvation by "realization" in long hours of meditation and withdrawal. This false realization is that each of us is "God."
At the age of thirty-three I was a high-school electronics teacher and at the summer break I was still seeking the "answer." An old high school friend of mine said to me, "Take Ehard's Seminar Training (E.S.T.), it's the 'answer.'" His catch-phrase was about finding "IT - the answer." E.S.T. is a concoction of Eastern Mysticism and other Religions thrown into a mixing pot of false teaching. The purpose was to free you from your hang ups and get you into experiencing life. It was a two-weekend marathon, each day lasting 20 hours with few breaks. The trainer would teach his theory for hours and we sat transfixed. He would shout obscenities at us. This was the trainer's way of saying we were "sinners." This all became a sort of group therapy with brainwashing. The end of it was clearly taken from Eastern religious thought because the underlying theme was "you actually create your own world," and they meant not only emotionally and mentally but also physically. It was way-out thinking. Without actually saying it, the logical conclusion of the training was "you are God."
After the first weekend of the training, I was stressed and was feeling very strange. As I began the 200-mile drive back to my hometown, I found myself blacking-out over long periods of time behind the steering wheel. I would suddenly come to and wonder who had been driving the automobile; I would remember nothing of the last 75 miles. As I exited the freeway onto the bypass and into a heavily wooded area near my home, the scene in front of me seemed to repeat over and over again. In a very terrifying perception, I felt stuck in time and it was as though I was viewing an altered reality where someone might sit in a darkened theater view a single movie frame over and over again. Terrified, I slammed on the brakes creating a wild fishtail. When the car came to a stop, I threw open the door and jumped out of the car into an overwhelming episode of terror, screaming for all I was worth. Absolute and utter terror invaded my life. My body was rigid. Sleep was impossible. I couldn't communicate effectively about what had happened. I called a friend and he gave me several tranquilizers.
The next several days were a descent into an altered reality. The world took on an altered appearance, as though it was not real. Normal things like a cat clawing on a screen became frightening. I slept some that first night because of the tranquilizer. That next day I drove to another city for a week of workshop training in my teaching specialty. As the week progressed, I grew increasingly exhausted. On Thursday, during my 50-mile drive home, I once again experienced periods of mental blackout. I would seemingly awake and ask myself, "Who on earth was driving the car?" Back home again, I knew that something was wrong. I called my high-school friend and told him that I could not make the second weekend of the training. He was an E.S.T. graduate himself and offered to fly in and drive me back to the meeting. As I drove the thirty miles to the metro airport, it began to rain. Suddenly, there was a blowout and I swerved to the edge of the highway and off-ramp. As I changed the tire in the rain, my altered perception of things began to increase again. It seemed to me that this rain was some sort of "baptism." I finished and climbed into the car exhausted and slumped in my seat with my arms folded against my chest. I looked down to see a sort of red and green glow emanating from my arms. It was like some otherworldly episode of Twilight Zone, only for me it was really happening. I arrived at the airport without further incident. Walking to the terminal, I passed a mirror and glanced at my face. I stopped. Staring into my face, I thought "My God you're eyes look just like Charles Manson's." Meeting my friend seemed to calm me down and the drive to his home past Chicago was basically uneventful. As we entered the outskirts of Chicago late in the evening, from a distance looking down on the city it seemed to me to have an "otherworldly" glow.
I tried to sleep that night and could not. Getting up at dawn, I walked about. Absolute tension gripped my body so I tried to lie down again. The visions and hallucinations began and I saw things that were not real. I heard voices which were not my own. The one that I remember said, "He has stabilized in time and space." Whatever that meant. I was terrorized again, threw my belongings in my car, and drove off leaving my friend who was shouting for me to wait. I didn't wait. I drove down this two-lane highway at 50 mph. I closed my eyes and thought my car would drive on it's own. The car veered into the oncoming lane sideswiping another car. During the collision, I was thrown into the windshield but not through it. The right front wheel well was crushed and acted as a brake against the front tire. The car came to a stop on its own off the right highway shoulder. Miracle after miracle, I wasn't hurt.
An ambulance arrived shortly, and I was transported to the nearest hospital. The X-ray proved no injury; however, I was kept for observation. Again, I was in bed unable to sleep another night. Before a black mist fully descended around me, I placed a call to my wife to tell her where I was. Then I was moved to the psychiatric unit, having blacked out again. My next recollection was awaking during an altercation, a thrashing about, with the several hospital attendants. The thought present in my mind as I awoke in the middle of this struggle was, "I have to overcome these four orderlies to get to the observation deck and jump off so the sun god could take me up." Petty weird thoughts! I looked down at my stark naked body and I remembered nothing more until I woke up two days later. The orderlies had subdued me with some sort of tranquilizer.
In a state of confusion, I awoke in the closed and locked unit.. I sat up in bed to experience my own "living hell." I was given heavy doses of powerful tranquilizers. It had disturbing side effects like nervous legs and other odd sensations. I was trapped in a body that was not working properly. Trying to function outside the hospital proved impossible. Ordinary tasks were overwhelming. My memory was impaired. Entering an ordinary shopping mall proved devastating. The filtering mechanism in my mind wasn't working and too many sensory impulses overwhelmed me. I wasted away the long hours trapped in the hospital. I was in a succession of three hospitals over the next three months. "Would I be like this forever," I worried. Later, I was to read the psychiatric report and discovered the diagnosis of Paranoid Schizophrenia. Many people don't return to the land of the normal after an episode like this.
After those three months, I was discharged and returned home to an empty house. My wife left me. The neighbors gave my dog away. My high school teaching job was reassigned. My home was later rented to strangers. My mental health was still uncertain. I had been sent home with tranquilizers and thought that I would have to take them permanently. My life had been built on sand and the storms of life had washed it all away. Heartbreak upon heartbreak and misery upon misery, I was devastated.
Miraculously, after several months, I recovered my mental health and threw away the tranquilizers. I returned to my hometown and rented an apartment. Slowly, my life took a new shape. I found a job and began dating a woman with two children. Life seemed better for a while; however, dissatisfaction slowly entered the picture again and I continued to pursue my quest for "the answer."
I remembered hearing a friend talk about a Charismatic prayer meeting at a gym in a church. Gathering my courage one night and not knowing what to expect, I attended the meeting. Wow, there were several hundred casually dressed smiling people who were singing. I liked what I saw. At the end of the meeting, the leader asked if anyone would like to receive prayer. I raised my hand and ten of the closest people turned to me, laid their hands on me, and prayed. I hadn't felt so much love in my life. Finally, God had his hook in me. There was something here for me. I joined this Christian Community and partook of the fellowship dinners on Wednesday nights and instruction classes on Sunday afternoons. I was committed to this and plunged in headfirst. After six months, I was asked to give my testimony. I remember little of what I said that day except that I said, "I saw Jesus and He was standing on a mountain off in the distance calling to me." Even then I did not understand the significance of my own words.
After a year in Christian Community, full of fellowship and Bible teaching, I was getting that sinking feeling again. Everything was not okay. As they say, "the ghosts of the past appeared and out of the blue..." I received a call from EST trainers to get me to retake the training. I decided that, since this church stuff wasn't working, I would try EST again. This time my friend Jo, whom I had met at the Christian Community, accompanied me. The training was again over two weekends long. I attended the first weekend without incident. Again, I was feeling over stressed and told Jo. I began sleeping poorly. The second weekend of the training was different; this time there was an incident. As the second weekend of the training progressed, the atmosphere heated up for me. The trainer was pushing against our preconceived notions concerning their version of reality. I didn't like him, always shouting accusations against us. The morning of the last day of the training was a Sunday and I awoke to the television and some religious programming. As the words of the gospel of Jesus Christ appeared on the TV screen in scroll like fashion, I had A REAL REVELATION! I realized in that one instant, that that was THE TRUTH! This indeed was startling to say the least. Ten years of sitting in some church and just now, I get this revelation. The Bible had always been a good book, full of good sayings. However, it wasn't personal; some of it applied and some didn't. Besides, I hadn't believed it all. "You know, you have to pick and choose," I thought. Well, I knew in one instant that it was ALL TRUE and absolutely trustworthy and that I could depend on every word of it. The Word of God had been revealed to me and I believed.
Later that day, as I sat in this audience of five hundred people, the EST trainer began to harangue us. I found myself getting uncontrollably angry. I rose from my seat, and boldly walked up the center isle to confront this man. I got right up to him and his microphone and angrily said, "Well, you're the biggest *#&%@ here," using the same derogatory word that he had been labeling us with, all this on stage in front of everyone. He was a little taken back. Anyway, he put me out of his little meeting. So I sat outside in the plush lounging area of this complex and I began telling anyone who would listen that I had just accepted Jesus Christ. Without realizing it, I was doing what Jesus said was necessary to gain eternal life. I had just given permission for the Lord of Glory to have entrance into my life and I was indeed born again.
After the EST training was over, we drove home. I continued during the week in my teaching assignment; however, I was not sleeping well and my fears began to increase. . I would be babysitting that Friday night for a couple in the Christian Community. Jo could tell I was not doing well so she warned them to have several other brothers there to help. The brothers came and we all ate dinner at their home that night, then the couple left for the evening. At some point during the evening, I began to hallucinate. Two Christian brothers took me down into the basement in what would become a deliverance session just like in the Bible. Although I had read about this in the Gospels, I never really believed it let alone to actually think that this was my problem. Sitting on a couch in the basement, I was passive as I watched from the inside of my body what was going on, as strange as that may sound. Others also joined the two brothers as the deliverance progressed so that a small group was praying for me. As they prayed and commanded the demons to come out in the name of Jesus, I would feel my body began to move and jerk, I knew that I was not moving it. As I sat on the couch, suddenly, evil chanting began to well up in my mouth. As they prayed in the name of Jesus, the tension flowed out of my neck, throat and mouth. The chanting ceased. I thought, "Who is moving my body?" It was a mystery. The praying to the Lord of Glory continued. Next, my hands began to move as a magician might move his hands over a rabbit to make it disappear while intoning a mystical phrase. I was not moving my hands. As they prayed in Jesus' mighty name to cast the demons out, the tension flowed out of my hands. "God, is cleaning out my body," I thought, knowing nothing of demons. "He's doing this so Jo and I can get married," was the next thought. Next, as one Christian brother got close to me to see how I was doing, my tongue began sticking out, as an unruly five year old might do in a defiant gesture. It wasn't me. As they prayed raising up Jesus' name, tension flowed out of my lips, mouth and tongue. Another demon was cast out, but I continued in my simple thought that God was cleaning out my body. There were other movements and more prayer. Finally, hours later all this ceased and I sat there unresponsive as they gently slapped me. I was awake, but passive and not responding. Two brothers took me to their home to sleep, but I would not stay in bed. I'm sure they began to be very concerned for me. This resulted in four of them taking me to the local hospital. I tried to convince the doctor who was examining me that I was okay. He apparently agreed with my Christian bothers who thought I was more than a little confused.
You would think that I could find a way to stay out of psychiatric wards, but apparently not. Again, I was shot full of tranquilizers. After several days and some sleep, I was feeling much better and being set free from Satan's grasp, I really began having a good time as I wiled away the hours. In fact, I was having such a great hospital visit that the doctors decided to discharge me after one week. I was finally free, never to return again. Free at last, dear Lord! I really was free! Jesus, Himself, had set me free from my long and painful bondage to demonic entities which I had given entrance to through sin. The tormentors were gone. I could actually get angry now, at someone other than myself. Get angry I did, with Satan!
My friend Jo was divorced with five children, three of them grown and out of the home and two teenage boys remaining. What a great friend she had been to me these last eight months. Our friendship began to take on a new flavor. I found myself falling in love with her. What a woman, raising her five single handedly for the last ten years. We later discovered just how much the Lord of Glory was leading us to marry. In the marriage ceremony, some months later, I became a husband, a father, and grandfather. Little did I suspect what incredible blessings I would receive as a result of this marriage. God gave me grandchildren who run to me with open arms, calling, "Papa, Papa!" and jumping onto my lap and hugging me with joyful expressions of love. This is the Lord's promise to give you blessings that you could not imagine and they will overtake you from behind. Not long after the being discharged from the psychiatric unit of that small city hospital, I ventured to pick up the Bible and actually read it for myself. As I did so, the words began to come alive. The letters from Paul were for me, not someone else. I remember one Sunday morning, listening to our pastor begin to read from one of Paul's letters, "To the Church at Corinth;" however, he altered the text and read, "To the Church at Oklahoma City." I began to weep-tears were streaming down my cheeks. The Word of God was coming alive and it was impacting me. For the next several years on a daily basis, I clung to, and was transfixed by the Word of God, desiring to have it impact my life. I could not get enough of the comfort that I received by simply listening to the Word. Rivers of tears, flowed out of me easing the mountain of pain and rejection that I had heaped upon myself because of sin and rejection of Him early in my life. Oh, how His Word became the balm of healing for my soul.
Now growing in the Lord over the last 22 years, through many trials and circumstances, I discovered how awesome the Lord really is. He has helped me overcome a host of negative character traits, roots of bitterness, self-centeredness, pride, anger, lust, issues of control, smoking, gluttony and on and on. "Why does it take this long?" I asked. Someone with much wisdom said to me, "A giant oak tree takes many years to grow from a small acorn." The God of all creation continues to work in me. Six years ago, the Lord led me to First Stone Ministries and He placed a desire in my heart to serve Him there. Moreover, you learned that I was also sexually broken. As I sat in the weekly support group, I began to realize that I was still snared by pornography, from which the Lord desired me to be free. In that first meeting, I openly confessed that lust and rejection still held power over me.
Oh how powerful are sexual addictions in the lives of many of us! We sit in our churches and think that we have arrived, but we haven't. The Lord calls us to His higher standard. I knew that I still liked looking at "those" magazines in the local bookstore. He convicted me that I still had a problem, which I had tried to sweep under the rug and conquer in my own strength. There was an opportunity to view the Playboy channel and an opportunity to view pornography on the Internet. I could not overcome the temptation. It was obvious that Satan still had his hook in me, and the flesh was ruling over the spirit even though, in my own strength, I had given up pornography years earlier. I had to humble myself and confess my sin. This I did, weeping and crying in repentance. I had to confess and repent many times over a period of several years. The fear of God led me to obedience, fear of losing Him and all His awesome goodness. I testify that the Lord, Himself, is strengthening me against this sin and I am growing stronger and am not tempted as I was. However, sexual sin is one of Satan's most powerful tools. He has used it effectively over the ages to destroy men, women, families and nations. If you are snared, I beg you, run into the loving arms of Jesus and fall on his mercy while there is still the opportunity. Do not cover your sin. God's principal is to open your life to His Light. We are not holy, nor righteous, except in Jesus Christ. We must be obedient and confess our sins; God Himself will begin to transform us into the likeness and expressed character of His Son. However, if we cover our sin, we actually give Satan and the flesh an opportunity to control our lives. Christianity, on the other hand, is about RELATIONSHIP with the only true God and Savior, the Rock of Ages, who is the only lasting and solid Foundation for our lives. It is about God's work in us to change us. Our part is to receive this "finished work." He restores our souls, heals our wounds, and enables us to walk free from the inside. His love for us is everlasting and His promise is to never leave us nor forsake us. He adopts us into His family and then we cry out to Him, "Father!" He promises not to stop His Work in us until we are fashioned into the likeness of His Son, Jesus. Then, when we die, He receives us into Glory and we are with Him forever. What a glorious salvation for all whom will receive it as a free gift. Salvation indeed is a free gift to those who will accept the claims of Jesus Christ as being Lord over all. I leave you with His charge in Genesis 4:7 "Lord said to Cain, 'sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it.'" It's the same charge that was given to Cain and, thereby, it is given to each of us. Remember, we master sin only with His help and not in our own strength. If we could master sin on our own, Jesus would not have had to die for us, look unto Him who is able to save to the utmost.
Edited by Stephen Black - Copyright © 2000 First Stone Ministries