For I do not understand my own actions

Romans 7:15-18 ESV
[15] For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. [16] Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. [17] So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. [18] For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out.

I have an older brother who is two years older than me, and we fought like cats and dogs while growing up. The first thing he often did in the morning to get the ball rolling, was the three stooges Curly windmill smack on the top of my head. We lived in town so it’s was pretty hard to get away from him. I wasn’t blameless in the matter. There was a couple big tall Cottonwood trees in the backyard. And I could climb a tree like a monkey, and he couldn’t climb trees as well as I. Maybe it was the Tarzan movies that gave me the idea. I would be a certain distance from him and I would hurled insults at him. And when he came after me I would take off running and climb one of those big trees and laugh at his frustration looking up at me. I spent a lot of time in those trees. When I was in sixth grade we moved out into the country right next to the Mississippi River, which gave us both plenty of room to avoid each other. But he would beat me up from time to time and otherwise make my life miserable. About that time I discovered that that thing hanging between my legs had another function besides urinating. And a few seconds of intense pleasure from an orgasm offset a lot of the bad feelings I had from how my brother treated me. I had a vivid imagination so I could bring to mind with sharp focus any pretty girl that I had seen that day, or in the past. Long walks in the woods gave me ample opportunity to indulge in this activity. Masturbation became a big part of my life. To say I was addicted to it would be an understatement. As I said, I grew living out in the country during high school, I didn’t have a car so the opportunity to date a girl was nonexistent. I was brought up to be a gentleman, and I was a Roman Catholic. It was made clear early on that masturbation was a sin. So during confession it went something like this, “bless me father for I have sinned, it has been a week since my last confession, I have masturbated 20 times since my last confession.” I imagine the priest heard that a lot. I got married, but it was still a part of my life. Not only that, other desires started to creep in which I incorporated while making love to my wife. I suppose about three or four years into the marriage I received the Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues. At which time I started reading and studying the scriptures, mostly the New Testament. I was still engaging in some sexual activity that the small still voice of the Holy Spirit started telling me was wrong. And I knew it was wrong but I kept it up. And I started getting “you better stop it”, but I did not listen. One night in 1983 I was driving very fast, listening to hard rock music, I got in a car wreck and fractured three vertebrae in my neck in three pieces each. I was paralyzed for 10 days and it took me three months of physical therapy while hospitalized to walk 100 feet on my own. The day of the car accident a Christian woman called me and told me she had a very vivid dream the night before, and in that dream I was in a bad car accident and was seriously hurt. For the longest time I thought, how could I have ignored the warning, but years later I realize that dreams are prophetic. Much much later, I realized that the car accident was a chastisement from God, He 12:6. I got out of the hospital after 3 months and moved home, I was weak and in a lot of pain, but my biggest worry was if my sex life normal. I could get an erection but I could not get an orgasm while making love to my wife. I would always get a very painful muscle spasms in my left leg and back with severe jerking. That is not to say I could not get a orgasm, but only by masturbation. And even then a orgasm was very difficult to achieve and infrequent due to my damaged spinal cord. Very frustrating. My wife and I got a divorce in 2003. During the divorce I lived in the house and cleaned it for sale. In that process I was alone in the house, my wife moved in with her parents. I often masturbated, or attempted to, early in the morning. A neighbor up the road and his son wanted to look at the house for his son. He toured the house and said he would walk the 31/2 acres some time. I said just let me know beforehand. After 20 years of living near him as a neighbor, I had observed, he really did not respect other people’s property rights. One morning before sunset I woke up and went to the computer, and found a porn picture and went to lower the blind on the window right behind the computer. It faced to the north, with a bunch of trees and brush about 20 feet from the window. The blind would not come down, I tried repeatedly, but it would not come down. Which was odd, because I’ve never had trouble with it before, I kind of had the sense that something was going on, but didn’t act on it. Well, I started masturbating unaware that my neighbor and his son was passing by the window. I did not see him but he knocked on a side door a short time later. Said something that let me know he had seen me, it was rather cryptic and I did not catch the meaning at the time. He called a few days later with a price for the house which was 10,000 below asking price. At that time he was more forthcoming about seeing me masturbating. I was extremely upset and embarrassed about his seeing me. But was not going to give into his blackmail. Well, the house was sold for asking price and shortly after my dad called concerned about me masturbating in full view of the road. The neighbor called my dad and made the incident sound worse than what it was. The window could not be seen from the road but the neighbor embellished his account as payback for not acquiescing to his blackmail. I was devastated and embarrassed by his calling my father. And I started noticing people looking at me differently and treating me differently. I lived about 10 miles away from a town of 60,000 people. There was a small town about 5 miles north of where I lived. I had coached little league ball for five years with my son in that town and at that point had a good reputation in the surrounding area. Again, much later, I realized that that situation with my neighbor was a chastisement from God.

Hebrews 12:6 KJVS
For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.

Well, I moved into an apartment in the larger town and then started many years of porn on the Internet, with many frustrating attempts with masturbation. I sometimes went three, four months unable to have an orgasm. Not for lack of trying. I became very familiar with the verses that apostle Paul wrote in Romans.

Romans 7:15-18 ESV
[15] For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. [16] Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. [17] So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. [18] For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out.

This went on for years, and I remember one time before trying to masturbate I thought is this really wrong? I was being convicted that it was wrong, but I wondered if God really disliked masturbation. Right as I thought that thought, a very strong external feeling of disgust washed over me. There was no doubt in my mind after that, about how God felt about masturbation. That was one of the last few last times I tried masturbation. Along the way, while all this was going on, I wrote the bulk of my articles on this website. In Hebrews the 12 chapter it is written.

Hebrews 12:4-11 KJVS
[4] Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin. [5] And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: [6] For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. [7] If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? [8] But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. [9] Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? [10] For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. [11] Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.

And apostle Peter writes this.

1 Peter 4:1-2,12-13 KJVS
[1] Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; [2] That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God. [12] Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: [13] But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.

And these verses, which at first glance does not seem directly related

1 Corinthians 6:18-20 KJVS
[18] Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. [19] What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? [20] For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

Masturbation is a completely private activity not involving any other person. But who you bring to mind while you masturbate can be wrong. And as I pointed out before God had very strongly expressed to me His disgust with the activity. There is the three wills of God that a believer passes through in his walk with the Lord.

Romans 12:1-2 KJVS
[1] I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. [2] And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Presenting your body as a living sacrifice involves suffering, And that suffering can often be the result of chastisement by God, He 12:6, 1 Pe 4:1-2. Even our Lord was subjected to suffering by God.

Hebrews 5:7-9 KJVS
[7] Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; [8] Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; [9] And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;

So to, we suffer in order to learn obedience to the will of God, as did our Lord, 1 Pe 4:1-2. In order to be made perfect.

Hebrews 2:10-11 KJVS
[10] For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. [11] For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren,

Which points to the fact that sanctification and perfection comes about through suffering.

Philippians 3:10 KJVS
[10] That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;