Purifying the Altar of the Heart

THE SLIP: An Awareness Journey

By Jeffery Hill

My Idolatry Experience:

I can remember the conversations like it was yesterday. “Boy, you ain’t got you none yet…?” These were the questions asked to me by my older cousins. I was roughly 11ish at the time.

I grew up in rural Arkansas, very much the country. While growing up with majority male cousins, I had an introduction to porn at an early age. Typically, when the adults were at the next house or sometimes even in a different room, the older guys would go to the porn stash and pop in a video.

Initially, I wasn’t allowed in the rooms, but I guess that thought, “what could it hurt? He has to learn at some point,” was my entrance ticket. It wasn’t long before I knew way too much for my age. See, the questions they asked me came long after my introduction to pornography. It was something we just did as kids when the adults were away.

Some kids turn to alcohol, others turn to drugs (prescription or non), but my vice was lustful early in life.

As I age, “getting some” never really left my mind. I thought that is what you were supposed to do. We didn’t have any conversations regarding sex and its dangers outside of marriage. Despite growing up attending church, I knew sex was supposed to be for marriage only.

I remember how many students were getting promise rings and claiming celibacy or purity only to “slip” at prom night if they even waited that long. Sex, lust, fornication—it was everywhere you turned. People talked about it in locker rooms, classrooms, church, on the bus, etc.

Throughout my early years, I never turned away from the idea. I wasn’t highly sexually active in high school, but college was different.

My Bleeding Wounds:

Shun fornication! Every sin that a person commits is outside the body; but the fornicator sins against the body itself.

1 Corinthians 6:18 NRSV

College brought on an entirely new journey in life. I attended church semi-regularly, but I hadn’t wholly conquered that near becoming sex addiction. I say, nearly a growing obsession because there were spouts of time when I was not active. Sex was a part of my life I was putting before God.

I didn’t realize how I was creating soul ties, which would leave me feeling empty at times. I am not sure what I was searching for or just caught up in the act. How could something terrible for you internally feel so good externally?

I didn’t realize how I was creating soul ties, which would leave me feeling empty at times. I am not sure what I was searching for or just caught up in the act. How could something terrible for you internally feel so good externally?

There’s more to sex than skin on skin. Sex is as much spiritual mystery as physical act. As written in Scripture, the two become one. Since we want to become spiritually one with the Master, we must not pursue the kind of sex that avoids commitment and intimacy, leaving us more lonely than ever–the kind of sex that can never become one. There is a sense in which sexual sins are different from all others. In sexual sin we violate the sacredness of our own bodies, these bodies that were made for God-given and God modeled love, for becoming one with another. Or didn’t you realize that your body is a sacred place, the place of the Holy Spirit? Don’t you see that you can’t live however you please, squandering what God paid such a high price for? The physical part of you is not some piece of property belonging to the spiritual part of you. God owns the whole works. So let people see God in and through your body.

1 Corinthians 6:16-20 MSG

As I struggled over the years, I knew I had to get a handle on these urges. “Your body is a temple, keep it holy” was a scripture that would replay here and there, but I was ignoring it.

My Worship Encounters

In 2009 I was making big and scary moves in life. I knew I needed God to make it, though. I remember my “come to Jesus” talk during that year. I had been praying for a career change but didn’t quite know what God would present me with; I just knew I needed Him in this stage of life. By this time, I started to attend church regularly. I mean front row, note-taking, tithing, and all.

I still hadn’t quite kicked the habit at this point, but it was better than other times in my life. I was praying to God about my decision to leave my job, a four-day workweek, paid weekly, and no nights and no weekends type of gig. I vividly remember going over the line items of expenses, asking the Lord if He was sure I was supposed to be working total commissions.

“But God, I have a car note, rent by myself, and all these other bills…. are you sure?”

God: “Jeff, do you trust Me?”

“Of course, I trust you!”

God: “Then why are we having these conversations about doubts!?!”

According to Meyers and Briggs (this is the perfect time to let you know my personality style), I am an ENTP-A (Debater). I love a good debate. I often switch sides on topics to enjoy the mental sparring of the opposing views.

I found myself trying to use my wit against The Almighty. I remember thinking, ok, just hit Him with this comment. No wait, says this…that’ll work. Back and forth, I went until it hit me.

For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the LORD, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.

Jeremiah 29:11 NRSV

It wasn’t so much the verse but the understanding of who I was battling. I knew I had to submit to my covering. In this season, I learned the difference between obedience and sacrifice. Sacrifice gives up something of a lower nature to achieve a high character. I have since learned that obedience is better than sacrifice.

During this conversation, God said, “If you are anxious about the money, what are you willing to sacrifice for your success?”

My immediate answer was: SEX.

God said: “Ok, if you give that up, you have nothing to worry about; I’ll care for you.”

I have never struggled with drugs or alcohol, but sex was hard to pass, especially in relationships. I thought that’s how you were supposed to date.

After this declaration, I learned about the Sexual Transmutation of Energy from the book “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill. Sex, when confined in a loving container (marriage), is promoted while sins against the flesh outside of marriage have very negative consequences to success and productivity.

The Law of Obedience became more evident as I learned more. God was about to move in, and I hadn’t yet experienced through me in ways.

I was doing great on my newfound journey of celibacy. I discovered a new power, the power to say no to sex. It was interesting going on dates and having the celibate until marriage conversation. I also learned how unusual that was coming out of a man’s mouth.

I was roughly three years into this journey when I slipped. I backslid into sex as an outlet. Pride quickly came in. I remember thinking, “It’s ok to add it back into my life. I have a handle on this business stuff. I know how to get back on track if my production fails.”

The problem was ignoring the Source of my strength and blessings. I let pride creep into my life, assuming I was working hard, so I deserved to enjoy my hard work and indulge a little. After bumping my head for years, along with a few bad relationships, I found myself needing help.

My last relationship brought me close to God than ever before. I was broken and exhausted. I had been emotionally, verbally, spiritually, and even physically abused in previous relationships, so I knew I had to change my habits.

God told me I needed Him more than I did my ex. But why was I so loyal to someone so bad for me. He said, “If you focused on loving me as much as trying to love her, you wouldn’t have these issues right now!”

Easy right?…there’s only one problem. No one ever told me what it meant to date God. I never had a blueprint on how that looked. I knew it was time to retake my celibacy walk; my purpose was different this time.

In 2018 I joined three life groups at my church and even led a few lessons. I discovered a newfound love and passion for learning and growing in Christ. The devil tried to temp me early on, but I won that battle with the Strength of the LORD. I felt so accomplished activating the strength of God and being able to recognize the slips (triggers that make you go against what you know you should be doing).

I started to heal from those past wounds of sexual trauma. I was introduced to sex entirely too early and carried that with me for many years. Through Christ, I was able to fight that stronghold and learn to date God. 

My Words of Wisdom

When I speak on the “The Slip” journey, I remind people to give themselves a bit of grace while creating new habits and breaking strongholds. You don’t have to step out on this journey alone. Getting involved in good quality life groups can save you in many ways.

Proverbs 27:17 speaks about “iron sharpening iron…” which are relationships you find in a life group. I found so much healing in talking to other men about their journey, struggles, and healing. It gave me life and purpose to share, allowing others to intercede and pray for my strength.

No matter what your past circumstances are, they in no way define who you are, moving forward. There’s so much healing in sharing your story. They say the mess you went through was only to create the message God wanted you to share. Give Him the glory, honor, and praise for your healing.

God has blessed my life many times over. Being healed has allowed me to grow my business to heights I had once only imagined. I am now married to a beautiful soul, and when the LORD took us on such a journey, I only thought I had seen him work! The visions He showed to us were full of clarity and precision. You can fight as much as you want to, but when He has a calling, I found it best to STOP, SUBMIT and EXPECT Him to show you things about yourself you’ve never seen before.

By no means am I perfect, nor are any of us, but I know God has a plan for my life—not to harm me but to give me hope and an abundant future! “We’ve all fallen short of the glory,” but we don’t have to let that be what keeps us from receiving His promises and blessings.

JEFFERY HILL is a man of God, husband, speaker, author, entrepreneur, and CEO of Hill Financial Group, Inc. (a wealth accumulation firm). He has helped countless individuals and business owners create tax-free generational wealth with a Retirement 2.0 Model for saving and investing.

Contact Jeffery: jeff@thehillfinancialgroup.com

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s