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Fantasy to Flesh Pt 1

Fantasy looks like the scene you work up in your head from time to time. It seems innocent enough.

You may tell yourself the fantasy is just a fleeting thought. But as you add details, you add emotions.

Soon enough, your sexual fantasy works itself from your brain to your body amping those thoughts to feelings.

In this short series, we want to urge you to take fantasy seriously.

This Part One can be your Step One to breaking free from your unwanted sexual habits. (Stay tuned for Part 2 next week)

Highlights

Sexual Fantasy is when you have a thought or image and you begin to work a story-line in your brain.

Sexual Fantasy engages your will.

Recognize that it looks kinder, gentler but it’s part of the same beast.

Sexual fantasy is where you start to dissociate or unplug from the the real you in the real world with real relationships with real responsibilities where there are real consequences (positive or negative) for the things that you do.

God gives you imagination as a creative force.

When your imagination is hijacked by sin it moves to sexual fantasy, wanting to become flesh.

Homework:

Ask yourself: Is sexual fantasy part of the ritual leading me to my unwanted sexual behavior?

How can you take action then?

Make no compromises.

Help the show

This Episode’s Transcription

Josh 0:03
One of the biggest, best decisions I’ve ever made in my own recovery journey away from habitual unwanted sexual behavior was, wait for it, wait for it. The decision to take fantasy seriously. Fantasy, we’re going to take it seriously, gonna make a huge, huge, huge difference in your own recovery journey if you’re wrestling with unwanted sexual behaviors, and if you help somebody, or walking with somebody who’s dealing with unwanted sexual behaviors, helping them to take a sexual fantasy seriously is gonna make a huge difference for them. That’s we’re gonna get after this week, and next week, we’re gonna do two parts, because there are two parts of what I want to talk about, that will be tremendously helpful for you. So let’s start with the basics. What are we talking about when we’re talking about sexual fantasy, we’re not talking about a thought that drifts through your brain, we’re not talking about seeing somebody and noticing certain parts of their body. By sexual fantasy, specifically, I’m talking about when when you have a thought or an image, and you hold to it and begin to work a storyline or a scene or scenario in your brain. It’s engaging your will, it’s it’s creating a series of events that happen inside your brain. And, and staying there for the purpose of sexual arousal. Alright, enough said about that, right? You get it? sexual fantasy. So what do I mean by taking sexual fantasy seriously? Well, there are two sides of this that are so important for me, there came a point as I was wrestling with my own unwanted sex behaviors, and I had multiple unwanted sexual behaviors that I was wrestling with. And some of them were just very tenacious, they were very, very difficult to give up. I was receiving help, I understood a lot more about why I was being drawn to those things. But at one point, I realized that, that I wasn’t taking fantasy very seriously, to me, fantasy felt like kind of a light, and of things like, you know, if I’m gonna look at pornography, or when engage with another person in some way, that’s the serious stuff, sexual fantasy, just some thoughts in my head, not a big deal. At least that’s what I thought, until, until one day, I recognized that every other sexual behavior that I was engaging in every other sexual behavior I was engaging in, was always preceded by sexual fantasy. In other words, I had a ritual that I would follow that include the or that would end with some type of sexual acting out, that brought me a lot of shame. And always somewhere in that ritual, following that line backwards, there was sexual fantasy, there were moments whether it was just a few minutes, or whether it was on and off throughout the whole course of a day. I was where I was fantasizing about something, I was thinking, either thinking about something I could do some way I could act out, or I was kind of following a storyline, or I was remembering some scenes in a movie, or I was imagining myself with somebody, whatever it might be, sexual fantasy had always preceded that behavior. And when I noticed that, I thought, well, what would happen then if I, if I really took it seriously, whenever I found myself fantasizing sexual sexually, could it be that if I took that seriously, and really did what I needed to do in that moment, to avoid going further, that can make a big difference for me. And it did. And it was really difficult actually, because I was so used to just kind of pulling it that thread. And beginning to fantasize that by taking it seriously, I was I was and deciding I was going to stop, then I was going to reach out for help then. And by the way, those are some of the things that I learned like, this is how I deal with temptation. I’m going to reach out to somebody who who knows me and I can talk through why I’m feeling tempted and what I’m tempted to do, I’m going to pray and invite Jesus into this moment, I’m gonna try to slow myself down, connect with what I’m feeling pay attention to what might be triggering some of this temptation was all stuff that I was doing. By the time I got, like close looking at pornography or close acting out in some other way. But I hadn’t employed those same things, when it came just a little bit of temptation. There’s always kind of the idea of like, I’m just gonna, I’m just gonna fantasize just a little bit, I’m going to, you know, have a sexual fantasy that just lasts for just a little bit. But when I decided I’m not going to do that anymore, no more a little bit of this.

So in this part one, I want to encourage you ask yourself, if you’re wrestling with unwanted sexual behavior, I want you to consider is sexual fantasy, a part of that ritual for you? Does it precede it either right before or long before? And I’m gonna, I’m guessing for 99% of you. It precedes it every time. And so take action, then. Take it seriously then make no compromises with sexual fantasy. Do not make the unholy agreement that sexual fantasy is just a small little thing compared to the other stuff that you’re doing. Instead, recognize that sexual fantasies, actually, it may look kinder, it may look gentler, it may look like it’s not as big a deal not as threatening, doesn’t have teeth, the same way some of your other sexual behavior does. But it’s actually part of the same beast. It’s maybe just the tail, you know, maybe it’s just the fur on the top of the head of the beast, but it’s the same beast. So start treating it as though it is actually a part of the problem. It’s a part of how the enemy begins to pull you a little bit by little bit, he says, just a little bit won’t hurt. Why not just just give yourself a break for a moment. Here’s everything we know about sexual fantasy. sexual fantasy is actually where you begin to dissociate from the real world around you. And so when we understand that we can understand even more Oh, this is why it’s such a big deal. This is why it precedes the other behavior. When you begin to fantasize sexually, that’s when you start to unplug from the real you in the real world, in real relationships with real responsibilities, where there are real consequences, either positive or negative for the things that you do. sexual fantasy tries to dissociate from the painful feelings that you’re experiencing that day, from the fears you’re experiencing from responsibilities, the load the stress, that’s what sexual fantasy aims to do. And that’s why it’s so tempting. Just to give in a little bit, I could just disassociate, just disconnect from this pain, this hurt these problems, this, these these things, I don’t know how to make my way through, I can just disconnect from those just for a little bit, I’m going to be okay. But once you start to disconnect from the real world, then you start to move into the fictional world, the fantasy world, because here’s the thing about fantasy. Fantasy is a project a product of your imagination. And God is actually wired your imagination for some specific purposes on the earth. Specifically, your imagination is a creative force. God has given each man woman and child and imagination to be a creative force. That means your imagination by God’s design, is actually wired to move from mental to physical, from a thought to an action. That’s the way it’s wired to go. Imagination, it because it’s a creative force is meant to manifest in the real world to become flesh. If I could use those words, your imagination is meant to become flesh, an artist begins to imagine a picture and then begins to paint the picture. To make it flesh. A photographer goes and sits in front of a landscape waiting for a specific moment or taking pictures of her moments because they want to make with they’re hoping to see the beauty of having seen the sunset, they want to see it on the page. The musician Mozart sits down because he’s got an idea in your in his head about a piece of music. And he writes it on paper makes it physical, and then not only for that, but then moves from that to wanting to, to, for it to be played by musician so it becomes manifest and visible audible to other people. That’s what the what imagination is for. And through this grid, we can see why sexual fantasy actually is not just an innocuous thing. It is the beginning of giving birth to something real, to something real. So it doesn’t typically end and yep, I thought about it. And that’s enough, I feel satiated. Because that’s not what it’s intended to do. Imagination, to now your imagination hijacked by sin moves towards sinful sexual fantasy. And that segment sinful sexual fantasy does not is not satisfied by just staying in your brain. It wants to become flesh in some way or another.

So that’s it for today. That’s part one. But please, please, please, please tune in next week. Because if that’s the only place we go with sexual fantasy, we are missing a huge, huge, huge treasure trove of how else we want to take sexual fantasy seriously. Because sexual fantasy is not just it’s not just a temptation. It’s not just a temptation. And it’s not just an enemy. Again, I use the word hijacked a minute ago. There’s something else being hijacked through sexual fantasy and it is actually truly truly truly a treasure that will radically change your approach to dealing with sexual fantasy and help you to find freedom, like you’ve not experienced before. But part one, part one, we take sexual fantasy seriously, and we seek to stop entertaining it because we know that eventually it wants to become flesh. Alright, we’ll see you next time.


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