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Fantasy to Flesh Pt 2

We’re going deeper in Part 2. Paying attention to the symbols and story-lines in your sexual fantasies often point towards a treasure within you.

Sound twisted?

Look to the “Homework” section below for key questions to help you untwist your temptation from your truest desires.

Let’s dive in.

Highlights

Your imagination is given to you by God as a creative force.

When your brain stirs up a sexual story line or sexual scenes, even though it’s directing you towards something sinful, it’s also intended to create something.

Begin to pay attention to the storyline or the theme of the fantasy.

Temptation taps into a God given desire that you are made for however it points you in a direction that it won’t be fulfilled.

Untwist the fantasies to better understand what they’re trying to reveal about what we are made for.

Homework

(This is spiritually mature work. We’re here to help you process and do this work.)

Why is my brain trying to create something like this?

Why is my mind or my heart trying to point me in the direction of that story?

Look at your fantasies through these two questions to get a better picture of what they’re going after:

What’s the storyline of our fantasy?

What’s symbolic in our fantasies?

In my fantasy, who has the power? Me or the other person? Why?

Consider the typical things you’re aroused to in your fantasy: is there a specific type of person? Or a specific body part? Size or shape? 

What does that body part symbolize?

Help the show

This Episode’s Transcription

Josh 0:01
Welcome back, everybody. So last week I talked about the importance of taking sexual fantasy seriously and not beginning to tug at the little thread. As though it’s just an innocuous, you know, few seconds of thought, I’m just entertaining this idea for just a little bit. Because we recognize that our imagination is given to us by God, to create. And so what we think of what we fantasize about is intending by God’s design is meant to move towards something that becomes flesh, something that we actually act out live out experience in the real world. But it’s only half the story of fantasy. So we want to take it seriously, we don’t want to invite it in, we don’t want to begin pulling a thread at it, or the threat of it. But the other half is that we also don’t want to just discard it. We don’t want to just close our ears plugger eyes and run from it. We want to take it seriously, we want to stop it at the start. But we don’t want to ignore it. Why not? Because in the things that you’re tempted to sexually fantasize about in those thoughts, there’s actually a treasure that is going to help point you towards what you really need, and what you’re really after. Remember, your imagination is given to you by God as a creative force. And so when your brain begins to come up with a sexual storyline or sexual scenes, even though it’s directing you, it’s pointing you towards something that’s sinful. On the other hand, there’s it’s also intended to create something. So the question want to ask is, why is my brain right now trying to create something like this? And you can’t know the answer to that question. Unless you begin to pay attention to what this is, in other words, begin to pay attention to what is the storyline? What is the theme of this fantasy? And why might my my mind why might my heart be trying to create that story right now point me in the direction of that story. So consider for a moment, and you’ve heard me talk about this before. But in Genesis three, when the serpent came to tempt Eve, He wanted this to distract her from all that God had provided. And one of the temptations he gave to her when he told her his version of what the fruit the forbidden fruit was going to do for her was that it was going to make her like God, able to know the differences between good and evil. It’s gonna make you like a god. Now, I’ve never read any commentaries that talk about this, but I can’t help but think when I read those words, that Satan was saying, no, no, God’s holding out on you. He knows that when you eat her, this, this fruit, you’re gonna become like him, I can’t help but think back to Genesis one where God creates Adam and Eve man and woman in His image and in His likeness, in His likeness. So in other words, the enemy is saying, He’s tapping into a God given desire that she has, she’s actually created to be like God to image God, and the serpent saying, I’ll tell you how to do it, eat from the street sin, follow me. Okay, let’s now let’s come back to sexual fantasy. In a way sexual fantasy are the enemy. In those situations, temptation is trying to get you to do the same thing. It’s tapping into a desire, a God given desire that you are made for, but it’s pointing you in a direction where that desire actually will not be fulfilled, Not Not, not in its fullest form. So as we look at our fantasies, we begin we want to do is untwist the fantasies, so we can recognize the good that they’re pointing us toward or with the trend to reveal about our stories. So we can really obtain what it is that we’re made for. And before we go any further, I’m gonna give you an example of this or to in a minute, but before we go any further, I do want to say a couple of caveats before we begin one, this is spiritually mature work. And so if this is a new concept to you, don’t attempt to do this on your own. You may need to begin considering on your own but but really get some help to process this get some help to do this. Because for so many of us, the sexual fantasies have led to sexually acting out over and over again. And we are habituated to that. That’s the nature of addiction. That’s part of what we talked about last week. So what you want to do is get some other support around you to help you do this work so that it doesn’t lead down the same old path. And it’s also nuanced work. Sometimes it really does take somebody else helping to look into our stories so that we can untwist the good from the bad. The temptation from the true desire that’s underneath that temptation. Okay, so how do we look at our fantasies and what do we look for in our fantasies? Let me give you two different categories. One, we want to think storyline. What’s the storyline of our fantasy?

And the second is some symbology or symbolism, what’s symbolic in our fantasies? Those, those two streams will actually open a lot of doors for you to better understand what your sexual fantasies actually trying to produce. So let’s start with story. So often our sexual fantasies without us realizing it, our sexual fantasies are actually trying to resolve something about the story that we have lived or the story that we are living. The sexual fantasy in a way is trying to rewrite the story. With it with a with a different ending with a different conclusion with a different outcome. Jay stringer in his great resource unwanted, and also in the journey course, talks about how often sexual fantasy is an attempt to reverse some damage that’s been done, or to repeat something that’s been done but but to change the power dynamic of it. So as you’re considering this idea of story, you might ask yourself, in my fantasy, who’s got the power? Where’s the power lie? Is it with me? Or is it with the other person? And why might that be? So for example, Edie had this recurring fantasy where he was a CEO in a large, firm, and, and he was interviewing people who are coming in to work for the firm. So as Ed was in his 40s, interviewing people in their 20s 30s, and in his fantasy, it was very specific, there was usually someone interviewing the person with him. And often that second person was a woman. And he was often interviewing either a man or woman coming coming into the firm. And in the fantasy, at some point in the interview, things would get sexual between the second person interviewing

and the candidate. And not just when it gets sexual. But Edie was always in charge. He was he was inviting them to do those behaviors, and they were listening to him. Now not sure that to to give you ideas about fantasy, but Edie was troubled by the by the fantasy now and was not a CEO of a firm. In fact, as we got into his his own story, he worked at a very small CPA business, it was just like him and one other person, maybe two other people, I don’t know. But it was a small firm. And he had been in multiple interviews where he was interviewing for a larger firm, and he never gotten the job. And in in some of those situations, it was just one higher up in the business who interviewed him, sometimes it was a series of interviews. And sometimes it included multiple people interviewing him at the same time. And he describes those moments as always feeling so small and insignificant, and always feeling so nervous and still never getting those jobs. Well, you can see what’s happening in a sexual fantasy, the fantasy is trying to reverse those power differentials. And it’s trying to recreate a different ending to what Ed has experienced over and over again. And so now his sexual fantasy moves from this place of like, obscure out there, whatever to oh, this is actually a part of the wounding I’ve experienced part of the pain of experience in my life. And now I can make some different choices, what I want to do with the temptation with fantasizing that way, because it’s actually not about that sexual experience, it’s actually about something different, a different, a deep disappointed in my life. And what I love about that, and we find this over and over over again, that so often, the sexual things we struggle with, are really not at the core about sex. They’re just there about normal human relational dynamics and experiences that become sexualized. And there’s, there’s power in that because sex by God’s design is a creative force. Imagination is a creative force. And so the coming together of these things, gives a temporary sense that something has been created something is different, even though in real life, it’s not. And so Edie had a choice about what am I going to do with this disappointment? Am I going to continue to pursue the career I’d hoped for? Am I going to try to build my self esteem and my own sense of self worth in a different way, he has a lot more choices now about what he does with that sexual fantasy than just trying to stop it. So that’s just one example of story. Now, let me talk about symbol. We’re going to pay attention to our fantasies, we can also talk about symbol symbolism. So consider the the typical things that you’re aroused to in your fantasy. Is there a specific type of person? Is there a specific body part? Is there a specific kind of accentuated body part, size or shape or, or how it’s how it plays out in in the fantasy, something that you see in the fantasy or a body part that you typically see or focus on in the fantasy? And ask yourself the question, what does that body part symbolize? Now again, we can look here to Scripture just for some clues here because as men and women are created in God’s image and in His likeness, we know that God is not human person. When God creates humankind, he is He is invisible, and he is spiritual but his divine attributes his eternal power are made for Sybil in what he has created according to Romans one. And so, if God’s attributes are manifested are made visible in human beings, then what is the? What are the body parts or the body types? Like in your fantasies and what might they be symbolizing about something that’s beyond just body. So for example, I think one of the simplest places to start is a woman’s breasts. Think about what a woman’s breasts symbolizes, woman’s breast is where we’re a baby, each one of us if we were nursed, gets our first. Nourishment are first sustenance, a place of comfort and safety and warmth, that by God’s design, and so oftentimes, when when people are drawn to women’s breasts sexually, it’s actually a draw towards some level of comfort, nourishment, nurture, safety. Now, obviously, there’s a there’s a big difference between the beauty and sanctity and sacredness of a mother nursing her child, and the way that pornography depicts women’s breasts. But pornography just twists something that God intended for good. So pornography is defiling the sacred but, but being, if you untwist what’s there, then you discover the sacred that we’re really after. And that’s what I meant earlier, when I said that we want to untwist the temptation from the true or desire that’s underneath.

Many men who are drawn men or women who are drawn to a men’s a man’s chest, can find something similar, oftentimes a man’s chest is symbolic of strength, or a symbolic of confidence is symbolic of, of maybe even something like courage, and moving on to more focused on sexual organs of male and female genitalia, for, for male genitalia, there’s, there’s symbolism in that of strength, of virility, of of life or life giving, of of penetration, I mean, there’s, there’s, there’s an impact, there’s a an ability to, to truly connect. That’s, that’s symbolic, by God’s design in a male sexual organs, organ. And then and then for a woman, there’s that can be symbolic of home, of warmth, of receptivity, of acceptance, and again, of deep connection. So I’m just speaking kind of in general about what different body parts could symbolize. But you can even begin there and start to ask, What if I recognize what this body part or this body type symbolizes to me, then you can help me recognize what I’m really looking for with a real desire or a deeper desire is underneath that temptation? In this moment, that’s the second reason to pay attention to fantasy. Now, we can also take the symbol and story and put them together. Because now now there’s, there’s even more to look at. So are the are the objects of your fantasy? Typically, a certain body type, certain hair color, certain ethnicity? And are there people from your life either past or present? That that look like that? Or that mirror that kind of image that seem like that kind of person? Or are there people in your story past or present who are very, very different than that kind of person, that you might be trying to reverse something of your story there. So this is again, this is why we have to pay attention to fantasy, we don’t just stop it immediately and discard it and run away from it. We may need to do that in a moment. But at some point, we want to come back and revisit what’s the storyline of my fantasy? What are the symbolic characters in my in my, my fantasy? What are the themes, my fantasies, and what might they tell me about the story that I’ve I’ve lived through, and the things that I’m symbolizing, and I’m trying to work out in this way, because my imagination is being hijacked in this moment by temptation. But deeper down, it’s actually trying to communicate something to me and bring life and creativity to something to a problem I have that needs resolution. And if I miss that I miss a great opportunity. And that friends is the treasure that I was talking about. God deeply cares, deeply cares about your story. He deeply cares about these treasures that are embedded somewhere deep inside of you. As I mentioned at the beginning of this podcast, oftentimes this kind of work, this fantasy work is not something to go into alone. You’re going to need help from somebody who can help you and twist these things and look for some of the connections between your story and what you’re tempted to fantasize about. And then from there to help you to make different choices moving forward. So find someone in your life who has the maturity, the insight, the discernment to help you do that. And as always, our team at regeneration And we’d be honored to walk with you if that’s something we can help you with. Lord, would you help untwist the good from the bad? And would you help us to decipher our fantasies? Lord, we submit them to you and bring them to you, Lord, that you might answer them truly where we’ve only been able to lead them so far back into sin. Or do we want instead to untwist them that we might be redirected towards your real sustenance, what you really have for us the life you have wrestler rather than the sin that leads us away from life? We pray these things in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.


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