Is it possible to sin in your dreams?
When I first started on this journey of freedom, I would have these bizarre experiences of pornography just popping up out of nowhere in my mind. I could be in the middle of praying (hello… it doesn’t get much holier than praying) and WHAM! It’s not like I wasn’t really praying; I was. Apparently, though, the back of my closed eyelids made a convenient screen, and the battle that would rage was intense.
It made me feel twisted, to have so much pornography just stored in my head. It was scary to realize the depth that lust and pornography affects us. It’s recyclable. Did you ever think of that? Pornography, fantasy, lust… it’s all recyclable. We can look at a video, get our highs, and store it to be used for a later date. It’s the only sin like that, really. Con artists have to change their cons, drug addicts have to buy new product, alcoholics have to buy new booze. But pornography– even those who have only seen one image can still recall it years later.
With time, though, the wandering mind can be brought under control.
I was not prepared for dreams, though. The tricky thing about dreams is you can’t really stop them.
For about a month now, I have been having weird dreams and nights of fitful, restless sleep. A couple nights ago, though, I woke up in a surreal state from a dream that was far from weird. It was straight up wrong. It was evil. It was pornographic. It was enough to make me question where on earth that had come from? What do I do now? Is it possible to sin in your dreams?
Now I know this is a common issue among men. I understand that and I’m not going there. I’m saying that as a woman, I have not had frequent experience with dreams that heavily sexual, and pray that it does not become a frequent occurrence.
I wasn’t fully awake, but as I started drifting back to sleep I could feel my mind drifting back into that territory. I was even muttering prayers like, “renew my mind” and “create a clean heart” but it seemed every time sleep fell, the dream was returning right where it left off. I was having none of it, so I rolled out of bed and walked around the house a bit to wake up completely. I prayed a for real prayer that time, curled back up in bed and went back to sleep. And slept.
Throughout the day, it bothered me. It bothered me that somewhere in the recesses of my mind this filth was growing mold and taking on a life of its own. I had created the content of the dream. My mind had created the content of the dream and that’s something so bad about lust. We don’t have to see new material to have new material.
We can be so sinfully creative.
I was reminded of the sin nature we possess even as children of God. My position as a fallen daughter, redeemed and set free by the blood of Christ, does not change the fact that I was once fallen, and that every day my flesh wants nothing more than to fall… again. For as long as I live I can never change the fact that I was once heavily addicted to pornography. If I wanted to, I could call to memory photos, videos, stories and conversations I had in my eight years of hardcore addiction. The key word is “if.”
That’s really what it all boils down to. It’s a choice. My freedom is a choice afforded me by Christ. I could choose to still be enslaved in pornography and still get my buzzes there, or I can choose to focus on Him and grow in grace and the knowledge of His love. It’s a choice.
We don’t make choices in our dreams, at least not consciously. So I stand on the belief that it isn’t possible to sin by dreaming (not daydreaming). However, it should constantly bring to our remembrance the importance of staying vigilant in our fight for purity. I don’t see it as much different than changing the channels on TV. If it comes on, fine, but don’t watch it. If you dream it, ok, but don’t dwell on the dream and ask God to continue to create that clean mind and pure heart in you.
If you find yourself waking up in that situation, do yourself a favor and wake up all the way. Then, take a few moments to pray and praise God for who He is. Pump your mind full of Him and then ask Him to give you a peaceful sleep. Then, move on. Don’t beat yourself up over it. Just run to Him! He promises us rest.