First off I'm dedicating this to a good friend of mine, Dan, and my brother who was/is my accountability partner.
I'll tell you my story to start off with, or at least the relevant parts (otherwise we'd be here for awhile).
Generally everyone has a "big" sin. "Big" simply meaning they get caught more often. If the person wants to stop because God wants them to these sins seem to be easier to clean out because of how out in the open they are. Anyways, I had my big sin just like anyone else. I had battled through most of my teen years to gain control over this sin. I even recruited my brother as my accountability partner. There were a few times that I thought I'd finally quit, but then it (temptation) would hit me hard. One day I heard from God that I would never struggle with this again. I believed, but it still didn't happen right away. I struggled many more times and God had to tell me twice more that I would stop. This was around summer of last year. After that point I actually wanted to stop because God wanted me to stop, not because I wanted to. I had stayed clean ever since.
Little tangent here before I get back on track. When I say I stayed clean, I mean that I STAYED clean. I was tempted (although Satan gave up a little more often), and by tempted that means it still appealed to me, but then I would remember my goal to become closer to Christ, and how that just doesn't fit in.
Unfortunately my nearly year long clean streak was ruined tonight. I took it for granted when God had told me I would never commit this sin again. I figured that God would stop me when the temptation came. Well it did come and I'm sorry to say I failed. I failed to realize that it was a team effort. God helped me through, and to find a path of escape, but he didn't push me through the situation. You must "Want" to stop.
13No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.(1 Corinthians 10:13)
I have found that when you look for temptation you will fail unless you stop looking or wanting (which yah, sorry to say this, but in my experience this rarely happens). On that same note though if the temptation arises and you don't flee. don't listen to that little voice that says you've already lost (it's not you or God). You've never lost until the act has been committed. Notice how I use past tense. Stopping in the act is actually a victory! It's a step in the right direction, albeit a small one.
I wrote this letter first to explain sin immediately after sinning. So many people say "You don't know what it's like", "It's been forever since you've dealt with it", etc, etc. Thus for you guys knowing that I wrote this immediately after I hope you trust in my honesty on this subject. This is just an average guy telling you that there is indeed hope. I have lived it for almost a year, and plan to continue immediately following this incident.
As for advice on how to avoid temptation and falling to it. First don't put yourself in situations that you know you'll be tempted in. More first than 'first', you must Love and Rely on God, and resist sin, flee from it, put in your best effort. That's the definition for the battle with sin. If you try to run and fail at it, at least you ran. Do these things and God will give you the power to resist long enough to escape, and provide that way of escape. Once you have escaped don't become complacent, or look back. You are always in danger of sin and temptation, and that is the other first step in avoiding it.
~a fellow sinner,