Jesus. nothing else matters.
In the middle of cooking my dinner last night, the Holy Spirit brought a guy to mind and simply said you need to check on him now. I’ve experienced this Holy Spirit inkling before, but had not experienced in awhile. Anyway, I sent the guy a text. The first return text simply said, “Ummm”. The next few texts proved that it was indeed the Holy Spirit’s voice I’d heard and not just my own inner monolgue. My friend was arranging an intimate encounter with another guy, when he received my text. I shared my Holy Spirit prompting with him. I also let him know that he had the chance to stop the encounter; that the Holy Spirit was looking out for him. My friend’s exact words were, “It’s amazing how I can ignore the conviction of the Holy Spirit, but a text is hard to ignore.” Interesting. When we ignore the gentle promptings of the Holy Spirit, sometimes He “phones a friend”. There were a few more texts that evening, but no deep conversation. A voice text in the morning confirmed what I already felt in my spirit. Despite the warnings, my friend decided not to take the escape route and went ahead with the encounter with the guy.
Before you judge my friend, ask yourself, “Have I ever been there before?” The place where your flesh and your mind conspire to write a script and your body acts it out. That doesn’t absolve us of responsibility. It simply shows us that when we are caught up in our addictions we need supernatural help to break free.
I get lots of calls for help. Some guys are seeking God’s wisdom and some are simply seeking comfort in the moment. It is always a chance to practice humility. If I am simply compassionate, taking their woes on my shoulders, I make myself responsible for meeting their needs. In essence, I become their god. Where the humility comes into play, is realizing that only God can meet their need. I can get an emotional high from helping them, but I am really the only one benefitting. Every phone call should be centered on Jesus and steeped in God’s word. Every conversation should end in prayer. Colossians 3:16 “Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit…”. If someone’s problems come to rest on my ego, then nothing eternal is accomplished.
When we neglect to factor Jesus into the equation of our lives, things just don’t add up. Jesus says it this way, "I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” –John 15:5. In short, we were built to be in relationship with the King of the Universe. Without the Word of God, without fully relying on Jesus, the struggle to break free from sin is done in our own strength. God gives us the strength to walk away. He also cuts the ‘rubber bands’ that keep yanking us back into sin when we’ve reached our limit.
We may have been survivor’s all our life. We may have been the most independent and reliable people on the planet. The veritable Kings of our Castle, but once we say yes to Jesus we must begin the process of surrendering all our “control” over to Him.
I have met many people who’ve said they tried to walk out of homosexuality and it didn’t work. So they stopped trying. Jesus is not something you test drive like a car. He’s a ‘someone’ you continually, diligently pursue for the rest of your life. James 4:8 says that if we draw close to God, He will draw close to us. More often than not those who’ve tried and failed are doing it in their own strength. Jesus never gets full control of their lives, but He definitely gets all the blame when SSA feelings don’t go away. It isn’t fair. To God? To the struggler? To the people that they will influence?
That being said, this is my official resignation letter. I hereby abdicate my right to the throne as King over my domain and destiny. I hereby resign as the King over anyone else’s as well. I humbly take on the duty of letting my life and my words lead people to Jesus; the person who helped me with my brokenness. The Cross of Christ; where “simply existing” ends and real life begins.
It is my greatest desire to point you to Jesus. He is the only reason I have walked in freedom from the sin of homosexuality. Jesus is the only reason that my same sex attractions never truly solidified into a gay identity. If you are leaning on anything other than Jesus, then I lovingly say you have it wrong. If you are allowing your pride and independence to stand between you and fully surrendering your life to Jesus, you are missing out. If we are not fully relying on Jesus for everything, then we are destined for disappointment. Doomed to tread the same, circular rut, over and over wondering why progress seems so elusive.
Jesus says this, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” -John 14:6.
Jesus also said, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” -Matthew 16:24. David Crowder says it this way. “Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die. Lord, I want to go to heaven, but I don’t want to die. Though I long for the day when I have new birth. Still I love livin’ here on earth.”
Luke:14:26 "If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple.” Jesus isn’t literally saying to hate anyone. He is simply saying that we are to love Him more than our family and even our very lives. He is saying that He is to be our main influence in this life. Jesus was able to put God’s will before His sexuality. We should hold ourselves to the same standard.
During the years after I walked away from homosexuality, I struggled with doing the right thing. I lived righteously. I lived carnally; like the tides, my spiritual life ebbed and flowed. I knew the bible didn’t support the theology of gay “christianity”, to which I had once subscribed, but I was having trouble reconciling my beliefs and broken sexuality. Eventually, I found Galatians 5:16 “…Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.” The bible was basically saying that if I pursued a walk with God, then I could find freedom from my gay life.
I was a few months into my walk with God, when I felt God calling me into a deeper relationship with Him. I had spent 10 years doing my own thing, with my whole heart. It was time to follow God with the same kind of reckless abandon. I didn’t want to be like any of the people Jesus mentioned in Luke:9:57-62.
57 Now it happened as they journeyed on the road, that someone said to Him, "Lord, I will follow You wherever You go." 58 And Jesus said to him, "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head." 59 Then He said to another, "Follow Me." But he said, "Lord, let me first go and bury my father." 60 Jesus said to him, "Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and preach the kingdom of God." 61 And another also said, "Lord, I will follow You, but let me first go and bid them farewell who are at my house." 62 But Jesus said to him, "No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God."
The Christian walk is about forward motion. I couldn’t see progress on a daily basis when I was just starting to walk with God, but eventually after a few months, I felt lighter. Continue walking toward God and away from your sin and eventually you will see the difference.
I have blogged before about my 35-year struggle with internet pornography. I will never be one to hide my sin, but I will be one to credit Jesus for my triumphs over it. I didn’t walk away from homosexuality more than 15 years ago, because I have great willpower. All the glory and credit for that walk goes to God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. I demonstrated a willingness to move toward God and away from sin. In turn, God etched a path in the rock for me. I had to decide to follow God, one difficult decision at a time. The little failures that God allowed, taught me lessons to avoid big failures later on. The world looks at our failures through a magnifying glass. God looks at them through the blood of Jesus.
Surrender to Jesus. It really is the difference between life and death. The world has plenty of medications to offer and every one of them will keep you sick. Heaven has but one prescription for what ails you and He works every time.