FREEDOM FROM HOMOSEXUALITY

PART 2

 


FREEDOM FROM HOMOSEXUALITY PART 2 (CONTINUED)

 

YOU ARE NOT THE ONLY ONE:Many individuals struggling with homosexual issues, especially current and past church members, believe they are the “only person” struggling with this issue.  For the Apostolic struggler, they have bought the LIE that there are no other Apostolics who battle with same-sex attractions.  The enemy uses this lie to keep us in isolation, filling us with shame and fear, and blocking the support we so desperately need in overcoming homosexuality.  The truth is that homosexuality is NOT an isolated issue within the Church.  It's in every church and it's at every level within each local church.  It's not just the person sitting on the back pew that struggles.  There are those in every church position who have at one time or another struggled with same-sex attractions: Sunday School teachers, Music Directors, Youth Pastors, Assistant Pastors, Missionaries, and yes, even Pastors.  Satan is out to steal, kill, and destroy EVERY soul, and he does not care how he accomplishes it.  Sin is sin: one sin is not bigger than another sin.  All sin will take a person to hell, BUT with our God, NOTHING is impossible.  NOTHING is too big.  REMEMBER: YOU ARE NOT ALONE AND SUPPORT IS AVAILABLE.

 

WALKING IN WISDOM: Because change isn't instant and free from pressure, many people are unwilling to wait on God.  God's time schedule and ours are quite different.  He has worked on issues with us in the past.  He is working on issues with us today, and He has left some issues for the future.  We must accept this or we will walk in discouragement.  Wisdom is being patient and waiting on God.  No matter how we protest and no matter what we threaten to do, we cannot manipulate God.  God is sovereign and of Him it is said: “He is God of gods, and Lord of Lords, a great God, mighty terrible, which regardeth not persons, nor taketh reward.” (Ex. 10:5)  In Jeremiah we read: “As the clay is in the potter's hand, so are ye in mine hand.” (Jer. 18:6)  Wisdom tells us we can't fight off God.  It is better for us to make peace with God, and to trust that He is faithful to His promises.  If we fully cooperate with God, He will build a strong, secure foundation for our new life.  He will supply all we need.  His grace is sufficient.  If we object or interfere in the process, there will be cracks in our foundation.  We will be short-changing our healing.

 

HONESTY & OPENNESS:One of the great enemies of change is repression/suppression.  Whatever we hide will eventually surface to cause us great trouble.  The gay lifestyle was one of deceit and concealment.  Now, as Christians, we have the opportunity for freedom of stress.  What is known publicly can never be used against us: what is hidden and secret will always be a source of anxiety, guilt, shame, and fear.  Oh what pressure is relieved when we no longer fear what one person might tell another person about us: when we no longer have to guard our conversations!  “That which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the housetops.” (Luke 12:3)  Oh NO!  Oh YES!

 

BUILDING A NEW LIFESTYLE:As we begin to cut all past connections, we must begin to fill in the gap.  We must diligently develop a new lifestyle.  It must be one that revolves around Christ and His Church.  God has a plan for every life.  This plan includes God in every aspect of daily living: prayer, reading the Word, fasting, active participation in the Church, and service for the Kingdom.  He wants us to be just as active for Him as we were for His opponent.  We must ask ourselves: “Have I dedicated as much time to God as I spent cruising and clubbing?”  The sad truth is we will most likely never give God the time we gave to our sin.  However, at the very least we ought to give God His tenth of our time that He deserves.  The gay life was a self-serving life.  It was seeking those things that would make us feel good, often just for a few moments and sometimes at the expense of others.  If our new lifestyle is self-seeking, we will not reach our potential.  We must force our unwilling nature and flesh to serve others.  God rewards our service, and we will be surprised at the change in our lives that come through serving others.  As Paul shared in 1 Cor. 9:19: “For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more.”

 

ENJOY THE HEALING PROCESS:The gay life was exciting to our flesh.  There was an adrenaline rush when we were in the sin process, but the aftermath of our sin left us empty, guilty, and unfulfilled.  It was a lifestyle that promised everything and delivered nothing.  With God, things may not be quite so exciting to our flesh, but the results are a peace and joy not known apart from God.  If we are diligently building a new lifestyle, we will find the very things we were looking for in the gay life but never found.  We can have special times with God that are so powerful that no human relationship could ever match it.  Our new life is a reality: things are not the same and we have new capabilities and new values.  “Behold, the fresh and new has come!” (2 Cor. 5:17)  Whatever sacrifices we make are returned to us a hundred-fold" (Mark 10:29)  Serving God actually can be more exciting than anything we ever experienced in the gay life.  If the new life Christ has given us is seen as a great adventure, we will walk quickly down the path to change.

 

LONELINESS: One of the primary factors in recidivism is loneliness.  We all need to be affirmed.  When affirmation is not forthcoming, there will be a strong pull toward the old lifestyle where certain patterns (cruising) brought short-lived but immediate results.  While the Church could never compete with the fleshly excitement the gay life offers, it can provide something far more valuable to us: quality time and quality relationships.  The gay life fostered shallow and superficial relationships: the Church can provide us with meaningful relationships that endure.

 

UNDERLYING ISSUES & ROOT CAUSES: God does not work according to our agenda or schedule. He may indeed be at work, but God works silently.  His work is often unseen and unfelt.  The root causes of same-sex attractions are mostly non-sexual.  In addition, there are a host of underlying spiritual issues as well.  God usually begins His work at the root of the issue.  Same-sex attractions are not so unique or special that God will allow us to skip over the “ordinary things” which all Christians are required to address.  He will not allow us to simply focus and concentrate on the gay issues.  Although the issues with homosexuality may loom unique and special in our mind, God treats all problems the same.  So as God is addressing all of our underlying issues, we must be building our new life with prayer, Bible study, and fasting.  We need fellowship with other Christians, commitment to one church, and service to the Church.

 

CONFIDENCE IN GOD:If we desire relationship with God, He will bring that about.  “I will be found by you saith the Lord” (Jer. 29:13)  The promises of God seem too good to be true, yet, God is faithful to His promises.  Yes, it is true that He may answer our prayers in unexpected ways.  We may not always know what God is doing, but we can have confidence in the fact that God loves us and will do whatever is in our best interest and for the interest of His Kingdom.  Change is not only possible but it is inevitable for those completely surrendered to His will.  However, change requires a level of relationship with Jesus not known to most Christians.  We must be serious in our commitment.  God knows if we are just playing games with Him.  The sad truth is we often blame God for inaction when the problem is our unwillingness to take the risks God requires.  While God could change us in an instant, He has instead chosen to change us gradually.  At times we all need to be reminded that perhaps we do not need the thorn in our flesh removed: perhaps what we really need is MORE OF HIS GRACE!  2 Corinthians 12 tells us that “IN MY WEAKNESS HE IS STRONG” and that “HIS GRACE IS SUFFICIENT!”  It is a long, difficult road and there is a cross to bear.  God allows tests of our loyalty, but when we fail the tests, His love comforts us and His Holy Spirit brings us instruction on how we ought to live.  He has provided everything we need to live an overcoming and a blessed life.  We want the easy road but change is never easy.  “In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood” (Heb. 12:4)  Take courage, God rewards our obedience.  Give God your all and He will surely give you the desires of your heart.  We should have the faith of Habakkuk found in Chap. 3, verses 17-19:

 

“Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.  The Sovereign Lord is my strength; He makes my feet like the feet of a deer, He enables me to tread on the heights.”

 

While the situation may look bleak, those who trust in the Lord will experience God working in their lives.  Do the ordinary things: be faithful, stop grumbling and complaining, and count the many blessings you have already received.  We become discouraged when we forget the goodness of God and all He has already done for us.  If the process has bogged down, now is the time to renew your relationship with Jesus.  Remember, God responds to our heart attitude.




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