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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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 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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