The main purpose of my previous post was that all understand, the goal for every believer is to be made more and more into the image of Jesus. Therefore, a born again believer coming out of homosexuality must understand this is God’s will and goal for them as well; the goal is not heterosexuality/marriage. If this is your focus, it can and most likely will derail your faith. So how did the proper goal for change affect me, as I sought to come out of homosexuality and be transformed into the person God wanted me to be.
I am blessed to have a glorious day I can recall where I gave my heart, my mind, and my soul to Jesus and became a new creature in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17). When I prayed that day to receive Christ as my Savior and Lord, I asked Him to take control of my life and make me the person He wanted me to be. And I meant it! And God knew my heart. With me in control of my life, I had only made a mess of it. When I prayed that morning, I was filled with a deep inner peace I had never known before, and while I cried tears of joy, I also experienced a tremendous weight lift off of my shoulders.
I had the life of Christ inside of me, in the person of the indwelling Holy Spirit, and was experiencing His joy and peace. And the burden of my sin had been lifted. I knew God was real and God was personal!
Now, lest some of you have alarm bells going off concerning “emotional experiences”, I took to heart an important reminder/warning given in the tract I was reading. Now that I had received Christ, do not depend on feelings. But depend on God’s Word. The promises of His Word, not our feelings, are our authority. The Christian is to live by faith in the trustworthiness of God and His Word. This understanding was so important on so many levels coming out of homosexuality.
The same-sex attractions/feelings did not go away the day I was saved. Would they? It was my hope from the very beginning that God would heal me so that I would become a person with true heterosexual desires, etc. Very soon after I was saved, I agreed with God that not only was I a sinner, but that the homosexual lifestyle was sinful (Rom 1: 26-27; 1 Cor. 6: 9-10). By faith, 1 Corinthians 6:11 gave me great hope: “And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.”
I remember thinking, “wow, the Bible says the homosexual can change”. I believed it would be part of the sanctification process where God was making me more and more like Jesus. So I didn’t make it a continual focus or goal for my life. When the same-sex attractions would surface, and they would for several years, I had a clear choice to make. Would I obey God’s Word, or seek to reinterpret it in order to fulfill my sexual attractions/feelings. Would I let these same-sex attractions derail my faith? Or would I walk by faith, choosing to take God at His word and not walk by my feelings.
Here is the main point I am trying to make. Very soon after I was saved, I gained a very important biblical understanding of what faith is and what it is not. It was so important that in my book, Love Flowed Down, I have given a whole chapter to the importance of faith.
The Bible tells us we are saved by faith and that we are to walk by faith (Eph. 2:8; 2 Cor. 5:7). All true believers in Jesus Christ are to live by faith. Faith is not just something we know; faith is something we do. James tells us we are to be doers of His word and not hearers only (James 1:22). Consequently, we practice living, active faith when we are obedient to the Word of God. But here is a very important question: What gets in the way of our obedience to what God is speaking to us through His Word? Our feelings and our circumstances get in the way and cause unbelief. Faith is choosing to take God at His word no matter what our feelings or circumstances are telling us. This is the reality of walking by faith.
For me and for others coming out of homosexuality, a biblical understanding of what faith is and what it is not is essential for us to walk in a manner worthy of our God. Living active faith operates quite simply. Let’s look at it one more time. God speaks through His Word; we trust Him and His Word, and we will ourselves to take Him at His Word, no matter what the circumstances are around us, or what the consequences may be. We obey God’s Word by the power of the Holy Spirit in us. Our feelings may tell us the circumstances are impossible and the consequences may look frightening, but by real faith, we can obey God and His Word in every situation. In other words, faith is choosing to take God at His Word, not walking by our feelings that are influenced by circumstances and by fiery darts Satan might be shooing at our minds, which cause wrong thinking (Eph. 6:16; 1 Peter 5:8-9).
So, when I’d struggle with same-sex attractions/feelings (that I didn’t want), I’d pray, “Lord, You know it is not my desire to act upon them. So, I’m going to walk by faith, choosing to take You at Your Word and not walk according to these feelings! I believe in Your time, You will take them away… You will heal me.” I knew God was conforming me to the image of His Son (Rom. 8:29) and I believed He would complete the work He had started in me. Faith gave me victory over these times of temptation, and I trusted Him to continue to change me more and more into the image of Christ. Next time, I’ll take this discussion to an even more personal level by sharing a couple excerpts from my journal, when I was only a year and a half old in the Lord. You will see how this understanding of faith affected my walk with Jesus.
In closing out this post, if you dear reader, are a young believer and the same-sex attractions are still there… hang in there, and walk by faith, not by feelings. Be encouraged by the wonderful promise found in Philippians 1:6: “being confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ” (NKJV italics added… notice it is a transformation process). Do you believe this promise (and so many other promises) in His Word that can encourage and give you hope? Why do I ask? Without faith it is impossible to please God (Heb. 11:6). If you are a brother or sister in Christ, this post (and all the others on the BOHM Blog) is written to help you better minister to the one in your life struggling with same-sex attractions.
In closing, we all must allow Jesus to be the Lord of our lives. Stay yielded to His will for your life and let Him work. He will make us into the man or woman He wants us to be, so that when we see Him face to face, we shall be like Him. Praise the Lord! Until that day, He has a storehouse of blessings He wants to open up for use in our lives, that cancels the past, equips you for the present and secures the future. It’s called grace… and it is sufficient! Do you believe?