Today, I remembered back to a time in college, when Jesus gave me a revelation from out of the blue: I was supposed to be thankful for my struggle with homosexuality!
Why?! Well… because, although homosexuality wasn’t God’s will for me – it wasn’t His best plan – and although the struggle and temptation that faced me was an attack of the enemy against me – God, in His beauty and kindness, would take that struggle and teach me two things: dependence and victory!
Many people have NO idea how desperately they need God. They are satisfied and content in their daily lives – fulfilled by entertainment, food, nice comfortable homes, and buffered all around by an invisible cushion of assets. Unless those things are shaken, they walk through life knowing God a little… or perhaps not at all.
It takes a shaking – a conflict – a desperate time – to awaken us to our need of God. Otherwise, we become our own gods, just living our lives as we see fit.
In college, I realized that I had something built into me to remind me of my desperate need of God. It pushed me to cry out to Him – to long for His fullness in me – to make choices all the time to desire Him above what my flesh said it needed. What I just described is poverty in spirit that pushed me to dependence on God. “Unless You give me the strength to get past this temptation, Lord, I can’t do it. Make me hunger for You more than this!” I became poor in spirit. I knew my need. My struggle pushed me to dependence on Him – much deeper dependence than many people know. That struggle, in an upside down way, can be seen as a gift from God.
Jesus said, “Blessed (or “happy” in some translations) are the poor in Spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of God.” We who are poor in spirit can be SO HAPPY in our poverty (aka our dependence on God) because He delights to give His Kingdom to us! In fact, leaning on Him is the only way we can have His Kingdom.
And, in addition to teaching me dependence, this struggle taught me His victory! Because- the Scripture promised me that those who look to God are radiant – their faces will never be covered with shame. He further promised me that when I am weak, He is strong for me! When I could not do it on my own (which is when I could only depend on Him or fall), His grace flooded in to give me the power to overcome temptation and every trial that I freely acknowledged was too big for me. When I was weak, THEN I was strong in Him!
He has made us MORE THAN CONQUERORS! Not through any strength of our own, but through His blood shed on the cross! That free-will love gift from Him is powerful – really powerful for us in the moment of our weakness – not just for forgiveness, but for VICTORY in every moment of need. HIS POWER!!! Wow… available to us!
I’m not speaking any of this to you out of hearsay – or trying to convince myself it is true – I KNOW this is true. I walk in this victory, and it is our inheritance as God’s children! I can tell you, it is the best kind of joy – being so flat-on-our-faces dependent on Him!
If you struggle with any sin the enemy has no right to keep a foothold on you in this area. Jesus delivered me, and He will deliver You. Your job is to learn to live in dependence on Him for the strength and victory. It will come. It has come for me.
Now, having learned His victory in the arena of homosexuality, I long to find the places where I can go and be too weak to make it on my own. I want to find places of darkness and impossibility, because I KNOW that the same God that freed me from the “impossibility” of homosexuality is alive in me to free others from their impossibilities – their bondage in physical slavery or under the oppression of depression or addiction or any sin or sickness or whatever…! Ours is an impossibility conquering God! Jesus died for our ABSOLUTE AND TOTAL FREEDOM from ANY sin or any sickness or any oppression of the enemy! He died so HIS PERFECT AND BEAUTIFUL WILL would be done! So His KINGDOM (His rulership) would be alive on earth! And what are the fruits of His Kingdom? PEACE – JOY – and RIGHT LIVING in the Holy Spirit! It’s the best! It’s soooooo good! It’s what we were created for! And – it’s totally achievable when we are absolutely dependent on Him!
I love the Gospel! I love the Good News that weak little me can revel in my weakness and throw myself at His feet… and let my Big DADDY GOD fight all the battles for me! It’s not a striving thing… it’s a laughing sort of surrender…
Like – when a sinful fantasy would come into my mind, I would laugh and say, “Yay! Jesus! You loved me so much that You died so this thing would have NO power over me! Hahahahahahaaaaa!” Or suddenly I would want to masturbate or be tempted to look at porn, but I would realize, “That’s not really me wanting that – that’s sin at work in me – and it’s defeated!” so I would say, “Haha! Jesus! Thank You for setting me free from every work of the enemy! Thank You that Your grace is more powerful than anything!” and as I would revel and glory in His strength in my weak moments, the other crap scattered and broke down and could not stand in His presence. 🙂
Earlier, I was thinking about why I like to go to the darkest places I can find – war-ravaged areas, brothels, squatter settlements, dangerous inner-city streets, ill-equipped hospitals, slums, red-light districts, and the haunts of druggies and drunks – and I realize it’s because Jesus taught me the lessons of dependence and victory when I struggled with homosexuality… and now I know that the BEST place for me to be is in a place that is too much for me – but NEVER too much for Him. The lessons of my dependence and His victory are much bigger than just for freedom from the little puny sin that tried to make me its slave. Hahahahaaaa! 🙂
This is why I can say to you with CONFIDENCE IN JESUS that there is life and victory and joy and radical freedom for YOU from EVERY WORK OF THE ENEMY (unforgiveness, bitterness, hatred, fear, addiction, depression, mental illness, homosexuality, sickness, etc)- and that the measure of healing He does in you will be multiplied to others through you.
His best intentions for You are AMAZING. So, throw all of yourself at His feet. Submit all that you are to Jesus as your King! His victory for you and in you will blow your mind and capture your heart again and again – drawing you deeper in love with Him constantly – and taking you on the most fabulous adventures that you cannot even yet imagine!
(My dear friend, Michele Perry, preached on the reality of poverty in spirit this week in Wales. You can hear her message HERE.)
(This post is part of a series of posts on homosexuality and healing)