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.

Happy Are the Poor in SpiritJesus 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 meand 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)

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About Jennie Joy

I'm a lover and truth-seeker. This blog is a place for me to share my thoughts, struggles, and sincere searchings as I get to know God and welcome the reality of His kingdom in and through me.

6 responses »

  1. Yonmei says:

    Oh good God, you poor thing.

    I’m so sorry. When you get better, when you realise that you don’t need to hate your sexual orientation, there are people out there for you who’ve been through the same thing you have and got better.

    • Jennie Joy says:

      You’re so kind to care, Yonmei.

      I recently had a dream where I was sitting with a young woman who identified herself as a lesbian. I was sharing my story with her, and she explained to me that she didn’t think the Bible had any authority over her life.

      I woke up and had this Bible verse come to my mind immediately, “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.” (2 Timothy 3:16, NLT)

      I think the root issue in discussing homosexuality (or anything for that matter) from a Jesus standpoint is a question of humility. Am I willing to admit that I don’t have everything figured out and trust God who knows all and is the very nature of love Himself?

      I don’t hate myself, Yonmei, but neither do I choose to identify myself as a homosexual. I entrusted myself to Jesus, asking Him to teach me my true identity IN HIM. He is my Creator, so He defines me. He loves me to the extent that He let me reject and wound Him – to the point of His death on a cross for me – yet, my rejection did not defeat His love for me. He defeated death and sin by returning to life, and now I choose to trust Him. I choose to let His spirit operate in me and make me who He created me to be.

      It may sound like foolishness to you, Yonmei, but I have experienced the power of God in my life – in many areas – this is just one portion of my story that Jesus has made beautiful. So, I share my story.

      I hope you’ll understand Jesus’ love for you personally, and the transforming power of His love. He’s trustworthy. He’s good. I can believe that and surrender control of my life to Him. It’s my joy. 🙂

      • Yonmei says:

        No one who was trustworthy and good would tell you to change your sexual orientation. That’s a thoroughly evil and unloving thing to do.

        You have taken all your fear and loathing for your own sexual orientation and giving it a name, called it “Jesus”: and you are, apparently, busy worshipping that idol you made yourself with the help of others.

        I’m an atheist: I was brought up a Christian, and have read the Bible thoroughly. I can say for sure that your notions about homosexuality come from the hatred you were taught by other Christians who have learned to believe that God cares more about sexual orientation than about love. They did not come from Scripture.

        If you believe God created you, God created you gay. You can hate that aspect of God in you, you can run away from that part of God’s creation and reject it, but all you are doing is destroying God in you and turning from God’s creation to a man-made idol. There’s no love in that, no trust, no attempt on your part to be “who He created me to be.” You reject all that part of God’s creation by trying to pretend you are not lesbian.

  2. Jennie Joy says:

    “You have taken all your fear and loathing for your own sexual orientation and giving it a name, called it ‘Jesus’: and you are, apparently, busy worshipping that idol you made yourself with the help of others.”

    I would admit that this could be mentally plausible if I had not had a deep relationship with Jesus since I was nine years old – well before I had any same-sex attraction. I knew His voice before I began to feel attracted to women, and I have been grounded in Scripture from the time I was a child. I’ve searched the scriptures for years – not in an attempt to justify my behavior or to make a list of “do’s and dont’s” but in search of finding and knowing the heart of God. I freely admit that I do not know Jesus comprehensively, but I know Him truly. He is – and by His grace – always will be my first love.

    “I’m an atheist: I was brought up a Christian, and have read the Bible thoroughly. I can say for sure that your notions about homosexuality come from the hatred you were taught by other Christians who have learned to believe that God cares more about sexual orientation than about love. They did not come from Scripture.”

    Yonmei, while I respect the fact that you were raised in a Christian home, I get the sense that your home was a religious one and not one where the goodness and love of God were deeply understood. Jesus never taught hatred – and so Christians who hate or teach hate have not yet known much of Jesus. Scripture teaches a message of purity of the heart – which is paramount. Jesus often spoke about the Old Testament law which dealt strictly with matters of the flesh. He said, “I’m taking this deeper. I’m taking it to a heart level. This is not just about the act of adultery – this is about the heart attitude of lust.” But, the good news was that when Jesus asked people to look deeper – to their motivations for actions – He offered the power for the inner healing that would bring their motives into right alignment. Jesus always wants to take us deeper and further in righteousness – and He shows us how. We’re not fighting on our own to be “good enough.” 🙂

    “No one who was trustworthy and good would tell you to change your sexual orientation. That’s a thoroughly evil and unloving thing to do.”

    If a child kicks a ball out into the street, the child’s first reaction is to run and get it. From the child’s perspective, getting the ball quickly to continue the game is all-consuming. A good parent would tell the child not to run into the street. There’s a better way – look out for cars and cross to get the ball when the way is clear. As human beings, we often think we see clearly. We want to act on our impulses – our hungers – our sex drives – and it all seems so urgent and important from our limited perspective. Our Heavenly Father sees much better than we do. He sets limits because there IS A BETTER WAY. It’s not about a list of DON’TS – He is trying to guide us into something VERY GOOD. If He asks me to surrender a sexual urge to Him, I know He knows better than I do. It is a THOROUGHLY LOVING thing for Him to ask me to trust Him in this. His plans are for good and NOT for evil (Jer. 29:11), and that includes His plans for sexual intimacy.

    “If you believe God created you, God created you gay. You can hate that aspect of God in you, you can run away from that part of God’s creation and reject it, but all you are doing is destroying God in you and turning from God’s creation to a man-made idol. There’s no love in that, no trust, no attempt on your part to be ‘who He created me to be.’ You reject all that part of God’s creation by trying to pretend you are not lesbian.”

    Yes, I believe God created me – in His image – male and female, we were all created in His image (Genesis 1:27) for the displaying of His glory (Isaiah 61:3). Even my sexuality is meant to display His glory – as taught in 1 Corinthians 7:13-20. The great mystery of God’s relationship to His Church is tied up in the marriage paradigm – as taught in Ephesians 5:21-33. There is something so mysterious and beautiful in the male-female marriage relationship that reveals things from the heart of God. God designed us for that. Abuse and the broken state of a hurting world have caused us to fall from His best intent to something less than what He originally intended. Romans chapter 1 describes a world where people stopped trusting that God knew best and had good plans for them – they gave themselves over to all kinds of sin – homosexual sex being one of them (though obviously not the only one). What you described as me turning to a “man-made idol” is really what we do when we say that homosexuality (or any sin we love more than trusting God’s heart and obeying His clear Biblical teaching) is acceptable. We are finite humans and only see part of the picture.

    Am I saying that someone can’t love Jesus and be gay? No way! But, I know that the Bible has clear guidelines for sexual relationships WITH PURPOSE. Since my life is devoted to seeking out Jesus and displaying His glory, no area of my life is excluded. I want to know His purpose in every area – sexuality included. It’s going to be the best when I do it His way and in His timing. I trust Him. 🙂

    There is much freedom in surrender to His will, Yonmei. I hope you’ll know how much God loves you. If you truly believe that, you’ll be able to read His word and trust His heart toward you is for good. He is real – very alive and active in our world – and very much in love with you. He’s not going to stop pursuing relationship with you because you matter so much to Him. You have believed that He doesn’t exist because the God you’ve seen displayed in the lives of so many seems a harsh, unloving dictator. Yes, He is God – so His ways are best – and they are the only ways that work in this eternal game of life. Undergirding all of His ways is His unfailing, unchanging nature – LOVE – not a weak love that lets you destroy yourself, but a strong love that lets Himself be destroyed in an attempt to save you from yourself. His ways are offered to you to bring you the best life possible now and forever. Jesus loves you, and because He loves you, so do I. 🙂

  3. […] Posts: In Storms and Shaking, How Will Your Heart Respond? | On Homosexuality and Healing: Blessed are the Poor in Spirit Share this:FacebookTwitterMoreDiggStumbleUponRedditPrintEmailLike this:LikeBe the first to like […]

  4. […] of Jesus, I recognized them as weak attempts to snare me by an enemy my Savior already defeated. Just a quick loving glance on Jesus, and the temptations go as quickly as they came. When I’m walking in the power of the Spirit, sin no longer has power over me (1). But, […]

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