I remember when I felt like things would never change. I was 18 when I first stirred up enough courage to say out loud to someone that I struggled with homosexual attractions. Up until then, I did all I knew to resist and plea with God daily to take them away. The pastor that I shared this with told me to pray and so I left believing that our agreement in prayer was all that was needed for this to be “fixed.” I quickly soon realized that nothing had seemingly changed after all. This predicament caused even more turmoil, confusion, anger, resentment, depression, unbelief, and pride in my heart. It looked as if things would never change.
Let’s stop here for a minute. You see, it would have been very easy at this moment to come to many false conclusions. We as humans tend to craft our theology based on our experiences. We are quick to change our theology on something when we experience anything contrary to what we originally believed. However, truth is a Man and His Word is what remains. I must put my belief and trust in that alone, whatever my recent experience is.
This has definitely been one heck of a journey in the knowledge of God when I think about where I was at 18 yrs old. Now, I stand on grace and on the Word even though my attractions haven’t changed. Some would tell me that it’s not possible for them to change. Others would say that I’m not saved since that is still my current experience. Still some will tell me to stop denying who I really am and just be happy with a guy. But what is most important is to listen to the Spirit of Truth and what He is saying on this situation. Because that conversation has been the only thing that I’ve found able to keep me. So what does He say?
First we recognize that change is instant and an on-going gradual process. When Jesus returns, we will instantly be changed, clothing ourselves with immortality and glory(1 Cor. 15:51). Until then, His Spirit is renewing us and making us more and more like Him when we agree with Him(2 Cor. 4:16, Rom. 12:2). Why is this the case? I believe it’s due to the different functions of sin. The power of the original sin by Adam distorts everything; some things effected by the Fall won’t be made right until Christ returns, yet He broke the power of sin so that I now live under the reign of grace(Rom. 6:14). What Christ fully accomplished in my spirit by making me new, my soul and body are working to display. This fullness will finally be known when all things are made new at His return- body and soul! So what does that mean now?
We were all born into sinful flesh and there’s no way to get out of this living condition now. But because of Christ, I’m no longer subjected to be enslaved by it in thought, deed, emotion, desires, passions, or attractions. Christ freed me from sin’s dominion and power. So even if I continue to experience same-sex attraction for the rest of my life, I have no excuse to allow it to cause me to lust(soul) or act out sexually(body). Grace abounds and empowers me to resist temptation and to choose holiness every time! So you ask, doesn’t this mean that you’re gay if you experience this on-going? No! Because my identity is no longer in my sin, but in Christ. That sinful identity died many years ago. Or some say I should feel ashamed since I still experience this…No! For even Jesus, the Son of God, was born into sinful flesh and experienced every temptation. And so I have no shame or condemnation for it either. For I know that in that coming Day, my flesh and soul will no longer house any sin at all. I look to that Day full of faith and hope. This gives me life and peace today, in my current state. All I need to do is remind myself that I am dead to sin so I need not obey it, it’s powerless. And that I’m alive in Christ because my life is hidden in Him. Maybe my soul and body will manifest this change before He returns(when it’s going to happen anyway), maybe not. Regardless, I’ve found that when I see in truth and clarity, God gives me grace to stand. His power makes this possible again and again, so I’ll keep standing. He makes the impossible, possible.