Change

Anonymous (additions by WCT)

 

The interesting thing about the change process is that change itself is not our goal. Change is what results as we pursue a far more important and compelling goal: knowing, loving and “beholding” Jesus.

In coming out of our brokenness, whether heterosexual or homosexual, we sometimes focus too intensely on our inner hang-ups, misbeliefs, past hurts and sinful tendencies. Looking inward, we may feel as if we’re gazing into an ever-deepening pool of confusion and despair.

Release and healing comes from looking up — to Jesus — and entering a deeper fellowship with Him. The cry from our hearts becomes, “God I want to know You. I want to love and worship You. I want to be a man or woman who reflects Your image. Cleanse me from everything that stands between You and me.” God delights in such a prayer!

Change is a co-operative venture between God and ourselves through the power of the Holy Spirit. By His grace we are invited to come, then He empowers us to make right choices which lead to freedom in our sexuality and in every other area of our life. Seeking Him we learn more about Him as well as ourselves.

Many of us have a distorted view of God which makes it very difficult for us to trust Him…especially in sensitive areas as sexuality and identity. We may not be able to separate our image of God from that of an abusive or disappointing authority figure in our past. When this is true we can confess to God and ask Him to heal us of this misperception. He is faithful to do this in ways that personally speak to us and reassure us.

Surrender and change —
Why do some people make it out of homosexuality or any other sexual or relational brokenness while others don’t?

The issue of control seems to be a common denominator.

The ones who make it have decided to follow Christ and do his will at any cost.

Surrender is an act of faith. It is a step of deep commitment.

Choices…
1. Giving God permission to work in our life as He pleases and

2. Making a decision to trust him in the midst of our life circumstances, believing He is working through them for our ultimate good.

When we can see that having Christ in our life is not going to work…rather… what God actually requires is for me to have my life in Christ.

Romans 6:11
“Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Author C.S. Lewis said, “Fallen man is not simply an imperfect creature who needs improvement: he is a rebel who must lay down his arms.”

Unconditional surrender! …giving up our control.

Coming out of homosexuality or any sexual brokenness into wholeness requires:

1. Deep emotional healing and 2. A re-structuring of our whole identity.

For God to do a complete healing work He calls for our co-operation!

To do this we need to learn to know the Lord better.

It is an issue of “trust”

God shows His spotlight on specific areas of our lives some of which we have kept hidden from everyone.

When God calls us to deeper commit-ment we struggle wanting to hold on to “something”, some times we don’t even know what, but it is an unseen barrier preventing us from total surrender.

Perhaps it is pride. Maybe fear.

We could fear what God would call us to do…such as tell others about our struggles.

We fight and kick, firmly resisting God’s challenge…to commit at a deeper level than ever before.

Once we make the decision it marks a major turning point in our lives. It does not bring “instant” release or change, rather it opens us up for god to begin working in a deeper way.

Have you ever given God specific per-mission to work in every area of your life, including your sexuality???

Write down any fears you have about this decision.

Submitting our sexual and relational brokenness

1. Surrendering to Christ means —
Learning to obey Him a step at a time.

In the process of recovery.

For some this step may mean opening up for the first time to another individual regarding their sexual brokenness. Most discount this as impossible because of their position in church, their prominence in a small community, or their fear of losing a job, a marriage, a family.

These are legitimate concerns…but we all need support and encouragement from others. There is power in mutual confession.

>>> James 5:16 and 1 John 1:7 (read the Amplified Bible version)

The secret sin always gains more power the longer it is kept a secret. (example: older person molests child)

Shame is the lock on our door of secret sin.

2. Acknowledging Christ’s lordship means — Trusting in His timing for recovery.

Imagine telling a doctor to fix me in six months or else when we have cancer. We can not put time limits on the healing process. Each of us is different and God deals with us in a specific and personal way.

3. Yielding to Christ means — Persevering despite painful emotions or powerful attractions.

We can experience intense rage, sorrow or jealousy but be progressing wonderfully in our healing process.

God waits until we have developed a solid level of “trust” before allowing such emotions to surface.

Avenues of change 1. Practising God’s presence.
Quieting ourselves before God, resting in Him, enjoying His fellowship. “Be still, and know that I am God” Psalms 46:10

Spending time with God Himself…sometimes not even getting to the list of requests we have, but still knowing that He has heard our deepest heart petitions.

We need to listen for ‘the healing word’. As we listen to God, spending time in His presence, we discover our true identity in Christ.

2. Praying for ourselves.
Be honest with God…He is not shocked by confessions of involvement in masturbation, pornography or other sexual sins. Nothing we do or say is a surprise to Him. Confessing is the only way to forgiveness (1 John 1:9).

We all need a clean start every day, free from the weight of condemnation from our past.

The enemy has no ground or right to accuse us then!!!

The difference between conviction and condemnation…

* * * put a large jar near your bed…and as the Lord answers a prayer — drop a coloured marble in it. You’ll see God’s specific interest in your life after a while.

3. Praying for others.
Pray for those who are still struggling. Turn your concerns into prayer requests!

4. Praising and worshipping.
God inhabits the praises of his children. Those who are most likely to leave homosexuality behind are those who have an excitement about God, an anticipation of what he will do next in their lives. Their hearts are full of praise.

5. Studying the bible
Personalise the scriptures to your own life and struggles. Although it is helpful to read and even memorise the Bible, the key is application. Biblical principles and insights must be worked into the fabric of your life before you will begin to see effective change.

6. Journaling
Recording our thoughts in a journal is an excellent way of tracking our forward progress. In a journal you record your emotions and impressions of what god is doing in your life. This is excellent for those who do not have anyone yet to open up to. (e-mail counselling) journaling offers a tremendous opportunity to enter into intimacy with the Lord.

When depressing days come and thoughts of, “What’s the use, I’ve failed again,” then it’s time to re-read parts of your journal and see just how far you have come; how much you have grown; what are the changes.

A Christian support network

There are two common inter-related characteristics to those who are successful coming out of a sexually or relationally broken background:

1. The extent of their separation from their worldly (gay) support network, and

2. The quality of their involvement with a local church.

Unless your relationships with other Christians become (and remain) stronger than your relationships with worldly (gay) friends, you will probably return to sexually broken (homosexual) involvement.

Addictive, compulsive, sexual or homosexual behaviour are overcome by God’s power, just like any other sin! God uses people in this process, and he has established the local church as a place for healing and interpersonal support.

In Hebrews 10:25 this principle is clearly stated:

“Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another.”

The Bible encourages us to link ourselves with other Christians. This is especially vital for the man or woman coming out of homosexuality.

Church involvement

Those who have struggled with homosexuality, lesbianism, heterosexual addictive sexual and abusive behaviours…….

There are four options for you:

1. Keep silent and remain in your church.

Your sexual and abusive struggles will probably not change…you could drop out of church in discouragement.

2. Remain in your church and confide in a church leader.

Many leaders are eager to help even with little experience in dealing with these issues but they are anxious to learn.

3. Remain in your church and find help outside the church.

For the sake of family or many other reasons the best solution is to remain part of a home church but attend a weekly support group or see a professional counsellor.

4. Look for a new church home – this is a last option. It is significant at this stage to have a healthy support system. We would be surprised at the positive reaction we would get by opening up to our pastor.

The Word says, “They overcame him (Satan) by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony”. Rev. 12:11

Those of us who have come out of such a background find that those who really care for us as a brother or a sister in Christ say our past homosexuality or sexual brokenness doesn’t bother them. They are still willing to be our friends.

This is only a start…but it takes the church and everyone in it to support the healing process within each other. For we all have something that God is healing in us. We all need support.

2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (Amplified Bible version)
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God (who is the Source) of all comfort (help and encouragement), “Who comforts (helps and encourages) us in all our tribulation (trouble, calamity and affliction), that we may be able to comfort (help and encourage) those who are in any trouble, with the comfort (help and encouragement) with which we ourselves are comforted (helped and encouraged) by God.”