Have we lost our focus and gotten off course a bit in largely producing “counseling and support group junkies” rather than disciples?
Today, it seems that many are viewing ex-gay ministries as out trying to catch people to de-program them from homosexual behavior. We need to be very clear when people are asking for help. It is imperative we all remember homosexuals are people like you and me – people God loves. How will they come to know God’s love if we, as His family, do not reach out to them? If we truly believe God has power to change anything, we cannot withhold offering truth, hope and healing through Christ Jesus. Personally, I believe the extension of His love comes about by and through discipleship.
Christian discipleship is exactly the same to the homosexual struggler as it is to any man or woman combating the very long list of habits, addictions or various behaviors that impact lives. Christian discipleship is the process by which men and women (disciples) grow in the Lord Jesus Christ and are equipped by the Holy Spirit (who resides in our hearts), to overcome the pressures, trials and temptations that manifest in our lives and become more and more Christ-like.
But how does that play out in the practical sense?
1. Jesus must be put first in all matters of life (Mark 8:34-38). The homosexual struggler must take a purposed and deliberate step to be set apart from the world. The individual’s focus must be on the Lord Jesus and pleasing Him in every area of life. In other words, put off self-centeredness and put on Christ-centeredness.
2. Follow all the teachings of Jesus (John 8:31-32). Our obedience to the Father must be like that of a child which enables our being doers of the Word. Obedience is the supreme test of faith in God (1 Samuel 28:18).
3. Expect change (John 15:5-8). As a disciple (even those that combat same-gender attraction), our job is to abide in Christ, and “if” we do, the Holy Spirit will produce change, with change being the result of our obedience. As we become more obedient to the Lord and purposed to walk in all of His ways, our lives change. The biggest change will take place in our hearts resulting in new conduct (thoughts, words and actions), all being representative of “change.” Ultimately, the change we all seek in our lives occurs from the inside out, through the power of the Holy Spirit.
4. In love for other believers (disciples) (John 13:34-35). Clearly, from 1 John 3:10 and 1 Corinthians 13:1-13, we see that love is not just an emotion; it is an action. We must be doing something and involved in the process of discipleship. The attitude for the homosexual struggler as well as those desiring to help or minister to those combating same-gender attraction, must be fueled by the motivation of ‘love.’ When it comes to the complexities of life (including homosexuality and related issues), our ‘attitude’ should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.
5. Making disciples of others (Matthew 28:18-20). Too often, the homosexual struggler and those that have left homosexuality are reluctant to share their faith and tell nonbelievers about the wonderful changes Jesus has made in their lives. No matter what our maturity level in Christian life, we have something to offer. Frankly, some of the most enthusiastic representatives of the Christian life are new believers who have just discovered the awesome love of God. While they may not know what their saying goodbye to “gay” fully means, they have experienced the love of God and want to share their new found lives and identify in Christ with others.
Admittedly, deliverance from homosexuality or any habit, addiction or compulsive behavior, for that matter, comes from a Person and not a method. That said, I am concerned we have gotten far away from the command and calling of our Lord to “disciple” – especially, to the homosexual struggler. Heaven knows, Christians throughout the ages have had sinful habits to overcome and misbeliefs to replace with truth. I submit that the same Christian ‘disciplines’ that have helped a multitude will also help those struggling with same-gender attraction. Maybe it’s time to return to the basics?
From All of Us at His Way Out Ministries…
To each of you who continually bless us by your encouragement, ministry participation, monthly financial support, offerings, and prayers…we remain truly grateful. His Way Out Ministries is proclaiming to, educating and impacting the world with the biblical truth that freedom from homosexuality is possible when Jesus Christ is Lord of your life!
Pastor Phillip Lee
His Way Out Ministries
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