I became a Christian very late in life, and as a result, I came to Christ with a whole lot of excess baggage. You know, stuff! Not unlike a multitude of others, I thought (at least to a degree), that a lot of my “stuff” would instantaneously just “poof” and disappear. It didn’t occur to me that I did not arrive at my broken place in life overnight – therefore, not everything was going to be resolved overnight. I had programmed deep into my thinking a whole truckload of experiences, activities and beliefs that were anything but what God had intended. And, nobody pushed the “clear button” when I became a believer. All of that stuff (lies) was recorded in my mind and enabled the strongholds which directly affected how I say myself and others.
It is a fact that life is a series of choices that lead us. We are the choosers – we have control over our choices and what we believe, though at times we may feel that we have no choice. This is exactly where many “lies” come into play and seize opportunity. Proverbs 23:7 tells us, “For as a man thinks in his heart, so he is.” If I continue to see myself based on my past, my past addiction, my past behavior, my past identity – even allowing the things (today) that may sorely tempt me – I will remain stuck and bound.
In the dictionary a “vow” is defined as “a solemn promise or declaration by which a person is bound to an act, service, or condition.” In Scripture, over and over again we see references to vows and oaths.
“Again, you have heard that it was said the people long ago, Do not break your oath, but keep the oaths you have made to the Lord. But I tell you, Do not swear at all; either by heaven, for it is God’s throne, or by the earth, for it is His footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. Simply let your Yes by Yes, and your No, No, anything beyond this comes from the evil one.” (Matthew 5:33-37)
How often have I heard, “I have had same-gender attraction for as long as I can remember and I guess I always will.” According to John and Paula Sanford in their book Transformation of The Inner Man, “an inner vow is a decision and resolve either to do or not to do a certain activity, event, or to have or not to have a certain attitude or relationship. It is a determination set by the mind and heart into all of one’s being usually set early in life, and often forgotten.” Personally speaking, I have often found that the attitude in which I face the mountains in my life always has a direct and profound bearing on just how long “the mountain” may remain in my life.
If I, or anyone for that matter, continues to define their identity based upon their sexuality (homosexual), it implies the possibility of one’s behavior or sexual orientation can never be minimized or changed. In other words, how we label ourselves reveals what is of prime importance in our life. There is an absolute finality about labeling oneself. It implies the matter is closed and that a final decision has been reached.
How I remember to this day, when I was just a little guy, those that would constantly encourage me to play a variety of sports that I really didn’t want to play but did because “that is what little boys did.” That sense of reality coupled with the disappointment and down right hurt and shame of generally being the last to be picked for “the team,” caused me to make a decision (a vow) that I was never going to play “those stupid games” again.
Now, I realize just how my attitude and decision (which really wasn’t based in truth it was just a perception on my part), catapulted me down a path that led to years of struggling with self-worth and acceptance. The incredible irony regarding sport activity was that I was pretty dog-gone good at a number of sports.
Oh, the inner traps (vows) that causes such heartache, pain and sometimes years of disillusionment and despair. It took me a very long time to realize that I was most definitely a “guy” that just happened to have different interests, gifts and talents that didn’t match the abilities, gifts and talents of others. No gender confusion, just specific gifts God had granted me and placed within me to ultimately honor and glorify Him.
Embracing an inner vow, belief and proclamation of, “I am gay and will always be gay,” can most definitely set the shape of our entire being and character. It is entirely possible for the entire structure of a person’s personality to be built around one inner vow. Now hear this! There is always much, much more to a person that just their sexuality! However, the owning of one’s identity being based upon, “I’m gay!” can and often does shape the individuals personality for life.
The inner vow of seeing oneself as “always homosexual” must be addressed and ultimately broken. If not broken, the strong possibility exists that the individual will fall to relying upon the power of their flesh to lead the Christian life, to be good, righteous and holy. Freedom, true freedom comes by faith as well recognizing that an inner vow just may have placed us in a position of defeat and not victory.
To this day, I thank God I did not become a Christian to leave homosexuality. I became a Christian because Jesus just made sense. Heaven knows, where I came from and what I was doing made absolutely no sense whatsoever.
Today, I continue to find that God will take me as far as I am willing to go. The path of healing from same-sex attraction comes about only through a genuine and intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. The addiction and bondage to homosexuality can be broken. I say “can be” because Jesus has given us free will. The essential first step is wanting Christ and all that He offers.
Indeed, each and every faithful follower of Christ Jesus must obey the truth in order to be purified and ultimately made whole. The wonderful and glorious promises of God remain and shall forever be that there is an end to homosexual desire if we yield to God’s truth and not the opinion of man.
Every Christian has been given the God-given right to cancel any vow made in the past or present. Begin, today, by seeing yourself as God sees you. The only remedy for any lie you may have embraced or bought into is to confront it with truth. His truth.
Pastor Phillip Lee
His Way Out Ministries
Member of Restored Hope Network
“If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at the moment attacking, the I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christ. Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is tested.” Martin Luther