"FREEDOM" A word we throw around so loosely we have lost it's true meaning.
What do yo think of when you hear the word? I would bet that the first thing on your mind would be a question of context. If I tell you there is no underlying context or notion to my asking the question, it is then for you to discover the immediate place you see in your mind that causes the need for freedom. Perhaps you see a prison or an illness. Maybe you see a behavior you can't change and feel like it will never be different. Perhaps you are in constant fear of your life being unpleasing to God and though you have knowledge of his amazing love for you you can't get free of the fear because you can't change your life.
In all of the above, there is one constant theme (besides you), guilt and shame. Two sets of heavy chains binding your hands and feet. You have no power to call on your hands to create a way out. You call on your legs and feet to rush you away and find a place to either hide again or make a new attempt in freedom. The only problem in the new place is that you are still there and nothing has changed in your heart.
Your heart is heavy and your chest is tight with anxiety. Your eyes are on you and freedom becomes so heavy you feel the only option is to give in to the pain. You lay down in it because it just won't change no matter what you do.
Such a truth is absolutely correct. You can do nothing on your own to change you. Proof of this would be to ask you to change the color of your hair or the rhythm of your heartbeat. You cannot!
You can however, turn to the one who can. We know that Jesus is the creator and he alone can change you in every way...even the color of your hair and the rhythm of your heartbeat.
Jesus speaks in a powerful way about freedom. The bible tells us that, "For freedom Christ died" and in John 8:36 (our guiding verse) "For whom the Son sets free is FREE INDEED". Freedom is not a passive or simple attribute of God we can simply wrap ourselves in nor can we casually grab it and hope it "sticks"
Freedom is a process that is both immediate and permanent. How? It's as difficult as this simple truth...Trust in the Lord, call on him as your Savior and you will be set free". That's it! How hard can that be? As you know it's one of the hardest things you will do in your life. Giving up yourself and trusting God with everything you are or will be is just not in our character. After all, it was the tree of the knowledge of GOOD and evil Adam and Eve ate of in the garden. If we really had a handle on the knowledge of good, we would turn to God immediately and always without fail.
So where am I going. I've raised enough question and answer for one word so let me give you an answer you can hold onto and have confidence in the rest of your life.
Freedom is possible when you have a relationship with Jesus. Outside of him you may change some behavior outwardly but you will always yearn for more freedom. With Christ you will see a behavior change too. Your change will come from the heart not your head or emotions. Your head and emotions will follow your heart. That said, this is where it gets difficult and quite honestly a fearful place. Though fear has no place in Jesus which means no fear in you, we must learn how to be in the place of freedom from it. So now you have freedom from your issue while trying to stand in freedom from fear. Fear attaches itself to all our struggles..It is part of our fallen existence. Go back to the "knowledge of good" and you see it clearly.
Freedom in Jesus is a process of faith, trust and God's power. Your freedom is already complete. It was given before you asked it. It was delivered in power, grace and mystery. The power of God (not you), the grace Christ died to give us to live for him (not give permission to stay the same) and the mystery of how it all works and what it looks and feels like as you live out your daily life.
You see, if God revealed all about you to you at once it would explode you all over the yard. We cannot understand ourselves in such intimate detail all at once (like God) because you did not create you.
Freedom from same sex attraction looks for most like this...I don't want to be like this. Jesus take this from me. He doesn't immediately. I'm trapped and can't get out and I can't stop the attraction and/or sex. Jesus help me! Why don't you (God) make it stop? Jesus..."I have come to give you life and life more abundant." A promise on which you can stand and trust! You will see it though you can't see it now.
I know the desire to "make it all go away". I know the feeling of giving in and deciding that this is me and there's no way God would want me to get rid of it (SSA). This is a conclusion of loss, causing a sense of a lack of faith in ourselves (which is dead) which translates (in our heads) to a lack of faith in Jesus.
Freedom in Christ means, you can be in the same room (your head) and when the problem comes (even if constant) you confidently call on God to keep you steadfast in what he has done and continues to perfect in you.
Freedom doesn't necessarily mean you will never have another thought, feeling or tug to that which troubles you. Make no mistake however, you are not in a constant state of "recovery" like programs and people will tell you. Religion, in all its masks and garb is religion. "Religion" is powerless in your life and will never lead you into the freedom for which Jesus died on the Cross.
Finally, I tell you, "Do not trust your past, present or future thoughts and feelings." They are there to help you remember HE who brought you out of the chains that once held you. You will have memories and/or feelings but now you can call on your "new" memory and active response by God himself.
God will let you lay down in your problem if you so choose. Know this truth...HE WILL, through his Holy Spirit, pursue you with an unwavering love.
Don't give in and quit because it gets tough or the memories won't go away. Keep standing firm in Him and see the awesome power of your adoring Abba Father!
FREEDOM! It's a God thing:-)
John, who lived in the lifestyle for 30 years and returned to Christ full force, and Brandon, a 21 year old straight man also in love with the Lord Jesus. A team of two brought together by God to act as one. One gay one straight both in loving relationship with Christ.