Tucked away in Philippians chapter four is a verse replete with truth for gays and all other sinners. Yes, we’re all in the same boat; the ground is level at the foot of the cross AND the deck of the boat.
At the most personal level, the Apostle Paul knew God’s provision through shipwreck, snakebite, stoning and his notorious thorn in the flesh. He was warming a prison cell when he wrote “And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” (verse 19)
The fact is, all of us are sinners who have been in, or are currently in, a sinking boat called sin. Face the inevitable if you have not done so. You are a passenger on a spiritual Titanic that is sinking. That’s the bad news; the good news is a Lifeguard is nearby who rescues and forgives.
First, we see in this verse the Certainty of God’s Provision. Paul wrote that God shall supply. In Jesus’ sermon on the mount, He said “Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted”; “…the meek: for they shall inherit the earth”; “…those who hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled”; “…the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy”; and “…the pure in heart: for they shall see God.” (Matthew 5:4-8)
Our Heavenly Father is the ultimate promise keeper and when I recognized many years ago a distinct and un-chosen attraction to the same sex, I also recognized a need for help that was certain and sure. I found that certainty in the God who created me in His image. But I learned that His image in me had been marred by sin when, as Vance Havner used to say, “Adam and Eve ate us out of house and home.” (Genesis 3:6, 23, 24)
But even with God’s certain provision, I needed to know the Sufficiency of God’s Provision. Was this God sufficient to supply all my needs as Paul wrote?
My needs could have filled a google of legal pads. I needed wholeness, comfort, protection, purpose, strength, wisdom, joy, patience, forgiveness and the list could go on. One of my early-felt needs was to be loved–-which I had not found in homosexuality.
Indeed, God loves me. He loves me with an everlasting love, as Jeremiah 31:3 records, and “everlasting” was superior to the half dozen homosexual relationships I had had over a ten year period.
I learned that God’s provision was certain and sufficient, but was there a Surplus of God’s Provision? I mistakenly believed that my needs were so great as to deplete God’s supply in no time flat. I did not want to be gay, but did not know how not to be gay. Those of you who have never experienced same-sex attractions will, most likely, not understand the previous sentence. You may think “just don’t act out homosexually”, which is the argument of a moralist–and not bad advice. For years I followed that advice thinking “if that’s all I have to look forward to, this earthly life is going to be considerably less than what Jesus called ‘abundant’.” (John 10:10)
And yet the text said “And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Other translations say “glorious riches.” I had noted in Genesis that not only had God created Mankind, He created them “male and female.” He differentiated between the sexes. (Genesis 1:27) I thought “Maybe that means He wants me to become personally what He has created me to be biologically.”
I can not and neither can you exhaust God’s provision. Though the burning bush burned on, it did not burn out. (Exodus 3:2) The widow, whom Elijah commanded to make some banana bread, lived to learn she had a bottomless bottle of Canola oil. (1 Kings 17:16) The Israelites had a ready supply of French toast every morning when they did as God told them. (Exodus 16:35) Though Jesus started with five hoecakes and two wide-mouth bass to feed a multitude, He finished with twelve baskets of food—one basket for each of His twelve disciples. (Matthew 14:20) (OK–I took some liberties for humor’s sake)
When referring to the woman who emptied an entire jar of perfume on Jesus’ feet, at a cost of a year’s salary, Vance Havner called her act “Sanctified Extravagance.” (Luke 7:37-39)
By the way, have you ever noticed the Pharisee in whose house this extravagance took place? He thought to himself, “If (Jesus) were a prophet, he would know who is touching him…that she is a sinner.” Duh! You don’t have to be Karnac The Magnificent to know she was a sinner; one hundred percent of the world’s population are sinners.
Take every man, woman, boy and girl on the face of the earth. Pile all their needs into a heap–if it were possible. Point the all-knowing, all-powerful, all-you-name-it God at that heap and He will meet each need as the need arises.
The hymn says “For out of His infinite riches in Jesus, He giveth and giveth and giveth again.” Psalm 121:4 says God neither slumbers nor sleeps.
To know God never sleeps may be useful during a game of Trivial Pursuit, but a question remained unanswered. Has all this come down to behavior modification? I found this a divine dilemma.
But this verse had more to say. “And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”
Aha! Everything God has to offer me is found in Jesus Christ–-the Source of God’s Provision.
Colossians 1:19 reads that all God’s fullness dwells in Christ. Jesus Christ is the Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.
Mind you, Jesus is not a means to an end. For years I unknowingly used Jesus as such–-demanding that Jesus give me my “opposite sex attractions” until I realized, as Oswald Chambers so poignantly wrote, “Getting in a right relationship with God is the easiest thing in the world–-unless it’s not God you want, but only what he gives.” Ouch!
John Eldridge writes “Healing does not happen apart from intimacy with Jesus.” So there you have it. My Lifeguard, Jesus, loved me so much He died on the cross for my sins.
You want to know a secret? I still find myself attracted to men occasionally. To those of you with the puzzled looks on your faces, let me say it a different way. I have found that God’s provision is not necessarily eradicating the same-sex attractions; His ways, which are not my ways, include strengthening the shoulder that bears the burden. And as Dr. S. M. Lockridge used to say, “That’s my King! ”
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