8) Walk with God. It is vital that you develop and maintain a relationship with God through communion with Him in prayer and Bible study. He is the power Source for your victorious life, and plugging in is essential. As your Creator, He has self-less love for you and the power to re-create you into His own image. Daily devotion time, making that connection with Him, is of utmost importance, for in no other way can you really get to know and appreciate Him and tap into His strength. “Pray without ceasing.” “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (1 Thessalonians 5:17; 2 Timothy 2:15)
This was the secret of success for Daniel, of whom there is no recorded sin in the Bible, though we know that “all [including Daniel] have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23) Evidently, Daniel was an overcomer, living the victorious life as one who had been made whole. What was his practice in this respect?
“Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime. (Daniel 6:10)
Apparently, Daniel spent as much time and frequency in communing with God, his power Source, feeding himself spiritually, as he spent in feeding himself physically.
Enoch is another example of one who maintained victory through a close connection with his power Source. “And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him. (Genesis 5:24)
You, too, can have what Enoch had. You, too, can have Christ as your constant companion. Enoch walked with God, and when assaulted by the enemy with temptation, he could talk with Him about it. He made God his confidant and counselor, maintaining a close relationship with Him.
While trusting in your heavenly Father for the help you may need, He will not leave you. God has a heaven full of blessings that He wants to bestow upon you, if you are earnestly seeking for that help which only He can give. It was in looking by faith to Jesus, in asking Him in prayer, in believing that every word spoken by God would be verified, that Enoch walked with God. He kept close by the side of God, obeying His every word. Christ was his companion, and He longs to be yours.
9) Protect your environment. Removing myself from the path of temptation and guarding well the avenues to my soul was a very important step for me, and I highly recommend this step to you. I chose to obey Jesus’ call, to come out from the world, and began separating myself from every unclean thought and unholy practice. This gave me a great boost towards deliverance and freedom.
So, do not place yourself in the path of temptation. Be careful what you watch, what you read, what you behold, what you hear. Give Satan no advantage over you. “Whatsoever things are true, …honest, …just, whatsoever things are pure, …lovely, …of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. (Philippians 4:8)
And when Satan plants those impure thoughts and desires into your heart, (and he will…!), Paul bids you take every thought captive, …bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:5) Use your power of choice to change the subject.” God will help you do this, if you choose.
“Submit [yourself] therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (James 4:7)
10) Personalize Scripture. Another very helpful tool for me was to insert myself into the context of Scripture, especially into the exceeding great and precious promises of God’s word. (Example: Isaiah 53 & 2 Corinthians 5:17,18)
Consider this paraphrase of Isaiah 53: “As I in my homosexuality was despised and rejected by society, even so, and because of me, Jesus was despised and rejected of men; As I sorrowed and grieved over losing my children because of my bondage to sin, even so Jesus was a man of sorrows, and acquainted with my personal grief: and, not appreciating his empathy and sympathy, I hid as it were my face from him; I turned my back to him and walked away, blaming Him for every consequence of my own bad choices. But, and nonetheless, as a willing substitute for me, he was really the one despised, and I never realized it.
“Surely he has borne my griefs, and carried my sorrows: yet I did not appreciate his being stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted for the sake of my falling into the sin of homosexuality.
“But he was wounded for my transgressions of the seventh commandment of His law, he was bruised for the sake of my lifestyle of sin: the somewhat peace of mind I experienced by giving up the battle resulted in reproach upon him; and, looking to the cross, realizing the infinite self-less love for me that put him there, beholding his bruised and bleeding body in my place, all this has brought healing to me, reconciliation toward him. For, how could anyone not respond to that incomprehensible totally self-less love manifested towards me even while I have maintained my rebellion against him?!
“All of us, not just the homosexual, but all of us like sheep have gone astray in one way or another; we have turned every one to his own way. We are all naturally self-centered; and the Lord has laid on Jesus the iniquities of every one of us.
“He was oppressed as some of us are, and for our sakes; and he was afflicted as some of us are, and for our sakes; yet he opened not his mouth in complaint, but endured willingly anticipating the joy of seeing me respond and return to him in love and appreciation. He is brought as an innocent, obedient, compliant lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth in self-defense, or seeking self-preservation.
“He shall see the results someday of the travail, the anguish, the heartache, the suffering and misery of his soul, and shall be satisfied, as I finally respond with a heart appreciation that will cause me to live no longer for self-exaltation, self-ambition, and self-gratification. No! But to honor him, to exalt him, to gratify his self-less will for the good of his creation. Through a knowledge and understanding of what he has done for all mankind, including homosexuals, many shall be brought back into a right relationship with their Creator; that means many homosexuals shall also be brought back into a right relationship with their Creator; for he shall bear their iniquities, the wages of which is the second, or eternal, death.
“He was numbered with the transgressors, with the likes of you and me, homosexual sinners and heterosexual sinners, yet he did not participate in our sinful behavior. He did, however, bare the sin of every one of us, and made intercession, arbitration, intervention for us the disobedient ones.
Another one: “Therefore if any man be in Christ…. ‘Any man must include me the homosexual! Then I, too, am a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And now all things are of God, now according to his will and pleasure, not my own; God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:18 paraphrased & personalized)
11) Act upon God’s Word. There is power in the word of God.
“And God said, Let there be light: and there was light… (Genesis 1:3)
“By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth. For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast. (Psalms 33:6,9)
“The just shall live by faith we are told. (Hebrews 10:38) Faith in what? Faith in the Word, Jesus Christ.
When Jesus spoke to Mary, saying “Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more, she was enabled by faith in His word. (John 8:11)
The apostle Paul has left us these encouraging words, “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape that ye may be able to bear it. (1 Corinthians 10:13)
He also wrote, “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us. (Jude 24)
Again, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. (Philippians 4:13)
And the words of John, …Greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. (1 John 4:4)
God says, “Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; Learn to do well…” (Isaiah 1:16,17)
And the words of Jesus, “Wilt thou be made whole? …Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.” [To the impotent man at the pool of Bethesda] (John 5:6,14)
All God’s biddings, dear reader, are enablings. So, take these and other promises of the Word and act upon them.
12) Be grateful. In His infinite wisdom and love for the well-being of humanity, God gave us the gift of marriage. It is not a sin to live without that gift. But all sexual relationships — whether heterosexual or homosexual — outside of this Biblical union are simply sin. I made a decided choice to accept with gratitude that which God has offered, to not press against the fence for the “green grass” on the other side. I chose to be content living within the parameters our loving God has established for my life, liberty, and pursuit of true happiness. That meant avoiding all sexual relations, behavior, and activity outside of the Biblical union between a husband and a wife.
Accept with gratitude that which God has offered you. In the Garden of Eden, God gave man to eat of the Tree of Life, not the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Their ingratitude cost them untold sorrow and woe.
God also created an helpmeet for Adam: a woman. In His infinite wisdom and love for the well-being of man, He gave him the gift of a woman to be by his side. There was no alternative. So, did God make a mistake? Did He not know what He was doing? Did He somehow not understand the needs of the man He Himself had just created?
I have children. While on one of my recent engagements overseas I went to great lengths to find what I thought would be a very special surprise for them. I searched in each country I visited for what I had in mind. Finally, I found them. Arriving home at the airport, I had them sticking out the top of my backpack.
“What’s that? they both asked excitedly.
“I have a surprise for you, I said.
“What is it? they jumped up and down in excitement.
I took down my backpack and gave them each a doll. Little Heidi I gave to my little girl, and little Peter I gave to my little boy. I just knew they would both love these little treasures, because they both played house and “mommy and daddy with little dolls all the time.
“I don’t want it! whispered my little boy.
“Why not? I asked in surprise. “You are always wanting to play with your sister’s little dolls, so I brought you one of your very own!
“I don’t like it he answered. “I like hers.
“Well, I’m sorry, I said with great disappointment. “Heidi is for your sister.
My special gift purchased at such “great price… and effort was spurned by my little boy. I had to put it away in the attic, hoping that someday he would appreciate it and want it. (I love him still; he is very dear and precious to me.)
Likewise, God went to great lengths to provide for man the wonderful gift of woman. Some of us have turned up our noses at this gift, and, instead, burn in our lust for one another. Does God stop loving us? No! Of course not. Does he give us the gift that he has created for someone else, that he has provided for the woman?
No! It is with great disappointment that he sees man covet for himself what was meant by the Creator to be for the woman.
It is not a sin to do without the gift. But it is wrong for us men to covet what He has forbidden, that which was meant for the woman. It is equally wrong for the woman to lust and covet after another woman whom God has created for man.
“In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. 1 Thessalonians 5:18)
“Rejoice in the Lord alway (Philippians 4:4)
Be grateful for what God has provided for your best interest. Father truly knows best…!
13) TEMPTATION IS NOT SIN! A very significant understanding came to me through beholding the life of Christ. Temptation is not sin. Otherwise, would not Jesus have been the chiefest of sinners rather than Paul? After all, He “was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” (Hebrews 4:14) Neither is orientation determined by temptation, by someone else’s, (Satan’s), intentions upon one’s life and destiny. Orientation is the direction one is heading, the direction one chooses for himself and then pursues. To suggest otherwise is to justify sin and to denigrate the gift of God in the power of choice.
14) The Secret to Overcoming: The secret to overcoming the sin of homosexuality, or any other besetting sin, is in helping someone else to overcome his sin. This premise is based upon the heavenly principle for happiness: self-less-ness. True happiness comes in helping someone else be happy: Jesus first, Others second, Yourself last creates the acronym for JOY.< p>Joseph, far from home in the land of his captivity, never forgot this principle. “How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God? he cried as he fled from the temptation of Potiphar’s wife. (Genesis 39:9) His concern was not “fear of punishment, nor was it “hope of reward.” No; for his faithfulness in obedience resulted in disgrace and confinement to the dungeon. Joseph’s concern was a total self-less interest in the will and pleasure and honor of his God; regardless of consequences. He also loved and honored his master Potiphar, putting his interests above his own.
All the heavenly host is focused upon the happiness and well-being of others – yours, for example…! All creation, except for sinful man, lives for the benefit of the rest of creation.
The apostle John gave us the concise formula for victory as follows: “And they overcame him [the accuser of our brethren] by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony… (Revelation 12:11)
From the day of my deliverance and victory, I have lived to share the story of “the blood of the Lamb, the incomprehensible demonstration of the love of God for the likes of me that would constrain Him to give His only begotten Son that I, even I the homosexual, might have eternal life with Him! What a price! What love He has for me!
“By the word of my testimony to others, this love and power of God is kept ever fresh in my own heart and mind. By beholding Him, I am daily changed and sustained in victory. In the face of such beautiful love, I can, like Joseph, respond to the tempter, “How then can I do this great wickedness and sin against my God?
Jesus told the cleansed Gadarene demoniac, “Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee. (Mark 5:19) He has enjoined me to do the same, and through this testimony and I have.
And I pass along to you, dear reader, this same commission. Now, why don’t you also “Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee?
When you hear someone say about you, or about someone else, “That kind can never change…!” Do not believe it, nor accept it. For: You, Too, Can Be Made Whole!
Benediction: “Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well-pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.