Last night I watched a movie based loosely on the life of the Solomon of the bible, called “The Song”. I had spent the entire day prior to our 10:05 movie time celebrating my birthday with friends. The happy, go lucky, fun frenzy, birthday extravaganza ground to an abrupt halt roughly halfway through the movie.
Spoiler Alert. The main character a struggling singer marries the girl of his dreams, then writes a hit song and proceeds to let fame wreck his life. It should have been rated O for “O My Gosh This is so Frickin’ Depressing!” BUT…it was worth the watch. Here’s why. They might have been recreating the story of Solomon, but they were also writing the story of every one of us who has drifted away from God when we got enticed by “the world”.
My stomach was in knots the entire movie, but it wasn’t just because the movie was sad and frustrating at times. Deep in my heart, I knew that I, too, had been guilty of cheating on God with various “seductive temptresses” throughout my life. I was mad, because I had spent the entire day celebrating me and now God was asking me to focus my attention back on Him. How dare He, right?
I live a cleaner, healthier more Christ filled life now than I did 20 years ago when I was deep in the heart of the gay community, but even a little “rust” if gone unnoticed, can weaken the sturdiest “metal”. One conversation in the movie was especially convicting. The main character’s wife accuses him of loving his career more than his family. He starts rationalizing and gets defensive about how his career is good for everyone. How many times have I gone to bat for something that was a whole lotta me and very little God?
In recovery circles the term “self medicate” applies to methods we use to soothe our hurts and wounds on our own using drugs, sex, porn, food, etc.. This movie served as a wake up call for me. As a Christian and follower of God, I am called to surrender everything. That includes ways in which I self medicate. I have to admit this people. There are ways I still don’t believe that God will do what He says He will do in His word.
And that is this, God would provide OUR every need if we would step aside and let Him.
Instead, I build walls inside and around my heart and post no trespassing signs to Him. Yet, I will throw out the Red Carpet to people on occasion who don’t give a rodent’s rear end about me. One of the biggest heartaches in ministry is when a guy I have been ministering to suddenly meets the “perfect” guy. This leads them to change their mind about God and my testimony. Some are led back into sin by the promise of “the man of their dreams”. I used to get so mad at God when this would happen. ‘How could you let satan do this to these guys? Don’t you care about them? Don’t’ you care about my sanity? What about all the effort I have wasted?’ My heart wasn’t always in the most Christ surrendered places.
God has recently begun to change my perspective on the matter. It’s like He has posed the question to me, “Where does it hurt more? Your heart or your pride?” God hurts a million times worse than we do when one of His children says no to His plan for their lives. It grieves God when we choose to settle for sinful behavior rather than to rest in His presence. I know all too well, the seductive, convincing allure of homosexual desires. I also know that gay relationships led me away from God’s will for my life. “There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death.”- Proverbs 14:12.
As I sit and judge or nurse a broken heart because a guy I have been ministering to chooses another path, how much more does God hurt when I do the same thing to Him. Pornography and masturbation is one way we all say ‘no’ to God’s healing love. Food and finances run amuck are other ways we try to fill the void in our lives, while God waits for us to reach our body’s and our credit card’s limit. It’s often only then that He bring healing and restoration.
God desires to be in relationship with us. He desires for us to pursue the path of His will. His will is the only path that leads to life. Homosexuality is by no means the worst sin in the basket. All sin grieves the heart of God, but the bible describes sexual sin as a sinning against one’s own body.
Homosexuality to me, was a consistent and slow-burning, forest fire, daily claiming acre after acre of cardiac real estate.
Our pastor challenged us to be “Boldly Humble and Beautifully Messy”. That is what God called me to be when I started this blog. Today, I had a conversation with a friend, who is choosing to pursue God while simultaneously pursuing a relationship with another guy. That may screw with a lot of people’s theology. It does with mine. But…I know my friends heart. I have seen how anointed and gifted by God he is. However, one of his statements shifted my focus. As he shared his heart super openly, he also told me that he knows very clearly that I believe homosexuality is a sin. He politely asked me not to mention it again, because he was sure he would never forget. He asked if we could simply build a friendship and if I could let him work this next phase of his life out with God and not as the subject of my watchful eye. We ended our conversation with a prayer. Then I made a move that some may disagree with, but I felt led of the Holy Spirit to do. I asked my friend for forgiveness if I have tried to force Jesus on him as an ultimatum. I apologized for any moment that I had treated him as less than me or for any moment I had promoted the idea that I myself “have arrived”.
I truly know that my heart breaks for these guys, because I have experienced the hurt and pain of using things other than Jesus to heal my pain. I have been used, battered and maligned by people I thought I could trust with my heart. Although I believe that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. I also believe that if I choose something else simply because my trust muscle is broken, that Jesus Christ is big enough to forgive my sin, mend my wounds and set me on the proper path. satan has no new tricks. He tempts each one of us the same. Thank goodness, he doesn’t have exclusive rights to the script of our lives.
I love my gay friends with a love that only comes from walking a mile in their shoes and from having experienced the love of Christ when I was saying ‘Hell No Jesus’. I trust that God will answer my prayers for them; that each one of them will one day surrender their lives to Jesus. Until that day I will trust God with their lives the same way my father trusted God with mine. At the end of the day, I am learning to have greater faith in God’s sovereignty than satan’s liberal use of smoke and mirrors.
Phililppians 1:6 “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”