Archive for April, 2012

Two Wrongs Equal right?

Posted by on April 24, 2012  |  No Comments

When you feel slighted, the natural response is to retaliate. Everyone wants their pound of flesh. It’s difficult to consider yourself the object of unfair treatment. Culturally we are set up to get even, or at the very least; set the record straight without much consideration of the cost, either monetarily or emotionally.

The majority of my life has been exactly that. Emotional.  When God won my soul back to Him, He provided me with sensual victory that I didn’t know was possible. He has kept me sexually pure. But let’s not forget that the evil one moves about like a roaring lion ready to devour. With the focus off of one problem, He just moves down the food chain taps into another human weakness, seeking to make redemption on any level a joke.

In our fast food society and right now approach on everything, we sometimes fail to see our part in striving to living in the shadow of our Creator. We deserve fair treatment right? In actuality we don’t deserve anything. There is no good in us but only that which comes from God. Even the non believer’s good is not his own.

The world is full of injustice. It doesn’t matter whether you live in the world or live inside the padded walls of Christianity. Things are just not always going to be fair.

Having lived in the world for so very long, my natural tendency upon my return to Christ, was that there would be great rejoicing and many a hungry ear for what should and can be done regarding reaching out to homosexuals.  We were alienated, rejected, ridiculed, scorned, bullied, made fun of, and the list goes on. So I am due some respect right?

Well actually, because of my early and continued being offended, it made me stubborn and self-righteous. I began to equate my sin as not being any worse that someone else. Jesus had to start somewhere, and thankfully He started with my obvious sin; homosexuality.  At least it became obvious to me.

But in my conversion, I began to experience treatment less than expected. And as a result, a dose of bitterness would work its way in and incorporate itself into the story of my return.  Now … God has delivered more than a couple hints to me about chewing on a pound of flesh that does not belong to me.

I saw it as my duty to expose what I considered less than accommodating Christian behavior.  This happens a lot today in modern society. Take for example running mates in the political scene. The mudslinging is enough to make you not want to vote at all.

By pointing out wrong after wrong doing, no one is openly declared as the victor of purity.

“Come to me to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. “  Matthew 11: 28-30

It’s pretty clear in this verse what I am being instructed to do with my burdens and the attitude I should have while I’m going about it.   This is not about an eye for an eye. It’s not about evening the score. It’s not about justifying one sin over another, because we are all sinners and in need of the same healing that God offers regarding any sin.

The offenses must be given to Jesus. It is only He who can provide peace, joy and healing.

Instead of pointing out the wrong of someone, wouldn’t it just simply be wiser to point out the right way to meet controversy or conflict?    It might be noteworthy to describe a circumstance of reference. But not in way that is going to end up throwing someone under the bus.

As I walk with God, I am learning tough and valuable lessons. Just because something wasn’t done right, it doesn’t mean that it must be brought up over and over again.  By stating goals and making examples of approaching issues that bring about positive results, listeners are not burdened with unnecessary negativity.

It doesn’t change what happened to me. But it more effectively prevents mishaps from repeating themselves by providing solutions.  Jesus has a solution for every problem.  The healing comes in refusing to be offended and claiming God’s promises, while directing all those we encounter to Him even in the face of adversity.

I pray for continued patience and learning though humility.  Self is our biggest enemy.

Filed Under: Wayne's Blog

Dear Jesus…Please make me straight

Posted by on April 23, 2012  |  No Comments

How many men and women are dead because of prayer they prayed asking God to make them straight? In their earnestness wouldn’t He have provided such an orientation if it were crucial to their relationship with Him?  Many have taken their lives because they never experienced heterosexual desires.

I have noticed a resurgence in a focus on changing the sensual desires of those who God has redeemed from same-sex attraction, to that of developing sensual desires for the opposite sex.

It appears that many psychologists, theologians, and well-meaning well adjusted heterosexuals are trying to put a Godly emphasis on heterosexual relations.   They seem to ascertain that they know God’s will for anyone who experiences or has experienced same-sex attractions, temptations, or inclinations.

Where in God’s divine guidance to us does He mandate that a true believer will marry? Where does He emphasize sensual heterosexual relations as being the final test of our healing and victory in Him?

More importantly, do you see all married individuals having a consecrated relationship with Jesus that rivals the comparison of that of a single person who is abiding in Christ and submitting their will to Him continuously?

Jesus did not marry. Paul did not marry. Elijah did not marry. John the Baptist did not marry. If it were vital that every man marry, certainly examples by these men would have been a platform.

1 Corinthians 7:8 “To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to remain single as I am.”  Paul is even suggesting it wise to be unmarried.

In both Mark and Matthew we are told that there will not be marriage in Heaven and that we will be like the angels.

I have taken particular note of scholars, psychologists and some heterosexual Christians, to place an expectation of one who was once gay, to become straight.  Do you see how in this expectation there is no sharing or reflecting of the love of Jesus, but more of a self-righteous checklist approach to what will bring you into favor with God?

I believe it sickens Christ to watch an almost pharisaical approach to that which supposedly brings God glory. Jesus wants our hearts. He wants our dependency upon Him and to watch us grow in Him by trusting Him in all things. Seek ye first the kingdom of Heaven and all these things will be added unto you. Isn’t that what He tells us?  In our total surrender to Him, won’t He be the one to show us what His will is… rather than someone who thinks they know what His will for us is?

“Straight?”  Yeah!  I believe God wants us all to be straight.  Honest and forthright! Telling Him everything that is on our minds and how we need His guiding light in our lives. Confessing to Him those things that we may have indulged in that removes our focus from Him.  Surrendering to Him.

The reparative therapy that we all need of is no further than in the Word of God. He cleanses us from all unrighteousness. Being married or having attractions for someone of the opposite sex is not some sanctification imparted to us for having accomplished what others have.  Jesus wants to know me personally. He wants me to rely on Him for all my needs. Does He want me to have a wife? And if not a wife, does He at least want me to have sexual desires for a wife?  Who can know that other than God?

If my life is completely in His care and I am in a right relationship with Him, He will supply me all my needs. If that includes a wife, I trust that He will direct me to that special individual complete with sensual desire. But simply forcing myself to accommodate a social norm is not going to enhance my relationship with Jesus.

It has been said many times… and I will say it again; “The opposite of homosexuality is not heterosexuality, but holiness.”

In some ways it even seems odd to try and accomplish something that we are not even going to partake in in Heaven.

We will be tempted by the evil one until the return of our Creator. When I gave my life to Christ, my temptations did not magically disappear.  I give them to Jesus. He has kept me sexually pure in Him from the very day I surrendered my life to Him. I am not going to buy into the lie that victory is not mine unless my temptations are no longer present.  Temptation is continuous reminder of how much I need Jesus.

Each day, night and every moment I remember, I call upon Him and the Holy Spirit to purify my mind.  Before Him, I had a long history of poor choices. They left scars. The scars remind me that I need Jesus. Replacing an old desire with a new one, doesn’t mean I won’t be tempted in a new way. I still need Jesus.

If you were gay and today you are a “New Creation” in Jesus, you have victory. The old is gone. You are no longer gay, and you are most likely not straight. You have a new orientation. The one He has always wanted you to have. Today you are oriented to Jesus and the cross where He paid for your sins with His blood. Remain in Him and claim freedom over the enemy.  Romans 8:1 says that now there is no condemnation for those who are in Him. Be straight with God. Tell Him everything, and give Him everything. He will never let you down. That is the “straight” I aim to be.

Filed Under: Wayne's Blog

Belonging

Posted by on April 20, 2012  |  No Comments

With barely the breath of life in Him, He was sought by an earthly king determined to kill all the first born boys in an effort to eliminate Him from existence. His dedication to truth and the love of His Father, separated Him from others who were caught up in the distractions and earthly concerns. He was tempted. He was ridiculed. He had purpose!

Before He returned to His Father, He suffered at the hands of men. Even in His gentleness, kindness and love, He was rejected.

He never seemed to belong. (to the earth) He was about His Father’s business.

It is a sense of belonging that gives us purpose. It is the quality of that purpose we would do well to consider.

For many years I sought to belong. I wanted to be wanted and needed. More than anything I wanted to stop being ridiculed. However, even though there was much pain and social discord in my developmental years and well into adulthood, God preserved me for a much clearer purpose I might not otherwise have recognized.

Each life is different and yet so very important to Him. If in tune with Him, we can hear His call much sooner and earlier in life by never leaving His side. So many things can distract us from the plans of our heavenly father if we are not paying close attention. Today many parents recognize how distracting the world is and have taken the opportunity to home school their children and train them under God’s guidance in the way they should go.

When God draws back to Him those who have wandered, there seems to be an acute awareness of how deceptive every day life can be without Jesus. The simplest of things are set under the influence of Satan, to distract us from recognizing our purpose under God. And over the years, even those raised in Christian homes and church environments can become complacent and fail to recognize their purpose which can only be revealed in a dedicated intimate relationship with Jesus.

The wrong focus can take our gaze off of Him. If you don’t have the same views and observations as another Christian you can risk not being able to sense your purpose. If, for example you have been redeemed from homosexuality and  you sense that it’s all about trying to be “straight,” you will likely lose your focus on Jesus and lose sight of the purpose God has given you.

Each of us wants to belong. We are created as social beings. Fellowship is encouraged and guidance is given in God’s Word. All of it with a focus on purpose. When we let self interfere with the plan of God; often by following our feelings, we lose our sense of purpose.  As the distractions and deterrents  develop, it becomes more difficult to decipher God’s plan, and often a different… “self gospel”  begins to develop.  One example of this is in the development of same-sex relationships taking on a new cultural norm.

Since God’s people failed to nurture, love and pray over those who have suffered same-sex attraction, they slipped further and further away from their purpose under God and any sense of belonging.  When this happens for a long enough period of time, there becomes a certain unity in numbers by association. And under that development, change is sought. Change that is motivated by the pain of rejection and the strong desires of the sinful nature. Given the numbers of those affected and the depth of the pain of their struggles, sympathizers begin to come on board. Soon “their” lives seem perfectly normal and even justified due to their experience, to live differently than how God intended. They contend that He will understand and there will be no condemnation for that which was once clearly sin.

Belonging… There is so much to be said about our sense of belonging. Who do we belong to? How do we help someone recognize who they belong to? How do we personally reflect the love of the One they belong to? Are we ambassadors for our Father? Do we know and nurture God’s family? Do we call upon the power that is available to every believer to deliver that sense of belonging and define our purpose?

From early in life a child can be trained to seek intimacy with his/her Creator. By encouraging a constant abiding and dependence in Jesus, a strength is developed. If we would teach children that their heavenly Father is most important above all associations, what a changed world it would be.  We belong to Him. There is no sin He cannot conquer! In Him all things are possible. All things that keep us in a right relationship with Him. That doesn’t always include marriage or relationships that we want. Seek Christ’s will rather than self will.

What’s our agenda? Is it part of His agenda? Have we prayerfully sought His guidance or are we praying about our desires rather than His?

Where do we belong? Who do we belong to?

“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.”  1 Peter 2:9

Filed Under: Wayne's Blog

Separation Anxiety

Posted by on April 14, 2012  |  No Comments

I frequently write with the topic of gays/homosexuality and relationships with Jesus. When God reached me and delivered me from the clutches of Satan He also made it continuously clear that my departure and separation from Him for so many years was not unlike that of others suffering from any sin sick condition. It has been that realization that has kept the parallels alive in the ministry God has so generously given me.

There is great pain when we are separated in life or because of death from someone we love, admire and care for so much. We often have difficulty in relating to that which we cannot see. But with Jesus, this is meant to be a faith and trust experience. By acknowledging truth we are tested in our belief and trust of that which we cannot see. When you are not with your father, mother, husband or wife, or anyone you have built a relationship with… your love does not waver. You crave to be reunited. You can’t wait to rejoice in the moment of coming together.

There are many sad and painful separations that we experience in our short time on this earth. Many are permanent, but not all need be.

Jesus our loving Father has sought to orchestrate our lives. But He does nor force! Seeking the true and healing relationship that He wants us to have with Him has to be our choice. Yet His love for us endures forever. His promises are beyond that of any earthly capability. How could anyone turn Him down? Why would we not even seek to be ever cautious about something that we are not completely sure if I am seeking to do His will to please and bring honor to Him?

What pain He must endure for those who refuse His truth. Precious lives who are fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of their Creator distance themselves because of the arrogance and pride of self. The very trait that resulted in Lucifer’s dismissal from the King of the universe. How can it be that we don’t become wise as a result of such arrogance and pride from one who was once in the very presence of God?  How is it that the trick of deception is not so pure as to drive us to the feet of Jesus in submission and the turning over of self?

I have been contemplating another form of separation among God’s very own people who are struggling to represent original love. It is not simply a knowledge of truth that constitutes the glue that is to hold us together. God created us to be relational. Relational in our dedication to Him and to each other. And the key element of necessity in both is humility. We can’t share what we don’t have. And we don’t get it by reading from author after author who is making declarations as an authority. Unless we physically and mentally immerse ourselves into “rescue efforts,” we will never be part of the rejoicing that our Savior so wants us to experience.

Just as we hate to be parted from our immediate loved ones, God wants us to hate being separated from those who have are victims and prisoners of deception. We have got to get our heads out of books and modes of intelligence and practically apply the knowledge God has lovingly imparted to us. Healing does not take place at an arms distance.  It doesn’t take place if you sit in an office making decision after decision about how knowledge and truth should be distributed in hopes of a miracle conversion.  A hands off approach is another tool of deception.  Jesus walked among those who were considered scum and looked upon them with love and compassion. He lived the gospel. He didn’t hide it from them. He made it available through living the truth with the loving application of it. He walked the walk and talked the talk. And in the process He stopped taking note and having mercy on those considered the most insignificant.

He was not ashamed of the gospel. He boldly proclaimed it as He lived it. Whether it be churches, universities, high schools or any other institution of knowledge, it is all meaningless without the physical and heartfelt application of it.

I believe God is trying to position us so that in the observation of our own pride about what we know… we will begin to recognize what He is asking us to do with the knowledge He has imparted to us. Live it! Experience it! Apply it!  Then you will see souls being reaped for the kingdom of God.

Christian author Ellen White has written that the reason that Christians don’t suffer persecution today, is because we are hard pressed to notice them as being distinguishable from the rest of society.  People who are the subjects of the injustices of this world are hungry for a tangible, real and loving offer of hope that won’t disappoint them. How are they ever going to know about it if the people who have it are sitting in a church pew, a church office, a university office or any other separating partition that leaves them alone in the dark with the very pain that Jesus came and died to save them from?

This is the crux of the passion of the ministry God has laid on me. He wants to take us home. And I believe He wants to do it soon. But when I look at the faces of some who claim to know Him, I often don’t see Jesus. I take them to prayer and lift them up. We can’t intellectualize our way into the kingdom. We must first become as little children. Our hearts have to be opened and we have got to find the warm and fuzzy and connect it to the value of the truth He has freely given us.

It is my prayer that each of us … regardless of societal position… will learn how to practically teach and live the advice of

Ephesians 6:10-18

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.  Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

Prayers and blessings be upon God’s Children

Filed Under: Wayne's Blog