Archive for June, 2012

Out Of Darkness – A plea to those I love

Posted by on June 30, 2012  |  No Comments

Have you ever been on a trail that forked as you were walking along enjoying the beauty of God’s great creations? Perhaps the trail even forked a second or third time. After you enjoyed the incredible sights, you began to make your way back, but somehow things looked differently coming from the other direction.  You continued on… convicted that you knew exactly where you were going, yet you kept getting further away from the safeness and security of where you had started. 

It started to get scary. You began to realize you were lost. And even those who don’t have an intimacy with God, suddenly find Him useful and call upon Him.

There are many things in life that we make our mind up about, often without counsel from God. And sometimes there are things we are just determined not to be wrong about. Homosexuality proved to be one of those things for me. I knew full well from all the studying I had done of the God’s Word, that nowhere has he sanctified, ordained, encouraged or condoned same-sex intimacy.  Not a soul has been able to produce God’s approval of homosexual behavior, yet many are adamant that God approves of their decision to follow their feelings and not God’s written Word.

Some are going to great lengths to explain away the “Thus saith the Lord.”  Matthew Vines has spent over an hour telling you “traditionally” we have thought.  In his YouTube video I did not count how many times he said that. But it was like it was a word directly out of the evil one’s month. To suggest that we infinite humans can rewrite God’s Word to match our feelings, and not accepting that God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. Nothing had changed except for the strong desires of those who want something to be acceptable that is not.

Just in my lifetime I have watched the progression of  “if it feels good, do it.”  Or “if it’s not hurting anyone, it’s fine.” This gradual progression has changed mind sets in people and somehow the damage of this thought process is becoming less recognizable and more common place and acceptable.  Always ending with a “God will understand.”  This thinking is the very thinking that cost Lucifer his place in heaven.

If you read through the Word of God, countless times you will find that where there is a “majority”  declaring something..  they have always been wrong.  Does that tell you something about our experience today? The majority are not choosing God’s way, but simply trying to find a way to accommodate self with an inclusion of God in the mere mention of His name. Not in living as He has declared.

Even in the strong resistance to His ways, He cries out for you. He tries to share with you that He lived a life in the midst of temptation just as we face… and did not give in. He then suffered the turning away of His own Father while He took our intended sins upon Him and was killed for declaring Himself as the prince of peace.  Doesn’t that reach deep into your heart and make you ache for Him? Don’t you want to fall in love with Him?

He knows you can’t live according to His plan without divine influence. That’s why His has provided grace and strength for you if you will call upon Him and invite Him to come in and live in you. It’s such a beautiful experience. He will never leave you nor forsake you. Just give Him all of you.

2 Peter 3:15 “Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him.”

More and more people are settling for self-truths and insinuating God’s approval. Most recently the film “Seventh Gay Adventists” insists that there is no other way than to accept how you feel naturally. But what the film doesn’t address is that we are all born with a fallen nature. We all have feelings that are unholy, but seemingly normal. This is the great deception from the enemy.  The church has failed miserably in reaching out to homosexuals. They have been in their own cloud of darkness which has prevented them from clearly identifying God’s love and mercy and set themselves up as superior to “worse” sins.  This is not a bartering chip for anyone. We can’t say “you commit those sins… so we can commit these sins.”  Once again, this is where the enemy would go to elaborate lengths to keep us from seeing that we are all level at the foot of the cross.

Dear sweet reader…. bow your head right now and invite Jesus to come into your life. Tell Him you have no idea what you are doing, but that you don’t want to live another moment without Him.  Ask Him to open doors and reveal Himself to you. Accept His truth and bask in His penetrating deep deep love for you.

All five of the partners in ‘Coming Out’ Ministries, experienced divine intervention.  Ron Woolsey, Virna and Lisa Santos, Mike Carducci and me… Wayne Blakely.  We didn’t know each other, but God redeemed us and then put us together by divine appointment. All of us can tell you stories of the proof of His plan for us and how He is blessing today.  “Traditionally” was developed by God. Tradition is the following and returning to His truth. His plan. His righteousness. If we live by our feelings, it’s easy to get settled into what comes naturally.  Traditionally “Coming Out” meant to be led out of darkness by Christ. 1 Peter 2:9 says that He called us out of darkness into His marvelous light. God has called us to being enlightened and led by Him to holiness.  Our lives are not our own. They belong to our creator and He is asking that we honor and recognize Him as master and King. Ruler of the universe. His gifts and rewards are immeasurable. But there is no need to generously waste them upon those who choose not to believe. 

You will be amazed at the blessings He has stored up for you. Let Him break your heart. Let Him humble you. Let Him show Himself to you and you will be amazed!  Put aside all expectations and let Him lead you according to His will.

God bless you… He loves you so much!

To schedule a seminar or find out more about ‘Coming Out’ Ministries,  write to me, Wayne Blakely  at knowgreaterlove@comast.net

Freedom belongs to you! Claim it!

 

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Straight Talk

Posted by on June 27, 2012  |  No Comments

In the past few weeks I’ve been coming in contact with a resurgence of what I thought had died out a bit a few years ago.  Am I redeemed if I don’t currently have sexual desires for the opposite sex? Do I need to be fixed before I come to the cross? Does having sexual desires for the opposite sex make me more acceptable to God?

It seems to me that the focus is once again slipping from keeping our eyes on Jesus and not measuring our brokenness and whether or not we are achieving what the world often expects. Does Jesus expect me to be straight, or does He merely want me to follow His plan for me as He reveals it to me.

One of the biggest barriers between the gay and living according to God’s Word is the heterosexual Christians insistence that they need to be straight before the eyes of God before they are accepted by Him. This is dangerous and off putting. We are all sinners with all kinds of temptations. Jesus tells us to seek first the kingdom of God and then all these things will be added unto you. How can a Christian brother or sister know that it is God’s will for me to marry?  How do you know that if God gave me opposite sex attraction by the course of a miracle, that I wouldn’t start chasing women all over the place?

Sexual attraction has no business being the compass for a relationship with Jesus.  Many heterosexuals see this as the fix. The cure. If we can just get the gay to muster some kind of sexual response to the opposite sex, they’ll be just like God wanted them to be. I think there are plenty of stories in the Bible that show that simply being heterosexual did not provide for a sanctified relationship with Jesus.

Jesus is our King, our healer, our therapist. I don’t need to go through someone else to be healed and changed and then considered presentable to Him. There is nothing I can do that will make myself good enough. It is in humility and brokenness that Jesus asks for my will and to be in charge of the plan He has for me.  I  simply must trust that if He wants me to be in a heterosexual relationship of intimacy, He will provide me with that individual and those feelings. That I a miracle for God… not for man.

I do believe there  is value in therapy. If, by the choice of the person who has suffered from homosexuality there is a desire to seek further knowledge about the contributing factors to their dysfunction, of course they should be able to pursue such an investigation. But this should not be expected or mandatory. And there are many many stories of individuals who sought reparative therapy, only to either return to the gay lifestyle or commit suicide because they simply could not make themselves meet the expectations.  This cannot be God’s design for us.

Only He is the great physician. Only He can heal all wounds. No where is there a safer place than in the arms of  Jesus. It is because He does not expect from me, but promises blessings to me by abiding in Him that I have a confidence, a trust and a faith that He will not let me down. Even in celibacy, I have experienced more joy and freedom than in the exploration of same-sex sex that left me with no promise except to want more.

Is it too much to live in celibacy in exchange for life eternal with Jesus?  I don’t think so. Am I white knuckling it? Absolutely not. I am growing in Him. I am experiencing all that He has promised. We will all be challenged until He returns. Day after day He makes it abundantly clear that in Him is where I am safe forevermore.

I love Jesus… and He certainly loves me!

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand.” Psalm 139: 13, 14, 17,18

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Lord Crucify Me

Posted by on June 16, 2012  |  No Comments

We arrive self focused.  Is it any wonder that for as long as we live we will have a hard time denying self.  Today our culture is concentrated on “me me me.”  I’m pretty sure that most of my life I have been surrounded by people who have concentrated on either things or positions that have been self-centered.

I used to think that if I could surround myself with lots of friends that would be the epitome of true happiness. In the social interaction there were all these affirmations about feeling good about myself. Basically self-glorification. Looking back I can’t seem to figure out why it took so long for me to recognize that Jesus wants and deserves my full attention.

How is it we get this idea in our heads about how much we deserve, need or require and fail to consider the desires of our Creator?

Yet patiently He waited.

I was raised with Jesus in our home. I grew up praying to do what is right. The distraction of social alienation had me seeking comfort and approval. I failed to recognize the effects of my fallen nature and that only added to the turmoil by focusing on self instead of looking to the example that Jesus had already provided us.

It was always about what I wanted … instead of what He wanted for me.

1 Peter 2:24 “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.”

Sin often starts so seemingly innocent. It’s as though a shadow passes in front of the light casting doubt and unfairness, causing us to be self absorbed. Like me, many carry on for years under this shadow before considering the obstruction and being humbled before the cross of Jesus.  But there is such hope. Because where Jesus has touched there may still be a softness and a yearning for light. Hope exists. Through the prayers of others, the Holy Spirit can begin to chip away at the doubt and begin to stimulate belief in the one who can dispel all darkness.

You don’t have to watch much in the way of national or world news to wonder how such horrendous acts can continue without the world coming to an end. But there are still people whose lives Jesus is winning every day. Through Him there is still this great hope.  By being bold with the gospel lives are still changing.  Praise God for such hope!

After living for what I wanted and felt most comfortable with for so many years, I sat and contemplated how it was not at all in accordance with His plan. I listened. I let Him break my heart.  He humbled me. There He was on that cross before me and I asked Him to crucify self. His light and amazing forgiveness shown over the blood He shed as payment that He made to be able to plead for me before His father. What amazing love!!

1 Peter 5: 6-7 “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. “

He is so amazing that when we recognize and agree to His all knowing authority and plan for us, He blesses us and provides us with all we need.  He bestows upon us more than we could ever have imagined as we trust in and glorify Him.

No price is too much to pay for what He promises to do on our behalf.

Righteous Indignation – Judgment – Forgiveness

Posted by on June 8, 2012  |  No Comments

 

Note to self. Read often and recognize the self application.

They harassed Him, made fun of Him, betrayed Him, ridiculed Him, beat Him, and then placed a crown of thorns on His head, nailed Him to a cross and hung Him there to die.  And what were His dying words?              “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”  What kind of love is that?

Over the past year I have been both victim and witness to individuals who are held at bay in their repentance… even a repentance where there was not fault associated.  But either way, have you noticed how we know about forgiveness and even preach it and teach it, yet cant’ practice it?  This is both sad and serious.

Have you ever been offended and perhaps hurt and known the right thing to do, as God’s Word instructs, is to forgive and move forward? But sometimes we think to ourselves….I’ll forgive eventually, but right now the person needs to be punished by my silence or by slighting them. Is that a teaching from God?

1 John 2:9 says  “Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister is still in the darkness.” Okay.. so you’re thinking… I don’t hate my brother or sister, they just need to learn a lesson.  When we come to the cross, is that how God sets the example for us to follow?

Ephesians 4:  “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

Uh oh… It’s look looking like there is room for righteous indignation here.  We let strife and disagreements create wedges that keep us from doing the work that God has commissioned to us.  How can we claim to be His servants and have Godly attitudes when we can’t forgive as He who taught us to forgive?  How can we hold onto a grudge and feel justified and sanctified at the same time?

In the course of my life I have made many errors and transgressions. Discord is self defeating. When I have become aware of wrong doing…and sometimes not even being the wrong doer, I have sought to bring harmony even when I was not living a “redeemed” life. And so it is painful as a child of God today that I see Christian friction. Hanging on to anger, pain, insult, even physical abuse, as though there is some safety or hidden healing in it.  But there is only deeper pain and offense.

Some, being aware of another’s sinful behavior, have held out and refused to forgive without holding some kind of “holier than thou” spiritual reign over the repentant transgressor. God must pity us in not accepting all that He tries to teach us.

Mark 11:25  “And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”   What healing and joy there is to be revealed  to all if we would follow the words of wisdom that God has generously provided.

God has provided me with immense victory which I can only glorify Him in. Yet as I walk with Him, I have wondered what my life would be like if I fell. I know God would hold out His loving arms to me and comfort and nurture me. Would  my Christian brothers and sisters who claim the “godly” life? Would they run to me or from me?  Would they warn others not to listen to me, because my sin nullified all the good that God had previously done and would continue to do for a repentant sinner?    How can we sit as judges?  Are you gazing into the sand as I am? Do you see what God is writing?  It’s humbling.  We’ve held adultery, homosexuality, thievery and a host of others in a sin hierarchy. Our pride, gossip, self-justification seem somehow to pale before the sins of others.  Is that how God sees them?

Forgiveness is a priceless gift that humbles us before the cross of Jesus. In forgiveness, pride is placed under foot. Healing becomes visible.  We look out across one another and see how every one of us  are sin filled before Christ. And because of His great gift of a righteous life where He bought the right to cover us with His blood, He then sees us as those He is ready to take home with Him.

We can’t look upon each other and see ourselves as more deserving. All sin is repulsive to God. Especially pride.

Look up at Jesus, give Him your judgment, your pride and your sense of being just a bit better than the one who has repulsed you or sinned against you. He wants you to live in His healing as well.

 

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