Hey brothers! A while back, I shared a post asking, “How badly do I want healing?”
I’ve been thinking about the journey toward wholeness. Now I ask myself another question.
Am I really finding healing? And if I am, how?
And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.
This verse from Revelation is so powerful. It spoke quite clearly to me early on, and I’ve called it up on nearly every occasion that I’ve shared my testimony with a friend!
Ultimately, the verse is about overcoming the accuser of the brethren, Satan. I know I’ve grown a lot while learning how to apply this verse to my own battle.
The first part is overcoming by the blood of the Lamb.
I remember lying flat on the floor of the bathroom over five years ago. Bawling my head out as I confessed the sins I had committed.
Dishonoring my dad, hating my job, being angry on a daily basis. I’d go to my room early, find horrible movies to watch online, and follow that up with porn, illicit web chats, personal ads, etc.
After falling asleep smeared in guilt and shame, I’d wake up a few hours later and repeat all the same things the next day.
As I poured out my heart to God, I was overwhelmed with the realization of how broken I was. Not only broken, but also with no power to clean up my act, in and of myself.
I acknowledged that even if I could simply stop doing those things, it wouldn’t be enough. The only remedy for the dark voids in my life was the blood of Christ!
I know in that moment that God was there, He heard me, and He accepted my plea for forgiveness on the basis of the blood of the Lamb.
The second part is overcoming by the word of our testimony.
Looking back I still can’t believe how quickly the Spirit impressed on me to share what had just happened.
I told my parents first. This was no small feat in itself. I would do that differently, I guess, if I could go back. I then went up to my room and started emailing the two guys I had been illicitly messaging just a few hours earlier.
This time with a different message.
My heart was overcome with genuine love for these guys. I knew they had voids in their hearts just like I had in mine. One guy pretty much quit responding immediately. The other guy acknowledged that he wanted to get right with God, too.
We actually met in person that evening. Not for sex, but to talk about our faith in God!
Several months later, I began telling childhood friends and brothers in my local church. Not just sharing my testimony with my salvation story but specifically my same-sex attraction. I know taking this step to tell your SSA story has cost some of you a lot of heartache.
Some of you have had to leave families, churches, and communities because you told your story.
That makes me angry! The church is made up of sinners made clean!
I think it’s ironic, but I really believe our stories may be better received by unbelievers than some churches.
Fortunately, my story is different. Most people have patiently heard me out and graciously extended loving support.
Whatever your case, I hope you continue finding courage with God’s grace to keep sharing your testimony.
I believe God will use it for His glory.
Thirdly, they loved not their lives unto the death.
This is hard for me. It speaks to the time needed to be an overcomer. It’s one thing to deny yourself and surrender something temporarily.
Fasting for a day is a sacrifice.
I’ve taken cold showers for weeks at a time.
But a lifetime — I really can’t fathom what life would be like as a 90-year-old single uncle. The deceiver would have me believe that life then will be awful. But the truth is: it could be amazing!
I hope and pray that it is. But I know it won’t be without many more trials.
It goes without saying. Overcoming the devil and his lies is a prerequisite for healing. And we will need to lay down our lives until our end to overcome him.
I pray for you, my brothers, that together we can continue to encourage each other. One day at a time.
Let’s keep trusting that His grace will be sufficient. And remember that on the other side is Home. I do believe then, and only then, we will be complete in every way, and our deepest cravings will finally be met in full.
2 Timothy 4:7-8 says:
I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.
Are you more likely to share your story of SSA and redemption with an unbeliever, or someone from your church? If you have shared your testimony with an unbeliever, what was their response?