Probably the hardest thing for me, as someone who has experienced a drastic life transformation, is properly communicating my passion for those around me who I see making a decision to allow God to change them from the inside out. Inherently, I want to help others speed up their process. My heart breaks to see people who are taking similar walks as mine with the same God yet no transformation is taking place. If you are someone who has decided to allow God to change you from the inside out in the area of homosexuality and/or same sex attraction and you are not seeing results similar to the ones I have experienced, I want to encourage you to make a shift in your pursuit.
It is perfectly okay to stop and evaluate where your life is going by the decisions you make and the beliefs you carry. When the Apollo spacecraft went up into space, there had to be course corrections made every ten minutes. In order words, they had to recalibrate their system to stay on the right path. The journey to the moon was made in a zigzag. When the spacecraft eventually landed, it just barely made it within a 500-mile designated landing zone by a few feet. Yet the whole flight was successful. Some times in our life we have to make course corrections because this life is a long journey. Our lives could easily get off course not because of intent but over time we might lose focus or allow a complacent belief to settle in our hearts. So I want to share with you a few “course corrections” that I have learned in my journey. Read these carefully and apply them if needed for every decision determines your destiny. Where are you going to end up in a year, five years, or at the end of your life journey with the decisions you are making today?
1. Live a lifestyle of Holiness
If God has taking the time to pull you out of darkness and into His marvelous light, I believe the best response is to stay in the light. Think about the moment(s) where God collided with your life and everything changed. Did you get up from that place and begin a life that resembles change? Or Did you get up from that place and only allow the change made in your heart to stay in your heart?
Jesus returned to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish holy days. Inside the city, near the Sheep Gate, was the pool of Bethesda, with five covered porches. Crowds of sick people—blind, lame, or paralyzed—lay on the porches. One of the men lying there had been sick for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him and knew he had been ill for a long time, he asked him, “Would you like to get well?”
“I can’t, sir,” the sick man said, “for I have no one to put me into the pool when the water bubbles up. Someone else always gets there ahead of me.” Jesus told him, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk!” Instantly, the man was healed! He rolled up his sleeping mat and began walking! But this miracle happened on the Sabbath, so the Jewish leaders objected. They said to the man who was cured, “You can’t work on the Sabbath! The law doesn’t allow you to carry that sleeping mat!” But he replied, “The man who healed me told me, ‘Pick up your mat and walk.’”
“Who said such a thing as that?” they demanded. The man didn’t know, for Jesus had disappeared into the crowd. But afterward Jesus found him in the Temple and told him, “Now you are well; so stop sinning, or something even worse may happen to you.” Then the man went and told the Jewish leaders that it was Jesus who had healed him. (John 5:1-15)
In John chapter 5, Jesus was talking to a man who was paralyzed for most of his life. He saw that the man desired to be healed. The paralytic man sat on his mat year after year watching other people walk into their destiny of wholeness and holiness. Yet this man, stayed where he was for no one would help him until Jesus came and changed his life forever. Jesus only spoke to this man three times. The last time he spoke to him was in the place of worship. This man had been made whole and he was in the place of worship pursue the one who transformed his. Little did he know, God was in the business of transforming not transformed. Jesus told him to pursue holiness because he had received wholeness.
It is not enough for us to only worship the Father for what He has done. Through a heart of pursuit, we must allow our wholeness to cultivate a life of holiness. For a whole person who lives a life of holiness will experience the transforming ways of God rather than only a transformed way of God.
I was shocked when I read the last part of what Jesus said, “or something worse may happen to you.” Be careful not to read the statements of Jesus with a mindset of religion. Jesus was not saying that God would cause something to happen to this man. Our God is God the Father not the God Father. If Jesus was to say this statement to us (and He is), this statement would be about our ultimate destiny. Our walk with God is not just our walk with God. Behind the scenes, God has combined our past with our future to orchestrate a present that will impact those around us. It was an honor for me to sit in front of a lesbian, tell her my story the one in “Straight Outta LGBT”, and to hear her response. She called me a liar. She couldn’t believe that I was gay before she met me. My past collided with my future and impacted her life in my present. What if I would have never allowed my wholeness to cultivate holiness in my life from the inside out? What if my outer demeanor did not match my story. Would she have called me a liar in a dishonorable way? Could she believe that I was straight after hearing my story and meeting the Zachary of today?
2. Follow Jesus daily.
“Now just as you have accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow Him. Let your roots grow down into Him and let your lives be built on Him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught and you will overflow with thankfulness. (Colossians 2:6)
The one thing I absolutely love about having a relationship with Jesus is the fact that I have a relationship with Jesus. Our relationship, like any other relationship, is a daily effort. There are times in my relationship with Bayleigh where both of our wills clash and a compromise has to form or a boundary has to be built. The same goes for my relationship with Jesus. I daily get the privilege to discover that my will and His will for my life clash. Relationship clashes are not entirely bad, for a clash is where intimacy is birthed. So follow Jesus daily and you will find out some things in your life, as did I, clash with the purpose of God on your life. Do not fret, for what He has laid behind your realtionship’s compromises or boundaries are better than what you are settling for without Him.
3. Come out
“I will live in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they will be my people. Therefore, come out from among unbelievers, and separate yourselves from them, says the Lord. Don’t touch their filthy things, and I will welcome you. And I will be your Father, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” (2 Corinthians 6:16-18)
The hardest part of living a life of holiness and daily following Jesus was the coming out part. When I came out of the closet as a homosexual my one fear was acceptance from those around me. Similar to that experience, when I made the decision to come out of coming out I was stricken with fear that my friends and classmates wouldn’t accept me. Allow me to explain, at this point in my life I was no longer a homosexual yet I was struggling with same sex attraction. My outer appearance or rather my demeanor did not translate that I had been set free. I dressed and performed in a way that seemed natural to me yet it wasn’t supernaturally driven. I’ve heard it said before, “Taking Israel out of Egypt was easy, but the problem was taking Egypt out of Israel.” That is exactly what was happening for me. God had pulled me out of darkness and into His marvelous light yet some darkness was still inside of me. Insecurity was still living on the inside, Fear of man was still there, and Godly masculinity had no part in my life. For the longest time I had a struggle with stepping into complete freedom of same sex attraction because my motives were wrong. Jesus showed me that to be motivated by acceptance of others is a fancy way to say, “I am fearful of man’s opinions.” A shift did not happen until I shifted my motive. As stated in 2 Corinthians 6, God gave me a promise of intimacy and that promise is what motivated me to come out. It wasn’t hard for me to change who I spent my time with because it would mean I could have more intimate time with Jesus. It wasn’t hard for me to change the way that I dressed and acted because I was given the opportunity to be clothe with righteousness, resembling the character of God. So I came out. I separated myself from the world and to God. I stop associating with unholy lifestyles. I did not do it to make my school, classmates, housemates, or pastors happy. I did it because I had a promise and I believed His dream.
Look at your promises.
What Egypt can keep you from coming out of darkness and going into light?