I know what it's like to lead a song service and put down the mic, only to indulge in homosexual acts hours after the conclusion of a worship service. I know what it's like to be bogged down with shame—maintaining a closeted, secret life with no intentions of reaching out for help because of the fear of being condemned by others in the church. I know what it's like to want to do right, but wrong keeps knocking on the door. But I also know what's it's like to be transformed by the power of God's Spirit. Yes, I know what it's like to experience total victory over homosexuality and pornography.
People continually ask me for advice for overcoming sexual immorality, mostly in terms of homosexuality. In my initial article "What This Pastor Told a Homosexual Man Who Wanted to Leave His Church," I suggested that grace through faith (Eph. 2:8) was the gateway to freedom. You can view my initial article here. In addition to trusting and believing God for freedom, I do believe there are certain safeguards that must be in place to guard against sexual immorality, but no method or formula outweighs the power behind intimacy with Jesus.
I had a dream recently about a guy whom I have not spoken to in quite a while. In the dream, he was making sexual advances towards me. When I woke up that morning, I just went about my daily routine. Didn't really think much about the dream. Several hours into the day, I received a text notification on my phone. If you're thinking ahead, you already know who it was—it was the guy in the dream. He was informing me that he would be coming to Texas in the next two weeks and wanted to hang out. I simply didn't respond to the text because I knew its true purpose, and I was not interested in entertaining the schemes of the enemy.
When you become intimate with God, you become engulfed by His nature, so much so that temptation is likened to an ant that manages to crawl on your body, and you just gently wipe it off with hardly any effort because you have no desire for it. Basically, when tempted, I didn't have to pray tongues and war in the heavenlies because my relationship with Father God had become priority. I was too busy being in an intimate relationship with God. I was too busy abiding in Him: "Remain in Me, as I also remain in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it remains in the vine, neither can you, unless you remain in Me" (John 15:4).
Friends, the fruit you're searching for, the fruits of righteousness that you have been crying out for, the deliverance that you have been seeking after, awaits you at the place of abiding. You must make your relationship with Jesus a priority and continue therein, day by day. Commune with Him, pray to Him, meditate on the Word and, most importantly, worship Him—for there is nothing that the Lord will withhold from a worshipper.
Dictionary.com defines "abide" in several ways, but there is one definition that resonates with me the most: to endure, sustain or withstand without yielding or submitting. Some may call my response to the text an act of avoidance, and that may be true to a certain extent. However, the power force behind my avoidance or my ability to withstand without yielding or submitting was a direct result of intimacy. Thanks to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 15:57).
Deon Howard is a young man who is extremely passionate about the plans and purposes of God. You can follow Deon as he follows Christ on Facebook. Deon's Periscope handle is @KingzKid
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