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church, faith, freedom, Friends, God, social issues

How Jesus Frees Captives

So, I believe it was my Junior year at Eastern Michigan University.  I had made friends with a guy named Matt* (this story is real, but the names are not) who was in my Choir class.  My friendship with Matt started in an interesting way.  I did not know him, but one day the Lord gave me a prophetic word for him.  I shared it, it was true, and he was stunned.  Basically, I had “read his mail”.  He had been brought up Christian, but here in his first year at the University, he had decided to finally live his homosexuality “out”, after hiding and sneaking around for many years.  I sought to share God’s love with Him, and encouraged him to seek the Lord for freedom.  He was torn and didn’t really seem ready to give up the gay lifestyle.  One evening, he introduced me to his boyfriend, Dan*.  It was an awkward encounter.  Dan was extremely quiet, and I had the impression that he didn’t like me at all, perhaps that he was even mad at me, for trying to influence Matt this way.  The meeting was brief (I felt uncomfortable and left). 

 
The next day, I found a LONG email in my inbox from Dan.   

 

I was shocked as I read, “I see God in you, and I want that. I don’t want this life.”  He poured out his heart and soul to me — someone he barely knew!  God had brought that encounter to his life.  Dan also was torn.  He knew homosexuality was wrong, but didn’t think that he could change it.  As I reached out to Dan, he began seeking to know God, and asking God to fill the deep needs in his soul, where brokenness was leading him to sin.  He broke off the relationship with Matt.  We spent many hours talking and praying together.
 
And, guess what?  God set Dan free!!  Completely!!  He was able to walk in holiness and not be ashamed of himself before God.  A few years later, Dan got married.  Today he is a Pastor at a large church in St. Louis, and has three beautiful kids.  He is happy and restored.  Change is possible.  I’m blessed that I got to be a part of God’s healing work in his life, and we are still in touch as friends today. 
 
But, it’s important to understand that the answer for those who struggle with homosexuality is not heterosexuality, it’s really HOLINESS.  It’s about coming into union with the One who can make them into His perfect image.  In our efforts to reach out to those who may be in this lifestyle, we want to point them to Jesus, not try to “make them” heterosexual.  Heterosexuality can be just as sinful, if a person is acting out and trying to fill unmet needs in unholy ways.  Jesus is the goal.  He will restore the person to wholeness in EVERY area, and sexual orientation is only ONE area that needs healing.  The goal is healing, not just behavior modification.  Does that make sense?
 
So, I stated in my message that I believe that the Church should be the BEST place for a struggler to find healing and that we really have ALL that is needed to see someone find freedom.  What do you think is needed?  Well, according to those that have left the gay life and come to freedom in Christ, THEY say what they most needed was:
 
1.  Loving Community:  To be embraced and loved, even in their sinful state.  Healthy friendships with those who know Jesus is one of the most healing things that can be shared.
2.  Honesty:  To not feel that they have to be perfect or pretend that everything’s ok.  They also need to be able to share what they are going through without being treated as “gross”.  And, they need us to not change our standards (God’s Word) about what is right.
3.  Prayer and Accountability:  Don’t we all need this? 
 
As you look at that list, it really applies to what ANY of us need and what ALL of us SHOULD offer to each other and anyone that comes into our lives!  Anyone can do this!  Again, perhaps part of our “failure” to reach the gay community is our failure to love and find healing in OUR OWN struggles?!  If we can begin to love, be honest, get accountable, and pray each other to freedom, perhaps then the Lord will grace us to bring freedom to the captives outside the church whom we so easily judge and/or cast aside as “impossible”.         

 

I know it works.  I’ve seen it.  Jesus loves to heal!

Jesus took this as his job description:
 
Isaiah 61:1
The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners,
 
And, His Spirit is now in US!
 

-Jessie    

 
If you interested more in this particular topic, visit Exodus Ministries at www.exodus.to
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About Jessie

Lover of God. Husband. Dad. Director of the Furnace at Michigan State University.

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