|Posted by firstname.lastname@example.org on July 4, 2016 at 4:40 PM|
In my battle with same sex attraction for over 40 years, there were some mental patters that formed early on and became strongholds that later even as a Christian, I could not break. No matter how hard I tried I could not get free from specific strongholds in my mind and heart.
I would describe a stronghold as a pattern withinthat becomes a strong fortress that one needs to demolish to be set free from its power over your mind, heart and soul.
For me, those strongholds were covetousness, idolatry and an adulterous heart. All of which are listed in 1 Corinthians 6-9:11 as conditions that will keep us from inheriting the Kingdom of Heaven. I read the scripture many times and knew I struggled but I didn't know how to get free. It got more worrisome for me and I kept praying for God to help me overcome these strongholds... but nothing happened.
Until I entered a spiritual storm. I went through a season of intense fear, anxiety and panic and I could not get out of that dark cloud. It was intense and the confusion I felt within it kept me from seeing clearly or even hearing God clearly. I was caught in this darkness and confusion and I didn't understand why or where it came from. It was a difficult season but I now understand that God uses these seasons of trouble in our lives to purify us, cleanse us and deliver us. Something happend within that storm in my life that at the end of it all, I was set free from the above strongholds.
While I was in this dark, confusing storm, all I knew to do was cling to Jesus. I read my Bible, prayed often and worshiped almost constantly. To be honest, I am still picking the pieces up from that storm and making sense of it all but I know this, Jesus set me free on the other side of that storm.
I never thought I would be free from covetous ways, from an adulterous heart or idolatry that seemed to be seared into my mind and heart. But He did it. He set me free.
No more are the covetous desires of wanting. The idolatry of seeing what I wanted in my mind and heart and almost worshiping those images of my ungodly desires. No more the guilt of struggling with an adulterous heart and its poison to my marriage. I no longer want what is forbidden because Jesus has given me something greater, FREEDOM from chains and mental prisons. The guilt, shame and self condemnation of those ways are gone. Who the son sets free IS free indeed.
Jesus says that when I became a believer in Him, He set me free from the old self. I was baptised into Christ and He has made me a new creation. I never want to be the old self again with those old longings that only brought me frustration and discontent days.
God is good. Now that He has done the work of freeing me, I work with the Holy Spirit to stay free. We must be aware that we have an enemy that wants to enslave us again to our old ways. I am careful about what my eyes see, what my mind thinks about and what I listen to. We must guard our heart and mind in Jesus Christ. I think a lot about the things of heaven and His word. I think about Jesus and anything that is pleasing to Him.
I cannot tell you how huge it has been for me that those strongholds are broken and are no longer chains that drag me deeper into same sex attraction. My struggle with same sex attraction has gone from something to nothing because of the work of God in my life. God loves us, is so faithful and has a plan of victory for each believer. Let's persevere. Never let Jesus go, no matter how fierce the storm or battle gets there is hope on the other side.