Thoughts of a messed up Christian saved by God's grace

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Anthony's testimony

 I recently did a 5-part blog series on what it is like to deal with same-sex attractions, and want to get some others to write about it. I hit up my young friend, Anthony Martin to do it first, and he agreed to do so, though it came out shorter than he intended. He said he can talk better than writing, and I would say that is true after the 20 minute phone call we had the other day........ just kidding. :)

  I met Anthony two years ago at the Hope For Wholeness Conference. He has doven head first into serving Jesus, and has a depth of Christian maturity and a desire to serve God that many of we adults don't have. Though he is only 19 years old, he is a great encouragment and inspiration to me.

 The world, and sadly too many Christians and churches, say to embrace your same-sex attractions and you can still be a Christian. Anthony is one of many who has walked away from his desires and attractions to live for God, not his attractions.

 Since he was so short, I also included something he previously wrote for me about unanswered prayers. Thanks, Anthony.

Beautiful Surrender

    For most of my life I've personally dealt with same-sex attraction. As early as 5 years old I remember experiencing same-sex attraction. I was raised by Christian parents so I knew that homosexuality was a sin. However I didn't know why I was struggling with homosexuality.

    At the age of 15 I gave my life to Christ, and I knew I had to surrender my sexuality to God. And this where it gets messy! Even though I knew what the Bible said about homosexuality it was still very difficult for me to surrender a part of me that felt so normal. I felt like I was giving up the very essence of who I was. I wanted to follow God, but I also wanted a loving relationship with a man. I didn't want to grow old alone. These are the struggles that gay Christians face daily. The torn desire of following God faithfully and wanting to be in a relationship with the same sex. I was not "magically" cured of homosexual desires when I became a Christian. In fact 4 years later I'm still very much same-sex attracted.

    So you might ask me why I continue to follow Jesus even though I still have these desires? It's because I believe that NO human relationship can ever replace a personal relationship with our Heavenly Father. When you have tasted the supernatural love of Jesus, you are never the same person. You begin to realize that you are more than your sexuality. You realize that there is more to life than marriage and sex. Nothing can replace knowing that you are loved fully by the Creator of the universe. I realized that it wasn't worth giving up a relationship with God, only for a human relationship that wouldn't last forever. Jesus said if we want to follow Him we need to die to ourselves daily. This applies to ALL Christians, not just those who are same-sex attracted. So I have come to the conclusion that surrender to Jesus is freeing and beautiful. Because when you surrender your life to Him, you become who you were truly meant to be all along

 I had originally asked for volunteers to blog about what the church needs. My friend Anthony volunteered, then asked if he could blog about unanswered prayers instead. Since prayer has been on my heart and mind a lot lately, I was more than OK with it. Thanks Antony for helping me out, Mark

From Anthony:

For a while I've felt the Holy Spirit asking me to share on how to continue trusting the Father when our prayers are unanswered. Recently my friend Mark asked if someone would be willing to contribute by writing an article for his blog. I saw this as a great opportunity to share what the Holy Spirit has been laying on my heart! Thank you Mark for allowing me to share my thoughts on your blog!

     We all have unanswered prayers. Many people have been praying for weeks, months, and even years on certain things that have not been answered in the way they desire. For me it's been same-sex attraction. I am a born again believer who loves Christ, but I'm still tempted to lust after the same gender. I became a born again believer when I was 15 and I am now almost 19. I have prayed more times than I can count that God would deliver me completely from homosexual temptations. To this very day I've not seen this prayer answered. Many other believers can relate to this dilemma of having unanswered prayers. It can frustrate and discourage a follower of Christ. So how can we continue to trust God when we are confronted with the reality that we have unanswered prayers?

   The answer is embracing the truth of God's Word and His Promises rather than depending on our feelings and emotions. Feelings and emotions change, but God's Promises are eternal! Jeremiah 29:11 tells us that God's plan for us is to prosper and to have a future and hope! Even when our prayers are going unanswered and it seems God isn't there, we can embrace this verse and realize His plan for us is a future and hope, not disaster! Another truth of Scripture is Romans 8:28 which states, "And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them." I find this so encouraging that even though I have prayers that are not getting answered, I can trust that He is working everything together for my good because I am His child and He loves me! Romans 8:37 states that overwhelming victory is ours through Christ because He loves us! We need to latch onto this promise when we are discouraged and frustrated that our prayers are not getting answered. His Truth has the power to break into any hopeless situation! Ephesians 3:20 says that God in His power can accomplish infinitely more than we can ask or think! So we need to continue trusting Him and believing in faith that He will answer our prayers that are according to His plan! And even if we never see certain prayers answered, we need not lose hope and be discouraged! If He gave up His own Son for us, how much more is He willing to give us as His children!

   My prayer is that no matter how many unanswered prayers you have, you would not give up on the One who loves you so much! He has the power to change anyone and anything for His Glory! And I am confident that He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it!

For His Glory,
Anthony Martin

1 comment:

  1. thank you for sharing your heart and life story!