Why Surrender…self denial really?

One of the most common statements I hear from my gay identified friends; is why would you deny who you really are?  I don’t understand why you need to surrender your sexuality.  Why would you walk away from your friends and community, who understand and accept you?

These are questions I have asked myself and  wrestled with over the last three and half years.  Here is the answer I reached; as a follower of Jesus it is what He asks us to do “deny ourselves”!  Here are some key Bible verses that support this idea.

23 Jesus said to everyone, “All who want to come after me must say no to themselves, take up their cross daily, and follow me.”  Luke 9:23 Common English Bible

“If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me. 24 If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. 25 And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but are yourself lost or destroyed?”   Luke 9:23-24 New Living Translation

“Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to saving yourself, your true self. What good would it do to get everything you want and lose you, the real you? What could you ever trade your soul for?”  Mark 8:34-37 The Message

Surrender and self denial are hard concepts to embrace and even more challenging to live out.  I have concluded that G_d places this expectation upon us not because He is sadistic in nature, but because He has only the best intentions for our lives.  He ultimately only seeks our highest good, desiring only what is best for our lives.  Surrender has become an aspect of my life as I come into agreement with God and His word. (the Bible)

Secondly, what God asks me to surrender or deny myself of be very different than it is for anyone else.   I have willing chosen to surrender my sexuality to the leadership of Jesus Christ, not because it felt good or was easy; but because it was the central aspect of my life that I derived all meaning and pleasure from.  In essence my sexuality was my god.  I lived for over four decades believing that being a lesbian was part of my genetic make-up.  Again I still believe that sexuality is comprised of one’s environment, choices, perceptions, and genetics.

So what does surrendering my sexuality look like?

1.) I have accepted the Biblical definition of sexuality.  This means, that God created men and women to be together in a marriage relationship.  This is God’s optimal best for both men and women concerning sexual relationships.

2.) I have come to realize that we live in a fallen broken world where every aspect of our humanity has been affected by sin.  I think it is possible that even our genetic make-up can be altered by the effects of sin.  Therefore we suffer with the effects of relational brokenness in every aspect of our lives.

3.) I have had to embrace the Bible as wholly true or not at all.  It is not to be taken out of context nor is a pick and chose free for all.  If this is so then I am obliged to live my life in accordance with it even if this means denying myself what I think to be right or natural.

4.)  I must embraced the fact that any sexual relationship outside of the marriage relationship is a sin. (knowing the right thing to do and not doing it) This would include Same Sex Relationships and heterosexual relationships outside of marriage.  Let me clarify that at the time of this writing my attractions have not changed and I am not seeking to be in  a martial relationship at this time.  I willingly  to choose a life of celibacy and sexual purity.

Yes, I know there are a multitude of self proclaimed Christians that do not live in accordance with this aspect of God’s word; but then again this isn’t about them.  It is about my personal relationship with Jesus Christ and holding myself accountable to His word.  What others do is between Him and them.

It is never painless to deny ourselves; most often it is extremely costly.  For me I have choose to deny myself the right to same sex relationships and to live in sexual purity, because  I want to honor God with my life.  In exchange I have gained internal peace that is not explainable.  I know who God is and found Him to be good and just and worthy of whatever He asks of my life.

Not an easy message to share in a world that revolves around self pleasure and personal fulfillment.  I think it comes down to this; will I live for myself and what pleases me or will I follow Jesus not matter what the personal cost is.

In conclusion, I do know God honors our choice to follow Him or not He does not force his will upon us.

 What will your choice be?

My journey grows richer with each passing day.  I welcome your thoughts and questions.

~ by hopespassage on October 9, 2012.

13 Responses to “Why Surrender…self denial really?”

  1. Thank you for helping others to understand your journey, not only so that we can rejoice with you, but that we may learn how to minister to others with the some of the same questions. Another thing that I just thought of, is that when you surrendered to Him, it was after He had already chosen you before the foundation of the earth! Doesn’t that just send chills up your back? He loved you and me that much, we didn’t deserve it and do not totally understand the complexity of it all. But, like I told my VBF last night in Portland on the phone, “I know whom I have believed”. Mary

    • Mary thanks for your thoughts, it is not easy to understand when Jesus s not a part of your life. I suppose for those observers it appears to be insanity t deny ones sexuality. Without Jesus and the relationship I now have with Him I would not even desire to resolve these things.

      • I can, of course, understand that…mentally. And from my own life, I know when we slide away from the creator, we can find all the excuses in the word to sin, ignore, and run. But I have found that the further you run, the harder it is to come back and it hurts so much. I do not wish that pain on anyone. Of course, I am also talking of believers that have turned away (and do not even see it sometimes). Satan is the ‘Great Deceiver”, huh? We are in the battle together, Hope.

  2. Hope your writing from the heart shows your love for Jesus and His deep work of transformation. I wanted to heal from my ssa and have been on this walk for 17 years on the 18th of this month, yet the lust/sexual desire is still there; but I have a new set of values, self opinion, identity, memories and much more that He has put deep within my inner self my brain that even though I still have that attraction I would not trade Him for silver or gold or a moments fleeting affair or at that a one night stand. I too have come to the place of celibacy and I have chosen not to ever marry and I do not need to either to be “whole” for I except myself in the sum total of who I am today and I have accepted myself as a Christian, a woman of God not as a lesbian. He loves me truely loves me and it is a love a deep love I have never know and I dont want to be without Him or His life of His ways or His wisdom or His vast understanding or Him overshadowing and working the rest of my days out. Never ever give Him up Hope no matter what the flesh or the devil screams at you, it is worth the journey worth every bit of pain all the ups and downs all the tricks of the devil to be brought to the place of “Just Give Me Jesus” love you Hope, love Kath

    • Thanks so much for your remarks Kathleen, I do find encouragement in the fact that others have resolved their faith and sexuality. Thanks for blazing the trail ahead of me!

  3. I have been struggling this for such a long time..I go back and forth. I wish that I could overcome and be strong and stay on the right path.

  4. Thanks but my ex is on that forum. I appreciate your posts here, they have been encouraging

    • Kate, couldn’t you change your name on your profile? Well, at least you can read what is on there even if you do not post. I have heard that Calvary Chapel has good resources for persons desiring it. Like many other struggles that Christians deal with, I am so thankful for those who step out to counsel and minister to those in pain. In my first marriage, no one could see my emotional abuse inside…it was only validated by a few close friends. There is so much more info and compassion out there just in the last ten years. In my mother’s day, there was nothing!

  5. Kate

    I can see how that would be a conflict, Have you looked on the Exodus International website for other resources? another great program you might consider is Living Water program produced by Desert Streams ministries.


    I will be praying for you

  6. I stumbled across your blog and read a few of your posts and felt compelled to comment. I am so sorry you had so many decades of torment and emptiness. That’s not a good way for anyone to live.

    My wife and I have been together for 15+ years and things just keep getting better and better. I never knew true self-love or really understood Gods deepest love for us until her.

    I have always identified as a lesbian but now she is the only person who holds my physical attraction. There is no “struggle” either with sexual identity or spiritual “rightness” with God for me. He has affirmed time and time again that she was created for me and me for her.

    My wish for everyone is to find this complete and full love not only with ones self but with a loving lasting partner.

    I am whole and at peace with myself.
    I am whole and at peace with my soulmate.
    I am whole and at peace with God.

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