The Battle

“Waking the Dead” by John Eldridge has been a true inspiration to me.  It’s helped me focus my thoughts and feelings — my heart — towards a ministry to come.  He opens with the idea that we are all born into a war.  A battle between Satan and God for our souls, with us in the crossfire.  That in itself explains so much: it is not that God doesn’t come down and magically erase all your pain and give you loads of cash, although He certainly might.  No, it is the battle, the war, the fighting that makes us who we were meant to be.  God uses that pain and that struggle to shape us, define us, chip away at the marble of the flesh and get down to our hearts.  Our truest, deepest selves.

And wouldn’t you know it?  As soon as I make the commitment to start working towards a ministry helping other guys like myself, the battle intensified.

Thoughts and feelings that I haven’t had to deal with for YEARS are now suddenly popping up, and yes, it makes life difficult.  I don’t want to be one of those guys who dictates how others should live but can’t keep his own life in check.  Christians have had enough of those.  I don’t want to add to the burdens of the gospel.  Through this struggle again, the loneliness and the intense desires, I can see how and why this was allowed to happen — precisely to keep me from BEING one of those guys.  To soften and shape myself; to remind me that I do not go around preaching, but to love, listen, and point to Jesus.  Lather, rinse, repeat.

So your prayers for this struggle are appreciated.  I believe that until the happy day I die, I may never truly be free of the struggle.  If that’s what it takes to keep me honest and to keep me grounded in Christ, relying on him for my masculinity, my strength, my very self, then that’s okay.

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~ by WriterRand on September 6, 2006.

3 Responses to “The Battle”

  1. Though I don’t even know your name, I wanted to let you know, first and foremost, that I am praying for you. Your story resonates with me, and it is obvious that the Lord is working through you.

    Very few people can step out of themselves and acknowledge that the sovereign Lord has a purpose for their struggles. Praise Jesus that you’re clinging to Him through the storm. Just as you said, it is for His holy name that we are privliged to suffer; and, unless full deliverance glortifies Him more, we’ll remained dependent on our High Priest for grace to overcome our day-to-day attraction

    I spent the recent summer in Seattle, where I was blessed to attend Mars Hill. It was to my disappointment that they did not offer recovery groups during the three months I was around, however, I’m pleased to hear that you’re leading in a group this fall. An earlier entry mentioned frustration with the way the church is handling these groups — I would like to discuss that with you, if you’d contact me at the email address listed on this comment.

    Brother, count yourself dead to sin but alive in our Lord Jesus Christ. For we have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.

    Blessings,

    James

  2. Hello! You don’t know me, but I was hoping we might be able to chat sometime; I just visited Mars Hill last week, and though I suspect I won’t end up attending there, I’m really interested in ministering somehow to gays & lesbians… if you’d be willing to talk to me, I can tell my story & explain a little more. I’m just not quite sure where to start, and was hoping you could perhaps point me in the right direction. If that’s something you might consider, just drop me an email–I’ll be glad to come up to Seattle (I assume that’s where you are–I’m in S. King Co.). It sounds really contrived, asking you like this, since we’re essentially strangers… but my heart is in this ministry, and I’m just a little desperate to find out how to go about it.
    Grace & peace,
    Emily

  3. Not leading this fall, but learning to lead. To listen. To point to hope and restoration in Him. To remind them of the joy and the love as well as obedience.

    Yes, it’s very exciting.

    Emails to both of you later today.

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