I was raised in a Christian home. I was always the kid who never got into trouble, who the parents in the neighborhood trusted. I accepted Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior at Kidder Creek Orchard Camp in Northern California when I was seven. From then on, I had the indwelling Holy Spirit, but as I got older, there were dark presences that came after my life.
From the time I was a young boy, I remember having a pull toward same sex attraction. I wasn't sexually abused or traumatized in some way to bring this about, but all the same, I was aware of it from a young age.
These desires intensified as I hit puberty, and around that time, my parents got divorced. I don't mention this to blame them for anything in any way, as God has redeemed our relationships with each other and I have a wonderful mother and a wonderful father. All the same, I didn't know how to deal with my family being split apart. I was angry, confused, and going through all the changes that come with puberty- that combination wasn't the most helpful thing in the world!
Around 13, I got my first laptop and quickly discovered pornography. It started small as quick searches and glances, then grew into a monster over time. This was a way that I could experience the homosexual lifestyle from a distance. I wasn't comfortable going full out and living a homosexual lifestyle because, remember, I was actually saved, and had the conviction of Holy Spirit inside of me, but this was a way that I could indulge and explore.
Pretty soon, I was completely addictied to pornography and the addiction followed me throughout high school and college. Along with the addiction came more instense homosexual desires, and a huge portion of shame that became the core of my identity; I hated myself. I knew what I was doing was wrong, but felt completely helpless to stop. Time wore on, the addiction, shame, and self hatred continued on full force.
Because I wasn't seriously consuming the word of God and letting it inform my identity, I believed that I was how I felt about myself. I believed I was my addiction. I wasn't renewing my mind in Christ, so I was living out of the carnal mind of the flesh in every way.
I wanted to be free too, but I started giving up hope that it was possible for me. Be that as it may, I tried every human measure possible to get freedom from my addiction. I had accountability partners, met with my pastor for prayer, went to counseling, read the books guys are supposed to read about sex, got a flip phone, and didn't have internet in my apartment. Despite every measure I put in place, I still couldn't find freedom. Finally, the day came when I gave up...
Throughout my battle, I had started believing so many lies of the enemy. I believed that God was refusing to heal me for some reason, that He didn't want to speak to me, and that He was disgusted with me as His creation. I believed that I would never change and be a slave no matter what and that there was no way out. Finally, one night when I was 24, I leveled with God- I cried out to Him: "Look! I don't know where you are! I don't know how to be free, and I can't hear your voice! I feel totally alone and like you don't want me or love me. If this is what being a Christian is- this isn't what I signed up for. There has to be more! I NEED YOU TO SPEAK TO ME TONIGHT! I'm gonna get on my floor, and write in this journal and I need you to speak to me, God!"
I got down on my bedroom floor and started feverishly free-writing in my journal when suddenly a line came out of my pen and onto the paper which read:
"I KNEW WHAT YOU'D STRUGGLE WITH WHEN I CREATED YOU, AND I DECIDED TO CREATE YOU ANYWAY."
I stared at my paper knowing that I had not written that sentence, and that it was a direct word from the Lord. It was the exact word I needed to hear in that moment. Suddenly, I felt this warm, liquid love of Jesus pouring over me and I wept in His presence becasue I had never felt so loved in my entire life. I didn't have language for it yet, but that was the moment when the Lord Himself baptized me in His Holy Spirit.
For the next three months I was ON FIRE for Jesus. My addiction stopped, I didn't give the time of day to my temptations, and I was prophecying to people and enjoying the Lord like never before. That moment in my room is when Jesus truly became first in my life.
Now, because I didn't understand what had happened to me- that Jesus had freed my life and baptized me in the Spirit, I ended up eventually walking back into those gross old sins. Before I had knowledge of what had taken place that night, I just assumed it was a cool "Jesus high". This plunged me into a really difficult season of three years where I had too much experience of Holy Spirit to enjoy my sin, and too much sin to enjoy the Holy Spirit! I then was attacked night and day by a spirit of fear that I had lost my salvation and would never be accpetable to God.
THANKFULLY, the Lord in His goodness brought me out of those false things and fully delivered my life of addiciton through revelation of His word, prayer, community and disipleship. Temptations try to plague us, but like Jesus, we speak the word, declare the freedom of the Father over ourselves, and walk in the light! I'm now living free, in love with Jesus and seeking for more from Him always!
What He has done for one, He will do for another. Be encouraged today. No matter how dark or horrible the issue you're experiencing is- our God is THE SAVIOR. He is our great redeemer in the business of SAVING and REVIVING. Jesus WILL encounter you today. You are who HE says you are, not how you feel about yourself or a certain issue. He has declared in His word that if you are saved, then you are the righteousness of God IN Christ Jesus, seated with Him in heavenly places RIGHT NOW! If you'd like to talk or need prayer, or maybe don't know Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, and would like to- please send me a message through the message box on the contact page. Blessings to you today!