Hebrews 4:15 (NAS): For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.
Matthew 16:24 (NAS): Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must DENY HIMSELF, and take up his cross and follow Me.
Romans 9:6-8 (NAS): For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
Homosexuality is a huge debate these days; should they marry, shouldn’t they marry? The problem is that we’re focused on the sin (flesh) which leads to condemnation instead of the God (Spirit) who brings freedom. Instead of God’s holy people acting in outrage, condemnation, bigotry, and hatred (all equally sin), God’s royal priesthood should be led by Holy Spirit in our conduct. We need to deal with the nature of the flesh which is hostile against God instead of individual sins. To be tempted by anything ungodly (homosexuality or anything else), is NOT sin lest Christ is a sinner.
Since Christ established that temptation alone is not sin, we must address the nature of hostile flesh as a whole. For one who desires to “take up his or her cross and follow Christ,” they must actually deny any desire that is set against God. Old and New Testament Scriptures speak against homosexuality, therefore, any person who is tempted by homosexuality must understand that they must deny the sexual urges so as to truly follow Christ. It does not mean that they suddenly desire the opposite sex, but rather that they choose the way of Christ over their natural urges; they choose to be a eunuch unto God as written in Matthew 19. In this, it isn’t a matter of homosexuality vs. heterosexuality, but unholy vs. holy.
This is where we need to understand how to “count ALL as loss” considering the magnitude of the Kingdom of God. Counting all as loss debunks the whole “God wants me to be happy” theory. I can’t think of one account where God directs us to fulfill the desires of our flesh so as to be “happy.” That theory was born in the flesh and is death; it has zero to do with holiness. Imagine if we all did whatever we wanted, whenever, however, to whomever. This is not merely an issue of morality but of holiness.
God’s people led by emotions of any kind are not in obedience to Christ. Those operating in hatred, wrath, gossip, malice, rage, perversion, thievery, gluttony, etc. – the same rules apply. If you love God and desire to follow Him, your “cross” is giving up whatever fleshly temptation you may have that is against God. If we would begin to teach holiness instead of hatred and condemnation, I’d imagine that we’d all walk closer to God!
Whatever your temptation, God is sympathetic. He understands. He has no desire to shame you, but to heal you from the inside out. The flesh will always desire that which is contrary to the cross and the Kingdom of God. Don’t be surprised or ashamed in your temptation (whatever it is), but in it, walk away from it toward the Kingdom of God and His righteousness.
I Peter 1:16: Because it is written, be ye holy; for I am holy.
Philippians 3:8 (NAS): More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ.
Stay tuned for next week’s Flesh vs. Spirit! If you’re interested in reading more, please go to my website and check out my books or my ministry Facebook page.
Peace and blessings,
Alexys V. Wolf