I do so enjoy reading Tim Wilkins’s periodic newsletters. In each issue he writes a thoughtful piece of biblical truth addressing the challenges of ministering the Gospel to the homosexual community. A former homosexual himself, he is well-equipped to address the issue head-on, and he always provides a special insight. Tim is the founder of “Cross Ministry”:http://www.crossministry.org, an organization whose goal is to reach the homosexual community with the message and the hope of the Gospel.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s My King Ã¢â‚¬Â
By Tim Wilkins
Tucked away in Philippians chapter four is a verse replete with truth for gays and all other sinners. Yes, weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re all in the same boat; the ground is level at the foot of the cross AND the deck of the boat.
At the most personal level, the Apostle Paul knew GodÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s provision through shipwreck, snakebite, stoning and his notorious thorn in the flesh. He was warming a prison cell when he wrote Ã¢â‚¬Å“And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.Ã¢â‚¬Â (verse 19)
The fact is all of us are sinners who have been in or are currently in a sinking boat called sin. Face the inevitable if you have not done so. You are a passenger on a spiritual Titanic that is sinking. ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s the bad news; the good news is a Lifeguard is nearby who rescues and forgives.
First, we see in this verse the Certainty of GodÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Provision. Paul wrote that God shall supply. In JesusÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ sermon on the mount, He said Ã¢â‚¬Å“Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comfortedÃ¢â‚¬Â; Ã¢â‚¬Å“…the meek: for they shall inherit the earthÃ¢â‚¬Â; Ã¢â‚¬Å“…those who hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filledÃ¢â‚¬Â; Ã¢â‚¬Å“…the merciful: for they shall obtain mercyÃ¢â‚¬Â; and Ã¢â‚¬Å“…the pure in heart: for they shall see God.Ã¢â‚¬Â (Matthew 5:4-8)
Our Heavenly Father is the ultimate promise keeper and when I recognized many years ago a distinct and un-chosen attraction to the same sex, I also recognized a need for help that was certain and sure. I found that certainty in the God who created me in His image. But I learned that His image in me had been marred by sin when, as Vance Havner used to say, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Adam and Eve ate us out of house and home.Ã¢â‚¬Â (Genesis 3:6, 23, 24)
But even with GodÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s certain provision, I needed to know the Sufficiency of GodÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Provision. Was this God sufficient to supply all my needs as Paul wrote?
My needs could have filled a google of legal pads. I needed wholeness, comfort, protection, purpose, strength, wisdom, joy, patience, forgiveness and the list could go on. One of my early felt-needs was to be lovedÃ¢â‚¬â€œwhich I had not found in homosexuality.
Indeed, God loves me. He loves me with an everlasting love, as Jeremiah 31:3 records and Ã¢â‚¬Å“everlastingÃ¢â‚¬Â was superior to the half dozen homosexual relationships I had had over a ten year period.
I learned that GodÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s provision was certain and sufficient, but was there a Surplus of GodÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Provision? I mistakenly believed that my needs were so great as to deplete GodÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s supply in no time flat. I did not want to be gay, but did not know how not to be gay. Those of you who have never experienced same-sex attractions will, most likely, not understand the previous sentence. You may think Ã¢â‚¬Å“just donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t act out homosexuallyÃ¢â‚¬Â, which is the argument of a moralistÃ¢â‚¬â€œand not bad advice. For years I followed that advice thinking Ã¢â‚¬Å“if thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s all I have to look forward to, this earthly life is going to be considerably less than what Jesus called Ã¢â‚¬ËœabundantÃ¢â‚¬â„¢.Ã¢â‚¬Â (John 10:10)
And yet the text said Ã¢â‚¬Å“And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.Ã¢â‚¬Â Other translations say Ã¢â‚¬Å“glorious riches.Ã¢â‚¬Â I had noted in Genesis that not only had God created Mankind, He created them Ã¢â‚¬Å“male and femaleÃ¢â‚¬Â-He differentiated between the sexes. (Genesis 1:27) I thought Ã¢â‚¬Å“Maybe that means He wants me to become personally what He has created me to be biologically.Ã¢â‚¬Â
I can not and neither can you exhaust GodÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s provision. Though the burning bush burned on, it did not burn out. (Exodus 3:2) The widow, whom Elijah commanded to make some banana bread, lived to learn she had a bottomless bottle of Canola oil. (1 Kings 17:16) The Israelites had a ready supply of French toast every morning when they did as God told them. (Exodus 16:35) Though Jesus started with five hoecakes and two wide-mouth bass to feed a multitude, He finished with twelve baskets of foodÃ¢â‚¬â€one basket for each of His twelve disciples. (Matthew 14:20) (OKÃ¢â‚¬â€œI took some liberties for humorÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s sake)
When referring to the woman who emptied an entire jar of perfume on JesusÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ feet, at a cost of a yearÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s salary, Vance Havner called her act Ã¢â‚¬Å“Sanctified Extravagance.Ã¢â‚¬Â (Luke 7:37-39)
By the way, have you ever noticed the Pharisee in whose house this extravagance took place? He thought to himself, Ã¢â‚¬Å“If (Jesus) were a prophet, he would know who is touching him…that she is a sinner.Ã¢â‚¬Â Duh You donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have to be Karnac The Magnificent to know she was a sinner; one hundred percent of the worldÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s population are sinners.
Take every man, woman, boy and girl on the face of the earth. Pile all their needs into a heapÃ¢â‚¬â€œif it were possible. Point the all-knowing, all-powerful, all-you-name-it God at that heap and He will meet each need as the need arises.
The hymn says Ã¢â‚¬Å“For out of His infinite riches in Jesus, He giveth and giveth and giveth again.Ã¢â‚¬Â Psalm 121:4 says God neither slumbers nor sleeps
To know God never sleeps may be useful during a game of Trivial Pursuit, but a question remained unanswered. Has all this come down to behavior modification? I found this a divine dilemma
But this verse had more to say. Ã¢â‚¬Å“And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Aha! Everything God has to offer me is found in Jesus ChristÃ¢â‚¬â€œ the Source of GodÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Provision.
Colossians 1:19 reads that all GodÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s fullness dwells in Christ Jesus Christ is the Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.
Mind you, Jesus is not a means to an end. For years I unknowingly used Jesus as suchÃ¢â‚¬â€œdemanding that Jesus give me my Ã¢â‚¬Å“opposite sex attractionsÃ¢â‚¬Â until I realized, as Oswald Chambers so poignantly wrote, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Getting in a right relationship with God is the easiest thing in the worldÃ¢â‚¬â€œunless itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not God you want, but only what he gives.Ã¢â‚¬Â Ouch
John Eldridge writes Ã¢â‚¬Å“Healing does not happen apart from intimacy with Jesus.Ã¢â‚¬Â So there you have it. My Lifeguard, Jesus, loved me so much He died on the cross for my sins.
You want to know a secret? I still find myself attracted to men occasionally. To those of you with the puzzled looks on your faces, let me say it a different way. I have found that GodÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s provision is not necessarily eradicating the same-sex attractions; His ways, which are not my ways, include strengthening the shoulder that bears the burden. And as Dr. S. M. Lockridge used to say Ã¢â‚¬Å“ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s my King! Ã¢â‚¬Â
_Reprinted with permission by the author._