Truth, turning and transformation

I love delivering the Freedom in Christ course, it has become a key part of the discipleship we offer our group members and it never fails to deliver.  On the Freedom in Christ website they highlight three “T’s” that they associate with the course:

Truth, turning and transformation.

The ten week course gives us space and time to look at the truth of who we are in Christ, and of course the truth that there is a spiritual battle raging on around us as we live our lives for Christ. The turning part equips us to turn to Jesus through what they call a “spiritual MOT”.  These steps to freedom are excellent in helping us to address all areas of our lives, to see where we have been partnering with lies and to pray significant prayers of freedom.  The final key they talk about is transformation.  Specifically they talk about "Stronghold-busting" - being transformed by the renewal of our minds, demolishing arguments set up against God.

But for a Christian who has come from the LGBTQ community how does truth, turning and transformation translate to our lives?
There is a lot of Christian debate about whether you can identify as a “gay Christian” or not.  I believe that the 3T’s speak into how we should view this.  Let’s put it out there, I was a lesbian for 30+ years before I gave my life to Jesus.  I wrestled for 6 months with whether I could continue in my lesbian relationship before I recognised that God called me to a higher standard (the Bible clearly teaching that sex is reserved for the marriage of one man and one woman).  I then had some wrestling over how did I identify myself.  Was I a gay, celibate Christian?  To start with that is what I would have said.  But then the truth hit home, God doesn’t identify any of us by our sexual orientation.  He sees sex as something we do, not who we are, so was it important for me to continue to stand on a past identity that no longer described, nor defined me?  Yet, there was more.  As I yielded to his word, as I hungrily absorbed his word I recognised that we are called to be transformed from glory to glory to glory.

Alan Redpath (Blessings Out of Buffetings, p. 44) says this in explaining how Paul is trying to communicate the glory of God to believers:

"I have a clear view of Jesus. I have seen Him, felt Him, and I have known Him in a far deeper way than simply by the outward physical appearance; I have felt the reality of His life begin to burn in my heart. I have seen in Christ the glory of a life that is totally submitted to the sovereignty of God. That glory has begun to take hold of me, and I have begun to see that this is the one life that God expects of any man He made in His own image. I have seen the marks of the cross upon Him, and by His grace the marks of the cross have been put upon me and I am no longer my own; I am bought with a price, redeemed by His precious blood. Yes, I have seen Him--not in the outward physical sense only, but in the inward sense of a deep spiritual reality. I have had a clear view of Jesus and my life will never be the same again"
Life will never be the same again, yes, that’s it. Life will never be the same again when we recognise that with God nothing is impossible.  When we surrender our thoughts, our identities and our desires to him and allow him to transform us through his glory, to walk into greater levels of freedom.  For as long as I identified as a gay celibate Christian I was not totally surrendered, I was allowing my thoughts and desires to take precedence over God’s will, and I faltered. The moment I surrendered and said not my will but yours, I felt peace and the transformation began.  Jesus has been working on me for the past 8 years and I am a new creation.  Even if I wanted to I could no longer call myself a gay celibate Christian because my desires have changed. Jesus has transformed my heart, my sexual feelings and desires and that is something that could never have happened whilst I clung to an identity that was from my pre-Jesus days.

The process of being transformed into the image of Christ is nothing less than the restoration of the image of God which was marred through the fall which we read about in Genesis 3.  My restoration is reliant upon me recognising the holiness of God and wanting to reflect that with all my heart.  It’s a journey that begins with a humble and submitted heart.

We all reflect as in a mirror, the question is, “What are we reflecting?”





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