Saturday, November 14, 2009

Q: "What does God want from me?"

That's a very important question – and not just for Gay people!

But despite what many may tell you, it really has a simple answer – and one that applies to everyone regardless of their sexual orientation, gender orientation, gender, race, and so on.

And what is that simple answer? It's:

God wants you to completely trust in Him. That's it!

But then the question becomes, how do I properly do that? Again – no worries. That’s not a difficult thing to learn either!

Trusting in God means, first of all, learning about Him.

You can't trust someone you don't know, and you can't come to know someone you don't spend some time learning about (note: you can't even honestly reject someone you haven't really learned about – though many people do that to God, every day).

Most people spend more time getting to know the woman that rides next to them on the bus each morning than they do getting to know the Creator of the Universe – and that's a shame! Because as nice as the woman on the bus may think you are, she'll never long to have a one-on-one relationship with you like God does. You see, unlike every human being on the planet, God truly already knows all about you – every good thing about you, and every bad thing about you. God even knows all the really ugly shameful things you haven't even done yet – and He still loves you more than you can humanly imagine, and He wants you to learn about that!

Second of all, trusting in God means using the right learning tools.

There are millions of books and ideas out there about who God is and what He wants. But there's only one book with one central idea that has stood the test of time and proof in prophecy-come-true – and more: the Bible. And not just any Bible, because one of the greatest tragedies of the last many centuries has been the often well-intentioned but still very sinful mistranslations and misinterpretations of one or another part of the Bible, that are then passed off as if they are God's true Scripture. That's what's been done to Gay people: people who are already prejudiced against Gay people "translate" the original Hebrew and Greek of the Scriptures God gave us, and then not only insert their own wording and phrasing instead of using God's, but then also ignore the historical, linguistic, and cultural context of God's original Scripture, so that it ends up appearing as if God condemns Gay people.

The real truth of the matter is that it isn’t God that condemns Gay people – it's people who are prejudiced against us that condemn Gay people!

Unfortunately, today there are exceedingly few English translations of the Bible that do not contain such human re-writes. Even translations that aren't bigoted against Gay people can be mistranslated on other topics, simply because of the translator's particular theological biases, for example. So part of learning about God is learning to use His Bible, and correcting the errors in it as you learn of them, so that you end up learning about the real God!

Third, trusting in God means understanding Jesus.

It may not be obvious at first, but the whole Bible is really all about Jesus. From start to end, it tells the story of why the human race came to need Jesus in the first place, how God proved that we need Jesus (and can’t rely on our own abilities to save ourselves, in other words), why God wants us to choose to trust Him (instead of just forcing us to trust Him, like biological robots), and how much God was willing to do to make sure everyone that wants to spend eternity with Him gets to do just that. The final part of the Bible story is also about Jesus. It tells what happens just before and after Jesus comes back one more time to finally rid the world of all the sickness, injury, evil, hatred, injustice, and so on that has come to drive us all crazy and make us so confused, now.

If we don’t understand Jesus – meaning, we either don’t know Him at all, or we only know Him through wrong interpretations of Him we’ve gotten from other people who don’t understand Him – then we don’t understand God. Jesus is God, you see. Not some “lesser” deity in a three-person mix. Not some really-good-guy who ran into some really bad luck at the end. Not some high-level spiritual guru who works alongside other high level spiritual gurus. Read the Gospels – John, then Luke, Matthew, and Mark – in the New Testament, and see for yourself! Know Jesus – and know God. Know Jesus – and know exactly what God wants from you, what He’s willing to do for you, and what He wants to offer you, out of His unending love for you!

Finally, we have to ask and answer: “How will I know when I DO know Jesus?”

Unlike what some may tell you, it won’t be if or when you "stop" being Gay.

But finding you’re more at peace with everything – including being Gay – is a good hint that you’re on your way to having Jesus in your heart.

It won’t be when you stop wanting Gay friends and family.

But finding that you’re wanting to share God’s love with other Gay people is a good hint that you’re on your way to doing what’s most important to God.

It won’t even be when you start attending a church, or singing along with Christian radio, or putting money in the collection plate each month (though there’s not necessarily anything wrong with any of those things, when the rest of God is in your heart, too).

Instead, you’ll know that you’re finally really knowing Jesus and seeing the blessing of His Spirit in your heart when it’s the most natural thing in the world for you to:
  • comfort people who are hurting,
  • feed people who are hungry,
  • clothe people who need clothes,
  • love people who aren’t lovable,
  • be gentle with people who don’t deserve it,
  • live in control of your body’s natural, God-given passions, and not be controlled by them,
  • find joy and peace in your heart even when things really stink,
  • appreciate how easy and great things work - when they're done God's way,
  • hang on to Jesus even when it’s really hard,
  • revere only God, and not things, angels, or even other very good people, and,
  • test everything you’re told (even by religious authorities) against the Word of God, before you go along with it (yes, that’s really in the Bible, too – many times!).
It can’t be repeated often enough that Jesus loves you, more than you will ever be able to imagine. And Jesus isn’t afraid of your questions. I know, because before I came to Jesus, I had a million of them.

He isn’t afraid of your unbelief. I know, because before I came to Him, I had boatloads of it.

He isn’t afraid of your anger at Christians. I know, because I was burning with it (and He shares a lot of it too, you know!)

He isn’t afraid of your rejection. I know, because before I came to Him, I put Him out with the trash.

What I found as I made my own starts at getting to know Him, was that Jesus knew all along that I needed to make this very long, ragged spiritual journey of questions, unbelief, anger, and rejection before I could trust in Him.
In our modern culture, where (just as the Bible said would happen) most people who say they’re Christian actually don’t really follow Jesus at all (but instead, just give Him a bad name), if I had just accepted being a Christian without going through all this questioning and so on first, I would have just become another BAD Christian! And the world already has too many of those (whether straight or Gay)!

Jesus is ok with whatever you need to do to purge all these false ideas about Him and what He wants from you. He can wait and tolerate quite a bit, actually, because He knows that once you do get all that junk out of your system, you’re going to be a real friend to Him – and not just another faker.

So, start learning.
  • Start learning why God revealed Himself as Jesus Christ just so you could spend eternity with Him in no pain, no sickness, and no sorrow, and how He wants more than anything for you to choose to do just that.
  • Start learning why you need to make that choice to be with Him with your whole heart – and why just floating along in the world’s muck, assuming that “some day” you’ll get around to it, is a really bad game plan.
  • And finally, start learning what it means to trust in God, and to follow His plan – and not one or another human plan – and why doing so will become a way of inner peace like you’ve never imagined!
It will be not only the biggest -- but also the best -- thing you've ever done in your life!

God bless you in your learning journey!

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