It took me two lifetimes to realize the truth of that statement. The first lifetime being the life I spent away from Christ, and the second being the life I continue to live in Him.
Before I knew who Christ truly was I struggled with sexual addictions in many forms. Homosexuality, pornography, masturbation. I suffered through all of the above. It is still painful to even pen those words knowing how much time they claimed from my life. Especially being a woman. (Which in and of itself is something I find hard to realize.) Growing up I never felt “girly.” I knew I was different from every other girl I knew. I hated pink. I hated make up. I hated dolls. I hated me.
The conclusion (lie) I came to believe was that something must be wrong with me. I was raised in a loving Christian home that taught me how loved I was. But regardless of the fact that I was loved by God, and others, I didn’t love myself. And as a result, part of me doubted that I was fully lovable. So without even realizing it at the time, I began self destructive behavior that I didn’t even realize was hurtful. I believed the lie that I was born a certain way that I couldn’t change. I had to accept it. However…
When I met Christ, and I mean really met Him, His life showed me what I was capable of. I learned what surrender meant. Being taught the story of Christ my whole life I knew the simple truth, but not the deeper truth. Knowing he died for me wasn’t enough. What amazes me now is, that’s not the end of the story anyway. His life/death equals His surrender.
In the garden, right before He was arrested and later crucified, He cried out to His Father to save him from what He knew He had to do. There is no other moment of Christ’s life that I relate to more than this scene. In Matthew 26:36-46 it describes a scene where Jesus is literally crying out to God saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.” (v.39) Before I even read those scriptures, I begged the same of God. MANY TIMES. But like Jesus, I wasn’t freed UNTIL I surrendered my will for His. Granted, Jesus had no addictions or sexual sin to overcome, be He did have temptations like the rest of us.
He had opportunities to sin, but He didn’t. The same is possible for us. We just need to surrender as He did.
What is most interesting to me about Jesus’ prayer in the garden is that it shows us the humanness of Christ. He didn’t necessarily desire to die on a cross, but He knew it’s what He was made for. My humanness didn’t necessarily desire to turn from homosexuality. But I knew it’s what I was made for.
I was made to surrender (my will for His). I was made for a purpose greater than just living with and in my sinfulness. I was made to live a life worthy of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
So were you.