Join Outpost Ministries and the Twin Cities Justice House of Prayer for a ten-week internship that will deepen your understanding of the Word of God, awaken your heart in the place of prayer, and allow you to dig deep into what it means to be whole. Contact us for more information or an internship application.
In 2008, I began my journey out of a lesbian relationship. God had been deeply convicting me that my partner had taken His rightful place in my heart and that I needed to decide who was Lord in my life. God, in His mercy, made it easier for me by having my partner leave me. In that place of abandonment, I had to decide. Do I look for another partner, or do I choose God? I chose God. Now the work would begin of renewing my mind from the previous seven years of lies from the devil and the world about my identity. Who was I? I didn’t know anymore. My identity was a mystery to me.
Although I felt like an outsider, I had never stopped going to church. As I carefully tried to be part of the Body of Christ again and shared bits of my story, fellow believers asked, “How did this happen to you?” I couldn’t explain it. I didn’t understand how I had come to be in the condition I was in. I knew the journey of my life events, but I didn’t understand the psychological or emotional undercurrents of those events that had brought me to this point in my life.
I began seeing a Christian counselor, and I attended Leanne Payne’s Pastoral Care Ministry Conferences, but the most helpful resource turned out to be a program called Living Waters. Living Waters is a 20-week inner-healing program for the sexually and relationally broken. In Living Waters, I learned about events in my early childhood—nothing earth shaking, just subtle things—that set me up to hunger for feminine touch and connection. You see, I was the middle child in my family. Psychologists sometimes refer to the middle child as “the lost child” where no one pays much attention to you. It plays out that as your legitimate need for love from your same-sex parent doesn’t get met, you seek other ways to meet the need yourself. You become needy, like you want to be the center of attention. This was me to a “T”. People thought I was fine because I was popular and loud and was the center of conversations, but the source of that striving was a lost, hurting heart.
I hid my pain and tried to push it down for years until, in my late 30’s, the pain resurfaced. At the same time, the pro-gay movement was gaining momentum. I began to entertain the thought of being close to a woman. Cognitively, I was in a battle with myself thinking it was a bad idea, but my emotions were driving me in this direction.
Fast forward to my partner leaving me. I entered the Living Waters Program, and through the large group teachings accompanied by healing prayer in my small group, God Himself met me and filled the void in my heart with His love. I couldn’t go back and relive the early years of my life, but God is all-sufficient for the needs we have. When we ask Him, He comes and fills every gap, every hole, and all of the pain He takes away and sends to the cross. No longer in pain, I could then begin to love myself and discover who I was, my true identity.
Today I help others find healing and reconnect to God through the ministry of Outpost. I lead a group called Elijah Company, a group for parents and friends who have loved ones identifying as gay or struggling with same sex-attractions. When parents first come, they feel shame and fear, not knowing who they can talk to about their situation. They are grieving because of the loss they feel as their loved ones have distanced themselves from them. When they come to Elijah Company, they find a safe place to talk about their pain and receive comfort from the group. They share their stories with each other and encourage one another to trust Jesus with their lives and the lives of their loved ones.
After being in Elijah Company, most parents testify that their faith has grown exponentially as a result of their crying out to God and seeking His face daily for their loved one. What at first seemed like a painful and hopeless situation slowly turns into faith and trust that we have a loving Father. We have been together for so long now that some of our original parents are now sharing in their churches what God has done for their families. They are giving hope to others in their churches and offering a safe place to come.
I chuckle when I think of one of my grandsons: he insists on learning the hard way. He reminds me of myself! Having been a prodigal daughter, I can testify to the goodness and faithfulness of God. He has led me faithfully on this journey of the restoration of my heart.
In 1976, the Lord answered the cry of many men and women in the Twin Cities struggling with unwanted same-sex attractions. They were wanting to live holy lives before God—their sexuality included. Through the work of Robbi Kenney and several others, Outpost Ministries was born—a ministry seeking to help men and women find freedom from unwanted same-sex attractions.
Around this same time, other ministries like Outpost were starting to pop up around the nation. They began to hear about one another and decided to meet in California to encourage one another and exchange ideas. Out of that meeting, Exodus International was born. God was faithful to teach these pioneering pastoral caregivers how to minister to those in the LGBT community wanting freedom and wholeness in their sexuality. (Sadly, Exodus International no longer exists, but a new network has sprung up in its place, Restored Hope Network, of which Outpost is a member.)
Interestingly enough, these caregivers ultimately found that God heals same-sex-attracted individuals the same way He heals everyone else: through the cross. It was in offering the healing of the cross to the gay community that some very valuable tools to heal the soul were discovered. It was clear that these tools were for the whole body of Christ. We are all in need of healing! Outpost’s programming has grown to include men and women struggling with all forms of sexual and relational brokenness.
In the year 2000, I was hired as the Youth and College- Age Director. At this point, there was little curricula or programming for young people. I needed to build from the ground up. Once again, just as in the early years of our existence, the Lord was faithful to release the tools needed to heal the hearts of the next generation.
In 2007, we began an internship for young adults called Encountering Jesus. The interns were challenged to spend three hours of their day in prayer and study of the Word. While three hours seemed daunting at first, as the interns started to encounter God in prayer and through His Word, they were hooked—and they were changing. Young men and women were making different choices than culture about their same-sex attractions, and God was honoring their obedience. Jesus Christ indeed has life-changing power!
It became clear to the Outpost staff and me that prayer needed to be at the heart of everything we did. Outpost established what was eventually called the Justice House of Prayer (JHOP) with the ultimate goal of 24/7 prayer and worship in the Twin Cities.
In 2011, I was appointed CEO of Outpost. Our house of prayer began to gain momentum, and we established Elijah Company, a group for parents, family and friends of those impacted by same-sex attractions. We also began an introductory course called Foundations to give a foundational understanding of the issues to new participants as well as to church leaders. God was releasing more tools for the healing journey of the bound and broken.
Seeing the social decline with the passage of several marriage-related laws, Outpost began seeking further protections. It became clear that the safest place to conduct ministry is within the local church. By the grace of God and under the leadership of Jesus, in 2015 we merged with the Twin Cities House of Prayer and The Well Church to incorporate anew as a church: Twin Cities Justice House of Prayer (TCJHOP). Outpost is now a ministry of TCJHOP; I remain at the helm as Senior Pastor. As a ministry arm of TCJHOP, Outpost’s mission and vision remain the same, and we continue to have a unique focus on helping men and women find freedom from unwanted same-sex attractions. Moving forward, we will be able to do so under more layers of protection. (Your donations will continue to be allocated to the work of Outpost).
The vision of TCJHOP is to be a unified, praying Church moving in the power of the Holy Spirit to restore the family. Families are under fire. We want to stand in the gap by praying for God’s intervention, and we want to offer hope and healing through Jesus Christ.
The marriage of night and day prayer with inner-healing is cutting edge. Outpost is believing that the Lord will hold true to His Word and grant speedy justice to those who cry out to Him day and night (Luke 18:7-8). Can you imagine the possibilities as we seek God’s face for the healing of the same-sex attracted and their families?
For forty years, Outpost has seen the life-changing power of Jesus Christ transform both men and women. Our history and fruit speak to the goodness of God, and our testimony is loud and clear: all things are possible with God (Matthew 19:26).
Now, we look to the future. We have been renters for 40 years, and it is now time for us to have a place of our own. And so begins our Building Campaign. With completion of the merger, our staff has grown to almost 20 people, and in our current office situation, we are bursting at the seams!
To officially kick off this three-year campaign, we are hosting a banquet at Earle Brown Heritage Center in Brooklyn Center, MN on April 16 at 6 PM. (Please note that this is a change of venue as of March 9.) Tickets for the event are $40 per person or $320 to sponsor a table of eight. Would you consider coming? RSVP by April 6 or by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org, calling our Building Campaign phone line, 763-210-2634, or by registering online. We would love for you to hear more about the vision God has given Outpost for the future. We are trusting for 40 more years of Loving God, Declaring Freedom!
Please join us for the Outpost Ministries Building Campaign Banquet as we share our vision for the next 40 years of Loving God, Declaring Freedom.
April 16, 2016, 6-8:30 PMEarle Brown Heritage Center 6155 Earle Brown Dr Brooklyn Center, MN 55430
The dinner and program include:
Three-course dinner featuring a choice of steak, chicken or vegetarian entree
Worship led by Twin Cities Justice House of Prayer worship team
Testimonies of Freedom
Keynote by Executive Director, Nate Oyloe
Tickets are $40 per person or $320 to sponsor a table
RSVP by April 13th by calling 763-592-4700 or by registering online.
Have you ever struggled to pray regularly for the people God has placed in your life? I know I have. Like many people, for years I used a prayer list of all my family and friends as a helpful place to begin. But even then I often had difficulty staying focused and praying meaningful, confident prayers for many of them. Invariably I would gravitate merely to a rote recitation of their names as I moved down the list.
It was not, however, until I discovered a Biblical, tried and true way to effectively pray for them that a new focus and faith began to energize my prayers.
There is one chapter in the Bible that is dedicated entirely to a verbatim prayer recited by Jesus. That chapter is John 17, and it is considered to be one of the great treasures in all of scripture because it preserves for posterity an entire prayer, prayed by the greatest pray-er who ever lived! Some have called it Jesus’ great High Priestly Prayer. In this chapter Jesus is praying for those the Father had committed to His care.
Apart from the first verse which says “After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed,” everything that follows is in red letters. These are the words of Jesus as He prays to the Father for a very specific group of people: “for all those you have given me” (vs. 2; 6) and for “those who will believe in me through their message” (vs. 20). In fact, Jesus specifically narrows the field by saying, “I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me.”
Who then is this select group for whom Jesus was praying? They were His apostles and disciples. Interestingly this included His friends such as Mary Magdalene, Lazarus, Mary, and Martha; as well as His family – mother, brothers, sisters, and cousins.
The John 17 prayer of Jesus is therefore the best model ever given for our use in praying for those whom God has placed in our lives. A study of the prayer reveals that there are seven specific ways in which Jesus prayed for His loved ones.
These seven prayers lend a Biblical specificity to our prayers and These seven prayers lend a Biblical specificity to our prayers and inspire confidence and faith as we pray because we are praying the same words Jesus prayed.
Praying Scripture has always been a sure-fire way to pray effectively, and to me this way of praying for friends and family is as exciting and powerful as it gets. This is so because “this is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us” (1 John 5:14 NIV).
Here are seven prayers you can use to pray following in Jesus’ footsteps: “Father…
- GLORIFY Jesus through their lives by having them do the work you’ve given them to do. – “Glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you” (vs. 1b). “I brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do” (vs. 4). Give them a clear sense of your calling and purpose that they might dedicate their lives to living for and glorifying you.
- FORTIFY and protect them from the evil one and keep them safe in Jesus name. – “Protect them from the evil one” (vs. 15). Let no weapon formed against them prosper (Isaiah 54:17). May they put on the full armor of God to take their stand against the devil’s schemes (Ephesians 6:10-18).
- UNIFY them and make them one with you and with one another. – “…that all of them may be one” (vs. 21). Where there are broken relationships, release a spirit of forgiveness, healing, and reconciliation (Ephesians 4:32).
- SANCTIFY them in the truth of your Word. – Set them apart for you, and make them holy. “Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth” (vs. 17). Give them a hunger for your word, that they might make it their daily meditation and guide for all they do, as they walk in obedience to you (Psalm 119:105).
- MULTIPLY them by sending them into the world with your message. – “I have sent them into the world . . . so that the world may believe” (vs. 18; 21). May they live their lives as your witnesses sharing your love and your truth.
- FILL them with your Joy. – “…so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them” (vs. 13). May your joy be their strength imparting peace, faith, and generosity (Nehemiah 8:10; Romans 15:13; 2 Corinthians 9:7).
- REVEAL your Presence and Glory to them. – “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory” (vs. 24). Be present in their lives releasing “the Spirit of wisdom and revelation so that [they] might know [Jesus] better” (Ephesians 1:17 NIV).
As you consider all the precious people God has placed in your life, why not pray the prayer Jesus prayed for them?
For further meditation and application: The next time you pray through your prayer list of family, relatives, and friends, consider using these seven prayers from John 17. As you pray for each person, pause and select the appropriate prayer(s) that is applicable to their situation and your burden for them. Pray for them using the same words and phrases that Jesus used in praying for those the Father had given him. Expect a quickening of your faith, and renewed confidence as you pray, that God is hearing and answering your prayers.
This post is a chapter taken from Tom Stuart’s recently published book Igniting an Impassioned Prayer Life – How to Develop the Energized, Extended, and Sustainable Life of Prayer You’ve Always Wanted. It is available for purchase on Amazon in print and Kindle versions. Copies are also available directly from the author for $10. Go to tomstuart.org and order a copy via the contact form.
It was a cold, crisp New Year’s Day. Two young brothers, ages 7 and 10, were in their room playing, jumping on their beds, laughing and having fun as brothers often do. Suddenly they heard a loud thud coming from downstairs. The younger brother ran to see what the commotion was about, opened the door to his parent’s bedroom and discovered his daddy, laying in a pool of his own blood, and the gun he used to shoot himself laying beside him.
This unspeakable tragedy and the wounds this produced turned the little boy’s life upside down. Why did his daddy want to leave him? Wasn’t he a good enough son to make his daddy want to live? The pain and turmoil in the family was intense, and no one knew how to comfort them. Everyone was left in the darkness of their own silence, confusion and pain.
It didn’t seem life could get any harder for that family, but it did. On the day of his daddy’s funeral, the boy’s mom was diagnosed with terminal cancer. She had to leave the family to go to New York for cancer treatment. The little boy and his brothers and sisters were separated and sent to stay with family members. This sad, lonely little boy was left uncomforted, confused and desperately trying to deal with his pain. Those events sent that child on a search for a father, a search that would last for almost 40 years.
The little boy started to think maybe it was his fault that all those bad things had happened. He began to take on the pain of the rest of the family. He tried to “make it right” for everyone else. That made him feel even more angry and alone because, no matter what he did, he couldn’t fix it. More and more, every day, his feelings of rejection, abandonment, pain and rage grew.
If his daddy loved him, why did he do this? If God was real why did he let this happen? The little boy began to feel very sorry for himself. Rage grew and grew as he thought, “Why is life treating me so unfairly?” The incredible pain from these wounds caused him to look for comfort anywhere he could find it, because pain always seeks to be comforted!
At a very early age, someone introduced him to masturbation and pornography which he used to try to comfort the pain and confusion in his life. Later in life he became a sexual addict, always looking for love and comfort in the wrong places. He suffered from guilt, shame, rejection and a lack of self-worth so deep he sometimes wished he were dead, like his father, and then hating himself more for even thinking such thoughts.
The boy became a young man and discovered that if he could perform well enough in sports that people would accept him and give him some of the love he craved for so desperately. He became a very good athlete, a competitor, because if he “hit the ball right” his coach would give him words of acceptance and affirmation. Even that was not enough to heal the pain in his heart, and he turned to drugs, alcohol, pornography and sex to try to comfort his pain. Those things did make him feel better for a little while, but then the pain came back, worse than ever, because now it was mixed with shame, condemnation, and intense feelings of self-hatred.
When this boy was 16-years-old, he came to Christ, but the shame, fear and rejection didn’t go away. He had a really hard time seeing God as his Father because his experience with a father only represented pain and abandonment. He always felt like an outsider, looking in, trying to be good enough to receive Father God’s love but always missing the mark. Then, when he would inevitably fail, he would become even more angry, lonely, and filled with rage.
That young man grew up, married, had a son and daughter of his own and became a pastor, but the wounds of his childhood were still there, buried deeply. Much of his life was still rooted in fear, shame and rejection. Even as a pastor he struggled with rage, lustful temptations and incredibly low self-worth.
Many years passed, and the man’s own little boy grew up. He was attending Bible school when a phone call came that again would change this family’s life forever. The son of this man had tried to take his own life. The pattern was repeating itself—but this time, the ending would be different. This man finally felt pain so intense that he had no choice but to change. He finally let some of his walls of self-defense down and let God touch his pain, the pain that had been bottled up for so many years.
Father God, the Father this man had been searching for almost 40 years, came in and began to pour comfort and healing into the wounds of this man’s broken heart. He began to see God as the loving Father who would never leave him. He began to allow Father to heal him and his family. He began to realize that God was a Father to the fatherless, and it was only in His arms that he would find true comfort and healing for his wounds.
That little boy, that young man, that father, that pastor, is me. I’ve finally found the Father I’ve been looking for all my life. He wants to comfort you, to heal your pain the same way He healed mine. He is your Father, the perfect Dad you’ve been looking for all your life!
Pastor Dave and Kris have traveled throughout the world—including Europe, South Korea, Canada, Mexico and all over the United States—bringing the message of the Father’s love. Their message will encourage you in your journey as the Father’s dearly beloved son or daughter. You will be challenged and inspired as you take another step in the process of EXPERIENCING God’s love for yourself and allowing that love to overflow to those around you. Come and experience the power of the Father’s love!
February 19th 6:30-9:30 PM (Registration begins at 5:00 PM)
February 20th 9:30 AM-4:30 PM (Registration begins at 9:00 AM)Northbrook Alliance Church 6240 Aldrich Ave N Brooklyn Center, MN 55430
Advanced Registration (before Feb. 16th) $35
General Registration (opens 5pm Feb. 19th) $45
“Why would you EVER want to leave homosexuality?”
This is a question we’re often asked. Some ask it out of genuine interest. They want to understand the ones we minister to, as well as the impetus behind our ministry at Outpost. Others ask it out of ignorance, never having conceived the possibility that it could happen. Still others, wishing to skewer and disparage our efforts, ask out of animosity. In any case it’s a question we often wrestle with, and we want to give an appropriate response to each person.
We’re motivated by Peter’s admonition in 1 Peter 3:15-17 (NIV, throughout),
But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. (It is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.)
Peter’s instructions not only offer motivation for answering, but also suggest the modus operandi by which we go about it—gently and respectfully. This implies masculine strength under control—or meekness (which is a by-product of living by the Spirit). It is masculine precisely because it requires that truth be clearly spoken.
At any rate, here’s a brief explanation of the hope that we have which is a central component to “our good behavior,” which is more about accomplishing Moral Good than “behaving well,” which tends to focus on not doing certain uncouth things or bad manners.
Peter rightfully teaches that we first begin with setting apart Christ as Lord. And this is essential to our ministry here at Outpost. We often say, we’re not here to turn homosexuals into heterosexuals, we’re here to turn men and women’s hearts toward Christ. We assist people in their journey toward imitating Christ more clearly. We want them to be just like Jesus!
But what of this “lordship” that Peter writes about? Lordship implies worship, submission and dependence. My pastor is doing a series of sermons on the “True Christ,” and why obedience to Him is so compelling. The series’ text is from 1 John 5:21, “Dear children, keep yourselves from idols.” Here the Apostle John is writing to believers who have become discouraged in their faith. This is his parting comment.
In classic Johannine fashion, he calls them his “dear children.” Clearly, this is a reference to how he feels about them. It is a term of endearment. But we must also understand that throughout the previous five chapters, he has carefully and lovingly described what the “children” of God are. And that is, those who obey, believe and love Jesus. This obedience, faith and love is particularly evident when they’ve lost their confidence. And the three of these together describe the true believer. If one is missing, perhaps one is not worshiping the True Christ. Any object of worship who is not True, John calls here, an idol.
Certainly, these days, most Americans don’t have little statues they worship, but many do pledge their allegiance to a “god” who cannot possibly be true, and they do this for a number of reasons—most often for convenience. We know these “christs” are false because there is a breakdown in obeying, believing and loving in the life of these believers.
Though we don’t have the space to develop these ideas fully, I will summarize three false christs many worship:
1) The pushover magic wand christ is not smart and can’t tell what’s real. If you say the magic words, he’ll wave the magic wand, and you’ll go to heaven when you die, but he won’t touch your real life now. You can keep your gossip, lust and sin. This christ never calls you to obey, love or believe, let alone pick up your cross and follow him. “It’s all cosmetic,” says this christ. “I won’t touch any part of your real life. I don’t care about the way you treat your neighbor, who you love or how you love. And your sexuality—well, do what you want! It doesn’t matter to me!”
The problem with this christ is that we need (and want) a God who knows, sees and cares about the daily struggles of our lives!
2) The tyrant christ is the one who says, “One false move and you’re dead.” This is like the abusive parent whom one obeyed so that he or she didn’t get smacked. But this is obeying out of fear, not love. And by our definition, this is a false christ because, it’s obey, believe AND love that mark Christianity. There’s a disbelief that God’s good, gentle or loving, so one guards his heart and anesthetizes himself from this christ. Unfortunately, then his outsides will look different from his insides. He becomes a hypocrite, and God can’t touch his heart.
The problem with this christ is that it’s not real. The True Christ is a loving father who does not abuse his children, but by “his divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3).
3) The tame Christ is “the Lamb of God.” Whew. We can live with this. But he is not just a Lamb. And if you live in that, you will be destroyed by the Lion that he is, too. A relationship with the True Christ is an invitation to marriage with him, not just to have and hold, but for better or worse, for rich or for poor, in sickness and in health. If you don’t get this part of what marriage is, you don’t get who He is. He’s not here to cuddle you, hug you and make you feel safe. Jesus is on a mission to destroy the works of the devil. “Come join me for the ride of your life. Let’s do this together. You better bring your faith and courage and love. Comfort? Yeah, but if this is what you want most, maybe you should marry another guy.” And if all you got was comfort, maybe you “married” someone other than the True Christ.
Jesus is many things, including love, but he is not tame. Not passive nor predictable. His highest priority and passion is not just that we all be comfortable in the suburbs. This relationship is a marriage—the adventure of a lifetime. This requires tenacious believing, bold loving, etc. This relationship will not teach you how to play it safe. Jesus is not the play-it-safe kind of man. We’re the bride, but do we have any idea who this groom is? Jesus is a bit of a wild man. Do you feel any energy next to him at all? You can’t get close to him without feeling some heat.
Dorothy Sayers said that we’ve tried to tame him by “trimming his lion’s claws.” But we can’t tame him, really, so we simply redefine him—tell ourselves he’s different.
In C.S. Lewis’ The Lion, Witch and Wardrobe, the little girl asks of Aslan, the lion, “Is he safe?” “No, but he is good. You can trust him,” is the reply.
We have trouble wading into the masculine strength of God, because we’ve experienced abuse by it from disordered men who crush, abuse and misuse people.
The real danger of a christ who is tame is that this christ will never turn your muscles into water, never ever stir you at the depth of your soul with passionate desire to love, obey, serve or listen because this christ doesn’t ever call you to that. This false christ has light, but no heat. He has no power to change reality. Nothing could be more boring than living a pious life, tipping your hat to this christ who doesn’t even exist.
“Let’s just hug.” “No! I am about destroying the works of Satan, wanna come with me?”
Jesus bids us, “Marry me! Come die with me and I will give you the ride of your life and give you your life back!”
Can you feel the heat, the strength, the passion, the love?
Whom do you want to marry? Someone nice? Some milksop mollycoddle like Casper the Friendly Ghost? Or would you rather marry someone like George Bailey from It’s A Wonderful Life, who has some passion, who has vision and goals, places to go, people to meet?
Who IS this Jesus? John 5:20 affirms that He Is the True God! He has called us to follow him and to partner with him in his quest to destroy the works of Satan. He stirs in us a passionate desire to obey courageously, to believe tenaciously, love boldly, to follow faithfully, serve gratefully, and, maybe even someday, to die willingly for Him.
And it is for this reason, this person, this Jesus the True Christ that I might die to self, leaving behind my false homosexual self.
Please join us on Thursday, November 12 for Give to the Max Day, a 24-hour online giving event through GiveMN.org. Last year, GiveMN raised more than $18 million in 24 hours during its annual Give to the Max Day celebration.
Your donation on Give to the Max Day also may help us receive an additional donation of $1,000. How? On November 12, every gift made on GiveMN.org will be entered into an hourly drawing for a $1,000 GiveMN Golden Ticket to be awarded to a nonprofit organization. That adds up to 24 opportunities for you to help us receive an extra $1,000!
Two donations made through GiveMN.org will be randomly selected to receive a $10,000 Super-Sized GiveMN Golden Ticket! The first will be drawn randomly from all donations scheduled through GiveMN.org by 11:59pm (CST) on November 11, 2015. The second will be drawn from randomly from all gifts transacted on November 12, 2015. The more gifts we generate on GiveMN.org on November 12, the more our chances increase to receive that additional $10,000 donation.
Our goal is to raise $10,000, and you can help us reach it! Please consider a Give to the Max donation today through GiveMN.org!
The most frequently-asked question I encounter by new participants or others inquiring about Outpost Ministries is, “What is the success rate of people finding freedom from unwanted same-sex attractions?” Ultimately, they want to know, “How much is this decision going to cost, and will it really work?” I don’t blame them for asking the question; I myself asked the very same thing four years ago. I have found throughout my own healing journey, as well as through helping others on their own journeys, that there is a surprisingly simple response to this question. To individuals inquiring about healing success rates, I ask, “How do you define healing?” and “To what extent are you willing to follow Christ?” We will experience healing and transformation through relationship and obedience to Jesus. Our allegiance to Christ—our everyday commitment to Him through our trials and temptations—is an extremely important aspect of our Christian faith, for “. . . faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless” (James 2:17, NLT).
Defining “healing” is essential to the believer. First, he or she must know that we are forgiven and justified—made righteous—upon accepting Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross on our behalf. Inner-healing is the process that follows, agreeing with God about our identity in Him. I have found that choosing Jesus’ lordship is absolutely foundational to the healing process. In the fall of 2011, I declared, “Jesus, I believe that you can and will heal me from my same-sex attractions, but even if you don’t, I will not make it my god any longer. Instead, You are my Lord and the One who sits on the throne in my life, not my same-sex attractions.” From that day on, my process of healing could begin. That doesn’t mean I no longer struggle with same-sex attractions on any level, but it does mean I am free from the power to be ruled and controlled by them. Thus, I can declare healing and freedom really have occurred in my life! I may spend the rest of my life seeking the Lord and finding increasing freedom, but that is part of taking up my cross and following Him (Matthew 16:24). I don’t do this perfectly by any means, but it is my joy to lay down my temptations and struggles before Him and confess, “I want you more.”
Our culture claims that anyone who experiences any attractions towards the same sex are not and cannot be healed from homosexuality. If this definition of healing—the absence of struggle—were transferred to other forms of addictions or unwanted behaviors, there would be an uproar among the recovering alcoholics, drug users, compulsive gamblers and anger management participants. Although these people still experience temptation to use or even on occasion act out, they probably would not appreciate being labelled “unrecovered” or “unhealed” after their hard work towards sobriety. Those in recovery of any sorts, including from unwanted same-sex attractions, know that their healing is not based on temptations or lack of struggle. It is based on their willingness to get back up after sin occurs.
We have a choice as believers to continue to recover and move on from the temptations that we face, whether it be once or a hundred times throughout a day. The process of following Christ is referred to in Philippians 2:12 as “working out one’s salvation.” The first question I ask the women I mentor is, “What is your commitment to obedience to Christ?” They quickly learn that transformation can only begin when they have committed their whole selves to the One who gave all of Himself. When we declare total allegiance towards Christ, it is not that we won’t experience temptation or decide to sin, but it is that we hate our sin, repent of it, and seek after Christ to renew us from it. It is through this process of sanctification, as well as time spent with God, that we can truly encounter Him. When we truly encounter the Lord, it is impossible not to transform.
Though we live in a world which is unfamiliar with holiness, we must seek holiness, “for the LORD our God is holy” (Psalm 99:9). In the presence of God’s holiness, we are continually made new. For we cannot see the face of Christ and not be changed forever. Likewise, a person who struggles with unwanted same-sex attractions will experience transformation if he or she wholeheartedly seeks the Lord (Jeremiah 29:13). Transformation, however, doesn’t always occur in a timely manner or in the way in which we desire. Thank God! I used to cry out for the Lord to save me instantly from homosexuality. Now, I am so glad that He didn’t. I would have missed out on the chance to follow, trust, and obey the Lord without knowing the results! One of my favorite quotes comes from Oswald Chambers regarding this matter: “Faith never knows where it is being led, but it loves and knows the One who is leading.” Do you trust the One who is leading? Will you be faithful to Him no matter the outcome? Or are you offended by His statutes and plan of redemption for you?
Jesus is worthy of our allegiance. He is worthy of our praise. He is worthy of our sacrifice. Through the power of Christ’s forgiveness, we can begin our healing journey in the moment we entrust our lives to Him. Then, we get to experience the transformation that He has for each one of us on our own individual journeys with Him. The love and healing He has for you is so rich and satisfying. Don’t sell out for anything less than the deep love, forgiveness, and life-change He has in store for you. If only you would give Him your whole life. If only you would follow after Him with no conditions or expectations. The journey of following after Christ is an adventure, to say the least! It is filled with wildness, excitement, and unknown blessings. Give Him your life and just see what He can make out of your brokenness!