JOURNEY TO FREEDOM
UNIT II Key 1 DESIRE
SCRIPTURE PRINCIPLE: What is desirable in a man is his kindness. Proverbs 19:22a
(Some translations say “loyalty” or “unfailing love” instead of “kindness”.)
How has your life been since you began the Keys? You started because you wanted to overcome ssa/ma/tx. You knew that overcoming it would not be easy. You knew that periods of calm would be interrupted by fierce temptations. Do you sometimes feel as if your life is on a rollercoaster, going from victory to defeat in a matter of hours? When one seriously attempts to make changes in one’s life, one often takes two steps forward and one step back, and overcoming these issues is no exception.
Ssa/ma/tx sins are addictive. Numerous verses in the New Testament refer to us as slaves of sin; these verses apply equally to heterosexuals also. Anyone who diligently reads the Bible will find such verses in the Epistles. When one begins to follow God’s leading into freedom, one often goes into withdrawal. Withdrawal often causes some distress in one’s life, whether the withdrawal is from a chemical or behavioral addiction. We often use our sins for comfort when we feel painful emotions or stress. When we begin to resist temptation, we often experience emotions and stresses that we had been avoiding by indulging in our sins. Often we are surprised by how powerful those are. We need to find godly ways with which to cope.
You have gotten this far because you TRUST God. You trust that His way is better than your way. You may be living in an environment that is very supportive of alternative sexualities, but you were willing to give up those relationships and beliefs because you trusted God to give you better rewards. You became willing to trust Him with your sexuality because you believed by faith that God wants to bring you blessings and that only your sins have stood in His way.
Are you now ready to trust God with your whole person? The Keys were never intended to just deal with ssa/ma/tx; they were designed to deal with the whole person. Are you ready to let God go deeply into your mind and self-will to change everything that is outside of His will for you? Do you want everything He wants to give you? Are you ready to let Him have all of you?
Many ssa/ma/tx people come from backgrounds of hostility and rejection. Many only want love, friendship, approval, understanding, loyalty, acceptance, and a sense of belonging. Those are perfectly normal things to want; God made us to desire those things and to live in fellowship and community with others. But in a fallen world, where these good things are not always readily available, we feel driven to seek out those things in wrong ways. The devil lies to us and persuades us that we need to sin in order to get the love we crave.
How did sex become the price of acceptance? Why was love not available without the sexual price tag? Some do not know how to have a close friend without sex becoming the way to bond with the other, some are willing to barter sex in order to receive friendship, and some will offer friendship only if sex is provided in return.
By now you may be losing friends, and people may be withdrawing from you because you are no longer available for sexual activity. One of the biggest barriers to overcoming ssa/ma/tx is loneliness. Loneliness is the number 1 reason that people give up and go back to their old lifestyle.
A season of loneliness may be a necessary phase of overcoming, but likely it will only be temporary. Solitude may be one of the disciplines that God brings to your life for a season, as you focus on your identity in Christ as a penitent and forgiven sinner.
The solitude can be a blessing as you allow the Holy Spirit to search your mind, confront your sins of thought, identify lies with which you were deceived, face painful memories, become increasingly transparent before God, fearlessly confess what sins are brought to your attention, and learn to love yourself the right way. We can only do this when we are confident that our salvation is totally dependent on God’s mercy in Christ and not in any way based upon our own merit.
In our loneliness, God gives us an opportunity to grow closer to Him. During this time of solitude and silence, we can learn to catch ourselves at negative thinking, identify the lies that were injected into our minds at vulnerable times, recognize how those lies fueled our temptations, and fill our minds with the Word of God to refute them. During this season of solitude, our self-esteem can grow as old patterns are broken and replaced with more satisfactory habits. It can be time of increased gratitude to God for His goodness and mercy.
God is trying to bless us. The lies of the devil bring only torment; the truth from God brings peace. God wants to bless us; but for Him to do that, we need to learn to accept blessings on His terms. Do you trust Him enough to do that?
SCRIPTURE: Write what each of these verses or passages means to you and your situation.
I John 5:1-6
I John 3:10-24
Hosea 5:15, 6:1-3, & 6:6
STUDY GUIDE (Feel free to write on the backside or use additional paper if necessary.)
- What do you learn from Hebrews 12:3-11?
- On a scale of 1-10, how much do you trust God to discipline you in the right way (1 is the lowest, 10 is the highest)?
- On a scale of 1-10, how willing are you to let God do whatever He wants to in your life?
- So far, which Key did you get the most out of? What was the most important thing you got out of it?
- So far, which seems to be the most difficult? What seems to be making it difficult?
- Which Keys have you been able to put into practice?
- What are some thoughts you get from Proverbs 26? You may want to read the chapter over several times and think about it before you answer.
- Is loneliness a problem for you? If so, what steps have you taken to deal with it?
- What steps are you taking to relate to others of the same sex in a non-sexual, friendly manner?
- What thoughts do you get out of I John 2:15-17?
- On a scale of 1-10, how victorious have you been lately? Please explain your answer.
- On a scale of 1-10, how much memory work have you done?
- Did you use any memorized Scripture to battle temptation lately? What was the result?
- How is your spiritual life in general, how are your private devotions, and how are things at your church/fellowship group?
Plan of Action: