I am the person who unfortunately believes the bad things anyone tells them. I am also the person who will take one minute detail and suddenly base that as evidence of something that I am.
This all started about 4 years ago during worship. The pastor was singing, "Who the Son sets free is free indeed," instead I heard, "Who the devil sets free is free indeed." I ignored it, but then I started thinking, "You are hearing that because you were never a child of God." And I believed it. I believed that I was predestined for hell and that it must have been because I committed the sin of blasphemy. This took a lot of willpower to not let it take over my life. It came to the point of me only believing that I was only sincere in my life when it came to evil things, that that was who I really was and not a child of God. I am still unsure till this day which is true, and which is a lie.
Unfortunately I walked away from God, and now that I am trying to come back I feel like I can't. In school, I hang around with a lot of homosexual friends. I never thought anything of it until a friend of mine asked all of us who are straight, "Which of us do you think is gay?" and being the way I am, I immediately thought, "Am I?" And I am now battling over my sexuality. I know that it's wrong, and I never had any desire for a woman before, but after that conversation with those friends, I find myself attempting to think and act like a lesbian. It's horrible, but I don't know how to stop it.
Aside from the homosexuality feeling, I feel as though I am a phony, that my walk with God is fake. Everyone always says that "faith isn't mental, it's in your heart and what your spirit knows." But I feel like my heart is totally hard towards God and that no matter how many times I will say, "Lord make me believe, or Lord please deliver me of all of this garbage," that he will never listen because my heart is truly not in it. I don't know if it's a matter of faith or a matter of my emotions, but I don't know how to separate the two and just believe and believe that God can deliver me and forgive me for all of the sins that I've done. I try to pray and read the bible, but I go to sleep feeling worse off than I did before. I don't know how to fix it. I am in a depression that I'm honestly not sure I can get out of.
I don't know where to turn. I am trying to turn to God, but the whole issue of sincerity and insincerity is getting to me and it's prohibiting me from allowing God to really save me. I don't want to be evil or unsaved or predestined for hell. But I don't know how to take myself out of the equation and focus on God and him healing me.
Why can't he just ignore all of my sins and my unbelief and my insincere feelings and just show me he is God and change me?!?!
I am so glad you wrote to us! I am so sorry for this place you find yourself. It has to be really hard to be you, at least right now. But I do have an observation and a couple of suggestions I think may help.
The Bible says, "As a man thinks in his heart, so is he" (Prov. 23:7). The beliefs you have about yourself and "the way you are," constitute a filter through which you interpret everything you see and hear. From what you describe, your "flesh filter" (flesh is the human part of us that operates apart from the Spirit of God; it's broken and unredeemable, which is why it needs to be crucified with Christ) is exceptionally susceptible to suggestion. You easily believe things whether they are true or not simply because the thought is in your head. It doesn't matter if it came from your own heart or from the outside as a spiritual attack, your filter tags all thoughts as valid and true. (Which is also a problem in college, where you hear things that are not true all the time but you don't know they're not true!)
Where does that come from?
From not being grounded in truth. You don't know what is true, so you can't identify what is a lie. Lots of people try to make faith a warm fuzzy emotion of the heart, but that's not the kind of biblical faith Jesus called us to. Faith is radical trust based on evidence that God is trustworthy. That's one reason Jesus calls us to love God with our minds: we need to actively engage with the evidence for His existence and evidence of His love for us. And that's why your prayers, as well-intentioned as they are, aren't being answered. God doesn't want you to passively sit back and let Him do all the work, because He will not do for us what He calls us to do for ourselves. Asking Him to make you believe is like showing up on the __________ campus and expecting the school to educate you while you stay in your room without going to class or studying. Does that make sense?
I want to recommend an excellent resource to you that will help build your faith by wrestling with the truth that will allow your faith to rest on the fact that it's TRUE and not some warm fuzzy feeling. Teresa Vining wrote Making Your Faith Your Own after having some similar struggles to yours while she was in college. www.ccel.us/makingyrfaith.toc.html and www.amazon.com/Making-Your-Faith-Own-Guidebook/dp/0830823263/
Concerning your struggle with your sexual identity: it's important that you speak the truth to yourself. God made you a female, designed to connect meaningfully with both women and men in different ways. The erotic/romantic connection is intended to be strictly between men and women. You are not a lesbian, you are being tempted with same-sex feelings that are coming from outside you (spiritual warfare). They may be strong, but they are not true. Truth is reality as God sees it, and He made you a heterosexual woman. This is the same line of thinking (helping people see and commit to what is true rather than their feelings) that we teach in the ministry I serve with that helps same-sex-attracted people deal with unwanted homosexuality.
I hope you find this helpful. I send this with a prayer that you will know that God loves you, He is for you, and there is hope for getting out of this dark place as you walk into His light.
© 2009 Probe Ministries
About the Author
Sue Bohlin is an associate speaker with Probe Ministries. She attended the University of Illinois, and has been a Bible teacher and conference speaker for over 35 years. She is a frequent speaker for MOPS (Mothers of Pre-Schoolers) and Stonecroft Ministries (Christian Women's Connections), and serves on the board and as a small group leader of Living Hope Ministries, a Christ-centered outreach to those dealing with unwanted homosexuality. Sue is on the Bible.org Women's Leadership Team and is a regular contributor to Bible.org's Tapestry Blog. She is also a professional calligrapher and the webmistress for Probe Ministries; but most importantly, she is the wife of Dr. Ray Bohlin and the mother of their two grown sons. Her personal website is suebohlin.com.
What is Probe?
Probe Ministries is a non-profit ministry whose mission is to assist the church in renewing the minds of believers with a Christian worldview and to equip the church to engage the world for Christ. Probe fulfills this mission through our Mind Games conferences for youth and adults, our 3-minute daily radio program, and our extensive Web site at www.probe.org.
Further information about Probe's materials and ministry may be obtained by contacting us at:
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