Why I Fight The Fight
By Ethan Martin, Director, Revelation Ministry 1211, Fort Meyers, FL
I sat there sitting on a rock staring out across a small valley to the Old City in Jerusalem, silently weeping. My Pastor came up to me, put his hand on my shoulder, and said “I would love to know the thoughts going through your head.” I couldn’t speak. My emotions rolled over me like a tidal wave enveloping the beach. How could he possibly know what I have gone through? How could he even remotely understand what I have given up to follow Christ? How could he know the sudden despairing sadness I felt at the loss of everything I had dreamed of? How could he grasp the magnitude of the sacrifice I was making on behalf of my beliefs? My Pastor couldn’t. But He could. And He does. I was sitting in the Garden of Gethsemane, the place where Christ questioned God’s plan for His life, wrestled, was tormented, and found acceptance. I connected with Christ on such a deep level there. I suddenly felt like my burden was nothing compared to what He went through. He sacrificed His life because of His love for me. I found myself uttering the words Christ said 2,000 years past, “Father, take this cup from me. Not my will, but yours be done.” The cup wasn’t taken away from Him because that was not the Father’s will. And the cup wasn’t taken from me because that is not the Father’s will.
For me, I continue to fight the fight because it is God’s will for me life; it is my cup. And I do so because of my understanding of His love and His grace. The definition of true love is mentioned in the Bible: “Greater love has no man than this, that he would lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”- John 15:13. This was proven to us by Jesus who laid His life down for us. If I say that I love Jesus, then what am I willing to sacrifice? What cup will He ask me to drink from? If I am not willing to sacrifice EVERYTHING (which just so happens to include my sexuality), then I don’t really love Him. But I do love Him. And so I choose to sacrifice my all, including my sexuality, to follow Christ. I love Him because He first loved me. And His grace says that all my sins are forgiven. Past, present and future. I can rest in knowing that nothing could ever separate me from the love of Jesus. But I also don’t want to sin, because I love Him. Could I continue to live in sin. Absolutely! Do I want to? No! Why? Because if I accepted my same-sex attraction as my identity, and lived it out, I would be living contrary to God, and it frightens and saddens me to even think of that. To accept my flesh and deny my spirit would mean that I would have to forget all the great memories of healing, all of my great experiences with God, and most importantly of His love which I fell in love with. Grace and love do not exist to merely accept who we are and stay there. Grace and love allow us the space to know and feel we are loved and gently move us ever toward holiness.