It’s only recently that I’ve begun to think about my Christian life as being particularly like a battle. But I think the battle rages in the small decisions you take every day and also in the way you choose to believe what doesn’t always feel true…
As someone who experiences same-sex attraction, I’ve often found that the battle has gone right to where I’m the least sure: my identity and how I think God sees me. By beginning to change my prayer habits and learning more about God as a father, I’ve experienced the truth that God really does give us what we need to fight, and win, the battle.
How has it changed how I pray?
I’ve been challenged about how I pray and that I don’t spend enough time thanking God for who He is. The first half of The Lord’s Prayer is all about God: His role as our father in heaven, the honour of His name, His kingdom and His will.
This means that my starting point isn’t, or shouldn't be, about me. There is immense value in spending time each day praising God for who He is, focusing on just one particular element of His character. I’ve tried to do this by spending time each morning thanking God for who he is (often using the ‘I am’ statements of Jesus in John’s gospel) and asking Him to press them into my heart.
What aspect(s) of God have I learnt more about?
There’s a big difference between knowing about God and knowing God. Two truths have become especially precious: that God is a father to His people and that He really is everything we need (i.e Jesus as the bread of life). Everything that He says to me is coming from a father to His child. This means that He isn’t out to get me and that He does really want the best for me. I don’t need to be scared of approaching Him, or asking for His help. In fact, He wants me to ask Him!
Dwelling on these specific parts of God’s character has helped me shift my eyes off of me and has stopped me from constantly comparing myself to other people. It’s shown me I have a father who is the greatest giver (thanks for the phrase Jonty!), who will never turn me away.
Has that changed my behaviour?
All this means that I’ve realized how much more God is deserving of our praise and how we should act to seek the honour of His name, not our own. When I’ve heard people talk disparagingly about God, the Bible and Christians in general, I’ve spoken up in ways that I wouldn’t have before. Knowing God in a deeper way, not just knowing about Him, has made me bolder and given me the courage I need to take a stand for Jesus in the every day.
This blog post is part of…