Lessons We Learn From the Homosexual: The Now and the Not Yet
"He has forever perfected those who are being made perfect." --Hebrews 10:14
This is perhaps the most important and wonder-ful spiritual truths I have ever come across.
How can this be? If we are made perfect, then how are we still being made perfect? And if we are being made perfect, we are not yet perfected. Can both be true at the same time? Good news for the one redeemed by Christ: they are. Both. Right now.
The concept of the Now and the Not Yet is best illustrated by discussing the Kingdom. What is the Kingdom? Christ speaks of it in both present and future tense. He ushers it in, and yet it is yet to come. The truth is that Christ Did institute the Kingdom of God on earth. He is its firstfruits and its Ruler. And yet, as we the temporal can attest, the Kingdom seems to be anywhere but where we live. We hope in the day that God will refine and redeem the earth, welcoming us to the New Earth He promised. Isn't That Really the Kingdom?
There is no denying that we are currently princes and heirs in the Kingdom. But it's fullness is yet to come.
The same is true of salvation. The penitent is saved in a moment, and yet that salvation is an ongoing process, a world-long journey.
And, as the writer of Hebrews points out, this same concept is in operation in the area of our perfection (or sanctity).
I like to compare it to the Matrix. Those newly aware of the Matrix's nature know that they have the ability to overcome and exceed the strictures and laws that they have previous accepted. They know these laws to be illusory and their world to be a computer-induced hallucination. And yet they cannot fly. No one ever makes the first long-range jump without falling.
Why can't they do these things that they know are possible? Because their minds will not let them. In the same way, if they die in the Matrix, their mind, convinced of its demise, expires in the real. They have been given (as it were) super powers, but the exercise of these powers is an unfolding and difficult process.
So it is in the Kingdom. We HAVE been perfected (sanctified, justified) if we have given ourselves to our Creator's will. And yet we find it so hard to realize (in both senses) this perfection.
What is to be done? The only way to live out your perfection is to take its existence on faith and constantly remind your doubting humanity. We will never reach our true sanctification until the Kingdom is in its fullness. But we may journey ever closer.
This is crucial in the journey out of homosexuality. There was a time when God revealed to me that I was heterosexual. This was a funny and incred-ible idea. And yet I knew t was true; it had come from God's own mouth. There were (and still are) many times when I had to remind myself of that truth as I found myself thinking in or living out of old patterns. And little by little, I approached that truth by claiming its present and future truth and refusing all other claims.
This knowledge, this faith, this discipline is absolutely vital to our Christian walk and our continual molding into God's image. Both Now and in the Not Yet.