I have always struggled with myself. In Islam, the idea of jihad was entirely internal—it was a struggle between the holy parts of us and the wicked. Similarly, we in Christianity note an internal war: one between the Flesh and the New Creation. Jesus tells us, “the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matt 26:41).
Yet, at the same time, Saint Paul tells us to “count [ourselves] dead to sin but alive in Christ Jesus” (Romans 6:11). I realize there is a lot of commentary about Romans, but I have always personally struggled with this passage. How are we count ourselves dead to sin if we still sin? How do I take part of the New Creation if I am plagued with sick fruits? We are ransomed from Death in sin, yes, but death to sin has not severed its power. Why is the war between the Old Self and the New Self still going on? I am not going to lie—I feel enslaved by my sin. The chains are hard to break.
What are these chains? We often make the mistake of confusing our gifts as sin itself. Why? Because they are hated by the world, and therefore perpetuated as vile creatures of the self. In the past, my thoughts about sexuality emprisoned me. I understood sex as a dirty thing, especially within a gay context. As a result, the fruit grew, but they were choked by these vines. The fruits were rotten. I thought to myself, “this is because of my sexuality. If I were not gay, these fruits would be fresh”.
What a lie.
It was not my sexuality, but the depricating thoughts that I applied to it. I did not see the chain; I was blinded by the Adversary. The beauty of my sexuality could not shine until the chains were ripped from their roots. How did I know?
I cannot say for sure. It was a gentle, small voice that told me, “be free”. It was a voice that did not destroy me, but built me up. It was a deep-hearted whisper that I thought maybe, just maybe, could be true.
The Holy Spirit is not as forward and loud as sometimes we put Him. He can be found in the silence just as much as he may be discovered with Tongues of Fire. The Holy Spirit is the one that inscribes the Law on our Heart. And this law is always lifegiving—not destructive.
And I trusted it. I pulled with struggle the chains that I felt were present. It was by no means an easy task; I struggled, quarreled, lost hope, found hope, gave up, tried and tried. Once I pulled it out, though, I felt free. Free in Christ. Dead to the Flesh, and alive in the New Creation. Moving closer to who I am meant to be.
We all have chains, and not just ones pertaining to our sexuality. Sin still ties us up. But we are the New Creation. We will not die. However chained we may be, our bodies have changed. We are the New Creation. However tired we may become, we will not fall asleep. We are the New Creation. And the New Creation is grounded in Jesus. The New Creation is grounded in Love.
So, whenever you struggle, look for the good fruits. Trust that gentle whisper in your heart. God has made you new. The Old Self is dead, and the New Self has been born. Break the chains, one at a time.
Everyday, we will get a little closer to liberating who you are. Your beauty has been transformed; it has become immortal. Love it and free yourself