The Faraway Promise, Or He Is Not Ashamed
Read Hebrews Chapter 11
Heb 11:13 All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth.
Heb 11:15 If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.
What if you knew that you would have to live the remainder of your life locked in battle with same-sex temptations? What if you knew that God’s promise of freedom from that battle would not be fulfilled in this life? Would you still worship and obey your Savior? Maybe we won’t be able to answer that question; maybe we don’t know what our answer would be in the long haul. Nevertheless, it is a question that we are going to explore in today’s devotion.
These verses refer to some of the Old Testament figures who were given great promises from God, some of which were not fulfilled in their lifetimes. The main figure referenced is Abraham. He was promised a child, an heir who would become the father of a great nation. He lived long enough to see the birth of his son Isaac. But he was also promised that his descendants would occupy the Promised Land. That promise was not fulfilled until hundreds of years later. Abraham lived as a wandering nomad, an alien and stranger for many years in the land God promised to give him as an inheritance. He did not live long enough to see that promise come to pass.
The SSA man is promised freedom from sin. Actually, every Christian is promised freedom from sin. Some receive a measure of freedom from SSA while on this earth. Such will not be the case for all of us. Some men will live their entire lives on earth having to fight same-sex attractions on a regular basis. The question we must ask ourselves is the same one that Abraham had to ask himself. Do we choose to continue to have faith in God and His promises, or do we abandon our faith and return to the life God called us away from? Do we give up because God hasn’t as yet zapped us with freedom from this temptation?
Verses 15 and 16 give us the answer, if we choose to listen to it. Abraham thought of his new country, not allowing himself
to long for the country of his birth. His example is the guide to our answer. Our eyes must remain fixed on the “better country.” There is a better life promised us, and we must look forward to that life. The more we allow our minds to be focused on what we left behind, and what we are missing, the more we are likely to falter in our faith.
Do not think for even a moment that our Lord is not aware of how difficult is our journey out of homosexuality. He knows, and He is already very proud of us, having seen the mountains we have climbed thus far and the deserts we have crossed. He sees how we grow weary of the journey and sometimes stumble and fall. He also notices that each time we fall, we pick ourselves up and continue forward toward that new country. Verse 16 is beautiful! He is not ashamed to call Himself our God! Do you really understand what that is saying? He is not ashamed of any of His SSA children! Although we often are ashamed of ourselves, HE ISN’T ASHAMED OF US! God has prepared that city for us, and He walks alongside us as we look forward to its promise.
Prayer: Give all of my SSA friends the ability to see the big picture, to continue in faith toward our promised land. Let not our faith falter along the way. For those who have already returned to “the homeland,” place within them a new resolve to restart the journey. Increase our faith, wherever we are along the way.