I did in fact read all of your post. You are very astute in your observations and study and are well researched. I do agree there is a medical aspect to it, and that even the brain’s surface reshapes according to our propensities, habit, and behavioral choices.
The most baseline point is all humankind is born under the curse of Adam, and death has its many and unique and person-specific ways of working through our physical bodies and the mental image of ourselves. The temptations and tastes and lures that draw our personhood further into separation from Christ and His Holy standards are also known by our soul’s enemy and his legions of darkness.
The temptation to find strange attraction may be one person’s particular lure, for some it might be a food addiction, for others, it might be seeking occult-like power. Whatever the reasons for these lures, God’s Holy standard does not change and He promises to make a way of escape. In 1 Corinthians 10, the Apostle Paul, writing under the anointing of God’s Spirit, starts with a warning of humility (vs 12), and then a promise (vs 13), and then a charge to respond (vs 14).
12 So, whoever thinks he stands must be careful not to fall. 13 No temptation has come upon you except what is common to humanity. But God is faithful; he will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation he will also provide a way out so that you may be able to bear it. 14 So then, my dear friends, flee from idolatry. [1 Corinthians 10:12-14 CSB]
The problem too many struggling with temptation find is they think they can resist their particular temptation by their own effort and willpower alone.
James gives us the most basic 3 part formula for success in this:
7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. [James 4:7 KJV]
1. Submission to God’s ability and authority is the primary step. How that is done is making Him your primary relationship that is so important that we let no other relationships compare to it. (Seek first the Kingdom, requires knowing Who The King is.) Without this vital first step, the other ones become impossible. The tempters whispering the enticements do not want to get anywhere near The One who defeats him, so the closer in daily and deliberate fellowship anyone is with Him to less likely they are to “want to” run after other distractions that hinder that relationship. As the scripture affirms our identity is in Christ. Knowing Him also requires a studied knowledge and treasuring of His Word. Remember what the Psalmist said:
10 With my whole heart I have sought You; Oh, let me not wander from Your commandments! 11 Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You. [Psalm 119:10-11 NKJV]
James also provides us with a succinct definition of what it is “to sin”:
17 Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it. [James 4:17 NLT]
God writes upon the innate consciousness of mankind what is “naturally” right.
15 They demonstrate that God’s law is written in their hearts, for their own conscience and thoughts either accuse them or tell them they are doing right. [Romans 2:15 NLT]
But it is not merely hearing The Word, but also yielding to Him in obedience to what His commands imply for our life and the circumstance of temptation that we find ourselves in.
2. Once knowledge of God’s position is internalized, and we yield to His power to overcome the temptation, we realize we have been granted His authority to act upon God’s desires. That emboldens us to be able to do the second part, which is to “Resist the Devil” with God’s full backing and capacity to turn that tempter and its sensual bait away.
3. The third part is “to watch” what happens, and learn that this is something beyond what was thought possible. This is the takeaway knowledge that gives us the confidence that even the gates of Hell cannot stand against us. This is the freedom we Christians are to proclaim to “the captives”. That there is a remedy for their enslavement. Jesus makes that possible.
Deep down, if they have not completely doubled-down in their heart*, they know that whatever temptation they pursue is harming them and isolating them from the need that truly satisfies their human longing.
* There are some who have so refused Jesus that at some point God gives them over to their reprobate mind and solidifies them in their demand to be separate from Him. (See Romans 1:28-32)
Thank you for your reply and thoughtful consideration.
I know there are particular and unique strongholds that the enemy establishes in the human heart. My particular temptations may not be the same as yours, and those trapped in the LGBTQA lifestyle are suffering under theirs.
But I know our God loves them. That His redemption is offered to them if they can come to trust Him to bring them out of that entrapment.
4 (For the weapons of our warfare [are] not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) [2 Corinthians 10:4 KJV]
I know we are charged to love and pray for them, and that each of us has a unique ministry to reach those whom God has placed upon our hearts to seek out with His message placed within us.
So I encourage you to minister to them with your gifts and talents. Let God give you His voice to speak into their need. He equips those He calls. Don’t let the “bigness” of the task distract you from the “obedience to follow” God’s leading.
Remember the 3 parts:
Now go to it, my dear sister. Challenge the darkness. God loves them every bit as much as you do.
Brian Stansell (aka O'Brian of the Surface World)
I was born in war.
Fighting from my first breath.