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Logo of Forward to Zion: Ohio Hometown Camp Meeting 2016: Sharing the Truth in a Dangerous World

Sharing the Cross Connection

Danielle Harrison

Presenter

Danielle Harrison

Involved in "Into His Light" Ministries and Associate of "Coming Out Ministries"

Sponsor

Recorded

  • June 3, 2016
    7:00 PM
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Dear Heavenly Father Lord. It's a privilege and then on earth to to be here tonight and not just for me to be here I know it's a it's a privilege for each and every one of us to be here not only in this camp meeting here where we're hearing great messages and we're learning about you Lord but just to be here quote unquote in this space that we're living in in our lives right now because I believe that if we're here. Then each and every one of us are having some kind of it and experience and a walk with you and that is such a privilege and an honor you hold all of the Worlds in motion forward but somehow you've been your ear to hear our prayers. Somehow you are a personal God who reaches down and speaks to us through your creation and through your spirit and we think you that you are calling each and every one of us out of darkness into your marvelous light you're speaking to each and every one of our hearts and I pray that tonight you will do that in abundance. Lord and I know that I can only stumble and studder over myself I'm not eloquent of speech and I can't deliver the information that you want these people to hear. And so Lord it's going to take your Holy Spirit to step in and do what I cannot do the Lord you promised in your word that that you will send your Holy Spirit to those who ask you say a little leaven thirteen if you being evil know how to give good gifts unto your children. How much more shall the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that I ask so Lord I ask you humbly for your Holy Spirit tonight and I ask you boldly for a double portion of your Holy Spirit this evening because you promise that if I ask you will give I trust in you Lord lead me through this in a timely fashion and may each and every one of us glean something applicable for us today we love you Jesus. We're here for you will we ask you to use us. For your kingdom to bring others into the space where they know you personally and so how many of you know someone who identifies as lesbian gay bisexual or transgender most of us here most of us would say that and and for those of you who didn't raise your hand you might be surprised to find out that you do know someone but maybe you just don't know that that's where they're out. So this is something that's coming into the forefront of the media and the the buzz today right. And we're seeing a lot of things happening. We're seeing a lot of things happening. Within the Supreme Court right. And you know in the in the realm of Adventism we talk about the evidences of the Sunday law everywhere you know we've known that these things are coming. We've known that something is on the horizon and that we will be persecuted over this issue right. But did we really for see this being the precursor for this issue being the precursor of that persecution. You know did we see this issue coming and and taking over the focus of our country. I think most of us didn't see it coming and we didn't see the Supreme Court making a moral decision for all of the states we didn't see that coming. Because it's really not their place to make that kind of a decision. We didn't see. Schools having curriculums imposed upon them and we see the green politics movement over in Europe and we see it probable and also in Canada where there's sexual education curriculums that are mandatory in the public schools teaching. Sexual education that begins in kindergarten teaching small children in kindergarten how to participate in masturbation because to them they believe that it's just a healthy part of sexual development right so kindergartners last word starts teaching self-abuse and then as the years go on and they start teaching them how to have sexual interactions the very young age this is in grade school and then up into the high school years they're actually into the implementing other fringe kinds of sexuality these are things that they're going to be teaching including sadomasochism and all of that is fifty shades of grey becomes more popular right did we see these seeing these kind of curriculums coming in to schools. Well you might say well that's not happening in the States but oh yes it is it's coming it's on its way and it's it's being implemented in some states and you know what in Germany it's actually illegal to homeschool your children if you do not put your children into the public school system they will come and they'll say you're abusing your children and they'll take you to jail and they'll take your kids from you so you don't have the option of opting out and it's coming here. It's coming. Did we see that laws would be imposed upon schools that are receiving government funding. You know if you don't comply to having gender neutral bathrooms then you will have our monetary restrictions placed upon you you know these things these are things that are coming upon us today and we know that with the Supreme Court making moral decisions. That's going to have implications not only on this realm of sexuality and marriage but also for the Sabbath because marriage and the Sabbath are twenty institutions right they were both creative and even and so if we see the attack on marriage we're soon going to see it on the Sabbath as well. Monetary restrictions are we going to see that also place upon issues of the Sabbath. And are we going to have are we going to run the risk of losing our children and losing losing things for for the sake of what we believe in what we stand for it's going to be more and more complicated. Are we if we're not willing in the face of religious persecution to say this is what I believe. And as for me in my house we will serve the Lord and if we're not willing to do that on this issue we're placing ourselves in a pattern that's going to teach us to compromise in other areas. It's going to be one compromise of a time and it's going to be slowly. But we're really in the really in the trying field right now. That's what we're going through. And so we're not going to stand to where the seventh commandment is concerned we're not going to stand with the issues of the Fourth Amendment are concerned we might think oh no you know I'm really going to do it but. We don't realize how complicated the scenarios are going to be and if we're not really settling ourselves to stand today on these small little issues we're not going to be ready and willing to do it when it gets harder and so when I say this I'm not talking about I'm not talking about you know just kind of glossing over things sometimes we we want to in the face of the challenges we want to either become overzealous or we just want to become really soft and pliable so we have to be we have to be establishing our feet on a solid foundation now before the before the big waves really start to come where seeing the first. The first signs of the storm right and we've got to get ready for what's about to come and so we've got to be willing to stand in what we. Our churches were to hold up to the standard and preach the Gospel in our churches and there are so many people who think well this is really this is hard because if people are coming into the church and we say something that offends them and and this and that will tell you what whenever I was coming in to the church. They didn't. Form fit the worship of the Lord around what they thought was going to be pleasing to me they just worship the Lord and let the Holy Spirit do the work on me that it needed to you know we we don't want to become religious bullies. But we also don't want to lace a lay aside of the truth and and just fill our churches with with pagan worship styles and unconverted people who aren't really interested to be there to worship the Lord. They just want to be there for for a Spiritual Hierarchy. So the other thing I want to mention before I move on is that there's a difference between someone who is coming into the church and they're yielding to the Holy Spirit as they're learning. Because that was the place that I was in you know I I came into that church environment and as light was given to me as they just continued to worship the Lord I started to see things from our perspective I hadn't seen them from before and I was willing to yield to the Spirit of God. As the convictions came upon the right so the Holy Spirit was doing the work and I was yielding there's a difference between someone like that and someone who comes into the church and says you know I don't really care what the Bible says because I think it says something different than what you're saying and I'm going to go ahead and live as an open homosexual or whatever the case may be they me. They may be in something else right and and they're just saying no I don't care what the Bible says I don't care what you say I'm just going to do what I want and. That's a totally different spirit right and that has to be approached differently as well you know we really have to study out Matthew eighteen and understand how to how to deal with this kind of confrontation because if we just allow that kind of an atmosphere to come into our churches. Then the rebellion is going to breed. It's going to spread. But we don't want to just look at a person and their struggle and judge them and say you're not welcome here. Even the person who's being rebellious like I said we need to study Matthew eighteen and we need to know how to biblically approach that kind of conflict and that kind of rebellion. So are we having. Important conversations in our churches are you having conversations in your churches about the war on sexuality. Are you talking about what are we going to do and how are we going to react when people start walking into our churches and I didn't say if I said when right. Because it's going to start happening by God's grace let it happen. We've got to be able and ready and willing to reflect Christ to them when they come in and not look at them like they're aliens and clam up and push them right back out the doors where they came in right. We have to stand firm on our policies as far as moral decisions are concerned. And where they're being imposed upon us by our society in our government but when it comes to individuals we must act in love and we don't interpose our beliefs upon them. So are you having these kind of conversations in your churches are you preparing yourself because how do you react when you're walking down the street. And you see someone like this do you look at Van. DO YOU MAKE EYE CONTACT WITH THEM. Do you smile at them. Do you pray for them in your heart. You interact with them if you do what do you say most of us as Christians we don't know how to interact with these kind of people we get very awkward. We just kind of close up right. Would you believe that someone like this could become a warrior for Christ or do you just look at them and think man what a pity a lost cause. What about someone like this do you make eye contact with them or do you pray for them. Those people who seem unreachable. Do you believe that they could become a warrior for Christ because maybe you see something if you were here for my testimony and maybe you don't but in both of those groups of photos. One of those people were me you never know who's going to become a warrior for Christ and so we have to be willing to connect personally one on one with the people even the people that seem so different from us so how do we do that and how do we do that because many are sunken in sin they long to find a solace for their troubles and so you can tell them to seek it in law some pleasures that lead to ruin and death. He is offering them the apples of Sodom that will turn to ashes upon their lips. There's many people in our world today right that are struggling they're hurting some of them where there are damage on their face like I did right in their dress and and you can see that there's a need there right. We don't know what's going on with them but they're expressing by the way they live their life and how they present themselves that there's there's a need there some people don't present themselves like that some people present themselves like they're just fine and everything's all together but many are sunken in sin and what are they looking for what are they looking. For there for their seeking for solace from their troubles right. That's what they're searching for we're told in Christ Lawson's the Christ will perform a wonderful miracles. If men will but do their God given part in human hearts today as great a transformation maybe rod as has ever been a lot in generation generations past so that first statement is presented to us you know this is the condition of the world. However it goes on to say right that Christ will perform miracles that we can't even fathom just the way that he was doing it before and I think the most prime example is of course Saul into Paul when I think about the conversion experience of Saul who was leading out in the persecution of Christians and he became Who did he come for the church you know he was a he was one of the most powerful and profound leaders in the church what a change right. So if God can change Saul into Polly he can change me right. And just as powerful of a transformation as was happening than can happen today is while the truth is you know this is a blanket statement and it doesn't apply to every single person but from my experience and from the experience of my colleagues in ministry and from the experience of many people that I've talked to people who struggle with same sex attraction and gender confusion have some kind have experienced some kind of rejection or neglect as a child or they've they've they've had some kind of abuse done to them whether emotional physical sexual or there's just some kind of pain that hasn't been addressed with what's going on as they're searching for worth and purpose and we saw that right in the in the quote that we looked at before many of these people feel very alone. They feel like no one cares. They feel a lot of guilt or regret for what they've done in their lives and they've. Fill empty inside now like I said this isn't one hundred percent I'm going to share some statistics and I'm going to you know I'm saying these things and I'm not blanketing that across every single person who identifies as a team because I just can't do that you know there's not a formula that makes someone struggle in this area. But many many people that I've met have have these kind of deep seated the issues in their heart what they're searching for is forgiveness and love right. And when someone is emotionally damaged it changes them it affects them it affects how they view themselves how they relate to others how they treat others and how they react to others and of course it also affects how they view God and how they react to his word. So what's the solution to this problem that we see. Well the first thing that I would say is I'm going to talk about the responses that people have to their emotional pain we just talked about. The way that that emotional pain affect someone what is the kind of responses that something that someone has when they struggle with emotional pain a lot of the times it's bitterness anger. They become so focused or Judge Mental they emotionally just shut down or they pull away from you. Maybe they build a wall and some of them just take charge you know if you start to enter into a place where their emotional pain is they just they become you know very controlling of the conversation I see a lot of a lot of the debates on issues as soon as someone starts expressing anything that southern than one hundred percent acceptance they just say they just they can't even listen to what the person says no I don't agree with you in the start getting angry they wanted start dominating the the the conversation because it's tapping into all. An area of emotional pain for them so when we look at and how they responded can help us to understand how not to respond to them right. If we look at someone and we make assumptions about why they are the way they are and and we look at them and we judge them because of their attractions or their temptations and we come better towards them or we start acting in really towards them or judgment toll or we just shut them down and act like they're not even there if they walk through the church doors or or whatever the case may be if we respond like this to them it's only going to cultivate what's already there in them that needs to be resolved. So this is a good thing to look at this is how we should not respond to them. Here's a nother good example. This is from the Rolling Stone magazine in two thousand and fourteen and says After what felt like an eternity. Now this is a young girl who has just come out to her mom on the phone After what felt like an eternity her mom finally responded. I don't know what we could have done for God to have given us a fag as a child she said before hanging up a prime example of what not to do. Right. I think historically we haven't done the greatest job of representing cry used especially to this group. You know my my colleague Michael Carducci talks about how when he you know you be a gay pride parades and he would see the big signs God hates fags and and you know how how much of a terrible representative representation of Christ that is right because if you bear the name of Christ in calling yourself a Christian and you just reject them. What does that tell them that Christ is going to do it just tells them that he rejects them too right. And so that really is it's not the way to do it. Really isn't. As many as forty percent of homeless youth identify as a kind of older studies so I wouldn't be surprised if these numbers are higher today of the of that number the forty percent of all the homeless clients sixty eight percent have experienced family rejection and fifty four percent experienced abuse in the family. So here's this is from the homeless. Well actually this is from Think Progress start org I can give you I can give you the link if you're interested in looking into these it says the forty six percent of homeless youth ran away because of family rejection of their sexual orientation or gender identity forty three percent said that they were forced out of the forced out by parents because of sexual orientation or gender identity thirty two percent said that they were abused at home either physically emotionally or sexually and fourteen percent said that they were aged out of foster care. So when this is the response that we have we just force the kids out of the home and then unfortunately that's what a lot of Christian parents have done because they feel like if they accept the you know if they interact with their child at all that they will be encouraging what they have chosen to do and so they feel like they just have to separate themselves from them completely. And unfortunately what we're doing is worth thrusting or thrusting our children prematurely. Into a culture that is a reality. You know and a lot of a lot of people will get very offended if you refer to it is the gay lifestyle because they say you know I don't like it when you say that because when you say lifestyle it has the tag of promiscuity and drug abuse and and different things like that but the reality is the. Yes rates are much higher in this community. This is actually a survey called the Youth risk behavior survey and this was a collection of middle school students middle school ages and so the blue is the it's the heterosexual population you could say it's the non L.G.B. population right the green is the L.G.B. lesbian gay or bisexual and the yellow or orange color is the transgender and so we're what we're looking at here is the substance use in this group of middle school students when they did this poll and this is cigarettes over here. The number of students who had tried cigarettes in middle school for the non Elegy be it was thirteen percent. For the L.G.B. it was forty four point seven percent and for the transgender it was seventy six point three percent and you can see that this the trends are the same across the board for alcohol marijuana cocaine and inhalants I was astonished when I saw that the cocaine group in middle school three percent of the heterosexual group had tried cocaine in middle school but it jumps up to seventy percent for the transgender you know for me in my experience. In my life when I went out into the drugs and the parties and the relationships and all of that I have this chasm inside of my heart of this into this this void that nothing could fill the parties to do with the drugs and do with the girlfriends to do with the boy for instance do it right and I was just trying to find anything to fill that space but everything that I tried to fill it with just made me feel even more vacant because there's only one thing they can fill that space right. And it's Jesus and we don't have Jesus in the heart we will only fill empty and nothing else can take place. Now we're going to look at the same uterus behave. Survey for middle school students were looking at the suicide indicators for the blow it is. Or the colors are the same the top one is those who have seriously considered suicide eighteen percent of the actual fifty percent for the L.G.B. and fifty seven percent for the transgender we have the same the same trend. Also for made a suicide plan and attempted suicide middle school students who identified as a transgender fifty percent of them. Had attempted attempted suicide. And I think I think that we're seeing these trends of suicide. Especially in the transgender. Group because they think that you know I'm just I'm just in the wrong body and if I actually just have the parts of the other Saxman then I would be that other Saxon and then my wife would just be perfect and that would be wonderful but but the issue is not in the body it's in the mind. There's a confusion in the mind there's a detachment from from reality. And so they have the sex change and they realize that changing their body doesn't heal their mind and their heart and so the issues to resolve they become even more depressed and many of them attempt suicide because the issues are resolving research on the issue of family acceptance of find that those who were highly rejected were eight times more likely to commit suicide now I actually found this to sick on a website that was blaming religion for focusing or or forcing ideas of change on the individuals. So when when the when they presented this statistic they said See it's because of the. The religious people are trying to tell people that they should change. That's why things are so bad but I think there's roots to the issue that's causing this emotional turmoil in people. Yes the rejection does not help us the rejection cultivates that early rejection the that happened or whatever the case may be the abuse or for some they have a perfect childhood and they say nothing like that happened to me but you know Satan presents his lies in a myriad of different ways and however he can bet you he will if you can right. So we've taken a look at what the solution is not now we're going to for the bulk of the presentation we're going to focus on what the solution really is OK This is one of my favorite quotes. I love this quote It's so beautiful the Divine Teacher bears with the airing through all their perversity his love does not grow cold his efforts to win them do not see. With outstretched arms he waits to welcome again and again the airy the rebellious and even the apos state his heart is touched with the helplessness of the little child subject to refuge usage the cry of human suffering never reaches his ear in vain though all are precious in His sight. The rough sullen stubborn dispositions draw most heavily upon his sympathy and love why because he traces from cause to a fact he understands that there is a cause to why these people are the way they are today. It's not an appeal to was to consider that maybe there is something under the surface that we just can't see the one who is most easily tempted and is most. Klein To err is the special object of his solicitude. So not beautiful. I think it's a great example of what the solution is Christian love is slow to censure quick to discern penitence ready to forgive to encourage to set the wonder in the path of holiness and to stay his feet there in. And you know if you've heard any Well if you if you've heard some messages on friendship evangelism it's quite possible you've heard this post right here it's the the cornerstone I think for understanding friendship evangelism we're told in gospel workers Christ math alone. Will give true success in reaching the people. So what does Christ method. While the savior mingled with men as one who desired their good. He showed his sympathy for them he ministered to their needs. He won their confidence and then he bade them follow me so often we just want to present all the truth to someone then and they're not ready to receive it yet. This shows me that it was a process that Christ went through with people he walked with them through the process right and that there was prerequisites sometimes for some people before sharing the truth. So let's kind of break this down point by point being going with them. Oftentimes it's easy to look at people and judge their motives but reaching people involves spending time with them we can look at them and assume that we know why they're doing what they're doing they're just being rebellious and that the they don't want to do what God says and whatever but most people are doing what they believe is right with the information that they have most people are not getting out of bed and saying you know what I'm going to be gay today just. Just to you know ma god know most people are just insincerity doing what they believe is right with the information that they have. So we have to believe that they're sincere and not look at them as just rebellious children and when you see someone like I said Don't clam up don't look awkward make eye contact smile at them look inviting right. We think about the characteristics of Christ and we imagine how his presence just drew people to him when I went out to the Black Hills and I met Dan Gabbert in and maybe you heard me share this in my testimony there was something about that man he had this piece and the Sujoy and this gentleness in this meekness he had the spirit that I hunger and thirst for in my life that was what brought me to church that first Sabbath that I went to church there. It was the spirit that I saw. And so step forward don't step back there expecting you to look shocked and they're expecting you to walk the other way so surprised them by not acting surprised but of course don't don't go out of your way to do all of this and totally be fake out of your character if you're not super outgoing you know don't blow it up and just be phony you know be who you are in your character in the Christ shine through that and then ask questions. You know the easiest way to build a relationship with someone is to find out who they are what their interests are what they like to do you know I put this picture up here because I love photography. So I might I might approach someone and and say Oh I see you have a camera there you know what it what are you shooting with I I love photography too I just got some really great shots and and show that to them you know if you can find common ground then the awkwardness goes away because. You connect with those people and I'll tell you what most of my friends are identified as L G B T. Most of my friends who looks like freaks the you thought you would be totally uncomfortable with they were some of the sweetest people I've ever met in the whole wide world you would be surprised. So find common ground and through that common ground you can connect with them and you can start building a bridge where before there was that goal right. The one who desires their good because reaching people involves having their best intentions at heart washed in times like I said you know we want to we want to look at people we want to judge them and we want to pick out all the things that are wrong with them and then we want to go about doing all that we can to figure out how to show them what they have wrong. But you know what. That's just going to push them away that's going to make them feel judged. It's not going to hold so don't try to show them their need of Christ show them that you care for them and show them the character of Christ through who you are that you really are desiring the good for them because if they don't trust you. They're not going to care what you have to say I love that famous quote People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care right. And remember remember that statement about cause to effect when we look at someone we can look at the outside of this woman's face and and. We can look at her in the in the first photo that I showed her where she's like and she's looking all hard right. But do we really consider that there's something that led her to create that persona to create that mask to shelter herself to protect herself from the people who've. Before but underneath that there's a person who loves there's a person who has the joys and aspirations. There's a person who has fears and perplexities for looking for answers for the questions about life. Rights so see the person not the sin. Don't focus on seeing their sin and finding that out focus on seeing into their heart and searching that out we'll talk more about that later and have Christ's heart toward them right. He was so gentle. At times and sometimes he was very clear and he was very pointed and sometimes he was even almost a little forceful with some people right. Once you started to establish a connection with someone you can start to to speak to them in the way that you know that they'll respond. Some people you just have to be really straightforward with them. And some people you have to be really gentle soul. So take cues from from from what you can learn from your conversation. And choose not to make it a point not to judge them by what you think they are and who you think they are get to know them for who they really truly are show sympathy because reaching people involves showing that you care so as a great way to show sympathy is to invest time and energy into the friendship. So that they know that you care about them you know. Whenever I was out at the at the Black Hills and there was people there and I was just kind of isolating myself because I've I felt very out of place while I was there but there were certain people that would come and they would come to the apartment and they'd be like hey do you want to go for a walk with us and they would reach out to me and they would do what they could to show that they wanted to have a relationship with me and of. That doesn't mean that they would have gone to to a club with me or something Ray we were not going to place ourself in a situation of compromise that we shouldn't be in but they would invite me very often to what they were doing now that didn't mean that I always accepted sometimes I did and sometimes I didn't but they were consistently making themselves available for me and investing time and energy into that friendship and another big thing to show sympathy I think is to actually listen it's a very very simple but it's something I think that we miss the mark on a lot. Because it's really easy when you want to teach you know what you want to be able to teach them certain things eventually right so a lot of the times when they're speaking you're not listening to what they're saying you're just trying to formulate what you're going to say when they start talking and you're missing out you're missing out people know when you're not actively listening to them they know they can tell and not only that but you were you were you're missing out on collecting some very valuable information to use in the future because whenever whenever I came out to the Black Hills. I talked about. You know my room I'm mindset was focused a lot on inner Jean. Because I was reading into energy healing and all of our kind of stuff. And so whenever the when the farmer was teaching me about some of the things in the in the greenhouse he was talking about how you know in the in the seed. There's a natural amount of energy that's there available to the to the seed and all of that energy is used up as the sprout is created as the plant you know as the water activates the seed and it sprouts and grows. But then once once the once the little cattle evens are out it starts to derive energy from the sun. And that's how it continues to grow after it's routed through photosynthesis right and so he would try and explain to me things in a way that I could relate to them and then he would try and draw draw spiritual objects out object lessons out of the things he was speaking to me right so if you know the kind of language that they use you can in the same defied way later on that use that kind of that kind of verbiage told them understand the concepts that you're trying to teach them doesn't make sense. All right one person's getting it. OK and then teach them by your actions that they have infinite value in the side of God you know if if they're not interested in the Gospel yet you can. There are ways that you can show them the the character of God by by the time that you spend with them the next point is ministering to their means because reaching people involves helping where you can and I think the best way that we can hold is through intercessory prayer. And I told people to pray consistently intentionally and specifically so consistently our son on a regular basis. And and intentionally You know sometimes we say we're going to pray for people but then we don't really pray for them. And so we're going to make it our not only our best intention but we're actually going to do it and we're going to be very specific in our prayers. Now I gave the example of my mom's purse for me when I was struggling in the world she said Lord interrupt her plans interrupt her life convict her of her sins and help her to see her need of you and those were the kind of specific and intentional Purrs that my mom was praying. And so those are some specific intentional Purrs that you can pray and if I could add anything to that. I would I would say you know that they will come to understand the true character and nature of God and Jesus and accept them into such except him into their hearts and for them to find answers to the tough questions in life because many people don't trust God. And don't want anything to do with God because they don't know his character and because you know they have all these questions about life and and maybe the answers that they find confuse them about God right. So they need they need real solid answers to the questions that they have and then as you're praying for them and claim local Love and thirteen. I prayed this verse in my prayer before we began. If you evil know how to give good gifts and to your children you know we we have wicked sinful hearts but are hard still go out to give everything that we can to our children because we love them so much right. If our kind of Hearts can have that kind of love then than the God of the universe who loves us. Infinitely more he will give us the Holy Spirit if we ask he's promised bad. And so we can claim thirteen for the Holy Spirit because just the way that each and every one of us have have have had a different past. That's brought us into this room today where we identify how we identify right as Christians I'm assuming most of us identify that way each and every one of us have you know come to this place in our life and there's a different way that we've come to this place of common ground so too. There are many many many different ways that people come to identify as well G B T Right so there's just as there's not a formula to how it happens there's not a formula as to how to reach their heart. So I can tell you do this and say this and then wait a month and then send them. This and you know like I can't I can't tell you what to do to really reach into the heart of the person the Holy Spirit is going to have to lead you into when to step forward and when to step back. You know when to speak and when to be silent. He's the one that's going to have to lead you into this. But if you start claiming this promise and you start asking God to lead you in this you have to respond if God prompts you to do something and you don't do it then it's kind of making the prayer efforts that you're doing and sometimes we pray for something but we don't act in accordance with our prayers and I'll give you a prime example and you know there was this woman she was a lesbian and she was one a really really good friend of mine before I came to Christ and every time when I met her and I instantly connected. She was one of the few people that within the first few moments of our meeting we talked for just a short time and she said you're a Pisces aren't you. There's only two people who've said that to me but she was one of them and and you know what I believed in astrology. And we just instantly connected and and and her and her partner. She was a lesbian her partner came to refer to me and my boyfriend as the kids you know they tell their friends all the kids are coming over this weekend we would go and we would you know make dinner for them because we were vague and even though we were you know we were an Adventist or anything we were began and so we were trying to we were trying to minister to the message of the New Age him mentality that we had and and so we would bring a bunch of food over their house and we cook dinner and we'd hang out with them and then we we were really close and every time that I came over to her house she would just sit down and she would say what's going on in munchkins world that was my nickname. For them to mention what's going on in your world should focus all our attention on me and she would just want to know what was going on in my heart and her and I were both searching spiritually we were reading into all kinds of religions and we wanted to know figure out who God was and we were both trying to learn how to meditate and and and we both really struggled with emotional instability and depression so this was the kind of connection that I had with this woman from the very beginning we were very close and I've never been good at staying in communication and when I moved to South Dakota. We just kind of drifted apart because you know I wasn't really staying in touch very well and so she would kind of take that personal at times and I knew she was trying not to but a lot a lot of time went by a lot of time with too much time went by. And I started seeing on Facebook that her and her partner and separated and I thought oh she really needs someone I become a Christian though and all the stuff I was posting on Facebook was about Jesus now and I knew that if I called her she'd say what's going on among chickens world. You know tell me about this Jesus. What is the Saul about she would want to know and how am I going to minister to her I'm brand new in my favor. I don't know how to share my favorite specially when I'm talking to someone whose life is condemned by their lifestyle is condemned by the Bible I have no idea how to relate to this woman now at this point and the conviction would come into my mind you need to call her and all this fear would come up and all these excuses would come up and I just I just feel like oh all do it later worth and I wouldn't and the conviction came again and again and again until eventually it stopped and then about three months later I found out that right around the time that I was being convicted to collar she committed suicide. So we really don't we don't know what the implications can be and we when we don't respond when we're praying for the word to use us and we don't respond. Now that's an extreme example and I hate. But it's a true example from my life so be willing to believe and trust in God if I was praying for him to lead me into ministering to my friends. Why should I have fear or if he was the one prompting me to call her he would give me the words right. So we have to respond to the Holy Spirit and have faith that he will do the work right. He will do the work and as we are waiting for our prayers to be answered. We can become restless right so spend the extra time with the Lord praying for them and also you know just studying into the Word and developing a rich relationship with him in your own personal life because through my devotions now that I'm doing ministry and I have people call me from all around the world and say I'm struggling or I know this person who's struggling and what can I do and it's so amazing to me that how often as I'm spending my personal time with the Lord he draws from the things he's been speaking to me through His Word to speak to these people and you know what is the most amazing part about it is that oftentimes when I start speaking to them and I give them. You know my best advice drawn from my personal experience and what the Lord has been sharing with me afterwards I just sit there done time with and then like wow I can repeat that again if I tried that was so beautiful and ministers to my heart so Mudge and I'm actually working on a new presentation that I'm actually building off of a conversation that I had with this one lady that called me just recently you know the soul. So a we are. Water of ourselves as we water. So prepare ourselves and our hearts and our minds to commune with God to be ready to answer those hard questions that people have about life and faith in God and gain their confidence because reaching people involves building trust you know when I look at the story of. The woman at the well in this was one of my favorite stories and scriptures in scripture I can really resonate. So this woman's experience Amen. If you heard my testimony right I had a mess of a life and we noticed that when he first approached her when he went to the well what did he say to her. Give me to drink right he asked her for a drink of water. He asked her for a favor. He was there to minister to her soul right. But he asked her for a favor interesting right. The hatred between the Jews and the Samaritans prevented the woman from offering a kindness to Jesus and they were just to in the end she was just talking about before this how water was like a very spiritual thing to them and so it was like an obligation for them to give people water and this was something that they just they did for everybody but between the Jews and the Samaritans it was like off limits for communication so she didn't even offer Jesus water because of the hatred the the social hatred and so she didn't offer a kindness to Jesus but the Savior was seeking to find the key to this heart and with the tact of born of Divine Love he asked not offered a favor the offer of a kindness might have been rejected but trust awakens trust. Now if we if we only go to someone then we talk to them from our heads. We're only going to reach them on the level of had knowledge but when we start seeking for the key to the heart because that's really where the issues live right there is broken this inside the heart and that's what needs to be remedied. So that they can flush all that out and they can start to experience healing. And remember we were talking talking about about. Emotional broke in this there is that there's that confusion and and an interruption on how to relate to people and also how to relate to God right so the the hard issues the root issues need to be flushed out. So that the trust can be established right so if we just talk to them on a superficial level an intellectual level right. That's the only that's only the deeper that we're going to get but when we start up opening up then we talk to them from our hearts. Then it will draw them to open up their hearts as well I have so many people come to me and they say you know I have a friend a sister a cousin. A daughter or whatever the case may be who is gay. How can I. How can I share Jesus with them or you know maybe it's a church member whatever the case may be and you know of course I say you can't you can't share something with someone you don't have a friendship with so you know I talk about building this trust in and going through you know what Jesus did to minister to people but then I start talking about how how very often people don't really sense that they can open up to you they're there and they're just closed off to protect themselves right because they don't want to be heard again the way that they were before. And so if you if you go to them and you say you know what I'm really struggling because we're all struggling right. We all have things we're struggling with are you willing to be transparent with them so that there will be comfortable to be transparent with you I'm really struggling. Can you pray for me because I don't really know if if if I can if I can get through this and you open up to them and you're just real with them. You're transparent from your heart then maybe when they're struggling and they need prayer. They know that they'll be able to come to you maybe some of them aren't open to prayer and you. Can just say you know do you have any advice or encouragement you could share with me because I'm really you know I'm having a hard time in my life in this area when we open up to other people we start connecting on a hard to heart level right. And then they sense a safety to be able to open up to us as well and you know when he began the conversation with the woman. What did she focus on she focused on their differences and she brought up the issues of controversy and sometimes the people that are struggling you know maybe maybe that's what they're going to do especially for you if you're trying to minister to their heart. Sometimes people feel a sense that someone's trying to get close to them and so they just you know they start talking about the differences they start talking about controversy or whatever but you know what Jesus didn't let them what her pull him into that he didn't get pulled into the controversial issues he didn't know he didn't have religious debates with her he didn't you know he didn't go back and forth with her on on on these points he just he just quietly a listen and let her speak it and then he went right to was the hard issues. He saw through the facade see that she had put up to say that she was fine he saw through the the barrier and the the mask that she put on he saw through the the cultural biases and he saw through the differences that they had and he looked right into her heart and he spoke to her personally there. I'm going to give you an example. I was in sixth grade actually it was one of the first times not the first time but one of the first times I was exposed to wiccan ism and that's that like the religion of witchcraft I went over to a friend's house and she was a sixth grader also spoke of magic and spells her mom was really into spiritualism as well and she was showing me this book and she. Telling me about the spells and she was telling me about the experiences she had when she was you know doing these spells and and after she shared those things with me she sat down on her bed and I sat down next to her and she looked right into my face and she said Do you feel like disconnected. Do you do you just really feel like you never really fit in do you feel out of place. There was something that she saw me that she acknowledged and she asked me about it and it was really it was something that was really weighing on my heart and I just started crying and you know what I thought after that I thought to myself as a little six year old or six sixth grader. There must be something to this work in this room because she can see inside of me. Now you know maybe I don't know if if there was some kind of spiritual hold that allowed her to see that or if she was just a very observant person. But I think that Christ's want Christ wants us to really be observe of observe of right and to look at people and to to discern things and you know it's only by the Holy Spirit that we can really understand how to minister and connect with someone in their heart and that doesn't mean confronting them with like are you feeling this way some sun for some people it may be and I was just talking to someone on the phone the other day and he was saying I was at these meetings there was this lady that came with her sister and she was just distraught all week and she just had to tell she had a burden on her shoulders and she was just she was grieved by something and she was something was going on and I went up to her later on in the evening I just kind of pulled her aside and I said is that ARE YOU OK It just seemed you seemed to straw odd and New seem like there's there's something. Going on I just want to ask you if you're OK and offered to you know while more than willing to pray with you or talk with you whatever my might help and I don't want to impose but when he said aloud to her she just started to cry and she opened up about what she was struggling. So we can take note and sometimes it's just in the manner of conversation. Maybe you start talking about a certain thing and you start talking about your uncle and your relationship with them and their countenance falls. You know I had I had a friend like that and you could just when he would talk about their uncle you could just see the change in her face and then she would you know. Check your face kind of a thing in and she would try and cover it up but I found out later that she had issues with her uncle she was abused actually so we can we can be mindful and we have to pray for this right we have to prayed to have the eyes of Christ to be able to see through the debris and see through the heart and. And it only it's only accomplishable by by the Holy Spirit right. We can't have this kind of discerning eye. Without the Holy Spirit Soul then we use and I already touched on this actually who are we we use their own words to confirm the truth that we're striving to to speak and we use Object lessons to communicate those concepts and we have to remember to be patient and not rush them because they're in a process of change. None of us change overnight and so to try and thrust upon someone is just going to make them restless that's going to make them uncomfortable and they will just shut down so we have to you have to be willing to walk with them and trust that God is working behind the scenes you know when I was out of the Black Hills. There was actually a lot of change taking place in my heart. Before I let anyone know it and I you know I actually I made a marked effort not to let people know that there were shifts taking place in my heart because I had followed the crowd all my life and I don't want to become a Christian because I was just living in this crucial in the saddle and that was what everybody else was doing I didn't want to do that I wanted it to be a personal decision between me and God And so I made it a marked out for I made a marked effort not to let people know what was going on and so sometimes we just have to trust that God is working even though we might not see it you might be surprised how much the Lord is really moving in the scenes and then of course don't be afraid to admit when you make mistakes. You know God says to confess our faults one to another so that there can be healing. It was so profound to me when I went out to the Black Hills and there were people there that would come up to me and they'd say Danielle I'm really sorry. You know the other day I said this to you when I think you might have taken that the way you the wrong way you could have taken that the wrong way if you thought that I was saying this by what I said that's not what I was trying to say and I was just thinking about what I said and I hope you understood that what I was really trying to say was this or you know the other day I was just really busy and I you know I didn't really acknowledge you when and a lot of the times it was small things that I would just say so. OK I didn't even notice or that didn't bother me or whatever you know but I started to realize that if they were conflicted that they needed to apologize to me even if it was small they responded to that conviction and I wasn't that was impressive to me because it taught me that I didn't have to pretend like I never made mistakes because I spent a lot of time trying to cover up the fact that I was was so you know making a lot of mistakes and that I could just be I could just be real with people and it also showed me. That. That you don't have to be just perfect to be a Christian when I was younger and I tried to do this Christian thing. And when I was exposed to Christianity but you know I realized that the person that I naturally wasn and the person that I wanted to be was we're so far apart and I just looked at my inability to be perfect and I thought I can't be a Christian but when these Christians who were earnestly doing everything they could to follow the law and they were they were sincere and they were sweet people you know just something as simple as being willing to admit when they felt like they'd made a mistake and they both apologized when they felt it was necessary that was something that spoke volumes to me. Could they have realized how much that would have made a difference for me it was powerful and then of course to follow him. Because reaching people involves sharing a true picture of who Christ is and why they should love him and why they can trust him right because sympathy is meaningful and powerful but it only goes so far you know you can relate to people and you can be sympathetic to them but as if you never really present to them the truth. Maybe they're excepted maybe they don't maybe it's a seed that's planted and they don't respond right away but. Down the line you know if we don't give them the Word of Life. What are we really giving them in the end. So I always say let's let them in the shade the spiritual conversations because for especially the people that we're talking about tonight. They don't want to feel they don't want to feel imposed upon right so let them initiate the conversation when it comes to spiritual things and ask them thought provoking questions. Now whenever I would talk to Dan Gabbert I realized I realized. And I would go and I would kind of counsel with him or whatever he would ask me a lot of questions and it wasn't because he didn't have the answers to those questions. It caught on to that after a little while he knew the answers to the questions right. But he was asking me those questions to get me thinking through them to start considering what the answers were and to start realize that that maybe I can try to have this spiritual understanding you know in my own walk. I don't have to just be be fed all the time. I need to enter into a personal study experience right. And if we just give everybody the answers all the time we don't really teach them how to search the scriptures for themselves and and to and to have a personal devotional relationship with with God And so you know he would ask me a lot of thought provoking questions as we were having these conversations to get me thinking through the concepts on my own and a lot of people you know they're really holding on to their pain and when I say they're holding on to their pain they're they're basically they're protecting the wound inside of their heart because when anything gets close to that wound. It's kind of like it lifts the scab that's their right and underneath that scab. There's there's an infection and there's a lot of pain right. And and they don't want to feel that pain of the emotional wound that they have and so they're trying to protect themselves from feeling the pain addressing the pain and so the infection just kind of stays there and faster. And surfaces at different times and then different ways in their life because the infraction isn't expressed and cleansed away and so that healing can take place right. So much you know the. There's a lot of people who are really just kind of protecting these wounds that they have inside of their heart and so some people. If you start getting near an area of pain. They might it might elicit kind of a negative response at first you know maybe the bitterness and the anger will kind of start to come to the service because you're touching on the record of what created those responses to become a bitch will in the first place right. And so when they finally started to open up there might be some negative thoughts and emotions and stuff and they just sometimes they just need to flush that out and sometimes the scam has to come off and maybe they will just you know the infection starts to come out and the they'll share a lot of things with heal that are that are some deep things and we just have to learn how to be active listeners in these times to swallow. And we have to prayed for them to come to an understanding of the roots of some of those. Those issues so that they can start reasoning to cause to effect in their own lives. The testimony presentation that I shared the other day. That's you know that is actually a result of you know many many moons of the Lord kind of bringing me into a deeper understanding. You know the testimony that I that I started hearing when I was first converted is infinitely different than the testimony that I shared today because along the journey. God is as hard to me to reason cause to effect in my own life and see the things that that happened to me when I was younger and how they affected me later on and so they might not understand at all at first but pray that they will come to have an understanding of the cause to effect in their own mind and then encourage them to. Encourage them to talk through the problems they need to express that. But then you have to move them off of focusing on the problem problem and put their focus on the solution so many people just get in these habits of walking around in circle and dancing around with their pain and the issues of what happened to them they've got to move on move away from the problem and move on to focusing on the solution which is Jesus Christ and how to move forward with them allowing him to to to take the baggage off and and to create that feeling to move us forward into something new and to something fresh and convey the love of God to them you know so many people as they've as they've gone through these things in life they feel the feel like God can't accept them. You know that's that's a lie that the enemy tells to a lot of people that what they've done is too bad. But no matter what they've done in Word or in action. God is able to heal them. He still loves them. You know it says that his his love does not grow cold his efforts to win them do not see this right and so we that's what a lot of people need to understand to ever since he Palme have been arrested in his career of persecution of the persecution against the followers of the crucified Nazarene there had been given him a resolute revelation of the infinite love God as revealed in the death of Christ and a marvelous transformation had been rod in his life bringing all his plans and purposes into harmony with Haven't from that hour. He had been a new man in Christ he knew by personal experience that when a sinner once be hold the love of the Father as seen in the sacrifice of His Son and yields to the divine influence a change of heart takes place and hence. The Christ is all and all. So love the focus be on expounding God's character expounding his love to them and help them to understand who he truly is and you can validate those concepts that you're sharing with them of his love and his true character through the experience of your own life. You can share areas of your own personal testimony and your experiences and how you've come to believe and know that God is this way that he says he is because what he's done for you in your own personal life. Amen. And share his promises. And I think very importantly to help them to understand that there is a spiritual implication. Of the things that they're doing in their life it's wounding them. And also very importantly encourage them to pray. This is a beautiful quote as to why I'm saying encourage them to develop an active pro life in their experience the darkness of the evil one encloses those who neglect to pray the whispered temptations of the enemy entice them to sin and it is all because they do not make use of the privilege. They God has given them in the divine appointment of prayer. Why should the sons and daughters of God be reluctant to pray when prayer is the key in the hand of faith to unlock Heaven's storehouse where a treasure and the boundless resources of omnipotence without unceasing prayer and diligent watching. We are in danger of growing careless and of deviating from the right path the adversary seeks continually to obstruct the way to the mercy seat that we may not by earnest supplication and faith attain grace and power to resist temptation. So prayer. And personal study in their own life. And active service for God and. For others of course this is this is along the way after you've been sharing Christ with them and they're starting to receive that light. So so encourage them to make it their or their own experience and as you do this as the focus is shifted on to Christ if you don't you know no one ever sat down with me and did a Bible study with me on all the reasons why homosexuality was not in accordance with what God wanted for us. Nobody did that for me but when you put salt in water it dissolves right. And when you put self in the presence of the holy gone so starts to dissolve and if they start to have an intimate relationship with their Jesus. Then the symptoms of their need will be resolved when they start to receive their need right. So now I'm just going to leave you with this quote for you to contemplate as my appeal. You know are you willing to reach out to the people in your sphere of influence when you turn from those who seem on promising and on the tract of do you realize that you are in the acting the souls for whom Christ is seeking at the very time when you turn from them they may be in the greatest need of your compassion. They may appear to be living perilous lives but they are not insensible to the influence of the Holy Spirit many among them might be one for Christ these erring ones may appear hard and reckless. But if they had received the same advantages that others have had they might have revealed far more nobility of soul and greater talent for usefulness angels weep while human eyes are dry and hearts are closed to pity. So look around because there is a harvest That's right being all around us and while many seemed closed off and established in what they want to do when they want nothing to do with your religion and they're just activists and they're doing what they're doing. There are many who are searching for answers. There are many who are seeing the said that the sexual identity that defines them isn't really giving them the peace and what they really want and what they need. So look around you become sensible to the people in your sphere of influence and. And be willing to step up to the call that God may be laying on your heart. Let's pray your heavenly Father Lord I want to thank you for your presence here with us tonight I want to thank you for this information Lord and. I know that there's many of us here tonight and as this presentation that has been shared we've been thinking about someone in particular that we need to reach out to and maybe it's not even someone who struggles with same sex attraction and in their confusion maybe it's someone else but for some of us you're laying someone on their on our hearts and you're drawing on our hearts to reach out to their heart and so if the for those who are having that pull tonight. I just pray that that you will put into motion what you heard tonight that you won't just go home in and go about your day because God might need to reach out to that person through you'll like God needed to reach out to Linda through me and I didn't respond and now it's too late and I can never go back so Lord if there's if there's anyone here tonight and there. Someone on their heart that they need to minister to Lord I pray that you will give them the courage and the faith that you will do you will use them you will do what they can't do if they will put forth the efforts that they can put forth. Lord give us people put people on our path that we can minister to put people on our path that are ready and willing to receive the truth. I'm reminded of the vision that Ellen White had of of the people who were pulling trying to pull the reach the unripe berries that were really high. And in doing so they were stepping on all the right barriers that were in front of them so Lord. So often more there are people around us that that are hungry and thirsty for your truth but we're not realizing it and we're putting all of our focus on these people that don't want to hear it they're not ready yet and we have to cultivate a friendship with them first and be patient with them. We're missing out on the right fruit now so learn help us to know how to interact with the right fruit help us to know how to be patient with the food that's right. And we just want to invite you to to use us to use us for your kingdom and your glory Lord. So that when we get to heaven it it won't be about receiving this beautiful starry crown for me it will be about it will be about you Lord and the reflection of you in our crown and we will throw those crowns at your feet or because we didn't do it it was only you and so Lord help us to apply these things to our life. Help us to contemplate and meditate upon the things that we've heard this evening but all throughout the day. Bring us back together Lord two to worship you in spirit and in truth on yourself. Lord we thank you for the Sabbath and Lossing in Jesus' name we pray media was brought to you by a website dedicated to spreading the. Odds were through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse. If you would like to listen to more service leader visit W.W.W. audio verse or.

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