I love Chang Tou Chen's testimony from TrueLove.Is. He shared so much of God's Word, and there is always so much revelation when you receive more of God's WORD!
I wanted to focus on this part of his testimony next:
So I started to realize that this same-sex desire was the desire of my flesh, and I was under addiction to this desire of the flesh. And I started to realize that my spirit born of God has the same desire of God. But because the flesh and the spirit are contrary to each other, there’s a war.
There were decisive moments, when I trashed all the gay porn videos, and all the baggage that reminded me of my previous self. But I was still struggling, clicking on the same gay porn sites, reactivating my cancelled subscriptions, seeking new sources of junk to look at.
I asked God, “Why?”
And God showed me in James 3: “Look at the horses. You turn the bit, and the horse will turn. But look also at the ships. Though they are large ships driven by fierce winds, it is steered by a small rudder. And God revealed to me, for some of us, breaking from of this condition is the experience of a horse. For a horse, when you turn, the horse will turn immediately, and a horse will turn completely.
For the very large ship that’s driven by winds, resisted by fierce winds, when you turn the rudder on the ship, it is turning and it will turn, and it will turn completely, but it won’t turn immediately.
Here's the whole passage that he refers to from James' Epistle:
"3Behold, we put bits in the horses' mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body. 4Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth. 5Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!" (James 3:3-5)
This was a telling revelation from God's Word, and I am so grateful to Tou Chen for sharing this revelation with the public.
What I believe, however, is that the experience for every person is that of the ship. God does not want us to be like the horse turned with a bit:
"Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near unto thee." (Psalm 32:9)
God wants us to receive understanding from Him! The previous verse declares God's heart for us:
"I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye." (Psalm 32:8)
God wants us to guide us personally, intimately.
He does not wantus to be driven around with a bit. He wants the change that occurs in us to be complete and consummate.
Consider what the Psalmist shares here:
"22So foolish was I, and ignorant: I was as a beast before thee.
"23Nevertheless I am continually with thee: thou hast holden me by my right hand.
"24Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory." (Psalm 73: 22-24)
So, the proper example or comparison for us is to the ship. That makes sense.
The bit in the mouth of a horse is separate, foreign, distinct from the horse. Sure, the rider of the horse can make the horse change directly quickly, but it's not lasting change, nor a contribution to character development. In contrast, the rudder of a ship is an integral part of the ship, like the soul of the vessel, if you will. It's an essential aspect within the ship that guides the ship on the course to go.
In the same way, God wants to guide us from within. In fact, when we believe on Christ Jesus, He comes to live in us (Colossians 1:27).
His Holy Spirit lives in us:
"Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come." (John 16:13)
"But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things." (1 John 2:20)
"But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him." (1 John 2:27)
God wants to turn us completely. He does not want us to be turned on the outside, but on the inside we still insist on going the wrong way.
God wants our hearts enlightened, not just our actions changed:
"The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints," (Ephesians 1:18)
God is interested in mind renovation, not behavior modification:
"And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." (Romans 12:2)
The good news? The Spirit of God does that work of tranforming us!
"17Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 18But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord." (2 Corinthians 3:17-18)
The more that we see Jesus in the Word, the more that the Spirit of God transforms us. Yes!
And, God showed me something else that we can do, that can assist and help hasten the turning of our "ship", so to speak.
In James 3, the rudder and the bit are compared to our tongue:
"5Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! 6And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell." (James 3:5-6)
Now, James talks about the tongue in a bad light, as an unreal evil.
However, for those of us who are saved, who are in the Body of Christ, our tongue can accomplish great good. In fact, we can pray in the Spirit, i.e. pray in tongues!
"Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;" (Ephesians 6:18)
"He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church" (1 Corinthians 14:4)
"26Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 27And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God." (Romans 8:26-28)
So, if we want to expedite the turning of our ship, let's start praying in tongues, praying in the Spirit!
Tou Chen's revelation about how our lives, our walk before the LORD changes, turns is very compelling. Indeed, all of us are like the ship, in that the changes that God wants to make in our lives will take longer, but those changes will be lasting changes. We can pray in the Spirit, and allow the Spirit of God to transform us, heart, mind, and body, so that we grow in grace and reflect more of His glory in our lives. Amen!