On 16th of August, Pastor Edmund Smith spoke at Good Shepherd Assembly of God, Petaling Jaya.
Be the man God wants you to be
An ex-transgender, Pr Edmund grew up wanting to be a woman. His dream at 21 years old was to undergo a sex-change surgery to become a woman, find a husband, and live happily ever after.
“But God’s dreams for you and I are a billion times better. It’s not just for an ex-transgender. This is for everyone. All of you have dreams. But let me tell you: your dream is nothing compared to God’s dream for you,” said Pr Edmund.
God is the One who brought us into this world through our parents. He fashioned us in our mother’s womb and determined our race, our height, and our figure. God is the One who created us. And none of us is a mistake.
“God didn’t just create you for fun. But He created you for a reason. He has a precious and beautiful plan for you to accomplish. A lot of Christians have accepted Christ but their lives are very similar, if not worse than non-Christians.
“They are heading to their own destination. They are becoming the man or woman that they want to become or others want them to become, and not become the man or woman that God, their Creator, want them to be.
“And I fell into that trap. I wanted to be a woman. And today, I am married to a woman. They say ex-transgender cannot get married and cannot have children. But come on, look at this ex-transgender now,” said Pr Edmund.
If we were to meet Pr Edmund 20 years ago, we could be unable to tell whether he was a man or a woman. He acted like a girl and he hated every thing on his body, which hinted his masculinity.
“I was not born that way. It’s the devil’s plan. The devil hates everything that God loves. And God loves the plan He has for you… God has a precious, precious plan for the young people and some of you older folks here,” said Pr Edmund.
He added, “One billion dollars cannot buy your life. The one more day in your life is presented by Father God not to just be another day for you to get older, but to get closer to the Plan He has for you.”
God has not created us to become spiritual caterpillars. But He expects us to transform into a larvae and finally into a mature butterfly. And the butterfly he meant is not a flamboyant butterfly that only thinks of oneself, but the butterfly that God has created us to be.
“It’s so powerful being the salt and light wherever you are, bringing the gospel, not just just with your lips and singing, but with your lifestyle. Real worship is a lifestyle.
“If you think worship and being a Christians is just on the platform of a church on Sunday, you got it all wrong and you will remain as a caterpillar. You want to become the man and the woman that God has created you to be. Walk with Christ every day,” said Pr Edmund.
Walk with the Holy Spirit
We need to walk with the Holy Spirit everyday. We only have one God, but in three persons, including God the Father at the throne of Heaven, Jesus Christ the son beside the Father now, and the Holy Spirit who is with us.
The Holy Spirit is not a dove but a person that we can have a relationship with. That is why the Holy Spirit has feelings and we can grieve Him especially when we worship or idolize something more than God, including our boyfriend, our girlfriend, and our children.
Every believer in Christ is given the Holy Spirit. But knowing His name as the “Holy Spirit” is different from personally knowing Him. To know is to be familiar with His Voice, His Ways, and His Nature.
“And God could transform you. You could be a young woman who had been sleeping with many guys. But let me tell you in the spirit, God wants to transform you. Do not look at the person on your left and right. Look at the person in the mirror,” said Pr Edmund.
We need God to not only deliver us from our sexual problem through transformation, but also other problems such as gossipping and lying. The Bible says that. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Cor 5:17)
“So, you have to change. You will change. If you used to gossip ten times before, now at least, it should be nine times or eight times. You should be getting better. If you’re masturbating everyday, now you should have one week, five times,” said Pr Edmund.
Sex is God’s idea
Sex is not the devil’s idea. Sex is God’s idea, which explains the reason of us having genitals. But the devil perverted sex and use sex as a tool to destroy lives. We see sex – whether explicit or suggestive – everywhere in Facebook, television, and billboards. Children in school are talking about sex. Yet, we avoid this topic in church and pretend that this topic is not pervasive in our lives.
“We are in denial and denial is fatal. For example, if you’re sick with cancer, say that you have cancer. And if you’re a spiritual person, you can pray. As you pray, the Lord will lead you with the kind of medication to take, the doctor to meet, or He will miraculously heal you.
“But first say, ‘I have cancer’ or ‘I am struggling with porn’ or ‘I am married but I like another woman.’ The first thing is to admit and don’t pretend that you don’t have it,” said Pr Edmund.
To admit the existence of a problem is the first step in the Journey of Recovery. And this problem goes beyond same-sex attraction to lying, womanizing, self-condemnation, and so on.
“I was such a mess but God saved me and God can save you. And it’s not that God can save you, He wants to save you with love and with compassion,” said Pr Edmund.
He added, “Do we judge the LGBT? No, we love them, we pray for them, we reach out to them, and we bring Jesus to them because Jesus can set them free. They are welcomed to my church.
“But these people are running away from the church because the impressions they get are Christians hate me and God doesn’t love me. And that is a fat lie because God loves everybody.”
“God loves us as such that He not only loves us, but He wants to come and pour His Love into us and we will be changed. God loves the biggest prostitute in Bukit Bintang. And none of us can judge anyone. We are supposed to bring Jesus in into their lives. We need to pray for them and have compassion for them,” said Pr Edmund.
Although many people mentioned that they would pray, but the truth is very few would truly pray.
Pr Edmund shared that the very reasons he was set free as a transgender was the faithful prayers and tangible actions of love by real Christians in his life. Although they knew about his sexual relationship with men, it did not stop them from inviting him for dinner, praying for him, and loving him.
Journey of Recovery to the Man God wants you to be
“Everyone is broken in one way or another. But some of us are broken sexually or relationally. Most importantly, you need God’s help. You need the Journey of Recovery,” said Pr Edmund.
Although relational and sexual problems are different, they are related. If we do not deal with our relational problem, it would lead to sexual problem. For example, a married man who find it difficult to stay faithful to his wife, has a relational and sexual problem.
Pr Edmund shared that the examples of relational brokenness are sex-phobia, emotional dependency, and gynophobia.
Firstly, abused persons would often have sex-phobia due to their past traumatic sexual experiences, which destroyed their trust on the gender of the abuser.
Secondly, people with emotional dependency, or known as E.D., would have an irrational emotiona dependency towards a person who is usually an object of affection. For example, a girlfriend with E.D. would have suicidal thoughts when her boyfriend leaves.
“That’s what Hollywood is trying to teach you. In Titanic, we hear, ‘You jump. I jump.’ But I say, ‘You jump, I pray for you.’ That’s being wise. Emotional dependency is something very serious.
“A a mother, don’t feel proud if you have this feeling; ‘If my child die, I will kill myself.’ Don’t consider yourself a good mother. You are a mother with E.D. Instead of thinking this way, pray for your children’s protection. And if anything happens, God wil give you the grace to carry on,” said Pr Edmund.
Jesus can set you free from whatever problems
Pr Edmund shared about the secrets of being set free from whatever problems we have. The first step in being set free lies in Matthew 3:2 KJV, which says, ““And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
The Greek word for repent is metanoia, which is the first step to be set free from our problems. Before Jesus Christ came, John the Baptist was sent first to preach the baptism of repentance or metanoia.
Why John first? God’s chronological order always has meaning. John preached first and solely about the message of repentance, before we hear about Jesus preaching about the Kingdom of God.
“A lot of Christians for years do not change bcause they have never repented in the first place. And repentance here is not just saying, ‘I repent from this or that.’ But it is to humbly come down on our knees, whether literally or spiritually, before God.
“I would say, ‘Lord, I am a sinner and I am going to hell. I am not better than anybody because sin is sin.’ Every sin is big in God’s standard… There’s no such thing as small sin before God. So, metanoia is humbly going down on your knees and don’t ever think that you’re better than anyone else,” said Pr Edmund.
In God’s standard, he sees himself as “a garbage” and “a sinner” without Christ. Had it not been Christ, his eternal and original destiny is to go to the pits of fire in hell. “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23 NIV)
“Therefore, when you stand and worship God, you need to worship Him with your whole heart because of what Jesus has done for you. Jesus has saved you from hell for eternity with worms and maggots eating you continually. That’s a big deal!
“Some Christians worshipped like as though Jesus went to the pasar malam and bought them a fish. Come on guys! Jesus saved you from the pit of hell. Worship Him with tears in your eyes, with gratitude for Jesus,” said Pr Edmund.
‘Unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of Heaven.’ (Matthew 18:3 NIV) Unless we become like children who are humble with faith, we will not enter the Kingdom of God.
“Humility is for humans. Glory comes from God. ‘H’ is for ‘H.’ ‘G’ comes from ‘G.’ But when humans try to take the ‘G,’ you are going to fall flat on your face. Someone tells you, ‘You are so beautiful!’ You say, ‘All glory to my Jesus,’” said Pr Edmund.
Hence, repentance is a must and we must not deny if we refused to repent in our heart. Denial is fatal. Repentance is seeing ourselves in the true light of God’s holiness and Jesus paying the price of our sins on the cross with His Blood.
Wherefore I say to thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little. (Luke 7:47 WBT)
“Today, there’s so little gratitude towards Jesus. We praise this person. We praise that person. We praise ourselves. But we do not praise Jesus. And that’s a big problem! That’s why people cannot worship. They cannot even lift up their hands and dance unto the Lord,” said Pr Edmund.
#2 Run to Jesus
After we repent, the second step in being freed from our problems lies in Hebrews 7:25, which says, “Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.
“After you metanoia, don’t go anywhere but you need to run to Jesus Christ. And keep on running all the days of your life. After you get baptized, don’t just run to your girlfriend, your boyfriend, your boss or yourself.
“Each day, when I wake up in the morning, I run to Jesus. I say, ‘Jesus, Holy Spirit, fill me today. Father God has given me another day and I want to live another day for you. Make me more like Jesus.’
“Whatever that you are struggling with – whatever brokenness that you have in your spirit, soul, body, and sexuality – God will save you. Don’t run to the loan shark to save you. Don’t run to your pastor’s wife, your pastor, and your cell group leader to save you. But run to Jesus first!” said Pr Edmund.
Jesus has all the answers and directions to solve our lives’ problem. As long we are not stuck in the coffin, we can still run in this life, run to Jesus!
Paul said, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” (Heb 12:1)
#3 Ask for the Holy Spirit
Thirdly, to be freed from our problems, we need to ask God for Him to give us the Holy Spirit. Luke 11:13 says, “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?”
As God’s children, all of us can ask for the Holy Spirit to fill us when we ask our Father God. The parable of the ten virgins in Matthew 25 describes the importance of knowing and fellowshipping witht the Holy Spirit.
First of all, the virgins represent individual believers in Christ. When we accept Jesus as our Savior, God no longer sees the sin in us. We are as pure as virgins to God.
Secondly, the groom represents Jesus who will be married to His church in His second coming.
Thirdly, the lamp represents the Word of God (Psalm 119:105) and the oil represents the Holy Spirit.
Although all virgins had a lamp and oil – meaning the Word of God and the Holy Spirit respectively – only the wise virgins with extra oil, entered the wedding banquet to meet the groom.
What made the wise virgins different was that they not only have the lamp, they made sure they had enough oil. They knew without oil, the lamp is nothing. Likewise, without engaging the Holy Spirit to teach and interpret the Word for us, we cannot understand the Word of God.
And when we refuse to draw from the true oil (or Holy Spirit) – because of our disobedience and the hardening our hearts – we would begin to lose desire and understanding for the Word of God. Like the foolish virgins, our lamps would go out for lack of oil. We stop shining for Jesus Christ because of lack of oil.
Therefore, just as the Holy Spirit says, “TODAY IF YOU HEAR HIS VOICE, DO NOT HARDEN YOUR HEARTS AS WHEN THEY PROVOKED ME, AS IN THE DAY OF TRIAL IN THE WILDERNESS (Heb 3:7-8)
“The foolish virgins only have the Holy Spirit in them. And there’s a lot of Christians who are like that. Each time, when the Holy Spirit speaks, they say, ‘Shh… don’t talk.’
“Each time, the Holy Spirit says, ‘Go,’ they say, ‘I won’t go.’ The Holy Spirit says, ‘Forgive,’ they say, ‘I won’t forgive.’ The Holy Spirit is an active Spirit. He speaks to you daily, whenever you read the Bible. But the wise ones don’t just have the Holy Spirit, their lives are led by the Spirit,” said Pr Edmund.
The Holy Spirit is given to us, so that we can live a holy life, a life that is set apart for God from this world. So, each time, when the Holy Spirit speak, say, “Speak Lord, for your servant is listening.”
Pr Edmund stressed that all of us need the Word of God (John 6:35) and the Holy Spirit to interpret the Bible. And while we are concerned with nourishing our body with the best food three times a day, we also need to feed our soul throughout the day as well with the Word of God, guided by the Holy Spirit.
If you would like to engage Pr Edmund Smith to speak in your church, please email his team at email@example.com.
If you would like to train your church leaders to counsel the sexually broken people, you can also engage Pr Edmund Smith for training. Victory Meet is a one-year or 12-session monthly training program designed to train Befrienders and Befriendees. He will be running this program in Saint Barnabas Church in Klang and SIBKL soon. Please contact his team for registration.
You can also stay connected with his speaking engagements in his Facebook group, SIMB She is My Brother.
Also, please also pray with them for the ministry every Friday at 11 PM Malaysian time. The needs and resistance to this ministry are great! And they need our prayer very much. Thank you.
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