In the name of Jesus Christ, walk

Editor’s note: CC hired two new columnists, Katie Munnik and Roland DeVries, just as Cathy Smith was ready to end “Everyday Christian.” This left us with a slight surplus of regular, monthly contributors. Our editors decided to ask Kenny Warkentin to write four times a year instead of each month, allowing us to stay in touch with him and still make room for new voices. Thank you Kenny for sharing your heart so movingly in eight years of columns and to this news.

As I read the email saying “Words from Wild Horses could decrease in frequency,” I knew God was affirming something that he had already begun stirring in my heart for 2017. I want to publicly thank Christian Courier for the amazing opportunity to write a regular column. I also want to acknowledge the amazing gift Angela Bick has been to me as a writer. Her skill as an editor is exceptional, and it makes our columns look good. Her willingness to tackle controversial issues is a gift to the body of Christ, compelling us in this place to reason out our faith together.

What began eight years ago as a husband and wife duo (my wife Paula and I would take turns) soon became just my column. Writing gave me a platform to speak what I felt God put in my heart as I walked in transparency, sharing my journey with same-sex attraction and my desire to remain faithful and true to God’s word and to his call to radically love others. The journey of Words from Wild Horses continues, but it will only appear once every quarter. This has opened the door for me to focus on other writing projects, and so this is a huge blessing to me.

You’ve heard much about my love for God during struggles, fears, grief and most recently chronic pain. My desire was to walk in the light and to demystify the notion that when we become believers of Jesus all our problems disappear. My hope is that you have found God to be faithful and true, and that you are empowered to seek first the Kingdom of God and his Righteousness, no matter what you are facing. Thank you to the many readers who have faithfully read my column and to those who have sent emails, explaining how my column somehow encouraged their faith.

Set free

As I think about an exhortation to give you, it would be the words spoken by Peter in Acts 3:6b: “In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” Here the same Peter who was prone to fear, sinking in the waves as he lost his focus on Jesus, who cowered in fear denying Jesus, the same Peter who then was commissioned to feed the Lord’s sheep, now moving through the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. Peter became courageous because of who lived in him. Peter and John could have given the man silver or gold, but it took courage to speak the words of healing: “In the name of Jesus, walk!”

We could equate these words to just this story, yet these powerful words can be spoken over many areas of our own lives. Do we have the same courage to speak them out in the situations that we face? When I think of my continued journey with same-sex attraction, and the times when my human nature of sin is at war with my spiritual nature of righteousness, I’ve learnt to hear the words “In the name of Jesus Christ, walk.” As I cry out “Jesus, come rule supreme in this place,” I am submitting to Jesus’ authority, truth and love for me, which gives me courage to not cower in fear but walk in faith. As I walk this out, God is bringing glory not to me, but to the one who sets me free – Jesus.

In the places of deep grief that still abide in me, through the loss of children, the uncertainty of my wife’s health and what that will look like in the future, the words “In the name of Jesus” tells me that he is in control and I can trust in him.

May the Lord Jesus Christ who has the power to do exceedingly more than you can ever think or imagine, bring you hope, peace, love and courage. Amen.

Author

  • Kenny Warkentin after working several years as an urban missionary with Living Waters Canada and Exodus International is now an associate Pastor. Kenny is passionate about issues regarding relational wholeness, gender and sexuality and has written numerous columns on those issues as it pertains to the Body of Christ. He is married to Paula and they have a daughter Phoebe. Paula and Kenny are both avid artists and they have showcased their work in various venues. Paula is a spoken word poet and Kenny is a photographer and painter. The are passionate about marriage and travel and share their testimony throughout North America.

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