The Real Adam
by: Adam Boreland | December 4, 2017
I once saw a way of life that seemed right. It offered excitement and adventure, acceptance and fun, fame and glory. I ran down that path and embraced all it had to offer without one look back.
I must admit…life was fun for a while. I was 16 years old and living thousands of miles away from home—it was a teenager’s dream!
Eager to pursue a professional career in the art of dance, I moved from my home in New Port Richey, Florida, to attend the San Francisco School of Ballet. There, I immersed my naive and impressionable self in a fast-paced lifestyle with few moral limits. It was an attractive life to a young man desiring to be part of something bigger than himself.
My new life provided everything I thought I wanted and more. It brought new friends and opportunities, excitement and adventure, and it aroused powerful desires I had not known. I sought to fulfill every one, never once considering where this path might lead me. Before I knew it, I was swept away into a lifestyle of drugs, alcohol, and homosexuality.
I was a year and a half into this path when I “came out of the closet” and told my parents I was gay. They immediately brought me back home to Florida. They affirmed their love for me but made it very clear they did not approve of my lifestyle, nor would they support me in it. I was on my own. This was a lonely and difficult time. In many ways, I thought my life was over. But I pressed on, determined to live life my way.
I joined the Orlando Ballet’s Second Company and then, a year later, moved to Texas where I performed in Fort Worth for seven years. Looking back, I am appalled at the person I had become. I had absolutely no regard for anyone but myself, and I lived only to please my flesh. It wasn’t long before my flesh took control of me, and I became its prisoner.
My journey to freedom began on October 2, 2011. Desperate to quench my insatiable desire for alcohol, I went to the dance studio to steal a bottle of wine. I quickly located the bottle and turned to leave when very clearly, I heard a voice say, “This isn’t you.”
Startled, I put the wine bottle back. At the time, I thought I’d made up those words, but I am now certain that it was the voice of God’s Spirit reminding me of the truth of who I was and who I was not.
In God’s eyes, I wasn’t a thief, a drunkard, a drug addict, a gossiper, or a homosexual. Yes, I chose to do those things, but they weren’t the real me. They weren’t how God saw me or how He created me. I was made for so much more. God had a plan for my life. He’d designed me with purpose and given me the gift of dance to glorify Him. And He’d given me opportunities to be a light for Him, but I had perverted them. I had used them for the kingdom of darkness. I know that now.
Thank goodness, God never gave up on me. No matter how far I went down the world’s path, He pursued me with His everlasting and unfailing love.
The weekend following my wine-bottle/ voice-of-God encounter, I finally surrendered to God’s persistent pursuit. For some reason—I don’t remember why—I attended McKinney Bible Church with a friend. I don’t recall wanting to go to church or desiring to know God, but nonetheless, there I was. And while there, my eyes and heart were finally opened to God’s unconditional love for me. It was like a veil had been lifted.
I fell to my knees and sobbed as God’s love poured over me, washing away all my sin and shame. I was completely undone as the burden of the world’s path lifted off my shoulders.
In response to God’s love, I realized that the least I could do was give my life to Him—all of it. So I came to Him, just as I was. I didn’t wait until I was on the right track. I came to Him while off track—deep in sin, and completely lost. He received me and loved me, despite everything I had done.
I decided that day that, no matter what, I would live for God. I didn’t know completely what that meant, but I was trusting God to help me live my life according to His Word and His way. I didn’t want my way anymore. It was too heavy of a burden to carry. I wanted to be who God had created me to be. I wanted to be the real Adam, not the version of Adam the world and I had created.
Now, one might think that when a person surrenders his or her life to Christ, they would suddenly be transformed. That peace and joy would flood their soul. But that is not what happened to me. I’m telling you, I literally lost my mind. I went cray cray. That’s crazy on top of crazy!
My surrender to God ignited a spiritual battle for my soul that almost left me dead. Knowing he had lost me for eternity, Satan unleashed an army of demons to attack my mind and body. He fought like mad to destroy my life here on earth.
For days, I couldn’t eat, sleep, or think straight. The battle came to a head at the dance company about a week after I had given my life to Christ. I went to work, completely out of my mind and looking like death. My frightened and confused peers called an ambulance that transported me to a local hospital.
At the hospital, I ran wildly up and down the halls screaming and singing, “You Are My Sunshine” at the top of my lungs. Unable to calm me, the medics shot me with a tranquilizer dart, right smack in the butt. What a sight I must have been!
Upon initial evaluation, the doctors were certain I had a mental disease, and they prepared to prescribe heavy drugs. But when they scanned my body, they could find nothing wrong. They told my mom, “Your son is fine,” and sent me home. Within days, my mind was clear, and the battle within me had stilled.
Some time later, I was listening to the story from Matthew 8:28–32, where Jesus cast demons out of two crazed men and into a herd of pigs. God whispered these words to my heart: ”I set you free from demons too.”
Not many people think about the fact that, when we say yes to the world’s offerings, we open a door for the kingdom of darkness to come into our lives and wreak havoc. God showed me that He had set me free from demonic oppression; now it was up to me to keep the door shut, lest I become enslaved again.
People often wonder how someone becomes enslaved to sin. Here’s how I see it. I think Satan looks in his box of temptations and says, “I’m going to try this one on this one.” He baits us with various temptations. He could not care less which bait we choose; he just wants us to grab hold of something so he can lure us away from God’s best for our lives. I took the bait of homosexuality, drugs, and alcohol.
This tactic stems back all the way to the beginning of time, when Adam and Eve took the first bait of temptation. There they were, living in a beautiful garden in perfect union with God, when Satan dangled something sweet before their eyes. They saw it, lusted after it in their hearts, and then reasoned in their minds, “This is good. This is what we need to be complete.” With eyes off God and ears listening to the lies of the enemy, they ate the fruit of temptation. And they lost much. We all did.
Similarly, God had given me everything I needed for life and godliness through His Son, Jesus. But I saw the tempting fruit, and I lusted after it with my heart. I took my eyes off God, listened to the lies of the enemy, and ate of what I thought was good. And I, too, lost much…and hurt many in the process.
None of us have to take the bait. Not Eve, not Adam. Not me. And neither do you! God always makes a way out! First Corinthians 10:13 says, “The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.”
Now, that doesn’t mean that walking God’s path is going to be easy, but it does mean it’s possible. With God, all things are possible. He doesn’t leave us to fight Satan’s bait of temptation alone. He gives us His Holy Spirit to empower and encourage us so that we can stand strong.
When we decide to walk according to His ways, God offers us His strength to take each step. And He blesses us along the way; He changes us from the inside out. When I chose to follow God, He gave me a sound mind, a pure heart, a clean mouth, and a desire for new ways. He blessed me with an incredible career and a beautiful, godly wife. Today I am free from every addiction and living a life that is true to who God has called me to be.
He offers this to you too, if you give yourself and your ways wholeheartedly to Him. It won’t be easy, but it’s worth it!
This article first appeared in Victorious Living Magazine