By David Kyle Foster
My story is just one of millions, but I like to tell it. I remember one night, after 15 years of giving my testimony, thinking that I was tired of talking about myself – that I should stop giving it and just teach. Immediately, the Holy Spirit took me to Revelation 12:11 where it says that the brethren overcame Satan by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony. As I read that, the Holy Spirit uncovered for me the evil of false humility that had birthed my decision to stop telling it. And I determined never again to stop telling it – to shout it from the housetops until Jesus comes to take me home and with every word to throw another shovel of dirt on Satan already in his grave.
You see, when I was eight or nine, I suddenly became sexually obsessive and suicidal – classic signs of having been sexually abused, although to this day I have no such memories. I was a spoiled brat, selfish and perverse, full of rebellion and seeking to prove to everyone who looked my way that I was not the goody two-shoes that everyone was trying to typecast me as – being a preacher’s kid. I cursed a blue streak, just to get laughs and to keep the neighborhood bully from beating me up every day. Seeing one day that he was in a particularly foul mood, I took off my clothes and ran around the playground just to make him laugh. It worked and for the first time, I realized that I could get people to like me by taking off my clothes – a revelation that would eventually give birth to almost a decade of prostitution.
My father was very stern – a Scots Presbyterian from a family dynasty of Presbyterian pastors extending back four generations. His emotional distance, his persona as my punisher and his regular absence from the home caused me great internal pain. By the age of nine, I made my first of four suicide attempts – a pitiful half-hearted leap down the stairs for which I was roundly punished – for making noise.
I can remember the very instant when I decided to protect myself from the emotional pain of his severity by deciding he was no longer my father and that since he did not love me, I would not love him. He was whipping me quite severely after my second runaway attempt and right then and there I emotionally withdrew from him – “defensive detachment”, they call it.
If you know anything about the processes surrounding the evolution of homosexual desire, you know that in that decision to dishonor my father, I plunged myself into a twisted search for male affirmation that eventually became sexualized during adolescence. Oh, that there had been people like yourselves in our church who could have recognized where I was going and taken the time to give me the male bonding and affirmation that I needed.
There was a demonic element to my bondage as well. Throughout my childhood strong urges to leap from buildings and bridges relentlessly assaulted me. There must have been an angel holding me back because on several occasions the urge to jump was irresistible and I could not understand what kept me from doing so. “I’ll show them”, I’d say to myself, referring to my family. “After I jump off this bridge, then they’ll be sorry they never loved me.”
With several more suicide attempts in college and three murder attempts against me during my years as a male prostitute in Hollywood in which God seemed to supernaturally prevent me from dying, I began to gain the impression that He loved me after all, in spite of all the pain I was going through.
One night, as I was hustling on Sunset Blvd in Hollywood, a very friendly man picked me up, drove down a dark street, parked the car and proceeded to viciously strangle me with the clear intent of ending my life. By then I wanted to die anyway and I stopped struggling so that he could finish me off. As soon as I did that, God caused words to be spoken from my mouth – something that really can’t be done while someone is pressing their thumbs into your neck so intensely that blood is running down your neck. The words said, “But I’m a good person.” Instantly the man stopped. You see, his psychotic rage was based on a belief that he was getting rid of a bad person – a prostitute, so when the voice proclaimed that I was good, it broke the spell of his anger. He ordered me out of the car and I ran, wondering why a God who I lived to hate would save my life like that.
Yes, I knew it was God. He’d hounded me for ten years – ever since that day in church when I was twelve, and the soloist was singing, “O Holy Night”, and the manifest presence of Jesus Christ filled the sanctuary, planting in me a seed of discontent that would not be satisfied until I found my rest in Him – that Love that would not let me go.
My hustling began one night in St. Petersburg, Florida. I had made several suicide attempts that God had thwarted and I went to the pier to talk to Him, because I could not understand how He could love me and leave me in such pain. Unknown to me at the time, the pier was a hangout for male prostitutes. As I sat on the railing, men in cars would try to wave me over. I thought it must be a drug-selling place. Then a guy came over and told me that I was doing it wrong. “Doing what?” I asked. He then proceeded to describe how to be a successful male prostitute, as he was. I was flabbergasted. I didn’t even know that male prostitutes even existed and was floored that someone would think that I was one. I was also intrigued. I was also mad at God. After all, I had come there to talk to Him and had found myself in such a place. So, to spite God, I decided to try it – just once. It was steeply down hill from there.
In Hollywood, I decided to become a movie star, so when I wasn’t hustling, I went out on interviews. I used the stage name – David Kyle. By then, I had developed an all-American surfer boy look and so became successful in both fields. Film actor by day, hustler by night, keeping each world separate from the other.
The success that I had as an actor, I attribute to God’s hand. After getting an agent, I got the first commercial and the first film role that I read for, and both were starring roles. The reason that I believe God was behind it was that I needed to see what a false god fame was before I would ever give it up. It was an unexpectedly powerful elixir. More lead and feature roles followed and many national commercials. I expected success to assuage my need for love and affirmation, but it only made matters worse. You see, the love and affirmation of Hollywood is as fake and as fleeting as are its props and sets. Within seven years, I was grossly disillusioned.
And after seven years of prostitution, I was equally crushed emotionally.
One day, in 1979, a young man invited me to visit the home of a famous author, in order to learn about Guru Maharaj Ji. To make a long story short, within weeks I became convinced that the guru was an incarnation of God the Father, despite his young age of 21. I sold or gave away everything that I owned, quit acting and moved into an ashram. It was powerfully significant to me that God might offer salvation to me after so many years of hating Him and a great fervency was lit within me to serve Him for the rest of my life, forsaking all else. The only problem was, he was not God – and it took me a year to find that out. The most deceptive aspect was that the guru could perform supernatural miracles and I naively assumed that only God could do that.
In the meantime, both my mother and father had gotten saved and had everyone they knew praying for me. As a result, I began experiencing some pretty supernatural action from God as well. One day, I was asking the God who created the universe and who had a son named Jesus to keep me from being deceived if I was following a false prophet. Suddenly, and with the impact of an atomic bomb, a door into my chest opened and an incredibly powerful river of living water began surging into my being. The intensity was like that of the greatest power in the universe, and it had the sound of a raging river or waterfall, yet it felt like liquid love. As it poured forth into the opening in my heart, it disappeared as if going into another dimension – otherwise it would have caused me to explode into billions of atoms. After a few seconds, I knew that I was about to die from the intensity of it and I cried out “Stop!”. Instantly, it stopped, and I was left a bag of weeping bones on the floor.
“God exists! And He loves me!” I thought. This was what I had been looking for my entire life – true love – a love that in and of itself heals and affirms, that gives identity and security, that empowers and transforms, that never leaves and never forsakes.
Within a few months, I was in Israel, seeking Jesus. And it was in the Garden of Gethsemane that He chose to meet me. I was tagging along behind a Christian tour group, trying to get myself a free tour, and as the leader led the group down the Mount of Olives, he would stop at the places where Christ had said something, like where He wept over Jerusalem, and as they stopped, he would read from the Bible the words Jesus said from that spot. As the preacher read the words of Jesus, God supernaturally opened up the doors to eternity and I heard Jesus actually saying them two thousand years ago. Instantly, without any theological arguments, I knew that the Bible was literally the word of God Himself.
Next, I went into the Church of All Nations that sits in the Garden of Gethsemane. Inside, rising from the floor of the church is the actual rock where Jesus prayed the night He was arrested. I knelt at that rock and asked Jesus how I was suppose to know the true prophet of God from the false, because clearly both did miracles. The Holy Spirit spoke clearly into my heart, “Who proved His love for you?” Instantly, the sites of the crucifixion began flashing through my brain. Why Jesus proved He loved me, and He let people torture Him to death as proof. Then I looked at what the guru had done, and all of the other so called prophets of God who founded other religions. None of them had given such proof. Jesus alone had brought true love into the world and it was He alone who was worthy of all honor and glory and power and praise. It was there in the Garden, where Jesus proved His love that I was saved.
I flew home and announced to the ashram residents that the guru was a false prophet, whereupon they kicked me out onto the street. But God had a plan and through one amazing incident after another, I ended up a month and a half later in seminary. Three years later, with the financial help of the man who founded Tropicana Orange Juice, I was awarded an M-Div.
As for the healing of my sexual addiction, it began with some life changing counsel that I received immediately after my salvation experience three years earlier. I went to a pastor at Hollywood Presbyterian Church and said to him, “I’ve been sleeping with two and three people a night for almost ten years and I know you’re going to ask me to stop, but I can’t.”
“I’m not going to ask you to stop”, he said. I recall thinking, “What’s the matter with you. You’re a preacher. You’re suppose to tell me to stop!” But what he was getting at was a profound truth that many Christians live a lifetime without ever learning. God was going to do it for me. God was going to live His righteousness through me. All I needed to do was to want Him to with all my heart and to believe that He would. In the childlikeness of new faith, I believed, and overnight, God began living His righteousness in and through me. For sixteen years now, He has kept me from falling, He has never let me be tempted beyond what He has enabled me to withstand. He has transformed my heart of law and rebellion into one of love and grace. And He has healed, one by one, those areas of sin and weakness that led me into bondage in the first place.
Like Paul said, “Whatever was to my profit, I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ – the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection of the dead.
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. . . . Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. All of us who are mature should take such a view of things.” (Phil 3:7-15)
In 1989, God called me into ministry to sexually broken people and told me to write down all that He had taught me during the preceding years. You see, we need to do more than teach people how to avoid sin. We need to lead them into a vital relationship with God the Father, so that they may personally hear God tell them of His love for them. One moment of revelation from God, one word of love, one view of His smiling face and loving embrace is worth a lifetime of therapy. It is worth a billion lifetimes of therapy. Rebellion is quenched through direct revelation of God’s love for us. Propensity to sexual sin is assuaged through God’s direct bonding, spirit to spirit with us.
We have a God in whom resides all power and authority in heaven and on earth, but a God who dispenses that power and authority only to those who believe in Him, who believe in His Son, who believe in His word. The problem is not sexual depravity, it’s spiritual depravity.
God is on the move today. You see it in “Promise Keepers”, the “Concerts of Prayer”, the “Marches for Jesus”, the racial reconciliation among churches, the “Toronto Blessing”, the ex-gay movement itself and in the massive numbers who are coming to Christ through evangelism worldwide – unprecedented!
I was in Orlando, Fl. recently to preach at a church there. I was also on my way to videotape a 15 tape video course. The church put me up in a hotel that was right in the middle of strip clubs and porn stores. And when I entered my hotel room, there were two hardcore porn magazines lying next to my bed. I thought, “Wow, Satan is really trying to take me out. He’s trying to disqualify me from completing the work God has given me to do. And if you think about it, Satan isn’t challenging me really, he’s challenging the power of God within me that is keeping me from falling.” A sudden delight overtook me as I considered how roundly Satan was about to get crushed as I turned to God for spiritual power and authority. I threw the magazines into the trash can and smashed them to the bottom with my foot, and the second I did that, the Holy Spirit proclaimed as clear as a bell in my heart, “I will crush him under My feet!” Hallelujah, I thought. God is going to make mincemeat out of this satanic plan. Then another word of knowledge entered my mind – this wasn’t simply something God was telling me He was doing in that hotel room, this was a prophetic utterance from God as to what He was about to do across the world.
My friends, God has begun and is about to increase a mighty wave of power on the earth. And anyone who wants it with all their heart, is going to experience a supernatural deliverance from the power of sin. He is going to utterly crush Satan and the power he has had in your life under His feet and utterly set you free, as He has done for me. There is no one, anywhere, no matter what they have done, no matter how often, to whom this offer is not being made. Everyone who wants to live in holiness will have it. God is purifying His Church for the coming of the bridegroom and there is no power that can overcome His intent to make you holy – not even the gates of hell. You only have to want it with all your heart and believe that He will do it.
And what is more, God is going to make trophies out of those He rescues – public demonstrations of His love and grace. He is going to place many of you in ministry in the very areas in which you have fallen the lowest. By raising you up in strength in the area of your greatest weakness, He is going to silence the mouths of those who do not acknowledge Him as God. You my friends, are invited to share in this wonder – to bring glory to God through your very existence.
Dr. David Kyle Foster (M-Div – Trinity Evangelical Divinity School; D-Min – Trinity School for Ministry).David has served as adjunct professor at Asbury Theological Seminary, The Bible Institute of Hawaii, Logos Christian College & Graduate School, Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry and the Wagner Leadership Institute. Find out more about him: Mastering Life Ministries.