I found myself in a situation where a guy who stammered much, began to open up with me. In the process I got him a book that I felt would help him. In the note, I signed off as ‘older sister’ placing the boundary of our friendship. The Sri Lankan religious leaders couldn’t handle my ‘counselling’ a male, and asked me to abide to their man made rules. I stepped down from my ministry role and I also pulled away from this guy.
A year later, the father of this guy, a boisterous man, called me to my office direct line and was sobbing. That got me crying despite being at work. He told me that after I pulled away, the son went out of control describing what it had come to. Acknowledging he made a mistake in protesting my counselling, he said he had also just discovered the book I had gifted him and how I had signed off.
After I hung up, I just bent over in prayer and asked God why HE had allowed this to happen to this naive guy. God simply REBUKED ME! He told me that HE had brought this guy to me to minister to as I had the right gifting for the situation and instead of obeying Him, I had listened to other people. Then I made a commitment to God, that whoever He brings to be ministered to, that I would be obedient despite what that would cost me. One key is to seek God’s will in WHOM He would have me minister to, and from whom He would want me to refrain.
Many Christians exhibit fear over faith.., fear of what could go wrong and thus placing safeguards. They bring in concepts and theories derived from earthly wisdom that sound incredible but have no biblical basis. In fact these very concepts often CONTRADICT God’s Word and lead people to DISOBEY God’s Word.
Protection of their own – their lives, their marriages etc and/or welfare of their own is often the motive. In the process of safeguarding, they implement measures that keep people out, the very people they should be reaching out to and safeguarding. Thus they become the shepherds that Ezekiel warns about throwing the sheep to the wolves (Ezekiel 34).
Possible sexual temptation is one of the leading fears that people have. Married couples shun singles in their social lives, and more-over divorcees given prejudices of being ‘vulnerable’ and suspicion of them being the ‘predator’. Little do they realise what message they are then sending the lonely and hurting, – certainly not representative of God’s love to the latter!
When it comes to counselling, many people bring in ‘gender’ as a factor as to who they can counsel or whom they can’t, and bring in a 3rd person to the scene (perhaps the spouse of the counsellor) to ‘sit in’ the sessions. What they don’t realise is just because they have the gift of counselling doesn’t mean the spouse has it too, and not all are comfortable in opening up with everyone. Obviously NOT!
God has a plan as to whom He wants ministered by whom and when!
Joseph went to rule Potiphar’s household. Obviously there would be times when Potiphar would be travelling, and in those days travelling wasn’t just a hop, step and jump away. It meant being gone for days! Yes, there were times he had been alone with Potiphar’s wife. Naturally having God’s favour, Joseph would have surely had an appealing radiance. She tried to lure him… and finally when she grabbed him, he ran out, leaving his job, leaving his income behind and agreeing to be thrown into prison. He was obviously rooted in God and thus the fruit of the Spirit – SELF CONTROL was an attribute of his life. This is a scenario where God took a godly man into a situation where sexual temptation is recorded and yet that godly man was taken out without having yielded to the temptation.
Other seemingly controversial Biblical examples, to name a few:
- God sending Elijah to the widow’s house
- Jesus conversing with the Samaritan woman at the well with no one else in sight. Here the disciples raised an eyebrow as Jesus was breaking so many traditions in one go to do this.
Christians bring in the concept of “accountability” as a measure of ‘protection’. How is that Biblical? I think of Paul being called by God, a single guy, and launching straight into ministry without even meeting the other apostles for a few years. Even after that connection, he was always fixed on doing what God was calling him to do at the expense of some arguments with the others too! Paul clearly tells us to PUT ON the Spiritual armour – that’s our protection!
confess your sins to one another and pray for one another – James 5:16
God calls us to confess our SINS, not what we may do in the future! Accountability isn’t about being a hawk and monitoring every move of another telling them what to do; that is control and playing God! Rather, accountability is about encouraging another to be led by God and pointing out when they are going astray from what God has shown!
if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted.- Galatians 6:1
We are to be WATCHFUL in restoring someone CAUGHT in a sin, not asked to not restore them! When we are led by the Spirit, yes, the enemy will try to attack us, yet if we TRUST God’s Sovereign power, we BELIEVE in the blood of Christ and that we are in the right place at the right time, then would we FEAR what the enemy CAN do or would we believe that God will see us through?
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you.- Isaiah43:2
We are called to walk in the light which means at all times a believer would be transparent and vulnerable. Yet in that state, they are also STRONG as they operate in God’s strength and wisdom which He makes clear is way higher than our wisdom. We are living in an era where we are covered by the blood of Jesus and have the counsel of the Holy Spirit.
If God hasn’t called you to it, then temptations will be given into.
If God has called you to it, He will take you through it VICTORIOUSLY.
Don’t let fear disobey what God has called YOU to do!