As a pastoral counsellor I have come to know many individuals who have been caught off guard by the workings or schemes of ‘satan’. This is particularly true of persons in ministry, be it ordained or lay.
With the emergence of sexuality issues as it relates to both men and women, the door is wide open for deception on all sides. Women and men who are gifted in many areas and are available to serve in ministry are usually attacked by others for either being ‘lesbian or homosexual’ or they are the targets of persons of that persuasion. It is almost impossible to have normal friendships with the same gender without suspicion.
I can remember a time when girls and/or women could be together in close knit relationships without anyone drawing unfounded conclusions about their sexuality. I can say the same about boys and men. Alas, the age in which we live seems to point us to one scripture only: “But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of stress. For men [meaning mankind] will be lovers of self….” [2nd Timothy 3]
As I write this article I am very much aware that many of my friends and family have fallen prey to the ‘subtlety of the enemy’ and my solution, is to cover them with pray and ask God to guard their mind, heart and soul. It could be so simple to just gossip and label these persons, but the truth is that it is not that simple for we are AT WAR!! What we face is an area of spiritual warfare cleverly disguised as friendship, mentorship, and yes counselling. Our closeness to these types of situations offers us an opportunity to in addition to prayer, present true and genuine friendship borne out of agape love.
As I close I want to ask that we each not fall into passing judgments, helping to spread rumours and cutting ourselves off from these individuals for that is exactly what ‘satan’ wants! Instead let us journey with them and remind them of God’s word found in Psalm 139 and 140.
Author: R. Cecilia Askew
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