He sat next to me and confessed his sins. We were in a prayer group and the leader asked me if I would like to represent all women and tell him he is forgiven.
The oddest thing happened. I blushed from my heart outward. Heat flowed and words came and I wasn’t brave enough to say all of them, “you are forgiven, and deeply loved.” Blushing furiously I stopped at the word forgiven.
We ended the prayer session and the leader talked with us. I was still flushed and thought I’d ask a friend for a hug after the session.
Our leader described a time at a stadium meeting led by a big name that I’ve forgotten and that leader told all the men to raise their arms and bless women. (Our leader gestured.)
Across the auditorium a wail pierced the murmuring and the Holy Spirit pierced him with the words, “You did this to her.”
“Me? I don’t even know that woman.”
“Every time you look lustfully at a woman, that is how she feels.”
“What am I to do?”
“Bless her instead.”
He went on to say that he sees a woman now and instead of looking twice he starts to pray. For an example he blessed me: “Lord God bless Beth and give her grace, supply her needs with the cattle on a thousand hills, help her to walk in your ways to the glory of your holy name.”
Something like that. I definitely remember the reference to the cattle. Anyway, wouldn’t you know, my vulnerability disappeared? I no longer felt desperate for a hug. I received that blessing.
Another time I was out praying (I don’t remember if this was before or after the above incident) and struggling with lust.
Eye opener: we all struggle with lust, not just the guys. Not anymore, thanks to tv and movies.
We had studied Galatians on an overnight retreat with a college group, inductive study method the weekend before. So it’s not surprising that the Holy Spirit brought words to my mind, “Do you not know that you have died with Christ? He who has died is free from sin.”
Oh! I’m dead with Christ so lust can’t have any effect on a dead body! How can lust tempt someone who is dead? It fell away.
Then there was a time when I saw a handsome man and didn’t even look at him but talked to his wife! I wasn’t sure lust wouldn’t start plaguing me again. I feel bad about that, maybe the Adonis was wondering what’s wrong with him that I wouldn’t look at him!
But I’m here to tell you that being dead to sin is wonderful! I just wish I were dead to all sin, but it seems we have to do it one at a time, Jesus and me.
So here’s what I do, I pray:
Lord bless that handsome man (or woman if it’s someone who by comparison makes me feel less than pretty)!
Lord cover me from the lust of strangers, put your protection around me and let me walk in your light so they will be drawn to you.