We have considered the sovereign role of God, and the responsibility of the inquirer. Drawing from 2 Timothy 2:24-26, let’s examine the role and responsibility of the encourager. The first pre-requisite is be a bond-servant of God. You cannot impart to other’s what you do not possess. Since all temptation is an attempt by the evil one to persuade us to live independently of God, we must start by declaring our dependency upon Him.
Every time I lead a person through the Steps to Freedom, I help myself. If I haven’t dealt with those issues, they will surface in my own life. Helping others this way helps me to stay closely connected to God. Several years ago a pastor brought a young couple to the seminary to see me. The lady supposedly had some demonic issues. After the pastor introduced the couple he started to leave. I said, “I would really appreciate it if you stayed, since following them up will be your responsibility.” He said, “But I have a bad heart.” It wasn’t hard to discern the real issue, and I said, “There is nothing here to be afraid of.” So he stayed.
As soon as I started working with the young lady, she came under intense opposition. I backed off, and said to the pastor and the young man, “It is obvious what we are up against, so I strongly recommend that you deal with your own issues first.” The pastor immediately went into silent prayer, and I had no intention of exposing his short comings. The young man started to shake from spiritual opposition, and I said, “You need to get right with God if you want His protection.” No further persuasion was necessary, and he unloaded tons of baggage including sexual sins with his girlfriend. The whole church would come clean if they knew how vulnerable they were to Satan’s attacks if they didn’t repent.
Meanwhile the young lady was essentially catatonic during the men’s house cleaning. After the men had dealt with their issues, I was able to help her. I will share later how to maintain control, and work only with the inquirer. The point I am trying to make is that the inquirer needs to be right with God before they attempt to help others. The apostle Paul said, “In view of this, I also do my best to maintain always a blameless conscience both before God and before men” (Acts 24:16).
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