The challenge of walking with the God who knows me
Names changed throughout except in some cases where the person involved has been or is in ministry.
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If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. 2 Cor 5:17
James 5:17 (NIV)
“Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayers of a righteous man are powerful and effective.”
It was an innocent enough meeting during a conference put on for the students. We had met previously and now fell to talking. Yet something happened to me that day, and this married woman suddenly to my eyes became the most beautiful woman on earth. From that time I could not stop thinking about her. I was completely besotted. Thankfully, the woman had not the slightest idea of what was going on in me, and I trust remains ignorant to this day.
Obviously these feelings had consequences in my relationship with Eva. She trusts me implicitly so there was not the slightest suspicion that there might be some ‘other woman’, but one cannot have thoughts of another person without it impacting ones relationship with ones wife.
These thoughts also had an impact on my relationship with God. I could not bring myself to confess the thoughts to Eva while we prayed every day. We use the Lord’s prayer as a form around which we build our daily prayer time together, and since that form includes the phrase: ‘Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us.’ I could not pray with honesty. Obviously God noticed! I began to feel distant from him, I could not pray without these thoughts coming up. They were a real block to life.
Finally the day came when this couple were going to come and visit us. I realised that I could not put off the issue any longer. I had to clear this up with Eva and with God, so that day during our daily prayers when we came to the bit about ‘Forgive us our sins ...’, I confessed the issue to Eva. It was hard for both of us. I felt deeply ashamed about it all, yet Eva forgave and it seems God did to, my relationships with those most precious in the world were restored.
The amazing thing is, that from the moment of my confession, all feelings departed. When I looked at her again, I could not see what I had seen in her. The whole issue completely vanished in an instant. It was not something that had to be worked through, it was just gone.
Years later in Portugal, this type of issue, where there is an inexplicable behaviour or thought pattern, became more common and we began to associate it with spiritual forces of Evil in the heavenly realms. Again and again these issues have been dealt with by simple confession and prayer.