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Devotionals

How to Minister to a Person Struggling With Lust

Sexual sin brings a great deal of self-condemnation, regret, shame and embarrassment.

People involved sexual sin have a tendency to think they are safe in their sin. They think as long as no one knows what they are doing they are safe. Unfortunately, they are not.

Whether they are in pornography, masturbation or adultery, they are in captivity. They are in captivity to themselves and the sin of which they are indulging. Often this becomes an addictive behavior pattern where the emotions of unworthiness set in and the person begins an internal emotional spiral downward.

On the outside, appearances and emotions are fine, but inside they cannot shake their captivity. Daily, these thoughts consume their mind and they are desperate to reach out and have someone rescue them from their sin. 

Sexual sin knows no limits or boundaries. I have met people from all areas and walks of life caught up in sexual sin. I have ministered to Christian women caught up in the sin of homosexuality and masturbation.

Pornography and masturbation are not simply a "Man's disease." Great women have been caught up in horrific sins. The truth of the matter is that Jesus came to set the captives free and there is freedom in Christ for all who desire it.

I believe many people desire it; they simply don't know how to be released from it. That is where our responsibility as the body of Christ comes into place. We need to be educated and equipped for compassionate, true, sincere ministry so we can minister to these people who are not at peace within themselves.

When ministering to another person with a sexual lust or perversion issue, we need to be sensitive to the issue and the manner in which we approach these issues. Sexual lust is one of the most difficult topics for people to talk about. Men generally don't want to admit that the sin of pornography has caused them to start masturbating and women don't want to admit they have had masturbation tendencies or lust which has led to homosexual encounters. 

When ministering, it is important that we respect the person to which we are ministering. We need to love the person and hold disdain for the sin. We need to be careful not to take on a spirit of judgment or criticism. We need to handle them with the love, nurture and care that Jesus Christ would have.

Ministering out of the love of God and out of the heart of God is what we are supposed to do. We should be cautious to minister with dignity and respect for the person involved in the sin. We need to remember, "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God," (Rom. 3:23, MEV).

When ministering to people on the topic of sexual lust, I would suggest having another person present with you. I understand if you are meeting with a friend one on one and the topic comes up that this may not be possible. However, when you are consciously meeting with someone to minister to them, it is always best to have another person present with you to intercede and penetrate the throne room of God on behalf of both of you.

When talking about sexual lust, obviously the person has had some struggles and temptation in that area. It is best for both parties involved, that another person is present, so that there is no temptation during your time together.

If you are considering ministering to someone in a small group setting and having one or two other people present, see my book Time to Set the Captives Free in which I explain how to do a personal freedom prayer session. That book gives you guidelines on how to set a person free and tells what obstacles and roadblocks you may encounter.

How do we effectively minister to someone with a spirit of lust? To talk about lust, sex, pornography, masturbation, adultery and homosexuality with people can be uncomfortable. As Christians seeking to advance the kingdom of God, we need to come to a place where we can get comfortable talking about these topics so we can assist people in obtaining the freedom for which they are desperately searching.

I remember for a while it was difficult to talk about these subjects; therefore I had my assistant do it. Eventually the Lord equipped me to talk about all the spirits of lust. One of the ways that can assist you is to start talking about lust and some of these uncomfortable topics in a practice ministry time with your spouse or ministry team, in order to get you comfortable discussing this topic. 

Word choices and the atmosphere you are ministering in are important to consider when starting a conversation about lust. Anytime we are ministering on a sensitive subject I suggest, always handle the manner in a gentle and appropriate way. We are here to build up and not tear down. We also need to make the person we are ministering to comfortable with talking to us.

If we can talk and minister in a relaxed atmosphere and condition, it will be more beneficial for the person. Therefore, make sure when talking about sensitive issues you have privacy. Make sure there are no other people who can hear the conversation besides those involved in the ministry session. If you are at home, make sure your children will not be passing by the room, if in a coffee shop choose a corner table and if at church make sure the door is closed, so other parishioners passing by can't catch a glimpse of the person or conversation.

Let the person know you aren't going to judge or criticize, because that is what they are thinking. Saying what you know they are thinking will help ease the transition and they will build trust with you. If you have struggled in that area and are comfortable telling them so, do it. It will release the shame they are feeling.

Love on them and be love. The most important thing when ministering to a person struggling with lust is to love them like Jesus. He had compassion on the multitudes. Ask the Lord to give you his heart for people. People want freedom, but they need a judgment-free zone to confess and obtain accountability. Ask the Holy Spirit to move through you and for him to open a door to release them from the spirit of lust so they can experience the freedom Christ came to purchase.

Kathy DeGraw is the founder of DeGraw Ministries a prophetic ministry releasing the love and power of God, igniting people in the prophetic and releasing people from emotional bondage. She's passionate about teaching people the power of prayer through declaring. She speaks at conferences and travels hosting evangelistic love tours. She has written her own prophetic and deliverance training manuals in order to assist other ministries. She is the founder of Change into Colorless, an anti-racism corporation and co-pastors a church. Kathy is the author of Spiritual Warfare Declarations, A Worship Woven Life, Time to Set the Captives Free, and Flesh, Satan or God.  Connect with Kathy at www.degrawministries.org.

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