I hear lots of stories in my job. Many of these stories come out of the mouths of trafficked and prostituted women who have been deceived, abused, betrayed, and abandoned. I often meet them while they are still working in prostitution, and very often, their stories overflow with sadness, fear, and shame.
Not long ago, however, I heard a story that sounded very different. It went something like this,
I had come out of prostitution for a while. I had come to know Jesus, repented from my sin, and I really loved God. But, I just couldn’t kick the addiction, and I ended up returning to prostitution. I went right back to the life.
It got bad after that. One night, I got in some deep trouble, and a man cornered me in the house. He had come to kill me. In that moment, fear engulfed me. My body was shaking and my voice was trembling as I stared into the eyes of my killer. I knew I was going to die. Suddenly, I realized that death meant I would meet God face to face very soon, and I was terrified of what that would mean. The fear of God gripped me more tightly than the fear of death, so that I cried out in a loud voice, “God, have mercy on me! I’ve sinned against You! Forgive me! I’ll do anything for You! At least show me how to die well!”
Immediately, I heard the audible voice of God ask me, “Do you still want to do something that nobody else has ever done?”
I immediately knew that God really saw me – that He’d heard my prayer as a small child when I’d asked God to let me do something that no one else on earth had ever done. Of course, I’d asked Him that as a kid so I could become famous and get in the history books, but now, there were no conditions. I would do anything that God told me.
I said aloud, “Yes, God. I’ll do anything You ask.”
He told me, “Love this man. If you do this, you will do something that nobody else has ever done.”
In that moment, it was as if the love of God poured into me and through me toward the man. My body instantly stopped shaking and my voice cleared. I felt an intense love for my killer that I had never felt for anyone – not even my own daughter! All of my fear had broken, and I was seeing the man totally differently – like I was wearing God’s eyes. I remembered hearing a verse that said, ‘Perfect love drives out all fear.’ It was true. I was fearless.
The man was watching me, speechless. Then he asked nervously, “What’s going on?”
I told him that God wanted me to be the first person in the world to love him. He was startled at my comment, then softened a bit, saying, “You’re right. Nobody has ever loved me. Not my parents. Not my girlfriend…”
God had given me a word of knowledge about his situation.
I felt my body being drawn toward him to hug him, and he told me to stop because he was “freaking out.” He was freaking out? He’d come to kill me! And now he was afraid of me?!
My killer turned and ran out of the building. I stood there alone, wondering, “Wow. Should I lock the door, in case he comes back for me?” In the end, I decided it would be a better story if I didn’t even lock my door. It didn’t matter anyway. He didn’t come back.
In the moment where I faced death, it was the fear of the Lord that set me free from sin. I stopped prostitution and never went back after that. God set me free from all of it by giving me the fear of the Lord. No matter where I am or what it will cost, I want to please Him.
That night, He also taught me that love is a powerful weapon. It is mighty for tearing down strongholds, but it is not carnal. He taught me many lessons in those days.
The woman who told me this story is now using her life to minister to others. She had a dark, abusive past, but the love of God literally transformed her situation, and today she walks in freedom.
It is often a long journey for women to leave the sex industry. Even beyond that, it’s a struggle to embrace the grace to forgive those who hurt them, to forgive themselves, and to find healing. To hear this woman’s incredible testimony and to see her life today gives me hope that transformation will come for the women I meet each week who are still at the beginning of the journey.
Please, won’t you take a moment to pray this testimony for the women I work with?
Ask God to give them revelation of the fear of the Lord to set them free from sin.
Then, ask God for revelation of His love that will set them free from all fear.