Disillusionment dulls my desire for fervent discipleship. When Godly men and women fall into deep, offensive sin, I must face the fact that people are not always who they seem to be; that Christians are not exempt from the test of temptation and the fall into sin.
I wonder how I, a person riddled with weaknesses will ever persevere till the end. How will I stay faithful to my Redeemer?
Everyone sins. I know. But there is something particularly devastating about witnessing your pastor or your role model get caught in an act that inadvertently peels away the mask they’ve donned. Suddenly you catch an unexpected glimpse of ugliness in the person you once thought beautiful; you see the parts of them only Jesus is brave enough to love and your faith in man falters.
I’ve witnessed scandalous sins in the body of Christ and although each situation was abhorent to the core, I thank God that He has revealed crucial spiritual truths in the midst of all the ugliness…
A former Bible teacher gifted by God with intellect, insight and Godly counsel caught engaging in multiple adulterous affairs.
A savvy business man using his gifting to serve as a missionary alongside his wife and children engaging in a plot to have his wife killed so he can freely pursue his young mistress.
A Child Development professor at Christian Institute caught with an entire hard drive full of child pornography and videos.
A Minister of thousands caught in sexual deviance and IV drug use.
The list goes on.
These individuals lied to cover their sin, ran into hiding to escape its consequences and some even renounced Christ in order to live out their flesh.
How did it happen, Lord? Where did they go wrong? Were they believers to begin with? How could you allow them to disgrace You? Will I ever succumb to my own enticing temptations?
So many questions for God…
So few answers from God…
And in an innocent child-like way, I’m happy about that. There are some things I’m better off not knowing.
Maybe God will never answer my questions but He has revealed to me what He thinks I should know.
Man is not your example. Jesus is. He was the only perfect man the world has and will ever know; the only one worthy of your adoration.
Remember my words: Cursed is the man who makes flesh his strength and who’s heart departs from the Lord. Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord; who’s hope is the Lord. The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked, who can know it? I the Lord search the heart. -Jeremiah 17:5
Abide in me and I will abide in you.
Remember my words: I am the vine and you are the branches. He who abides in me and I in him bears much fruit. For without me, you can do nothing. -John 15
Only in My strength will you withstand the temptations of your flesh. Therefore, again, abide in ME!
Remember my words: Each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after a desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin and sin when it is full grown, gives birth to death. James 1
I think God wants me to know that there is danger in separation. When I wander from Him, I position myself in perilous places. Yes. I need to stay close to my Savior. To live a victorious life in Christ, I must abide!
And I needn’t be disillusioned when Godly men stumble.
After all, they are mere men made from the same stuff as I am; dust (Psalm 103:14). Yes, they may have a calling to lead God’s people which is why I should be even less surprised when their sin is more awful than my imagination can contrive. The enemy is working overtime on our leaders. For if Satan can cause a leader to stumble, then like dominoes, the followers will do what they do best…follow.
Is it possible that good can come out of such a situation? I believe so. When my eyes wander to who I see rather than staying fixed on the Lord Jesus who I can’t see and can only trust by faith, God causes me to refocus. He has used each situation above to redirect my gaze from fallen humanity back to Him who is altogether worthy!
Isn’t that amazing? Only He can use all things for good.
What do we do when our brothers and sisters in Christ go astray? Well, for starters we can STOP acting like Jesus Himself committed the sin and we can START obeying God’s command in Galatians 6:1. “Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves or you also may be tempted.”
If we are not in the position to restore, we still need to pray and if the brother or sister denies the Lord…yes, in humility we still need to pray.
Therefore let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith who for the joy set before Him endured the cross scorning its shame and sat down at the right hand God!