I have found myself to be quite self reflective for the past few weeks. I've witness and discovered things in people's lives that have absolutely stunned me and in some cases broken my heart. All of these people are professing Christians, some even involved in ministries in their churches and even some who have been preaching the gospel for many years. I've had one long term friend leave his wife out of the blue and then a few days later announce to the world that he is gay and that God is okay with his sexual orientation and he will continue in ministry. Just floored me, and when I confronted him with scripture, his response was that the Bible is outdated and God is working in a new way today. It would take too long and be too personal to name them all, but in the lives of these individuals there are those who have cheated on their wives for years with countless women and one of these men explained it away by saying that it is something innate in all men that they must sow their seed. It's like God is just okay with this behavior. Several others as well... but suffice it to say, I have found myself in very deep thought these past few weeks, questioning just how one gets to this place, and how to safeguard against it myself. I've always lived with the understanding that except for the grace of God, I can find myself in the midst of a mess of my own. So, I'm not here writing this to cast stones at anyone, I'm hurt and crushed for them... and yes, even by them. But my goal is to safeguard my own life and the lives of my own family members.
As I have thought, one thing that just jumps out at me in every situation is this: I don't believe that any one of these folks just got up one morning and said, "I think I will do (such and such) to trash my life and my ministry today." It just does not happen this way. It began somewhere... probably with something small, and it build over the coarse of time as it was left unchecked and not dealt with. I am reminded of the story of King David, and how he committed adultery and then had a man murdered to try to cover his sin. When we go back and look at this story, the Bible says that in the time of year when Kings go to war, David remained at home. He had become comfortable and accustomed to the victories that God had given to him and his armies, and decided that he did not need to go out to war, he sent others to do what he should be doing. There is a powerful lesson here. Actually several. 1) We need to know what our position and responsibilities are, and do them... not have them done... do them. When we take short cuts, problems ensue. 2) When David was not where he should be, doing what he should have been doing, he became bored and restless, which led to his walking around on the roof tops looking for something to excite him. He found it. He saw Bathsheba. 3) Because he a had already opened the door to disobedience by not going where he should be, he found it easy to walk into further disobedience. The sin was not in seeing Bathsheba. The sin was when he continued to gaze at her and began to lust in his heart and there he hatched a plan.
I think this is where so many of us get ourselves into trouble. First, we end up being where we should not be because we have not obeyed God. Then we become restless in our hearts and minds because our spirits are troubled and we begin looking for "something." When you look from the flesh, you will find... flesh. I don't know about my friends and the others I referred to, because I've not spoke to most of them, but somehow, I think that if we were to have their stories laid out before us, there would be strong similarities in them all.
Again, I'm not trying to point fingers at anyone... that simply is not my intention. But I'm taking a good look at myself in my "spiritual mirror" and trying to be brutally honest with where I am and making sure that my heart is pure and that I'm walking in obedience to the Word of God and the voice of the Holy Spirit. I share this tonight hoping that it might help someone else to really examine themselves and prevent another tragic story from being walked out in any of our lives.