I have been in the ministry for twenty-one years. In those years I have seen many people fall and Satan get the advantage in the lives of many believers. You would think after twenty years one would get used to it, but it is always shocking. Hearing of another misfortune or the destruction of sin in one’s life is heartbreaking every time.
In the last 12 months, leaders of two of the most well-known Christian organizations have fallen. Liberty University and Ravi Zacharias International Ministries have had some type of influence in almost every part of Christianity in the world. RZIM has been either read or listened to by millions. Liberty has the fourth largest online university in the world.
The leaders of these two organizations have benefited greatly from the success of these ministries. Jerry Falwell Jr’s net worth a few months ago was close to 100 million and Ravi Zacharias a mere 10 million. There was nothing stopping these men from accomplishing anything they desired. Their money, power and influence could have accomplished more for the cause fo Christ than most Christian leaders.
For to whom much is given, of him much shall be required.
They failed the test.
The depths of their sinful behavior and practices goes deeper than what one could hardly imagine. Why? What would drive people in these positions to participate and manipulate such sexual scandals?
C.S. Lewis says, ““The essential vice, the utmost evil, is pride. Unchasity, anger, greed, and drunkenness are mere flea biters in comparison. It was through pride that the Devil became the Devil. Pride leads to every other vice. It is the complete anti-God state of mind.…As long as you are proud you cannot know God. A proud man is always looking down on things and people. And, of course, as long as you are looking down, you cannot see something that is above you.”
Pride keeps people from walking with God. Pride keeps man from acknowledging his sin.
Pride opens a door for the Devil that becomes very difficult to close.
So what are some steps we can take to help keep us from falling?
1. Never become too busy for God.
We all have places to go and things to do. God is often put to the side while we catch up on life. God is there when needed.
Satan loves to see this happen in the lives of God’s children.
2. Be Home.
I grew up hearing about David’s fall with Bathsheba. Pastors would preach, “If David would have been out busy in God’s work he would have not been tempted.” We are not kings. Being continually away from home is one sure way to find yourself tempted.
Solomon wisely tells us to “Drink from our own cistern…” (Prov. 5:15). When you are at home BE HOME! Put away the distractions and enjoy the ones God has blessed you with.
3. Don’t justify sinful behavior.
Pain killers (old injury), alcohol (stomach issues), massage parlors (back pain), pornography (absent spouse) can all be justified in our minds.
I’ve known leaders who have lost everything because of justifying their behavior with all of the above.
4. Stop trying to be a “god.”
These men in their positions were “untouchable.” When Ravi was first accused of sexual manipulation no one in the organization even considered examining his emails or phone. Why? He was “Ravi” and he knew it. The board at Liberty knew they were in trouble, but couldn’t do anything about it because of Jerry’s last name.
God has put some of you reading this in positions of leadership and influence- take heed. May we all be careful to bring glory and not shame to the name of Christ!