Time When Kings
Go Out To Battle
"And I Love You So"
A while back, I read an article about a very prominent young minister who was asked to step down from pastoring his church due to "moral failure," better known as plain old fashioned sin. This preacher, whom I have had much respect for, enjoying his books and teachings over the years, was found to be engaged in a homosexual relationship with his youth pastor.
How could this be? How could this happen to a person of his stature, a person with so much understanding and spiritual insight? I was shocked and lost for words as I began to search my thoughts and cry out to the Lord for some answers. I had known of this man and his ministry for years, he was strong and held nothing back in his preaching. He seemed to be on the cutting edge of what God was doing and had been a real example for many thousands of believers throughout the world.
This young minister had done some extensive study into the lives of many noteworthy 20th century Pentecostal preachers and evangelists who had a strong impact within our world. This young minister often talked about how he was directed by the Lord to study the lives of these great men and women so that he would be able to benefit from the knowledge of their successes and learn from their short comings, realizing where they had missed it, so he would be better equipped to avoid the snare of the evil one.
I will say that this preacher has admitted his sin, asked for forgiveness both from God and the Body of Christ and has sought help by placing himself in submission to certain Christian leaders and has received counseling as well. Thank God!
We need to realize that sin is so very subtle. And while I do not know all the facts of the aforementioned sin, I do know a little about how sin and the devil works. One thing that's for certain, the sin of this preacher did not start on the day when this homosexual encounter began with the youth pastor. That is simply when it was acted upon. The seeds of sin were sown many months and quite possibly several years before.
It first began, as it usually does, with temptation being presented to the mind and to the senses. As this young minister's notariety began to increase he found himself entertaining an increasingly busy schedule. It wasn't long before he began neglecting some very important key elements that keep us all strong. Forgoing the wisdom of taking the time for necessary rest, failing to keep himself in the freshness of the Word and in the presence of the Lord through a daily devotional time - the seeds of sin began to sprout and take hold as he began to ponder and muse upon the thoughts of the temptation instead of rejecting it as sin and contrary to the ways of God. 1 Corinthians 6:18 clearly tells us to FLEE from sexual immorality. This word "flee" literally means to - escape, take flight, vanish, to move with intent and speed away from, to avoid. Do you see the urgency that the Word of God is trying to relay to us? You can't toy with sin, it's a cancer and must be avoided at all cost. Sage advice to keep us sharp and on the victory side of life.
Not only did the result of this sin affect this man's ministry and personal life, it has affected countless numbers of people around the world. And while there is healing and restoration available to him, it's certain that his ministry will never again reach the heights nor have the impact it was clearly meant to have.
In this, I am reminded of the story of King David that is found in 2 Samuel chapter 11. David had gone through great adversity and had overcome many obstacles in his life to become king. He was now at a place in his life where his empire was vast, and he had become a man of great wealth and honor. He was known far and wide and had earned the respect of many of the nations around him. However, his country was presently at war, something he had grown accustomed to since he had fought and been victorious in so many battles. His army was mighty, highly trained and very well equipped. So he surmised within himself that there was really no need for him to attend to such a matter; after all, he was the king! So he sent his nephew Joab to go and take his place in the battle.
One restless evening, unable to sleep, David arose from his bed and decided to take a little walk upon the roof area of the palace. As he walked he noticed a young woman bathing in a residence a short distance away and in full view of the palace, and the Word tells us that she was very beautiful to behold. Instead of looking away and taking authority over his thoughts, reminding himself of his God ordained position, he began to soak it in and ponder the scene with all the twisted potential that it offered to his flesh, and the seeds of sin begin to sprout. Though I can not prove it from the Word of God, but knowing human nature, I wonder if this was the first time he had seen her or was this actually a repeated visit. And what about Bathsheba? Why was she bathing out in the open in full view of the Kings palace? Where was her modesty? Was she actually trying to entice the King?
As the story progresses, he sent for Bathsheba, took her to himself and had a sexual affair with her. From that encounter she conceived, became pregnant and immediately notified David of her condition. In a hurried attempt to cover it all up, he sent for her husband, Uriah, to be brought back from the battlefield with the intent that he would go in to have relations with his wife and hopefully become convinced that the child was his own! One interesting note: as it turns out, David had a rich history with Uriah, as he is listed in 2 Samuel 23:39 as one of David's 37 mighty men. You see, Uriah had been with David for many years, fought many battles with David and had put his life on the line many, many times in support of David. So this sin was a breech and betrayal to a deep covenant friendship as well.
When Uriah arrived from the battlefield, David inquired about the battle as if this was the reason he was summoned. David then sent him to his own home to spend some time with his wife before returning to the battle. However, Uriah being a noble and honorable man responded, "The ark and Israel and Judah are dwelling in tents, and my lord Joab and the servants of my lord are encamped in the open fields. Shall I then go to my house to eat and drink, and to lie with my wife? As you live, and as your soul lives, I will not do this thing."
With the fear of exposure now beginning to rise within David's thoughts, he devised a plan to have Uriah eliminated from the picture altogether by having him sent to the front lines where the battle was fierce. Joab would be instructed to have the troops pull back leaving Uriah exposed and defenseless where he would be struck down and killed by the opposing forces.
The plan worked flawlessly. Uriah was killed in the battle and David was then able to take Bathsheba as his wife!
For a moment it appeared to David as if he would be able to get away with the whole thing. After all, no one really knew what had happened besides Joab, and that was only in regard to Uriah. But God knew - He knew every detail. And the Lord sent Nathan the prophet to expose David's sin and relate the consequences of the sin to him. Know this, there is always a reaping to what has been sown. Sin always pays a wage, and that wage is death, or the effects of death. Romans 6:23
What's shockingly sad is that all of this was completely and utterly preventable. Take a close look at the opening Scripture verse in 2 Samuel 11:1; "It happened in the spring of the year, at the time when kings go out to battle, that David sent Joab and his servants with him, and all Israel; and they destroyed the people of Ammon and besieged Rabbah. But David remained at Jerusalem."
All of this happened because David was not where he was supposed to be. If he would have been at the battle, the rightful place of the king, none of this would have happened - not the sin, not the adultery, not the murder, nor the consequences upon his family, the kingdom or his character - none of it would have occurred! Not to mention the blessing of being able to stand before the Lord with a clear conscience!
The Word tells us in Revelation 1:6 that we are kings and priests unto the Lord and we must continue to stand in and take our rightful place as such, realizing there is a continual battle raging all around us for the souls of men. We must continue to keep ourselves sharp and aware within His presence lest we become ineffective, subdued, and swept off our feet by the cunningness of sin through the attack of the evil one. This is why we are admonished in 1 Peter 5:8 - Be sober, be vigilant; (clear minded and cautious) because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. But, he will not be able to devour the one who keeps himself sharp before the Lord and attentive to His voice - the Word of God. (1 John 5:18)
We must understand that we all have the potential to fall into sin. Not one of us is exempt. We are all residing in this body of flesh, with its constant desire to have its own way - a true and constant battle. It doesn't matter how much Scripture we have learned, how well we can teach, how many gifts of the Spirit are in operation in our lives, or how much faith we can boast about. If we do not keep ourselves humble before the Lord and in tune with His precious Holy Spirit, keeping our relationship with Him alive and fresh on a daily and on-going basis, we can all end up in shipwreck and ruin.
There is a plan afoot by the devil to trap the Body of Christ into the bonds of sin, so as to demean and deactivate the power of the Gospel in the eyes of the world. He wants to make it appear to the world that we, as Christians, are no different than the other religions of the world, and that we really have nothing to offer at all.
Especially in today's world, where the effects of sin are taking their toll on society, someone needs to be living the Gospel as a shining beacon to the world. Proving that Jesus is alive and the Gospel is truly the good news, and that there is a Savior who loves them and wants to give to them a bright new way of life - hope for today and an assurance for all eternity.
We need to remember the big picture, there are people dying and going into everlasting hell everyday, lives are at stake here! We, as born-again Christians, have a responsibility to let the light of the Gospel shine through us, to shun evil and come to a place of maturity so we can be effective in our ministry to others (Romans 12:1-2). The Word tells us to come out from among them and be separate! (2 Corinthians 6:17). In other words, dare to be different - therefore making a difference by allowing His light to shine through us in a world of darkness. Illuminating the path to His eternal love, acceptance and forgiveness. Let's not fall for the deception of the evil one whose sole desire, through sin, is to snuff out that light! Remember, we are to flavor the world, we are not to have the world flavor us! (Matt 5:13)
I want to urge you to take a moment and reevaluate your walk before the Lord today. Are you where you're supposed to be in life? Are you abiding in the true vine, getting your daily life and nourishment from Him? If not, then why don't you make a fresh commitment and get back into the fellowship that you desperately need so that you can begin to grow and mature again in Him. There's a call of God on each one of our lives to impact the world around us for the Lord Jesus Christ, to be an extension of His love and grace. Let's not fall prey to the devil's schemes, remembering that: "Sin will take you farther than you want to go, keep you longer than you want to stay, and cost you more than you'll ever want to pay!"
"He has shown you, O man, what is
good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justly, to love
mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?"
"How can a young man cleanse his way?
By taking heed according to Your Word."
God bless you as you continue in your relationship with Him, led by His precious Holy Spirit!