Sunday, May 25th, 2014
Christian Pitfalls (Part 1)
He lies in wait secretly, as a lion in his den; He lies in wait to catch the poor; He catches the poor when he draws him into his net.
Psalm 10:9 (NKJV)
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.
1 Peter 5:8 (NKJV)
The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.
John 10:10 (NKJV)
Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, 'If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written:
'He shall give His angels charge over you,' and, 'In their hands they shall bear You up, lest you dash your foot against a stone.' '
Matthew 4:5-6 (NKJV)
In recent years, a flurry of Christian leaders have taken a fall from the pinnacle of a temple. Unlike Jesus, they made a risky move. Not only did they lose their footing, but they also lost their churches.
I sympathize. I fall short every day. I would love to see a board of elders pardon a penitent pastor--for everyone to live happily ever after. By God's mercy, they will, but a period of injury and healing may precede it. Because His Word says leaders are held to a higher standard.
'For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required' (Luke 12:48). The Apostle James concurred: 'Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment' (James 3:1).
When Christians rise, a cross rises with them. They wear it on their backs. It looks like a 'T', so consider these meanings: Teacher, Target, Test, Trial and Temptation. A teacher beckons men. A target, test, trial or temptation beckons demons: 'Spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms' (Ephesians 6:12).
They work for Satan, who ultimately works for God--in the construction of obstacle courses: pitfalls for God's leaders. To what end? 'My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing' (James 1:2-4).
'In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ' (1 Peter 1:6-7).
Actors, models and talent for Christ: leadership is your destiny. God is grooming you to fill the most publicized positions since the Bible was written. Through you, His story continues:
'Clearly you are an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart' (2 Corinthians 3:3). Your job is vital. Therefore, expect pitfalls in your path--and prepare for them.
Don't jump recklessly off the platforms God has prepared for you. Learn what to expect 'In order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes' (2 Corinthians 2:11).
To Be Continued...