by Bill Bright
Recently a young Christian asked me, "Why are so many Christian leaders involved in moral and financial scandals?"
My explanation to him was that there is an all-out attack of Satan today to destroy the credibility of the gospel message. Many times I have prayed, "Oh God, if there is a possibility that I may become involved in a moral, financial, or any other scandal that would dishonor You and discredit my ministry, love, and witness for You, I would rather You would take my life first." I mean it. I would rather die than to dishonor Him.
Romans 8:7-8 reminds us: "The old sinful nature within us is against God. It never did obey God's laws and it never will" (TLB). The old Bill Bright is my number one enemy. It is dangerous to live in the flesh, demanding our rights, vulnerable to the tricks of Satan.
No one reaches the place of spiritual maturity or perfection where he can say, "I don't need the Lord's help anymore." By faith, we are to crucify the flesh and be dependent on our Lord for our moment-by-moment strength and resistance to temptation, for He is the only one who can enable us to live victorious lives for God (see Romans chapter 6 and Galatians 2:20).
Spiritual attack often comes as a result of the effectiveness of our ministry for God's kingdom, disrupting the kingdom of darkness. Satan is not concerned with ineffectual believers, because they are no threat to him. It is the effective ones he wants to attack, to discredit or discourage.
We must remember that we are all in spiritual warfare. We experience the joy and peace of the Lord, but we also live in a battle zone—planet Earth—and the battle is for men's souls for eternity. A spiritual battle rages constantly, and we are God's Special Forces, equipped with helmet, sword and shield (Eph. 6) to always be victorious in the assignments given to us by our Commander. Satan has no power over the believer unless God allows it (Acts 4).
As God's soldiers, we are to live a disciplined life. "Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ" (Ephesians 5:15-21).
Yours for helping to fulfill the Great Commission each year until our Lord returns,