The Precursor to Moral Failures

He was a powerful preacher, used in the gifts of The Spirit.
He preached conferences, campmeetings, and national events.
People would drive for several hours just to hear him.
...
And at some point during all this, he sinned. Committed deeds that would end his public ministry. A man used of God, now a trophy on Hell's wall.

If you have been in Pentecost for a while, you've heard stories just like the above. They are jarring. They can even make us afraid to trust the pulpit at times.

Surely there is some sign that these sins are happening? There must be an indicator - a precursor - to these moral failures.
Indeed there is, and that is the subject of today's post.





The Wisdom of Solomon

King Solomon was a man acquainted with both sin and salvation. He lived for God in his early life, backslid in his later years, and finally came back at the end. So, his thoughts on this matter would be VERY informative and useful.

In fact, Solomon specifically identifies the SIGN that someone is backsliding:


"Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall."
 - Proverbs 16:18

The precursor to moral failures is simple and easily identifiable - it is PRIDE!

Have you ever heard a minister preach a conference, and walked away saying, "I loved what he had to say, but he was just so arrogant ... He was obviously used of God, but that man has an ego. ... I wish he would talk about himself LESS - it detracts from his sermons". All of these are subtle acknowledgments that this individual is guilty of the sin of pride.

In our churches, we often allow this sin to flourish. It is rarely warned against from the Pentecostal pulpit.

Ask yourself: when was the last time you heard a sermon about humility? A message that warned of the dangers of self-centeredness and arrogance? When did you last hear someone preach against pride?

Telltale signs

One of my favorite Bible verses comes from The Apostle Paul:


"For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God."
 - Romans 8:14

This scripture gives us all a principle: we should be LED by The Holy Ghost.

But someone who is committing moral failures & starting go astray is no longer listening to God's voice. How can I observe that?

How can we tell if someone is or is not "led by The Spirit"? That's actually easy: when someone is LED by The Spirit, they will manifest the FRUIT of The Spirit.

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law."
 - Galatians 5:22-23

Am I giving too much voice to too many people with too few fruits of The Spirit?
 - The ministers I look up to - do they manifest love?
 - Do they have joy, or is there a root of bitterness in them?
 - Is there peace between them and the brethren? Are they known to start fights? Do they have problems "staying out" of a conflict?
 - Are they patient, or are they demanding and impatient?
 - Do they speak gently and kindly to their brother, or have you seen them behave rudely?
 - When you watch them, do you walk away saying, "I want to be a good person like them", or do you say the opposite?
 - Have they instilled FAITH in you, or do they constantly question God's will?
 - Could you ever imagine them saying (like John The Baptist) "I must decrease"? Or, do they try to take credit for everything?
 - Can they control their temper? Can they control their responses? Will they "fly off the handle" at a moment's notice?

These are important questions to answer. If I look up to anyone in ministry who comes out on the wrong side of those, I am putting myself in danger. They aren't showing enough fruits of The Spirit, and thus it's possible they are not LED by The Spirit! Be very careful of such individuals.

"Who I listen to determines my ministry ..."

When I began preaching, a wise elder spoke those words to me. I think of them often when I hear other ministers. I want the elders I trust to be led by The Spirit.

And I personally want to follow God's leading. Before a man walks into sin, he first walks out of God's spiritual pathway for him. Am I walking by faith? Is my flesh directing me, or is The Holy Ghost?

Lastly, a hard question for us all: am I PRIDEFUL? Do I have "a haughty spirit", as King Solomon warned against?

Do I seek attention? Is the spotlight my favorite place?
Or am I humble. Is it ok not to take the credit for something?
Is meekness a bad word to me, or is it my lifestyle?

May we all strive to take self out of the equation. If not, then we have taken the first step to a moral failure.

Comments

  1. Very good - thank you ! I am so happy and blessed to know that the fruit of the Spirit is so evident in people like you and my Pastor, Brother Darrin Graves!

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  2. There a lot of people in the five fold lifted up by pride. They all more full of theirself than the holy ghost. We must pray to be full of the fruit of the spirit first then the full of God in our ministries and pray that God would give ous his wisdom. Good article. Alots of failure in our ranks because lack of being full of the fruit of the spirit (God character)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Such a thought provoking blog. Thank you for following the leading of the Holy Ghost. Appreciate you my friend and pray for you and your ministry.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Have personally had close friend in the ministry fall. Pride was definitely working as well as a lack of the fruit of the Spirit. Thank you much for sharing this. Very eye opening. Lord bless.

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