Put on all of God's armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies and tricks of the Devil (Ephesians 5:11).
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 (Ephesians 6) to always be victorious in the assignments given to us by our Commander. Satan has no power over the believer unless God allows (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, NIV).
Yours for fulfilling the Great Commission each year until our Lord returns,
The late Dr. Bill Bright was Founder and President/Chairman Emeritus of Campus Crusade for Christ, an organization which began as a campus ministry in 1951 and now has more than 27,000 full-time staff and up to 500,000 trained volunteer staff in 196 countries in areas representing 99.6 percent of the world's population. In the past 50 years, Campus Crusade for Christ has seen approximately 6 billion exposures to the gospel worldwide. The film, "JESUS," which Bright conceived and funded through Campus Crusade for Christ, is the most widely translated and viewed film of any type ever produced. Since its use began in 1980, the film has been translated into 839 languages and viewed or listened to by over 5.7 billion people in 228 countries. Dr. Bright was also the author of more than fifty books. Visit campuscrusade.com for more details
Copyright (c) 2003, Bill Bright. All rights reserved. However, readers may copy and distribute this message as desired, without restrictions in number, as long as the content is not altered. Forwarding this e-mail to friends is encouraged. For many evangelistic and spiritual growth materials, visit the Campus Crusade for Christ Web site at ccci.org. See campuscrusade.com for Bill Bright's own materials.