As I was heading to the office this morning, I had an overwhelming sense of urgency to pray for my fellow pastors. Our society, and as a result, most pastors, face a multitude of people with brokenness in their lives. Whether it is marriages spiraling out of control because of affairs or finances, children who have chosen a path of destruction, men and women with addictions (whether drug abuse, alcoholism, pornography, or other destructive behaviors) that have been hidden, people are hurting and turn to the church. Pastors are on the front lines of some of mankind’s deepest and darkest struggles. Their days are spent training and leading their teams and staff, helping the hurting in their church and communities, with people tugging at their shirt tails every step of the way. As I was thinking about the pressures that pastors face, I wondered … have they unknowingly set themselves up to fall in the trap of sexual sin?
Tragically, on a daily basis we read or personally know of a pastor who has succumbed to the enticement of sexual sin whether with a woman, man or through internet pornography. Great pastors in small and large churches who fall to this incredible allusion of sin once thought themselves invincible. In the end, however, many have to face the unenviable task of standing before their congregation or staff meeting and sharing the heart wrenching story of sexual seduction. Bystanders are left to wonder, ‘How could this have happened?’ How could my pastor/associate pastor/youth pastor/worship leader … how could anyone on my church staff fall to such seduction of this type of sin?
Unfortunately, there are no easy answers. As a pastor who came from the world of sin and depravity, I can only offer this one piece of advice found in Ephesians 6:12-13:
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this [present] darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly [supernatural] places.
Therefore, put on the complete armor of God, so that you will be able to [successfully] resist and stand your ground in the evil day [of danger], and having done everything [that the crisis demands], to stand firm [in your place, fully prepared, immovable, victorious].
My prayer for you today is that you will be sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s leading. I pray that you will be diligent about guarding your schedule and your time so as to not become overburdened, and that you will not be so consumed with success that you are unable to detect the supernatural powers working to destroy you. God has graciously placed His flock into your care, be diligent to care for them in the way that God intended. Join me in praying for the families, pastors and staff who are faced with the aftermath of sexual sin.