The Four Signs Satan is Winning – #3: Moral Lines get Blurry
When I heard the news, I was devastated. How could ‘Eddie’ have done this? We had traveled throughout China together, as he introduced me to the leaders in Churches that he knew and I had done the same with him. He had started doing Bible distribution just before us and I was thankful to learn tips from him that I hadn’t figured out yet. And as a pastor of a thriving Church in Southern California, he showed an unusual interest in serving rural Chinese, and I was happy to call him a friend of mine.
When he started travelling in China alone with his personal assistant, who was of the opposite gender, I was concerned and talked it through with him. He assured me that since both of them were married, they had talked it through with spouses and guards had been put in place. And that’s what made the news that they had had inappropriate relations one night in a hotel room 6,000 miles from spouses. I tried to warn him, but we know that we must always ‘Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.’
The third sign that the enemy is winning in your life is when moral lines are being blurred in our lives. This may be the most insidious sign of them all, because the lines seem super clear at first, but slowly over time, they start to get blurry and we may not even notice it at first. A white lie is told to save face. Facts are exaggerated to make yourself look like you’ve done more than you have. A flirty secretary is allowed entrance into emotional thoughts in your mind that are reserved only for your spouse. C.S. Lewis states this well in the Screwtape Letters, “the safest road to hell is the gradual one – the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.” If you allow the enemy passage into this area of your life, it only gets easier and easier, which is exactly what happened to my friend Eddie. He actually did travel without incident with his assistant many times. But as they spent more time together and as they became emotionally closer, one night, many miles away from anyone who could keep them accountable, they fell to temptation.
A couple of ‘quick hit’ thoughts about how to avoid allowing moral lines to be blurred in your life:
- Have people in your life willing to ask you the ‘hard questions.’ And if you are tempted in a particular area, talk to these people about this, and have them calling you to ask you about what’s what as much as possible. I have a pastor friend who has made a list of questions he asks his wife every week, and if he’s not holding up to his end of the things he’s committed to her, she has the elders of his church on speed dial, and they have given her permission to call them anytime, day or night, to let them know he is not meeting the standard he’s set for himself.
- Boundaries, Boundaries, Boundaries: Whatever level you need to make sure that you’re honoring Christ with the things God has given you responsibility for, set the appropriate Boundaries. A could of quick examples: In the One Eight Catalyst staff policy manual, a staff member cannot travel alone in a car with another staff member of the opposite sex. We want to do our best to set that Boundary right off the bat. Also, I have a ministry colleague who is also the President of his organization as I am and he does not touch or see any of the money that comes into the ministry. It goes to a P.O. Box in a different state and he has other people who are collecting those funds and simply tell him monthly how much money has come into the ministry.
- Open communication with your spouse wins the day. For those that are married, talking openly about any communication or work/ministry relationships you have with someone of the opposite sex is SO important. I have a friend who was in an accountability group with me a few years ago, and he was complaining that his wife was jealous of a work relationship he had with a woman he worked with. In processing that together, he realized that he wasn’t doing a good job of being completely open about that relationship and needed to do a better job.
In the next post in this series, I’ll talk about how continual discouragement is another sign that the enemy is winning in your life. Enjoy this post, then share! Thanks!
 1 Peter 5:8-9