4-12-14 “7 Reasons Why Christian Leaders Fall” – Pastor Shane Idleman

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Intro.: Epidemic … We cannot play with the lion that is sent to steal, kill, and destroy. He is an enemy not an inconvenience!

  • They fall for the same reasons we all fall: last 2 messages

  • Others get a promotion, leaders get shame and humiliation

  • It’s not “charismatics”; it’s character

  • Only put Christ on the pedestal.

Two thoughts to set the stage:

  • Conviction is not always a hammer to the head, it’s a still small voice to the heart.

  • Many confuse God’s patience with His approval.

1. Many say, “It will never happen to me.” 1 Corinthians 10:12 reminds us that if we think that we are standing firm, we should be careful that we don’t fall.

C.H. Spurgeon rightly noted, “We are never, never so much in danger of being proud as when we think we are humble.”

  • Our strength is found in weakness: “for when I am weak I am strong.” Paul looked at his thorn as a means of Grace.

  • Pride says, “I have never committed ______”; humility says, “I haven’t but I can.”

  • If Grace saves us, it must sustain us.

  • Pride opens the door to compromise: you make unwise decisions

I’m important. The KING mentality.

When we acknowledge our weak spots the enemy knows it will be hard.

2. Many are “too busy.” We are all susceptible to putting God second and ministry first. Men would live better if they prayed better. If we’re too busy to cultivate a prayer life that places God first—we’re too busy. We’re often too busy because we’re doing too much. “When faith ceases to pray, it ceases to live” (E.M. Bounds).

  • Hard to fall when you’re already on your knees: Moral failing cannot gain a stronghold in a broken, praying heart. Nine times out of ten, when a leader falls, he or she has no meaningful prayer life.

  • They pray but its superficial not heart searching

Praying and reading the Word helps overcome sin. It instills into our lives discipline, commitment, patience, peace, joy, and contentment—it fills us with the Spirit. We must spend much time on our knees before God if we are to overcome temptation.

*Granted, idle hands are dangerous too

3. Holiness is Hindered.

“A holy minister is an awful weapon in the hand of God”.

(Robert Murray M’Cheyne)

  • A low view of sin Ezra 9

  • Holiness is either grows or withers.

  • We Rationalize instead of Repent.

  • THE POWER IS IN THE PURITY: “Others may, you cannot.”

  • I’m convinced that today’s media is playing a huge role: we allow things to enter our hearts and then take up residency.

4. Many build relationships with the opposite sex. We must be on high alert in this area and have tremendous steps of accountability in place. The devil doesn’t show those involved in a counseling appointment the pain and anguish and the years of regret that moral failure brings; he deceives them with a false sense of freedom in ministry…that we are simply “helping” the other person.

  • I’d rather be viewed as arrogant than an adulterer.

  • Don’t fight sexual desires; flee them (cf. 1 Corinthians 6:18). If there is attraction, or the potential for attraction, remove yourself.

       *If you can’t – confess, stay accountable, and pray for removal

5. They fail to strengthen the weak areas

The demands of life often tempt us to seek gratification in the flesh. We must be on high alert. The enemy uses “opportune times” to draw us away from God. (cf. Luke 4:13.) The line is so thin that it is often hard to determine when we cross over.

Sin: heroin, pills, sex, anger, marriage issues: “opportune times”

Liberties: Media, Fellowship, Alcohol…Many allow a liberty to cross the line.

How do you strengthen? Expose, Reinforce, and keep an eye on it

6. Accountability was breached or diluted

  • It’s a safeguard but not its not bullet proof

Accountability, by itself, doesn’t work—it’s not realistic to ask others to always hold you accountable. Your heart must be focused toward God and honoring Him. The accountability person simply complements and adds another level of security in the battle against sin.

7. Loneliness becomes a license

  • The victim mentality is often used to justify. Luke 16:10, “So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty’.”

  • Sin is silenced in a thankful heart

CLOSING: Recognize, Repent, Repair, Restore:

It will hurt, but the fruit of repentance far outweighs the fruit of exposure – God’s grace … If you are heading toward failure, take time now and repent. A penitent person turns from sin. They accept full responsibility for their actions without blame, resentment, or bitterness. When repentance is genuine, we want to be reconciled with those we’ve injured. We seek forgiveness without conditions and stipulations. We take full (not partial) responsibility for our actions. We don’t say, “But this and that…”. There can be no “but’s” when repentance is genuine.  “I am sorry. I was wrong. Please forgive me,” are often (although not always) healing words and signs of repentance. If this is not occurring, repentance has not taken place. Excuses need to stop before change and restoration can occur.

Restoration is God’s job; don’t force it.

If you fall, fall forward into God’s grace and forgiveness. This isn’t a license to sin; its permission to call on God for forgiveness and restoration. As much as we need to be challenged, we also need to be encouraged. ​