In the 1980’s Jim Bakker built a ministry. He thought he built it for God, but he really built his own empire. Bakker started the PTL ministry because of a desire to serve the Lord, but as the ministry grew, love of earthly possessions and lust for power waged war. Jim Bakker took his eyes off God too many times, and his empire fell.
Years following the building of the temple in Jerusalem, King Solomon found himself in the same predicament. Solomon allowed his
pagan wives to pull him away from his first love. He still offered
sacrifices in the temple, but worship had become only a formality. His
heart was not fully God's, and his soul suffered from his desire to
create happiness for the thousand of women in his life.
woman’s desire for knowledge brought about the fall from God’s grace in
the garden. Adam tried to please Eve by doing what she asked. It also
might have been Tammy Fay's hunger for more possessions that spurred on
Jim Bakker’s fall. King Solomon’s desire to please the many women in his
life truly began his descent into a meaningless existence.
However, in the last analysis Solomon did not fall from God’s grace just
because of heathen wives. Jim Bakker also did not tumble into sin just
because of Tammy Fay, and Adam could have said no. Each man was
ultimately responsible for his own decisions and actions. Sinful
compromise separated these men from their God.
And what about
me? I am responsible for my actions and my decisions. I am accountable.
No one else leads me astray. Certainly others will offer temptation, but
it is my choice whether I follow Christ or not. If I allow worldly
desires to claim my heart instead of following after Jesus Christ, then I
void my witness, and lose any credential I have to share the love of
Christ. If I don't live what I believe I will lose what I have been so
It is impossible to serve two masters. I will
love one and grow to hate the other. I must always choose between
spiritual pursuit and worldly values. Earthly treasures will not only
destroy me, but they are like sand that slips through my fingers. I
can't hold on to them. I should seek God's kingdom first, and allow His
treasures to become the love of my heart.
How do I keep from
straying as Solomon or others have done? I need to keep earthly
influences from destroying my walk with the Lord. How do I know each
decision that needs to be made? I seek the Lord’s counsel through
prayer, and study of His Word. I don’t wish to forfeit God’s blessings.
If I allow the world to become more important that my God, then I will
lose what Solomon lost–my first love.
And what about all of us?
We should keep our eyes on Jesus Christ, and follow only Him. He began
this faith, and He will finish it.....if we allow it.