Over the previous couple of months, in addition to working on a new book, I have been enjoying the warm summer weather here in Pennsylvania, sitting outside while catching up on some back issues of World and Decision magazines. Much of what I have read is encouraging and thought-provoking. But I can’t help feeling disheartened regarding the recent downfall of RZIM, the former ministry of Ravi Zacharius. Zacharius passed away in May 2020, but in his absence, an investigation has ensued regarding sexual misconduct on his part that has destroyed the foundation of the organization that he founded.  The accusations against Zacharius are a stark reminder of the dangers of sin. Nothing mars the testimony of the gospel more than a trusted teacher of God’s word succumbing to Satan’s lures, and no one is exempt from his attacks.

It is often the case that the power and intensity of his arrows increase in proportion to the influence that an individual has over the instruction of others. Zacharius was a gifted apologist and expositor of God’s Word, and the instruction that his ministry provided is in many ways unparalleled. That material, however, is no longer available. The actions of one man do not detract from the truths in God’s Word. Yet his stained legacy has dealt his ministry’s credibility a severe blow that may signal the end of the organization entirely.  

On the night before Jesus crucifixion, He, with his disciples, went to Gethsemane to pray. He took Peter, James and  John aside alone. Matthew 26 tells us that Jesus was troubled and sorrowful, even to death.” He asked them to watch while he prayed to the Father. When he returned to them, he found them sleeping. 

And he came to the disciples and found them sleeping. And he said to Peter, “So, could you not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 
-Matthew 26:40-41 

We should take this exhortation to heart. Our flesh is weak. Every day, we should begin by asking God to keep us from temptation. We need to always be on guard against demonic influence in our lives.  

The most tragic thing about giving in to temptation is the fleeting pleasure it provides. Everything in our lives except God’s Word and other people is temporal. Our time on earth is short and relatively insignificant. Compare that with the eternity for which God created us. Living with our focus on eternity will yield lasting rewards,

Succumbing to temptation reaps eternal consequences that affect the spiritual health and well-being of those it impacts. Nothing that temptation draws us to is worth the time and effort for which it asks. That does not, however, make it easy to resist. Only by the grace that God supplies can we succeed.

Watch and pray that you do not enter into temptation. Your life and the lives of those you impact depend on it. 

RZIM may be at an end, and Satan can revel in this victory. But his time is coming to an end. Because of Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection, Satan has already lost the battle. He is now trying to drag as many people as possible with him into eternal damnation and diminish the glory of God. In some ways, I believe that he thinks that he can still win, but God has already written the final chapter. He is in control.  

We may never understand why God has taken RZIM off the battlefield. Yet, the impact that this organization has had in the lives of countless individuals will stretch into eternity. I hope that they reorganize and rebuild when legal proceedings conclude. But even if RZIM does not continue, nothing will stop the advancement and spread of the Gospel of Christ. God’s Word is eternal, living, and active. 

If you do not know Jesus as your Lord and Savior, it is not too late. But time is running short, and you do not know how much time you have left. Today could be the last day you live on this earth. Repent and ask God to forgive you and give your life over to Jesus. Enter into a personal relationship with him that will never end.

Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by
permission. All rights reserved.

One thought on “Watch and Pray

  1. Dear Tim, I finally had time this morning to read your article. Well written! I pray you and your family are well and that your caretaker needs are being met. We look forward to seeing you and Geri next Tuesday. Love, Barbara

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