For fifteen years Mark Souder served as one of the congressmen from the state of Indiana. He was one of the conservative republicans who came into office during the off year “shellacking” that the Democrats suffered, not in 2010, but in 1994. He was known as a staunch conservative, especially on the social issues. He pushed family values and even made a video touting abstinence before marriage with one of his staff members, Tracy Meadows Jackson.
You can understand, then, how devastating it was when, in May of 2010, it was discovered that he had been having a multi-year affair with Ms. Jackson. Shortly after this revelation, Souder resigned and, as he stood before the cameras, he said:
It is with great regret I announce that I am resigning from the U.S. House of Representatives as well as resigning as the Republican nominee for Congress in this fall's election....I sinned against God, my wife and my family by having a mutual relationship with a part time member of my staff. I am so shamed to have hurt those I love.
Souder deviated from his written statement when reading it aloud to the Fort Wayne press later in the morning to explain why, unlike many legislators admitting adultery, he did not have his wife of 30 years at his side:
"I'm sick of politicians who drag their spouses up in front of the cameras rather than confronting the problem they caused."
But that’s not all of the story. In a series of emails, he shared with World magazine how he had fallen so far. He wrote:
I prayed multiple times a day, sang hymns with emotions and tears, felt each time that it wouldn’t happen again, read the Bible every morning . . . So how in the world did I have a torrid–which is an accurage word—many-year affair? How could I comparmentalize it so much? (In another email, he added) Bottom line, however is that the problem is sin . . . The problem is getting the will subordinate to the Holy Spirit early enough that the Spirit is not quenched.”
Did you catch that last line? He said “The problem is getting the will subordinate to the Holy Spirit early enough that the Spirit is not quenched.” At every turn, Satan was working to keep that from happening and, in the final analysis, he succeeded. The great issue was compartmentalization. Simply put, he disconnected the truth of scripture from the reality of his life. This is precisely what Peter warns us about when he tells us to be sober and vigilant. He is telling us that Satan, when he attacks us will come in and try to cloud the issues. We defeat him by thinking biblically, thinking constantly, thinking practically (that is connecting the word to our actions), and thinking proactively (anticipating where our weak spots might be and taking action to avoid or strengthen them.)
So, how’s the war going in your life? Are you aware that your enemy is out to devour you? Do you even recognize his attack? Are you aware of his schemes?