Trapped in a Barn
Jim was a member of a Bible Study we attended many years ago. He was a unique individual with a wonderful personality, who was also a very talented entertainer and artist. He was at the time we knew him, a devout Christian who had been delivered from demonic opression when he came to the Lord.
The last time we saw him was at his home. My husband wanted to show him his first painting that he had done of the Lord. It was a portrait of Jesus smiling. We remember Jim saying as he looked at it, “I would like to use my art for the Lord, too.”
Some time passed, we ended up losing our home in a business deal, but it was the event that God used to launch us into ministry. We were really blessed and after a long journey that took us from the East coast to California and back again, we were anxious to look up our old friend and share with him what the Lord had been doing in our lives.
We were shocked and grieved to learn that in the time that had transpired from our last meeting Jim had left his wife and two children for another woman, renounced his faith in Christ, saying in a newspaper interview that he had “found something better” though he didn’t say what it was. Someone who leaves Jesus is like a mountain climber who suddenly decides he doesn't need the rope anymore. There really isn't anywhere else to go.
Apparently Jim had sold his soul for regional stardom and a successful career as an entertainer. He’d sold over a million copies of his books, CDs and DVDs and looking at his picture on his website, I couldn’t help grieve over the Lord’s loss of another son.
I had heard that he had cut off all contacts with his Christian friends, even his own brother whom he had led to the Lord. It appears his demons had come back in full force.
Jim reminds me of Jesus’ parable of the man who spent his life hording his wealth in a barn and thought he had done well, yet when the Lord required his soul and the man died, he was left with nothing to show for a life that had been wasted on temporal pleasures and a false security. The future he thought he had was left behind in a barn for someone else to enjoy.
In Jesus we have the promise of a secure future with Him for all eternity that is not worth trading for a few years of carnal pleasure in this life that won’t even be remembered when we are standing before the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. I want to see Him smile at me like the warm face in my husband’s painting, and I want to hear Him say, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” That’s the only treasure worth seeking for in this life, and nothing that this world has to offer can compare with being accepted into God's loving embrace when we die.
But whoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before My Father who is in heaven - Matthew 10;33.
Jim has become a frightening sample to us of a life that is trapped in a barn with demons who are waiting to collect their collateral.
Copyright 2010 by H.D. Shively