I (Edwin) felt God imposing on my heart to share the following with you concerning the latest news about Todd Bentley, leader of the Lakeland outpouring in Florida who filed for separation from his wife. According to his board, he had an emotional affair with one of his female staff members and as a result stepped down from the ministry. Many have been devastated, disillusioned, and confused by this occurrence and are now wondering whether this revival move was really from God. Some are asking the question: How can it be that Todd Bentley has been endorsed and prophesied over by the so called established national spiritual leadership and that now it had to end like this? Didn’t these leaders have any discernment concerning Todd Bentley’s private life and some of his apparent questionable teachings and practices?
At the same time, many testifies worldwide about how they have been healed, touched, and fired up by God through the Lakeland revival. So, how can this all be, Todd Bentley living in sin and yet at the same time being used mightily by God?
I would love to encourage you with this explanation. First of all, I always believed that God can use anybody, anytime, anywhere, anyhow regardless their imperfections. But there is a distinction to be made when it comes to operating in the gift which is freely given by God and walking in the fruits of the Holy Spirit, which is having the character of God. We can be very gifted or anointed and yet have many character flaws.
When it comes down to the gift, Jesus said:
“Go and announce to them that the Kingdom of Heaven is near. Heal the sick, raise the dead, cure those with leprosy, and cast out demons. Give as freely as you have received!” Matthew 10:6-8 NLT
Now, when it comes to the fruits of the Holy Spirit or character it says the following:
“But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives, he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” Galatians 5:22-23 NLT
And that is a process of righteous living that we need to allow God to fulfill in our lives by continuously obeying Him.
“But God’s discipline is always right and good for us because it means we will share in his holiness. No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening — it is painful! But afterward there will be a quiet harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.” Hebrews 12:10-11 NLT
“…you must be even more careful to put into action God’s saving work in your lives, obeying God with deep reverence and fear.” Philippians 2:12-13 NLT
My conclusion is that God works through imperfections and sin, because His gift is sovereign. There are many examples in the Bible to support that. Just think about King Saul, King David, Samson, Judas and the apostle Paul to name a few.
My prayer is that Todd Bentley will be helped by those who are mature in the love, grace, and understanding of Jesus Christ as indicated in the below Bible verse.
“Dear brothers and sisters, if another Christian is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself. Share each other’s troubles and problems, and in this way obey the law of Christ. If you think you are too important to help someone in need, you are only fooling yourself. You are really a nobody.” Galatians 6:1-3 NLT