Be Careful of Your Influences

Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his Law Day and night. Psalm 1:1-2

Illustration

One day a farmer grabbed his shotgun to shoot at a flock of pesky crows. Unfortunately, he didn’t see his sociable parrot that had joined the crows. After firing a few shots, he walked over to the fallen birds and was surprised to find his parrot badly ruffled with a broken wing. When the farmer’s children saw the injured bird, they asked, “Dad, what happened?” The farmer simply replied, “Bad company.”


Many Christians are being led astray by carefully crafted deceptive propaganda with a biblical flavor from people in their sphere of influence. Indeed, I’ve noticed how Satan has finetuned his ability to lead some Christians astray by sending people we know and trust to misinterpret Scripture casually. He begins by casting aspersion on the Church of Jesus Christ and pointing out all the flaws and sinfulness that exist in the Church. Soon thereafter, these brothers and sisters stop fellowshipping with the corporate body of Christ and feel justified in practicing their own brand of Christianity. They find other people who agree with their ideology and create a cult to justify their ungodliness.


The Church of Jesus is the agency by which God’s kingdom work is being done on earth. To reject the Church is to reject Jesus. Granted, Satan has infiltrated the Church and caused chaos in the Body of Christ. Therefore, we must remain faithful to the teachings of the gospel and do as Paul recommends in Romans 12:2- “Do not be conformed to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will.”


In today’s text, the Psalmist praises brothers and sisters who refuse to be led astray by bad influences. The people in Psalm 1 are not conformed to the pattern of this world. They reject any influence which is not Christ-centered. As followers of Jesus Christ, we must resist and reject anything that challenges or rejects the Lordship of Christ and disparages the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Lord gave us one task before He ascended to Heaven—to spread the gospel and make disciples. Any theory or ideology that hinders our great commission agenda should be rejected. Believers are to influence the world for Christ and not allow the world to influence them to forsake Christ.


Like the farmer in today’s illustration, the Devil is shooting his spiritual shotgun into the world trying to get as many people as possible to remain in darkness. Our association with the unsaved should be Christ-centered and Spirit-led. Our spiritual light should always be on display for nonbelievers to see. We must stop thinking of the Church as a hospital and start thinking of the Body of Christ as an army. We are in a spiritual war the world cannot afford for us to lose. When necessary, we may have to stand against family, friends, neighbors, or colleagues who are trying to influence us to forsake our faith in Christ. Resist any attempt to be exposed to false doctrines. Reject any theology that does not affirm our salvation through Christ and challenge us to do the great commission work. In the end, our motto should be “For Christ I live and For Christ, I die.” Anything else is spiritually toxic.


Questions for Personal Reflection

What type of influence are you to believers and nonbelievers?

Who is influencing your life spiritually? Do you consider that influence to be Holy Spirit-Led?


Prayer- Father, I am praying for the many brothers and sisters that have gone astray. Please send the right spiritual influences in their lives so they can repent and be restored into the right relationship with you. Help me to be all the more intentional in setting the right example for others to follow so they can come to know Jesus Christ and grow in their relationship with the Lord.

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