Joshua 23:7 No Association

Do not associate with these nations that remain among you; do not invoke the names of their gods or swear by them. You must not serve them or bow down to them. Joshua 23:7

Successful business leaders are very careful as to who they hang around with. They do not want to be around people who do not work or cannot bring them success to their business. All that occur in being around such people is bring them down or get them on the wrong track, harming their business and success.

Focus is on what is needed to be successful.

Joshua reminds the people to not associate with the nations around them. They are to not seek, serve, worship or talk about their false gods.

Many believers, in theory, seek to be friends with the world in order to be a witness to the world. However, in reality, many believers that become friends with the world end up becoming more like the world. The characteristics and beliefs of the world are allowed to rub off on the believer.

It is common for some believers to talk about the gods of the world so much that they end up serving those gods. Too many in the church look more like the world than they look like Jesus. And many do not care.

Every believer is called to be separate, different from the world. None are to believe in the gods of this world, gods of pride, alcohol, greed, wealth, jealousy, porn, illegitimate sex, gossip and any other sins.

Jesus was among the world, but He did not become like the world. Though the temptation was there, Jesus never bowed down to the false gods of this world. He called people out of their lives of sin and death unto an eternal life. Believers are to live in the same way.

Ask yourself who has the greatest influence on you in your life. This can be seen in who you choose to hang around with on a regular basis. Surround yourself with people who serve God so that you can be built up to be a witness of who Jesus is.

Go into the world to be a witness, but do not allow yourself to be like the world. Being like the world is not being a witness, but is walking away from God and disobeying God.

Who are you associating with on a regular basis?

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Lord and Savior; that you will be a true witness for Jesus to the world; that God will help you not be influenced by the fallen world; that God will give you strength to flee all sin; and that you will serve God alone.

1 Kings 11:4 Bad Influences

As Solomon grew old, his wives turned his heart after other gods, and his heart was not fully devoted to the LORD his God, as the heart of David his father had been. 1 Kings 11:4

Over the years Solomon had married several hundred women, many of whom were from foreign nations. These women were from nations that God had told the Israelites not to marry anyone. These wives brought with them their foreign gods and influenced Solomon into following those gods. He did not have a heart that was fully devoted to God alone.

Nobody likes to be left out of a group. People everywhere like to fit in with those they are with. Being left out gives the feeling that one is different or missing out on something fun.

It is a well-known fact that if a person hangs around another person or group of people enough, that the habits will transfer over. Often it is bad habits that will transfer, rather than the good ones.

Parents will often keep their children from hanging around certain other children, because they see them as a bad influence. They want their children influenced for the good, rather than the bad.

Yet, many adults will spend all their time with those who are not living correctly for God. Often it is around a person claiming to be a believer, but still living directly in a sinful lifestyle on purpose. They become a bad influence on the true believer.

You need to take a look at who you spend the majority of your time with. Are those people lifting you up and pointing you closer to God?

Or are they being a bad influence, pulling you away from God?

The peer pressure of a bad influence does not just affect children, it affects adults also.

As a believer, you need to be the one to influence the world for Jesus, not the other way around.

I pray today that God will give you wisdom on who are good influences around you; that you will be the light of Jesus in this world; that your heart will be focused on God; and that you will not be led astray with bad influences.