1 Kings 15:26 Whose Ways Do You Follow?

He did evil in the eyes of the Lord, following the ways of his father and committing the same sin his father had caused Israel to commit. 1 Kings 15:26

Everyone learns from someone. What they learn is determined by who they learn it from. Usually, one of the greatest influences on a person’s life is the father. Unless an outside influence affects them, sons will very often grow up with a lot of the same characteristics of their father, whether good or bad, right or wrong and whether they really want it or not.

When Jeroboam died, his son, Nadab, became king of Judah. He did the same evil in the eyes of the Lord as Jeroboam had done and caused Israel to commit sin.

As the physical father and other people can have a great influence in the life of person, it does not need to be this way. The world will only follow what it can see and understand, often this leads into sin and greater sin. The earthly fathers are sinners and may not be following God with all of their heart or none of their heart at all.

Once a person becomes a believer and a follower of Jesus, he must focus on following God with all of his heart, mind, soul and strength. God should be the greatest influence in one’s life that rises above everyone and everything else in this fallen world. The earthly father may have some good characteristics but may still lead down the wrong pathway.

God the ultimate best Father will lead in a way that leads to life, eternal life. There will never be a leading into sin and death. Believers must follow God’s ways above any other person’s ways, even the physical father, to be kept from living in sinful ways.

Your physical father may have had a great influence on you or may not have, just as someone else may have had influence upon you. Do not allow those influences to pull you away from God and His ways of living.

Put all of your focus and trust in God, not in the things, people and ways of this world. Learn His ways of living, because they are perfect and will lead to eternal life, not death.

Without God’s Spirit leading you, you will turn to sin and evil, bringing about death.

Whose ways are you following?

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Lord and Savior; that you will follow the ways of God with all of your life; that you will know how God wants you to live your life; that you will allow God’s Spirit to guide you in life; and that you will live a holy and righteous life before God and man.

1 Kings 11:4 The Wrong Influence

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

People who become very great at something, such as a sport, are very focused and dedicated to that one thing. They do not allow others to distract them or pull them away from it. Very few people can remain that focused very long when they are among people with a different view.

Peer pressure changes the views of most people. The stronger the pressure the faster people will change. Whole nations have changed views due to the pressure placed upon the people through various sorts of media.

Solomon had chosen to love and be married to many wives of other nations that follow false gods. Over time he turned his heart after those false gods because he was not fully dedicated to God alone.

The influence of those around a person can be very strong, pulling a person away from what he believes in. People are very quick to take on the character and desires that those they are among. Occasionally it is for the better, but most often it is for the worse.

Peer pressure wears away at the character of a person in the same way that water slowly erodes away the dirt and rock, creating a ravine. It can cause a person to begin to doubt God and turn to false gods.

Solid devotion to God will keep a believer focused on his goal no matter what others do or choose and not be led astray to follow false gods. He will be the one to influence others for God rather than being influenced by others for false gods.

Regardless of where you live there will be some people who are trying to lead you away from God into sin and following false gods. The world wants you to worship and serve things, positions, power and other false gods rather worshipping and serving the one true God.

Dedicate your whole life to God and do not allow yourself to be led astray into following the false gods of this world. Seek to know God more and more each day through His word and prayer. Keep yourself open to hearing the leading of the Holy Spirit so that you do not get led astray.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Lord and Savior; that you will dedicate your life to serving God alone; that God will strengthen you to keep you from being led astray; and that you will influence others to serve God.

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 John 3:7 Don’t Be Led Wrong

Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. The one who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. 1 John 3:7

Everyday every person has to make many different choices. Often these choices that are made are influenced by others around the person.

Not every person is able to stand strong enough on his own to go against the common flow in making choices. People do not like to stand out as different or to go against the flow, so they make choices that are not always the right choice to make.

John tells the people to not allow anyone to lead them astray, but to always do what is right, just as Jesus did.

Making the right choice to do the right thing is not always easy or popular. The world, as a whole, wants to do what feels good or meets the need in the moment, regardless of the long term impact. With this, those in the world will work hard to lead others astray to do what is wrong, rather than the hard right thing.

Pressure from media and peers push people to live as the world does in sin and personal pleasures. Many believers often give in to the pressure, rather than stand for God. God has called every believer to live a righteous and holy life.

Each one is to turn away from all sin and not be influenced by the world, but be the influencer for God. Believers are given God’s Holy Spirit to guide and strengthen them to make the right choices and to be kept from being led astray into the sinful practices of this world.

The more one chooses God’s way of doing things, the easier it will become to continue to do them. It will be harder for the world to influence the true believer.

You are allowed to choose the path you want to take each day. This choice is to either follow God’s ways of doing things, or the ways of this world.

When you became a believer, God had called you to be righteous and holy as He is righteous and holy. Do not allow yourself to be led astray by this fallen world that is promoting sinful practices, but be the influencer for God’s ways of living.

Do the right things out of love for God and for others, not out of legalism or to be liked by God. Be righteous as He is righteous.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will choose God’s way of doing things; that you will allow the Holy Spirit to lead you; that God will strengthen you to resist the influence of a fallen world; and that you will be righteous before God and man in all that you say and do.

Esther 4:14 For A Purpose

Arrow on target

“For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” Esther 4:14 

Getting into a new position happens often for many people. Sometimes that new position is unexpected and of high honor. They were not seeking a high level position, but it appeared to come to them.

When a person is humble and this occurs, he will often ask himself as to why he got that position. There does not seem to be a logical reason for getting it, yet he is still there.

Mordecai had chosen to refuse to bow down and pay honor to Haman. Haman then got the king to sign a command to allow all the Jewish people to be killed, because of rebellion. Mordecai asked Esther, who was family and the king’s queen, to go before the king about it. She was nervous, because it could mean she could be killed. Mordecai told her that maybe it was for this very purpose that she was made queen.

Most people will never be in a position of queen or king over a nation, but they will be in other positions of different levels of influence. Regardless of what position a person is in, there is a purpose for it, and one more than just a title or paycheck.

God places people into positions to be His witness. At every level there are people who need to hear about Jesus. At every level, there are people who need a Godly influence in the decision making process. Believers can bring God’s wisdom into any decision made.

You may or may not be in some high level position, but you are in a position that can touch others and influence them for God’s eternal purpose. You can be the light in a dark place that may be what changes or protects others.

Do not be afraid to take a stand for God and His ways. The world may not like it and may kill you, but then again, the world may see it and change. This is not for you to decide, but to trust God and maybe be there for such a time as this.

Ask God to show you why you are where you are. It will be to be an eternal influence in a temporary world.

I pray today that you will see God’s purpose for your life; that you will not fear being God’s witness; that God will use you to touch many lives; and that you will be a light for Jesus to this dark world.