The righteous should choose his friends carefully,
For the way of the wicked leads them astray.
Spiritual Discernment. The bible teaches us to be spiritually discerning and always awake watching for the hour is near, and the enemy is busy trying to make us captives to his slavery again. We learn that the way of peace and rest, for our soul, is found on the path following Jesus. Thus says the LORD, "Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, Where the good way is, and walk in it; And you will find rest for your souls. But they said, 'We will not walk in it.' (Jeremiah 6:16). The devil portrays himself as light, but he only comes to deceive and lead us astray.
The Path to Peace is to Follow Jesus. The ways of a man seem right to him, but they lead to destruction (Proverbs 14:12), so this is be our best effort to direct and lead our own lives. Is that where you want your life to end? The bible teaches that our hearts, without Christ, are desperately wicked, and deceitful above all things, and that God allows the fruits of our deeds to grow (Jeremiah 17:9-10). Therefore, if our lives lack peace and we have ruin all around us, then we are reaping the destruction that we've sown. This is why the ways of the Lord are opposite man's ways, for His ways are good and righteous. Man's eyes are closed and in darkness apart from God. For we read, "I will lead the blind by a way they do not know, In paths they do not know I will guide them I will make darkness into light before them And rugged places into plains These are the things I will do, And I will not leave them undone." (Isaiah 42:16). The path to peace and eternal life is found one foot step behind our gracious and merciful Lord. This is not to say that life with Christ lacks suffering, by no means, but rather life apart from Christ is full of licentiousness, promiscuous and uncensored impurities.
Commit your works to the LORD and your plans will be established. (Proverbs 16:3).
Guard Your Heart and Mind. The bible teaches us to not be deceived as bad company corrupts good morals (1 Corinthians 15:33), so our 'nice' non-christian friends, who always cheer us up with their naughty and promiscuous chats, which we secretly enjoy throughout the day, without telling anyone, for we rationalized it as harmless because 'it's just a light-hearted playful conversation with a friend,' they are nothing more than tools of the enemy to lead you astray. Even sharing conversations with 'christian-light' friends, who treat the ways of Jesus as a warm idea, but have no regard for following them, if we allow these people to speak into our lives, it is just as destructive, as they focus on fleshly matters, for they have not set their minds on things above, and they're not on the path which leads to eternal life. They only know about it. For such people, the Lord has already spoken, Depart from Me, you workers of inequity. I never knew you. (Matthew 7:23).
Reality Check. Where is your life? Who is speaking into your life, daily? What are they pouring into it? How many of these people are secret friendships? If they're so pure and harmless, why are they concealed? You say these relationships are harmless, Jesus says they are destructive, who is right? When are you going to stop allowing the enemy to plant weeds, seeds of destruction, in your life? When are you going to get real with your walk and you Lord? No, really, when?
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path (Psalm 119:105).
Pompei, particolare tratto da "La casa dei casti amanti"
Paul exhorts us by saying, But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another. (Galatians 5:16-25 ESV).
Dear Heavenly Father, lead us in the paths of righteousness, help us to surrender all of our heart, mind and soul to You, O'Lord, for You alone are the only true light, and in You, O'Lord, there is no darkness, help us to protect and guard our hearts and minds from the destructive people we have allowed into our lives, help us to close the doors to our hearts to these dangerous and dark people, give us the wisdom to see them for who they really are, open our eyes to the truth, set us free from the bondage of sin, teach us to love what You love and hate what You hate, help us to walk in Your ways, help us, O'Lord, help us. Amen
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