Friends by Proximity

Day 11

“The people of Israel and the priests and the Levites have not separated themselves from the peoples of the lands with their abominations…”

– Ezra 9:7

“…and the people began to play the harlot with the daughters of Moab, Who invited the [Israelites] to the sacrifices of their gods, and [they] ate and bowed down to Moab’s gods.”

– Numbers 25:1, 2

How many people in your life do you allow to give you advice or influence your actions? Who are these people, and why do you trust them? Are they friends? Are they family members? Someone you’ve known for a long time?

The Israelites had a tendency to allow people that did not serve the Lord to become trusted friends. Because of the influence of these friends, the Israelites started pursuing ungodly things. In the two references above, these ungodly influences came from neighboring nations to Israel who worshiped foreign, man-made gods. They were basically friends by proximity. The Israelites intermingled with their neighbors to the point where they slowly stopped pursuing life God’s way in order to chase after these false gods and self-invented lifestyles, reasoning their way out of living under God’s wisdom. “Wow, they really do seem to have more freedom. I guess I don’t need to read the Word every day. They live that way and they seem fine!”

It’s time to recognize people in your life that are under the rule of another kingdom. Living separate is an essential part of our walk with Christ. Sometimes we think we have to join in with everything our friends our doing in order to have a shot at getting them saved, but by doing that we end up diluting our own lives and our witness. Then our chance of converting people to Christ really disappears! Maybe you have a high level of trust for certain friends because you’ve known them for so long, but if they don’t know Christ, their influence could eventually lead you down the wrong path, especially if you aren’t filled to all the fullness of God’s presence.

So be diligent to examine your relationships regularly. If people you trust are influencing you away from God even slightly, it may be time to take a step back and reset your resolve to be more Christ-like. Pursue more consistent time in God’s Word so His wisdom can fortify your soul against any ungodly influences in this world. Let the Word fill you so that you’re too full to allow anything else in!

Pursue your purpose in Him,

Anthony B.

Harvest Church