Our friends, the places we like to hang out, the world in which we live, all has an influence on our faith and our convictions. Sometimes without even realizing it. It may be time to evaluate our environments.
As a child of God, we want to do His will because we know that it is good, acceptable and perfect (Romans 12:2). Our flesh usually pushes us in the opposite direction, but it is up to us to choose which path we take. Are we going to listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit or of the world? The answer is simple: naturally, we will follow the voice that speaks the loudest!
When we are faced with a decision, we must analyze our choices while keeping in mind the influences that weigh on us. For example, we may be pressured by our family to get married. This pressure could lead us to seek a partner, while perhaps the will of God, at this time for us, would be to remain single and to invest ourselves in His Kingdom. We must be able to discern what is the source of our desires.
We all live in this world, but we can choose to reduce some of the influence that the world can have on our lives. For example: by not watching television. But sooner or later, we will be exposed to the world’s desires in different fashions, and if we do not pay attention, we risk being influenced. Take the example of Lot’s daughters (Genesis 19:30-38). They were daughters of God’s people, and certainly, Lot had taught them the values of God. But they still grew up in an environment with values completely opposite to those of God. Surely their father did his best, but they were the only ones to learn these lessons: there was no one else with the same values around them. After their mother turned into a pillar of salt and died, they found themselves alone in a cave with their father. Their logic led them in a direction that may seem very strange today. They were singles and had lost all hope of getting married. They thought they were alone in the world. They could have cried out to God or asked their father to lead them to the family of their great-uncle, Abraham. But they had grown up in a world infested with sexual sins. Their solution was therefore to sleep with their father, without his knowledge, to become pregnant and thus giving him offspring. The voice of sin spoke louder in their heads than the voice of God.
We know that God wants sexuality to be under the cover of marriage. But if our coworkers talk gleefully about their sexual adventures, this voice begins to resonate in our head. If we have friends with worldly morals, watch popular TV shows with the same values, the voice contrary to God will be louder and louder. Just as Lot’s daughters believed that their plan was perfect, so our desires may seem logical and harmless when the voice of the world is so strong. Yet the problems are there. The children of Lot’s two daughters were Moab and Ben Ammi, the two patriarchs of the Moabites and Ammonites, two of Israel’s greatest enemies. There are always consequences to our decisions. If these decisions are not inspired by God, they will not lead us to blessings, but on the contrary to curses!
What to do, then? God does not want us to become hermits, hidden from civilization! In fact, the Christian life is quite the opposite. We have been created as social beings and we need each other. Just as a body needs its different members (Romans 12:4-5), so we need our brothers and sisters in Christ. The early church met daily (Acts 2:46) despite their secular work. We may not be able to go to church every night, but we can saturate our thoughts with praise and the Word of God. We can choose our entertainment more carefully and most importantly, it is good to have a group of Christian friends. So that the voice of God and His wisdom will speak louder than the voice of the world.