Thursday, February 25, 2016

Connived by Company - Martin Wiles

They will act as if they are religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. You must stay away from people like that. 2 Timothy 3:5 NLT

Both options were available to me; unfortunately, I choose the worst one.

When I was fifteen, Dad moved us to the town where he had grown up. I was tired of moving around, so I hoped he’d stay here long enough for me to graduate from high school. Then they could move as often as they liked. The church had a number of young people my age, but I was pulled to two boys in particularly who had different lifestyles. I chose to be friends with both but decided to follow the mannerisms of the one whose actions appeared more enticing. 

Perhaps bad behavior could demonstrate how I felt about being a preacher’s kid. Before I knew it, I was smoking, drinking, cursing, and skipping school. Though I went willingly, I was connived by the company I kept. Not until I chose godly friends did my behavior change.

Conniving company will increase in the last days, so I need to be ready. Some scholars believe the last days are just prior to Jesus’ return while others interpret them as the entire period between his ascension and return. Either way, I think I’m living in them.

The list of things that will entice me is frightening: difficult situations, selfishness, pride, ungratefulness, sacrilegiousness, unforgiveness, lack of self-control, betrayal, and recklessness. Additionally, to love money, scoff at God, be disobedient to authority, hate what’s good, and to love pleasure more than God. Quite a list, and I think I’ve been connived by each one.

I cannot escape the conniving pull of society. Shutting myself up in a monastery or refusing to go outside won’t help. Satan still has access to my mind. Solitude doesn’t drive him away. I must dress in the spiritual armor God gives so the connivances will melt away from me like water running off a duck’s back (Ephesians 6:10-18). Commitment to my Savior is more important than the apparent comfort these types of behavior purport to bring.

God can give you the strength to overcome the connivances of company, but you must avoid company who would try to connive you.

Prayer: Father, we depend on You to steer us away from company who would attempt to connive us away from Your plan for our lives.

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