A favorite memory from our life in the Philippines is snorkeling at Apo Island—drifting across the colorful beds of coral reefs and watching a kaleidoscope of tropical fish darting in and out. It’s a tranquil and yet stunning setting.
Apo Island sits out in a shipping channel and has deceptively strong currents. Divers have been lost because of those currents and snorkelers have drifted far from where they started.
It’s easy to get caught in a current when your attention is fixed on the lovely, lively scene below the water’s surface. Life in this world is like that. We get so absorbed in what captures our attention that we don’t realize the drift in our life. It doesn’t take long before we’re trapped in the cultural tide swirling around us.
Resisting the cultural pull
When our relationship with God is spiritually healthy, we can resist the cultural pull around us. But this requires diligence on our part. We must be alert and aware.
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Psalm 1:1 reminds us of the slippery slope of the world’s culture. We can see a word picture in the text—a literal progression from walking to standing to sitting. How does it happen? It’s seductive. It’s subtle, yet strong.
Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers.—Psalm 1:1 (NKJV)
When we look to the advice of others, the still small voice of God can be drowned out. He calls us away from the crowd to Himself. He doesn’t demand our attention, nor does He shout at us.
The path of deception
When we listen to the world’s wisdom, faith may seem illogical. God’s words of truth may appear weak compared to the brash opinions of others. Soon, we may find ourselves on the wrong path.
Not too far down that path, cynicism grips our heart. We find ourselves seated among those who scoff at what we once held dear . . . and what once held us secure.
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Be careful what you listen to, it doesn’t take much to get sidetracked. Watch where you’re going. The way may seem right at first, but it could lead you in the wrong direction.
Finally, take time to consider your closest companions. As the apostle Paul reminds us, “Bad company corrupts good character” (1 Corinthians 15:33 NIV).
Digging deeper for a personal application in your life—
- Who and what has the most influence in your life? This is easily determined by what grabs and holds your attention.
- How much time per day do you spend listening to the opinion of others? Does the Lord get equal or greater time?
- Make a commitment to track what most often captures your attention. Then, be willing to make changes as needed.
This was originally posted as a guest post on Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale's Daily Devo blog. You can read it here— On the Right Path