You’re driving along without a care in the world when you see headlights and red and blue lights flashing behind you. Then you hear that dreaded sound, a siren. You pull off the road and reach for your driver’s license. You sit there wondering what you did or didn’t do. Your heart is racing and pounding as you see a police officer approaching your car in the side mirror.
Here Comes the Law
The officer motions for you to lower your window. You do it. You ask, “What’s the problem, officer.” He responds, “The problem, sir, is that you happen to be living under the influence of the world and not Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.”
“What?” you respond, expecting a clarification of this unusual charge.
The officer removes his aviator sunglasses. He pulls a ticket pad from his back pocket and explains the charges. “Sir, it seems you’ve been so busy with your job, trying to make money, that you’ve neglected your children, your wife, and most importantly, your God, Jesus Christ.”
He adds, “Plus, I see when you do have some free time, you spend it with your buddies having a good time at the club. And that’s not counting how you religiously attend your Sunday morning golf league instead of going to church.”
You ask, “Is this some kind of a joke?” The officer responds sternly, “These are serious charges. Living under the influence of the wrong things can put you away forever, and I mean forever.”
Make sure you’re living under the right influence.
We all live under the influence of someone or something. The important thing to remember is that our happiness and success in life is in direct proportion to the influences we choose to be under. Whether we choose to be under the influence of someone or something, we surrender some degree of control over our life.
When the influence is positive, the benefits we receive are positive. When we are under negative influences, and there are many, we pay a price.
Our Sinful Nature Often Rules
We are naturally influenced by our sinful nature, our tendency to choose what our sinful nature desires (Romans 8:5). I’m sure we could all make a generous list of those desires, some of which are obvious, others less so. As reasonable and praiseworthy as these desires may seem, a preoccupation with fulfilling them at the expense of our family, our integrity, our principles, and our self-respect, will turn us away from our Lord and God.
Whose Influence Will You Be Under?
If you’re a Christian who has accepted Jesus Christ as your personal savior, you have the choice of placing yourself under the influence of the Holy Spirit. He will help you seek to please and serve God by fulfilling your God-given destiny, glorifying God by serving others.
Instead a receiving a citation for a L.U.I. for living under the influence of the world, blessings and good things will follow, and you’ll receive a sentence of being with the Lord for eternity.
Listen to God's Word
“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.” (Ezekiel 36:26-27)
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:2)
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. (2 Corinthians 3:17)
Also read: Proverbs 13:20, 1 Corinthians 15:33, Galatians 5:7-9
In the Words of Others
“Your call will become clear as your mind is transformed by the reading of Scripture and the internal work of God's Spirit. The Lord never hides His will from us. In time, as you obey the call first to follow, your destiny will unfold before you. The difficulty will lie in keeping other concerns from diverting your attention.” Charles R. Swindoll
Think About It
List the top three influential persons in your life as a young adult. As an older adult. Why did each have such an influence on you? Note which were positive and which were negative.
If someone were to ask to name and describe what was influencing you the most today, what would you tell them. Would it be a positive or negative influence? Why?
What influence has God through the Holy Spirit had in your life? Describe three ways in which the Spirit’s influence has been manifested. How do you feel about this?