For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world. —Titus 2:11-12
In spite of the fact that sin is abounding on every side, Christ has provided everything that we need to live godly in this present, evil world. In a time of lust and ungodliness, we are called to a life of righteousness. The burden God placed on my heart this quarter is on the subject of ‘Influence.’ The influences of the world are growing stronger as time goes on. I have had older saints testify to me that they feel the pressure of the world more than ever before. We are going to have to be wise and aware of the influences around us.
It saddens my heart to see so many professing Christians, who have such a rich heritage of holiness, act as if standards of holiness are mere traditions and that ‘things’ do not really matter. Many parents are giving in to the drift of the world and their children will be the ones paying the greatest price. There is a reason so many people are lacking power and true anointing in their lives. We must lift up a standard of holiness to withstand the sinful tide.
The influences of this world are so subtle and it takes time to see the results in people’s lives. It would behoove us to look around and see the long-term effects on people who have let go of holy living. I have yet to see true spirituality coming from those who have opened the door to the influences of the world. As the world grows worse and worse, there will be a greater divide between God’s people and people in our communities. We must never measure ourselves by the world but by the standard of God’s Word.
I have addressed, by the help of the Lord, a few controversial issues in this edition of The Gospel Truth—internet, movies, television, music, etc. It is vital that we not be dogmatic or defensive of our way of thinking. Let us honestly examine their power of influence. May we open our hearts and be led by the Holy Spirit.
Child of God, can you really say every thing in your life is holy and clear before God? Is it possible that you have already become desensitized? The influence of the world is trying to cause us to be sympathetic, understanding, and tolerant toward sin. Let us be true and faithfully cry out against the evils of the world.
Michael W. Smith