“My son, if sinners entice you, do not consent.” (Proverbs 1:10).
Listening to God and doing the right things will make us wiser people. But we cannot afford to mix our allegiances. We must dedicate ourselves to God and give Him top priority. Other voices would like us to listen to them. Perhaps they want influence, or maybe they want to sell us something. Whatever the reason, we must listen to God above all others.
God’s people must often walk alone, but sinners rarely do. They want to allure us into their web of sin, and approve their behavior. Sometimes they do this through enticement. They make something look attractive and harmless. They paint a rosy picture, but hide the ugly consequences. They entice you, as the verse mentions above, by convincing you that their way will make your life better. How should we respond?
This verse commands us not to consent to them. That means we must say “no” to them if they seek to lead us astray into bad behavior. While some may struggle with saying “no,” they must learn to master that word. God expects us to not participate in the unfruitful works of darkness (Ephesians 5:11). He holds us responsible to refuse to participate in evil behavior. Just because we cave in to crowd pressure does not give us an excuse for ungodly behavior.
How can we develop good spiritual “ears” that say “yes” to God and “no” to sin?
1. Study God’s Word in order to learn His will.
When we read God’s Word we discover what’s pleasing to the Lord (Ephesians 5:10), and we also learn what is not. By reading God’s Word, we train and develop our conscience to discern between good and evil (Hebrews 5:13-14). We will then possess the knowledge needed to make godly decisions and choices in life.
2. Develop a firm will.
This comes only by practice. Some people seek to avoid all controversy. While that may seem wise, we should not shy away from taking a godly stand. If we do not learn to say no at the appropriate time, we cannot develop good character. Athletes must prepare for the contest by following a physical regimen. Runners must run, quarterbacks must pass, point guards must shoot, and boxers must punch. God’s people must develop good character by learning to say no to bad behavior.
3. Promote godly behavior.
God wants us to practice godly behavior by “putting off” the bad and “putting on” the good (Ephesians 4:22-24). We once walked according to the world’s way (Ephesians 2:2; Colossians 3:7). But we must now walk in obedience to God.
Many voices want us to listen to them. But we should only listen to God, and to those who lead us in God’s ways. Ask God to strengthen your resolve to remain true to Him, even when others try to coax you to do evil.
Posted on Tue, May 17, 2016
by Sam Petitfils