Last weekend, our guest speaker, Amy Seiffert, encouraged us to examine where our opinions and actions come from and whether they reflect our title of “children of God.” She used the life of Jezebel in 1 Kings to unwrap the reality that there are outside influences we embrace in our lives that negatively affect our behavior. We were encouraged to pursue life as Paul described in Ephesians.
Ephesians 5:15-18 AMP
15 Therefore see that you walk carefully [living life with honor, purpose, and courage; shunning those who tolerate and enable evil], not as the unwise, but as wise [sensible, intelligent, discerning people], 16 making the very most of your time [on earth, recognizing and taking advantage of each opportunity and using it with wisdom and diligence], because the days are [filled with] evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish and thoughtless, but understand and firmly grasp what the will of the Lord is. 18 Do not get drunk with wine, for that is wickedness (corruption, stupidity), but be filled with the [Holy] Spirit and constantly guided by Him.
Jezebel’s life theme was, “it’s all about me, baby.” Her prime motivation was to get what she wanted, when she wanted it and without any concern about how her choices might affect other people.
As Christ followers, I doubt we would describe ourselves as a “Jezebel”, but have you considered the outside influences that motivate your choices? Are they godly?
Ask yourself, is your goal to fit in? To be comfortable? Are you trying to be seen as better than others, like Jezebel? Or, like Jesus, is your goal to be a servant of God? A walking example of the fruit of the Spirit?
22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. 25 Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.
In 1 Kings, Queen Jezebel is described as exercising sway over her husband, King Ahab, and the affairs of Israel, including the sinful worship of the horrible pagan god Baal. Worship of Baal included the sacrifice of bulls. We see this in 1 Kings 19. Most often, sacrifices were made to Baal to prevent storms, control the seas and request a good harvest.. In times of crisis though Baal worshipers sacrificed their children to gain personal prosperity. Jezebel discredited, harassed, and killed anyone who got in the way of what she wanted, especially the prophets of God. Together, Jezebel and King Ahab turned God’s people to pagan worship and depravity.
How did this happen? Through influence. Their threats and behavior changed the Israelites. Amy suggested that our choices and opinions reflect what we allow to influence us, as individuals, families, and even nations. So, what is truly influencing your words, actions, and beliefs?
Are you subconsciously being swayed by the endless bombardment of social media, academia, politics, materialism, and fashion? How much time do you spend on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, or mindlessly watching dog videos on Tic Toc?
Measure that time against how much time you’re spending learning about God and applying what you’ve learned to how you are actually living your life. Which is the bigger source of influence?
If media influence takes up more time in your life than the Word of God, I encourage you to reverse those numbers and watch as peace and purpose return to your life.
Have you strayed from God? If so, why? Do you want to change your current path back to him?
Do you justify behaviors and opinions you know or think are ungodly?
Do you want a more peace- and love-filled, meaningful life?
Are you ready to choose God instead of yourself?
Admit you have strayed. Ask God to forgive you and bring you back to a deep, personal relationship with him.
Get rid of the news feeds and eliminate Facebook or other social media apps from your phone.
Add a good Bible app to your phone and read one chapter from the Old Testament and the New Testament each day. Then spend time in prayer with your loving, heavenly Father. It should only take about 30 minutes … less time than checking your Facebook page.
Engage in church and service activities. Take the focus off what you want and place it on what God wants.
Lord, I praise your name. Thank you for loving me in spite of myself. I ask you to please forgive me for my sins. Please replace my endless desire for pleasure, entertainment, free time, and the admiration of others with a deep desire to know you and live out your will for my life. Thank you Lord. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
This post was written by Martha Smith, a regular contributor to the LivingItOut Bible Study. Martha describes herself as a lover of Christ who likes to share faith with others.
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