Why does it matter if a leader is a Christ-follower? His motives and conduct are at stake!
7 The violence [harsh actions and words] of the wicked [those who do not obey the LORD] will drag them away, for they refuse to do what is right.
8 Their way is devious, (15) and when justice is done, it brings terror to them [because they are caught in their own web].
We Christians cannot afford to get caught in the wicked person’s web of deceit–both of their sin and of their plans. Verse 16 says, “Whoever strays from the path of prudence [and righteousness] comes to rest in the company of the dead [the wicked; we lose our fellowship with our fellow Christians]. Don’t forget that we become like the company we keep.
Ephesians 4:17-19 tell us how NOT to live:
17 So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. 18 They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. 19 Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed.
The Gentiles were the Romans and the Greeks. They lived their lives according to the gods they wanted to serve. If they wanted wealth or health, then they sought the “god” that would give them what they wanted. People do the same thing today, only we don’t call them “gods.” Power, wealth, health, security, thrills, pleasure–they all have “gods” behind them. We call them demons, and each goal has a hook with bait on it!
- We are NOT to allow them to be our moral compasses. When it comes to life, liberty, and the pursuit of “happiness,” we are to be biblically based. We’ll continue that train of thought another day.
- We are NOT to allow them to be our source of news. The lost have no compulsion to tell the truth, except in a way that serves their purposes. It’s a type of manipulation. CHECK YOUR SOURCES!
- We are NOT to lean on them for daily living. Be very careful about “free money.” “Magic always comes with a price.” There may be a hook involved…
If the wicked are in position of leadership, then we strive with them in prayer that they would come to, and live for, Christ, and that He would guide the events of our city, state and nation according to His plan:
“For God makes everything turn out according to His plan.” Ephesians 1:11
“It is God alone who judges; He decides who will rise and who will fall.” Psalm 75:7
“Having lost all sensitivity,” So, how do we guard ourselves against desensitization? For that answer, we go to the next five verses in Ephesians:
20 That, however, is not the way of life you learned 21 when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. 22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
We must push the reset button on our natural reset. Each morning, we wake up in a natural state of humanness. Yet, our spirit is being renewed day by day (2 Corinthians 4:16). So, we turn our thoughts to the LORD and open ourselves up to Him to receive whatever comes from His hand today. Sounds like when we were saved, right? The difference is that our salvation prayer had to do with our position in Christ (a one-time event) where our daily prayer has to do with our relationship and fellowship with Him (a continuous process).
There is one more passage I would like to share. I chose the New Living Translation:
And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. 2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
If we daily let God transform the way we think, then we will become just like Jesus, which the goal of every Christian (Romans 8:29). LET’S DO IT!
Abba, I give You my day and my life to do with as You please. I know that I will be blessed–even in struggle, persecution, or death–because You have my best interests in mind even as You achieve Your will for my life and this world. I submit to Your sovereignty, O LORD. I am Your vessel; use me as You see fit. Amen.