Please read Eph. 5:1-21 and notice especially v. 18 which states, "And be not drunk with wine wherein is excess: but be filled with the Spirit." This chapter is full of action words dealing with walking, talking, jesting, giving, proving, having no fellowship, reproving, awaking, redeeming, understanding, and finally, being filled. Everyone lives under the influence of someone or something. One of the keys to living a successful life is choosing the influences you are willing to live under. Read
v. 18 again to see the two choices. The Holy Spirit's influence affects our living, our loving, our giving, our growing, our seeing, our thinking, our talking and walking, and our being. We choose to be what we are. Read 2 Cor. 3:17-4:7 and notice "Where the Spirit is there is liberty." This is not the liberty to choose to do wrong, rather the liberty to do right. V. 17 shows the Spirit's work and influence causes us to be, "changed into the same image." Look at Eph. 3:16-21 and notice v. 20, which reads, "Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us." The power that worketh in us is the influence of the Holy Spirit, if we are saved. Let me give you a simple list of influences that people choose to live under that determines the course of their life.
- Influence of flesh. Rom. 8:1-13. When we are Spiritually weak, our flesh becomes the dominant influence. On the other hand, when we are Spiritually strong, the Spirit becomes the dominant influence. Many young people have wrecked their lives with a few minutes of fleshly pleasure.
- Influence of friends. 1 Cor 5:33. In John 21:3, "Simon Peter saith unto them, I go a fishing. They say unto him, We also go with thee." Many young people have died or been maimed for life because they were with the wrong people at the wrong time in the wrong place.
- Influence of finances. Finances sometimes become the driving force behind the decisions people make, and many times people go against the known and revealed will of God. I have known many people who compromised their convictions under financial pressure. Many took jobs they should not have taken and the job took them out of the will of God and eventually out of Church. See 1 Tim. 6;6-10.
- Influence of fears. 2 Tim. 1:5-7; Rom. 8:15; 1 John 4:18. Fear will fight faith, in fact, fear will overpower and defeat faith. Fear distorts reality, discredits Biblical reason and dominates Biblical revelation.
- Finally, the one thing that overcomes all these is Holy Spirit produced faith that becomes the influence in our lives. This keeps us settled as we "Walk by faith and not by sight."
Are you living under the influence?