Are You UnderThe Influence?
“The thoughts of the righteous are right, but the counsels of the wicked are deceitful.” Proverbs 12:5 Why is there such a difference between the thoughts of the righteous versus the thoughts of the wicked? Are we not in control of our thoughts? Well yes, to an extent. But the believer is indwelled by the Holy Spirit, and his thoughts are monitored and influenced by the Spirit of God. The unbeliever on the other hand, is under the influence of Satan who is "the god of this world" (2nd Corinthians 4:4). We are all born as fallen human beings into Satan's realm, so until a person is born again his thoughts are influenced by Satan - often in very clever and undetected ways. Scripture informs us about Satan, his character and his purposes: “You are of your father the devil, AND THE DESIRES OF YOUR FATHER YOU WANT TO DO. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, FOR HE IS A LIAR AND THE FATHER OF IT.” John 8:44 Jesus said this, by the way, to the religious leaders of his day. We see therefore, that the thoughts of the unconverted are going to be deceitful, and most of all - prideful. They are not aware that there is an actual spirit, an entity, who is putting evil suggestions and ideas into their thoughts, and actually setting up circumstances to lead them into sin. The unconverted is not aware that he is being DECEIVED. Why do the unconverted become evil in the first place? Again, because we are all born into a fallen human nature. All of us. (Romans 3:23) There are many traumas and bitternesses in life in this fallen world and a person who has been traumatized, afflicted, or rejected, will react to those things with hatred, bitterness, and desire for revenge. That's normal human nature. The believer also grew up in this world, subject to trauma, affliction, and rejection, and may carry many scars because of it, but he has chosen the way of the Lord, and the Lord will influence his thoughts and ideas, and he will direct his steps. “The wicked are overthrown and are no more, but the house of the righteous will stand.” Proverbs 12:7 The born-again believer will stand and remain, because it is the Lord who sustains him. But the unconverted is on his own, with Satan determined to deceive and destroy him. There are curses that come upon an unconverted person, and they are carried down to his children to the third and fourth generation. “For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love me and keep my commandments.” Exodus 20:5-6 An example to demonstrate this: let’s say a man is an alcoholic, and under the influence of alcohol he sins greatly. It will oftentimes follow that his children will be prone to alcoholism. And so it is with any other sin. The tendency will be passed down to his children. And this goes back several generations, so there is a lot of influence within all of us from the past. But it all comes down again to choice. Even if one finds himself under a curse because of the sins of his parents before him, he still has a choice. And if he chooses right, and if he surrenders his life to the Lord, then the story turns around and he will receive mercy - if he loves God and chooses to keep his Words. When one is born again, he receives a new nature, and he can leave the old life and be a different person because the Spirit of God will dwell within him, and He changes everything. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, HE IS A NEW CREATION; old things have passed away, BEHOLD, ALL THINGS HAVE BECOME NEW.” 2 Corinthians 5:17 If you love your children, make the right choices now. What you do will greatly affect their future, so be very careful in the choices you make. If your children are grown, it will be up to them to make their choice, but you can pray and intercede for them, asking God to bring them to this new life. It is a spiritual thing, not something you can make happen, so don’t nag them, that can even push them away further. Pray for them. God hears and answers prayer if we are patient enough to trust him for it.