Under the Influence

OUT OF CONTROL

1 Peter 5:8 "Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour."

What's the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the term, "under the influence?" For me, I usually think of someone being intoxicated with alcohol or drugs. I imagine a person that has lost control, and is unable to make sound judgments and decisions. But when I read 1 Peter 5:8 the other day, God opened my eyes to something so much more profound. He started speaking to me about how we can be under the influence of so much more than just alcohol or drugs. He showed me that we can be under the influence of other things such as the media, our feelings, our flesh, stress, fear, peers, our attitudes...you name it. Anything that we allow to affect our thoughts and decisions can be said to have influence over us. They can all cause us to do things that we may end up regretting later. So it turns out that having a "sober" mind is much more complex than I originally thought.

Now, I am not suggesting that all influence is bad or negative. I am however, suggesting the need for us to be more aware of the type of influence that people, things, and feelings have on our lives. When you hang around a certain group of people, watch certain shows, listen to certain songs, give way to certain feelings and desires, etc., do you they push you away from Christ and the person God's called you to be, or do they push you towards Christ and reinforce the new life that you've chosen?

In my experience, the things that I considered non-negotiable have been the easiest ones to keep in check. Flat out, there are some things that I just will not do regardless. But it's the things that I've allowed to settle into the gray matter that have caused me the biggest trouble. The things that were loosely guarded, were often the things that fell prey to negative influences. Did the Holy Spirit try to warn me before hand? Yep, every time. The alarm went off, but depending on my state of mind, I was either devoured by darkness or reigned victorious. In either case, it was completely up to me. I had to choose whether I was going to be influenced by the Holy Spirit or allow something else to pull me way. And trust me, it's a battle that I still fight daily! We all do!

So what things or people are you allowing to pull on your heart today? Is it fear? Is it a bad friendship or relationship that you know you shouldn't be in? Is it unforgiveness or insecurity? Is it a temporary feeling like impatience, anger, or disappointment? Or maybe a need of acceptance or sense of accomplishment? Whatever it is, is it in alignment with God's Word? If not, cut the string, get back into the spirit, and sober up! The enemy already has you on his hit list, and there's no need in making it easy for him to take you out. The next time that alarm goes off inside of you, stop, listen, and identify the influence before you act. You'll be glad that you did!

God loves you!

Live free!

Arianne

Don't forget to check out my website www.ariannemockabee.com to check out my book Destined to Fly: The Pursuit of Purpose!