After every holiday period it strikes me how much we are influenced by factors around us. During our normal working days – whatever we are busy with – we never seem to find the time to reflect on what the things are that influence us, how these things influence us and to what extent we are influenced.
In the western world, we are bombarded with the media selling pictures of what is good for us and what is not. These pictures take the form of advertising, movies or television programmes. Of course there are many others to be listed such as books that we read, friends that we associate with and so on. However, I want to venture that the biggest influence on the psyche of the mind in today’s world is the pictures sold to us by the media.
The seemingly successful characters on a television series become the standard for living – whether it is a promiscuous sexual life, or trampling on people we work with. We follow the advice of “chat-show” hosts blindly. They all appear to be so successful, happy and at rest. We should also not underestimate the influence of so-called “soapies”. These shows seem to feed on real-life situations and then accentuate them so that everyone can relate to the storyline. Again, on a subconscious level, we come to believe that this is the way in which our lives should be led.
The yardstick against which we measure the successful conduct of our lives has indeed become the media, whether we like to believe it or not. The Bible teaches us about a different yardstick against which we can measure the way in which we conduct our lives.
God tells Joshua to “be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the instructions Moses gave you. Do not deviate from them, turning either to the right or to the left. Then you will be successful in everything you do. Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do. This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:7-9)
Of course we have to be careful not to “fall off the other side of the horse” and focus on the promise of success. God gave the commands and promises to Joshua because he had a specific task for Joshua to perform – to lead the Israelites into the Promised Land. In the same way God has a very specific task for every one of us. Our duty is to listen to His voice, meditate on it, and then be sure to obey – in that way God promises success in whatever task He has given each one of us.
If you have not made any New Year’s resolutions – here is one that you can consider making and then stick with it. Let the influence in your life be the voice of the living God, and then have the courage to be obedient. It will change your life!Tweet