Maybe you are wondering why it’s such a challenge to live for the Lord and to do what’s right. You have great intentions to be a devout follower of Jesus Christ. You really do want to become a student of the Bible. In fact, you’d like to know your Bible from cover to cover. Deep down you want to surrender your life to the Lord. You want Him to know that you love Him. But, here you are reading this today and you feel stuck, trapped, and defeated.

It’s time you took decisive action. Spinning your wheels will get you nowhere, other than into a deeper rut. The action you must take will be painful. You must break ranks with – yes, and even cut-off your close connection with those who are dragging you down.

Belonging to a tight group of friends can be awesome. You feel secure – it is almost like you are anchored by ‘belonging’. The reality is you are anchored. An anchor is great if you’re in a storm or if you want to go nowhere; but it can be a real drag if you are trying to make progress. It’s time to pull up anchor and sail upstream in the direction you know you should be heading.

The Psalmist wanted to live for the Lord and to obey His Word but there were people in his life who were stopping his progress. Here is what he wrote:

Depart from me, you evildoers,
that I may keep the commandments of my God.
Psalms 119:115
Get out of my life, you evil-minded people,
for I intend to obey the commands of my God. (NLT)

If you are not strong enough to lead your group to higher spiritual ground, then it’s time for you to actually leave the group. If you are constantly breaking your resolves to be a better Christian and always caving-in to their pressure to do questionable things, then it’s high time you walked away from them.

You need to join a ‘helpful’ circle of Christian friends. You can continue to pray for your old friends and their spiritual condition. And you must continue to be friendly – but you must not hang-out with them on the weekends or in your down time. Why? Because you will just keep on doing whatever they are doing. It’s a no-brainer. If you want to make progress, you must change your company.

By the world’s standards your friends may be an awesome group who get into very little ‘real’ trouble. But the Lord uses a different standard of measurement. Don’t you want to follow the Lord’s standards and make sure your activities and choices are aligned to His expectations?

Yes, you will miss the camaraderie of your old group and maybe you will never quite experience the same bond and tightness. But then again, what was the glue that held you together? Were you tight because none of you felt awkward doing things a good Christian would not want to do? Try reading that again.

You need to say goodbye to those friends – quickly. Seek out new friends who want to please the Lord. Join their group. And if you can’t find any just now, far better to walk alone and please the Lord – than to be swarmed by friends and disappoint your Lord. The same Psalmist who wrote the verses above said this: “I am a friend to all who fear You, to all who follow Your precepts.” Psalm 119:63

Can you say that? Is that your goal?

Walk carefully and closely with the Lord today.
Warmly in Christ,