TODAY’S DEVOTION (THURSDAY 17TH NOVEMBER 2022)
“What do I gain if, merely from the human point of view, I fought with [wild] beasts at Ephesus? If the dead are not raised [at all], let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we will be dead.
Do not be so deceived and misled! Evil companionships (communion, associations) corrupt and deprave good manners and morals and character.
Awake [from your drunken stupor and return] to sober sense and your right minds, and sin no more. For some of you have not the knowledge of God [you are utterly and willfully and disgracefully ignorant, and continue to be so, lacking the sense of God’s presence and all true knowledge of Him]. I say this to your shame.” 1 Corinthians 15:32-34 AMPC
WELCOME TO THE 321ST DAY OF OUR YEAR OF AMAZING GRACE!
Indeed, the words of a discreet and wise man’s mouth are like deep waters, plenteous and difficult to fathom, and the fountain of skillful and godly Wisdom is like a gushing stream, sparkling, fresh, pure, and life-giving. That is what to describe all we have been receiving from the LORD on this platform.
Day unto Day our God have been uttering wisdom to us from His Holy Scripture, and we are grateful. It is out of what He gave that I have been penning down for us. So, we owe Him gratitude.
Yes, we also owe Him gratitude for keeping us alive, feeding us, forgiving our sins, feeding us from the fountain of His faithfulness, taking away joy and laughter from the mouth of the enemy, making sure we are not put to shame and doing much more than our mouths can handle.
The prayer of David in Psalm 25 has been answered in our lives over and over this year alone because of His steadfast love. To Him belong the glory!
David prayed, saying,
“Unto You, O Lord, do I bring my life. O my God, I trust, lean on, rely on, and am confident in You. Let me not be put to shame or [my hope in You] be disappointed; let not my enemies triumph over me.” Psalm 25:1-2 AMPC
By His Holy Spirit and mercies, we have been able to bring our lives to the LORD, and we have watched Him stand on that to make sure we are not put to shame because of the presence of His name in our lives. He has not let our enemies’ triumph over us.
Indeed, as earlier stated, this prayer of David has been answered in our lives over and over.
For those who have been following, today is the 17th day of our 30-day journey of faith with the Cry of the Spirit on practical wisdom.
Yesterday, the Spirit of the LORD ignited our hearts with more truths on interpersonal relationships. Among other beautiful things, the danger of isolation was highlighted, and the importance of having people in our lives was further emphasized.
Today, we want to look at another side of the same coin.
THE ESSENCE IS TO CALL FOR CAUTION IN OUR DESIRE FOR SUCCESSFUL INTERPERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS.
I hope you are ready!
From our devotional text, it is clear that there are two classes or categories of communication, association, conversations, or interpersonal relationships. There is the evil, and there is the good. The evil corrupts, but the good edifies.
That could be why some isolate themselves in an unwise manner. The Bible is against isolation but encourages separation. Separation is not isolation.
Isolation will cut you off from the blessing of having successful interpersonal relationships, but separation will take you from the bad and evil and hand you over to (or safe keep you for) the good. I hope you understand me!
By definition, isolation is the process of causing yourself to be alone or to remain apart from others. It is to be quarantined from others and kept away from contact.
Most times, people’s attitudes get them isolated. Other times, people isolate themselves because of what they have gone through in the hands of others. Other times, people isolate themselves because of ignorance.
Whatever may be the case isolation will never bless anyone in the long run. Like I said yesterday, we need people to become persons that God has created us to be.
When Job had his challenges, his friends showed up in his life. That was when those who were feeding by his hands had isolated themselves from him, and his wife had even asked him to curse God and die. If he was a man who spent his day in isolation, he would not have had friends showing up to converse with him when things became tough for him.
If you isolate yourself in life, you will be alone when people are needed to help you through certain circumstances of life. The Bible spoke about a city called Laish that had no ties with anyone. They were overrun by their enemies when the devil considered them, and because they had no ties with anyone, they were no one to help them.
Today, that city is no more.
There are so many people who are like that. Their marriages, finances, health careers, families, etc. are no more because they spent their days without developing ties with anyone. Some were ignorant, and others had attitudes that would not let good and helpful people stay around them.
SO, WHEN THE ENEMY CONSIDERED THEM FOR ATTACKS, THERE WAS NO ONE TO HELP THEM.
The Bible says “cursed is he who trust in man.” But sometimes, people isolate themselves from those they should develop ties with in the guise of not wanting to trust in man. Isolating yourself from people you should develop ties with is not a demonstration of faith in God but a manifestation of foolishness and ignorance of the scriptures.
God will always use people to bless people, He will always give us people to develop ties with so that life will not tie us down. So, do not allow your attitude, ignorance, or any other related factor to isolate you from the blessing of GOD that can only come through interpersonal relationships. Do not allow any prophet or prophetess to isolate you from your family or those you should have ties with.
You may live separate from people, but do not be isolated from those you should have ties with.
Talking about prophets and prophetess isolating people from their families and those they should have ties with, it has become a terrible menace in the church today. In the guise of separating those who came to seek help from them from their enemies, they end up isolating them from their families and other critical people they should maintain ties with.
Let me reiterate again that in interpersonal relations, the Bible encourages separation but not in the world’s definition of it. The Bible did not encourage unnecessary isolation.
Separation is a doctrine in the kingdom of GOD. It has to do with not having fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness but exposing or staying away from them. It is not yoking yourself with destructive unbelievers or people with the capacity to influence you to travel in the opposite direction of your faith in Christ.
There are people who are not saved but do not have the capacity to influence you to travel in the direction of sin, iniquity, or trespass. You can have those as part of your network of interpersonal relationships. You can develop ties with them.
THE ESSENCE OF SEPARATION IS TO PREVENT YOURSELF FROM BEING CORRUPT.
A major portion of our devotional text says;
“Do not be so deceived and misled! Evil companionships (communion, associations) corrupt and deprave good manners and morals and character.
Awake [from your drunken stupor and return] to sober sense and your right minds, and sin no more. For some of you have not the knowledge of God [you are utterly and willfully and disgracefully ignorant, and continue to be so, lacking the sense of God’s presence and all true knowledge of Him]. I say this to your shame.” 1 Corinthians 15:31-34 AMPC
This scripture made it clear that evil companionship, associations, or communication will ultimately corrupt and deprave good manners, morals, and character. You do not, because of what you will gain from a relationship, go after it if it is going to corrupt your good manners, morals, or character. The Bible says what shall it profits a man if he gains the whole world and loose his soul.
People do not realize that the things of this world will mean nothing when one is face to face with his or her appointment with death. At that time, our eyes would be too dim to see the land documents, the fat bank accounts, the cars, or even the bedroom of the very house one did all they could to build.
Yes, you will be too weak to hold that woman or man you compromised your faith to marry. The child you struggled with God to get in sin may not even be there to bid you goodbye.
Besides, none will even follow you to the grave. That is why the Bible says,
“Vapour of vapours and futility of futilities, says the Preacher. Vapour of vapours and futility of futilities! All is vanity (emptiness, falsity, and vainglory).
What profit does man have left from all his toil at which he toils under the sun? [Is life worth living?]” Ecclesiastics 1:2-3 AMPC
Oh yes, a Godless life is not worth living.
It may give you all you need, but everything will be like vapours the day you will have that appointment with destiny. So, choose your relationships wisely, do it with eternity in view. Do not forget that you and every one of us who are following the LORD are not of this world.
We are just passing through.
Set your mind on pilgrimage. Be the temporal resident of the earth that our faith in Christ has called us to be. Let your heart be on that city which has foundation, whose maker and builder is God, not on the treasures that you may get from any interpersonal relationship that will corrupt your walk and talk with the LORD.
May the LORD use these words to keep building us up and giving us an inheritance among they that are sanctified in Christ Jesus! Amen.
MAKE THIS SCRIPTURE AN ADDITIONAL MEDITATION FOR THE DAY!
“[Urged on] by faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed and went forth to a place which he was destined to receive as an inheritance; and he went, although he did not know or trouble his mind about where he was to go.
[Prompted] by faith he dwelt as a temporary resident in the land which was designated in the promise [of God, though he was like a stranger] in a strange country, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, fellow heirs with him of the same promise.
For he was [waiting expectantly and confidently] looking forward to the city which has fixed and firm foundations, whose Architect and Builder is God.” Hebrews 11:8-10 AMPC