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6 Ways to Avoid Becoming a Chameleon of the World

The chameleon is an intriguing creation. The reptile has the instinctive ability to change its color to blend in to match its environment in order to avoid detection from would-be prey. Man also has a similar instinctive ability and desire to adapt to fit his surroundings, but, however, the result is to attract most who end up being to his detriment. When we attempt to blend in with our worldly surroundings, we inevitably become prey to the world and its devices.

The first Psalm is a beautiful insightful writing of David who warned the godly of the snares of the world, the progression of sinful behavior, and the impending doom suffered by the ungodly. Notice in the first verse David uses progressive sinful characteristics that are not attributable to the blessed man. His intent to describe in this fashion leaves no doubt that the “blessed” man cannot comingle himself with these types of ungodly people. The sinful man is first described as walking, then standing, and finally in a seated position. Such a process is likened to the degradation of the ungodly man as well as the believer who is on road to a backslidden condition. He begins the slide in an active position, then slows to only standing, ultimately leading to an idle sitting posture. The world will impede our spiritual connection to Christ if we attempt to blend in with its lifestyle and modes of operation.

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1. Stop Asking the World for Advice

David had a great realization of the impact of our “circle” on the direction of our lives. In Psalm 1:1, he wrote, “blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly.” Mike Tyson was quoted, “everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.”

We, as believers, are easy to be spiritually obedient while on the mountain top receiving blessings from God on every corner. In the first verse, David described the blessed and the progression of sin that he or she does not partake in. We feel as if we are living at the foot of the cross because of our good fortune and are quick to offer counsel to anyone who will listen. Valleys of adversity, however, are still on the path of our journey. The severity and the duration of this season of discomfort are unknown to us. As soon as we are hit with the initial punch of worldly reality, we instinctively resort back to our fleshly nature if we are not careful. If alcohol was a part of our besetting sin, our old drinking buddies would agree that this “body blow” of physical or financial distress deserves or is worthy of a drink. Worldly thinking permits “defensive” marital indiscretions when faced with the reality of a cheating spouse. Similarly, the world nodded its head when believers chose to forsake the attending of worship services for two years of a pandemic. This compromise, however, permitted vacations, shopping at home centers, and the holding of cook-outs during the same period. We know who to ask when we know what our desired answer wants to be.

In 1 Kings 12, Solomon’s son Rehoboam forsook the advice on how to govern the people from “old men” left over from the regime of his father. The old men reasonably advised him to serve the people, answer them, and speak good words to them. Rehoboam, however, had no intention of being a servant for the people. He desired to uplift himself and acquire all the wealth and power available because of the throne. Rehoboam consulted with his childhood friends who advised him to break down the people by lading them with a heavier yoke and trumping punishment by scorpions instead of whips. This strategy of creating servitude and dominion is the same means employed by Satan and the world.

2. Quit Walking in the Path of the World

2. Quit Walking in the Path of the World

The journey of the believer does not run parallel with “the way of sinners.” The mentality of the world is “get as much as you can as quick as you can.” Consider David’s path toward the throne of Israel. He was anointed king but would not sit on the throne for at least another decade. The Lord knew he was not prepared to rule at that stage in his life. He put David in positions to become equipped and more mature to be the successful leader of Israel. The suffering during and overcoming of adversities gave him the knowledge, wisdom, and strength to be an effective ruler.

Our society is often characterized as being a “microwave” people meaning we want it now and without any required preparation. We have the meal and the microwave but forget there is a stage of processing before it is placed in our freezer. It is easy to fall into the “walk in the path of the world” spiritually. We have a desired end result of our Christian journey and we want our goal to be realized within a set number of days, months, or years. Just as we are not ready for a particular manner of church leadership, many of our churches today are not spiritually mature or capable of handling the type of membership serge that we are desiring. Often the gray hairs of an effective spiritual leader separate his or her head from the worldly picture of “spiritual success.”

3. Don’t Waste Your Time

Psalm 1:1c describes an ungodly man sitting at the direst stage of a sin-ravaged life. The scorner is described to be in a seated position but could also be apt of those who are on the side of the road criticizing the worthlessness of the believer on his journey. We like to preach and teach the heart of every man grows softer and softer as he matures. Indeed that is the prayer for the scoffer and all those who are lost, but the heart of many lost progressively grow harder and colder up until the time of death.

Consider the last minutes of the life of the ”other thief” on the cross. The message of the thief who asked Jesus to “remember him" is uplifting and gives hope of the availability of a “deathbed” salvation. However, the other thief drew his last breath with the Savior literally feet away from his soul yet continued to mock, question, and blaspheme the saving power of the blood he bore witness to falling onto the soil. We should minister and witness to the scoffer. However, David issues a warning of wasting time sitting, listening, winking, nodding, and even laughing at the stories from the scoffer. Get away before being drawn into his narrative and “blending” technique.

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4. Dedicate Yourself to the Word

The ability to distance ourselves from the advice of the world and walk in the steps of the world is made easier by a greater dedication to the word of God. The core of our salvation is born of an “incorruptible [seed], by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever.”

Dedication to the Word enables us to identify the various devices of the world to disrupt our Christian walk. Jesus was confronted by the devil in the wilderness immediately following a period of fasting. He was at his most vulnerable point in terms of physicality and positioning yet was able to fend off Satan by the usage of scripture. David would testify that in times of testing, seasons of tribulation, and moments of weakness, we are to draw from the well of the Word. The advice given by the Word of God is distinct from that given by the world.    

5. Be Rooted

Our spiritual foundation is our salvation through Jesus Christ. Upon salvation, we are immediately indwelled with the Holy Spirit who becomes our guide and gives us direction for our life. “Being rooted” is freely giving heed to the advice and consent of Holy Spirit. The Bible directs the believer to be baptized which is our physical testimony of the spiritual immersion of the Holy Spirit. Further, the believer should unite with the local body of Christ. An association with the local church gives the believer a place to grow spiritually and gain opportunities for service. A believer who is empowered by the Holy Spirit and is connected to a Bible-believing, Bible-preaching church will be “like a tree planted by the rivers of the water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.”

A believer with a deep root system shines a powerful light illuminating and separating itself from the surface of the world. Paul, in Colossians 2:7, wrote the believer is thankful when “rooted and built up in him, and established in the faith, as ye have been taught.” There is a clear distinction between the rooted Christian and the blended sinner when the winds of adversity begin to blow.

6. Remember Payday Isn’t Always on Our Schedule

6. Remember Payday Isn’t Always on Our Schedule

The judgments for the lost man and the believer will be separate in both tone and severity. In 2 Peter 2:9, the apostle declared that “the Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punishment.” Let there be no mistake that the reality of a life of sin will be eternally dealt with by our Heavenly Father. David in verse 5 of Psalm 1 noted that “the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.”

David enjoyed the blessings of the presence, comfort, guidance, and protection of the Lord during his lifetime upon the earth. His sins took away the joy of his salvation and he suffered other consequences, but unlike his son Solomon, David went to the Lord for repentance and restoration following each indiscretion. Even though he did not have the advantages of having sixty-six books of the Bible and other privileges of the new covenant, he knew the Lord would orchestrate a great reward following physical death. In verse six, he wrote about the justness and our sovereign Lord confidently proclaiming, “for the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.”

He was blessed with a kingdom and vast wealth, but desired a closeness with his Creator despite the level of his enlightenment. Wheat and chaffs are effectively blended together in their natural states. However, in Luke 3:17, he described our Lord having “in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and will gather the wheat into his garner; but the chaff he will burn with fire unquenchable.”

David ends the psalm with the declaration and remembrance that “salvation belongeth unto the Lord: thy blessing is upon thy people.” The realization of our Savior’s presence in the midst of the trial is a sufficient blessing in and of itself even prior to the ultimate deliverance from the calamity. The believer presently has the assurances of his presence while we battle with the enemy. We can testify of the glory of God because of this provision. David was anointed king of Israel many years prior to Him actually being seated upon the throne. He had confidence in this ultimate victory, just as we have confidence in the culmination of our salvation when God’s people will receive glorified bodies that will never succumb to grief, sadness, sickness, or death. Water is the building block of our sustenance, but our Savior’s shed blood which was our “redeeming flood” will be our measure of glorification. His blood is truly thicker than water.

Photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/Andrii Zorii 

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