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Hanging out with the Wrong Crowd

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Hanging out with the Wrong Crowd

Remember in your teenage years the concern that your parents had about you hanging out with the wrong crowd? What was the big deal? Feel the concern you have now for your kids? The influence of others is a powerful force in our lives, was then and is now.

Growing up, my parents often expressed concerned about who I was hanging out with. My mom would give me that “look” when she disapproved of those I was chumming with. You know the one; the one that speaks more clearly, loudly, and deeply than any words could? They didn’t want me involved with the “wrong” group; a group that would lead me astray down the wrong paths in life causing me harm whether physically or emotionally.

God, our Father, is the same with us, yet perfect in love and truth. He doesn’t want us hanging out the wrong group; others, who even if they are well intention, will lead us down the wrong paths. God desires we connect with others who prosper our soul.

In the Bible, God tells us to be extremely careful and discerning about fellowships and friendships. Proverbs 12:26 Their influence is strong over us; a little leaven affects the whole lump. (Now, we are in the world and around those of the world, but what God is referring to are those who we listen to, seek advice, guidance and counsel from; those we see as fellow believers. 1 Corinthians 5:9-13)

The Bible speaks of the lies that abound and the lack of truth, and how it destroys many. Amos 8:11, 2 Thessalonians 2:10, Revelation 9:17-19 Where do lies come from? The mouths of others. So, who we hang around and give our ear to is of utmost importance. If we feel any twinge in our spirit about others we are involved with whether an individual or group, we need to listen carefully to that “prompting” and seek what the Spirit may be trying to tell us.

Like the kids in High School, our need to be a part of a group and accepted is a strong driving force in our lives. That force can override our discernment. It causes us to justify or dismiss what we know or are “sensing” isn’t good. It causes us to overlook the little nudges in our spirit telling us something is off. Thus, it’s important to listen and heed the words of our Father in the Bible telling us what is good for our soul and not justify, but simply listen and obey.

God is prodding a lot of spirits right now about the fellowships they are in. He has been prodding mine. Many are justifying away His promptings to their own detriment; what’s the big deal, they do some good, it’s not all bad, no one is perfect, or I don’t want to be seen as “judging”. (Sound familiar, like what you thought as a kid?) If this is you, stop and listen to God. There is nothing to fear with Him. Seek out the still small voice trying to lead you to the paths of life. God desires your protection and the blessing and prospering of your soul. Trust Him.

Like those teenage years, we often think we know what is good, because it feels good to be a part and involved in a group and to be accepted. But God knows the hearts and we have to trust Him to see what we can’t. We have to trust His lead, and that means we have to seek it. By not quenching His Spirit within us, we will be able to follow Him to what is healthy and good for our souls. In order to not silence His voice, we need to cultivate a place in our lives and spirits to be able to hear His whispers among the shouts. If we don’t, we’ll dismiss it and follow the wrong crowd. Like our parents then, we have to listen to God now. To listen to God means we abide in His presence with the Bible and seek the instruction of the Holy Spirit.

Unhealthy fellowship can lead us unknowingly away from God. It can fill us with lies, which leads to torment in our souls. Psalm 26:4-5, 2 Timothy 3:5, 1 Corinthians 5:9-13, 1 Timothy 6:5 God wants to protect us from all of this, as our parents did and as we do now with our children. If we take time to read the Bible and to seek out His instruction and follow His lead, He’ll honor us with fulfilling fellowships; fellowship as He intended. There is no cookie-cutter mold. Fellowship can come in many forms, trust Him. If we don’t, we are very susceptible to hanging out with the wrong group and suffering greatly for it.

True fellowship among believers is like a cool breeze on a hot day. It nourishes our souls. It helps us to bloom into the spirits we are meant to be. It involves vulnerability, openness, trust, transparency, intimacy, care, love and support. It entails each one individually seeking God and coming together to share his/her experiences. It’s in line with God’s Word. In this space, prayer is real, support is genuine and love is without hypocrisy. Romans 12:9

We are all connected. We all affect each other. For this reason it’s important to foster healthy connections and not unhealthy ones. Fellowship is a powerful force in our lives whether for good or bad, don’t underestimate its impact.

When we focus on fellowship with God first, then we’ll have the discernment, listening ear, and counsel about all other fellowships. God comes first, all others second. Put Him first and He’ll guide you to the rest that will bless your soul. As you heard many times growing up, it has never been truer than now – your Father does know best, listen to Him.

Further Reading:

Unhealthy Fellowship vs. Healthy Fellowship

As I mentioned, fellowships comes in many forms, here are some bloggers, who I enjoy and I thought I’d share with you.

Reality Revelations
Nathan’s Weblog
Scottish Warriors for Christ
Journey Into the Sun

Author: Rachel

My passion is cultivating a deep relationship with God and helping others to do the same. I LOVE sharing with others insights that God has taught me and hearing what God has taught them... thus my blog, Stirring the Deep. My focus is on a relationship, not a religion. Life is in the relationship. I believe in a balance and unity of body, mind and spirit. I feel it's important to nurture all three for they all affect each other. I try to live in the present, where the Holy Spirit is. And I try to do all with the motive of love. I've come to believe life is a journey and not a destination. It isn't about perfection, is it about growth.

11 thoughts on “Hanging out with the Wrong Crowd

  1. Good article.

  2. Well written Rachel.

    The great thing about Scripture is how it can provide guidance at multiple levels. For instance, as you state, we need to be discerning with our friendships and where we invest our time. I think it is easy to overlook our online time as well–in how persons that we interact with via the Web can influence us.

    In contrast, we need to have balance in our lives and not be afraid to associate with persons who are struggling in their beliefs. With Scripture as our guide and a willingness to let the Spirit work through us (so that we do not get in the way), friendships and interactions can lead others to Christ.

    • Hi Slamdunk – great point and glad you brought it up – in fact most everyone will differ with us on certain areas in our beliefs. It really is about looking to God and following His lead and heeding His instruction in the Bible. It is walking in His truth and no one elses. He knows what is truly good and what isn’t. He knows the purposes each person has in our lives and we have to trust Him.

      God has lead me from those some would judge “good” and has lead me to others who didn’t “look” the part. It’s really His will and His decision about how He will use us and others in our lives or not ours. That’s why we have to listening and obeying – He knows best.

  3. I’m convinced many of us have a twinge in our spirit about others we are involved with whether an individual or group, Rachel … I know I did for many years. It was not until I dropped all and sought God alone, did I get it. This opened up a whole new dimension giving me insight into who God really is. That’s my prayer for others now. Thanks for tag too.

    Roger

    • Hi Roger — I am too … I think the Spirit is stirring a lot of souls.. trying to protect and save in the churches. Some are listening and many aren’t. I know for me I felt it for months, but I was so sold on the fact that I was suppose to be a part of the church system in some way. But the prompting remained and when I truly sought and listened it was amazing what the Spirit opened my eyes to. It also astounded me the deliverance that followed in my soul.

  4. Thank you, Rachel, for once again bringing us a teaching with depth and heart to it. His heart. I’m reading in John about pruning and looking back at people that are no longer part of my life, wondering if in effect, God helped me away from a fellowship that just wasn’t healthy for me any longer, or for my family. So glad that He knows best!
    God bless you and all the ways He leads you!

    • Hi Debbie – I definitely think God does that for us. If we are listening He will guide to what is good and what isn’t … and sometimes He just moves people out of our lives. Sometimes we fight it because in our own understanding we don’t understand. We have to trust He really does know best. 🙂

  5. I am a teenager struggling with these same things and i am glad to have read this because it gave me a whole other outlook on who i was hanging around and how i was handling situations. Itshard sometimes to get away from that one crowd you’ve been around for a while and you’ve become close to but i want a future unlike them and i still have hope thankfully.
    I am so happy someone was able to help me understand clearly through scripture and knowledge. 🙂

    • Hi Ciara, so glad it was helpful to you. Those decisions you make now have a significant impact on your life. I pray that you find much wisdom, understanding and true love at your age … it saves so much heartache.

  6. FINAL COVENANT: Joel 3: “For behold, in those days and at that time, when I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem(1948)(God gave 120yrs. in Noah’s day, & 140yrs. to stop following the son of perdition; 1789-1929, but He said He has shortened the days) I will gather all the nations and bring them down to the valley of Jehoshaphat and I WILL ENTER INTO JUDGMENT WITH THEM THERE(the same as Stephan’s final message).—3 1/2yrs. Jesus expounded on the word of God. (Luke 14:33 so therefore, whoever of you does not renounce all that he has cannot be MY disciple) John 16:25 I have said this to you in figures; the hour is coming when I shall no longer speak to you in figures but tell you plainly of the Father (Luke 8:9 when His disciples asked Him what this parable meant, He said, “to you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of God; but for others they are in parables, so that seeing they may not see and hearing they may not understand) Dan. 9:27 and HE(Jesus) shall make a strong covenant with many for one week; and for half of the week(while disciples were with Jesus) HE shall cause sacrifice and offering to cease. -AFTER Jesus’ death- and upon the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until the decreed end is poured out on the desolator (satan’s counterfeit/man-church; it is the same as Job’s three freinds: speaking many of God’s words, but ll Peter 3:16 some things in Paul’s letters hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other scriptures.— 1929, the USgovernment/beast that rose from the ground, forced Mussolini to give back to vatican city all land and properties: even American newspapers headlined, “THE WOUND HAS BEEN HEALED” the same year came drought, famine, economic depression, clouds of dust blotted out the sun and made the moon turn to blood. this has all happened before; Joel 2:31 the great and terrible Day of the Lord comes. and it shall come to pass that all who call upon the name of the Lord shall be delivered.

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