Foundational Scripture: Psalm 1
Oh, the joys of those Who do not follow the advice of the wicked or stand around with sinners, or join in with scoffers, but they delight in doing everything the Lord wants, day and night they think about His law, they are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season without fail, their leaves never wither and in all they do they prosper.
- To associate
- To link or connect in the mind or imagination
- To keep company, mix socially
- A companion, comrade
- Following or accompanying, concomitant (naturally together}
- To bring into friendship
- A friend who is frequently in the company of another, drinking companion, comrade in arms, soul mate
With whom do you associate ?
- Those to whom you listen
- Those with whom you spend your time
- Those with whom you share your thoughts and ideas
- Those with whom you value the time spent together
It is said that time and words can never be recalled. It is said that time is our most valuable asset. There is a saying that says, “What I do today is important because I am paying a day of my life for it. What I accomplish must be worthwhile because the price is so valuable.”
Jim Rohn, one of my favorite life teachers, has much to say about the time we are given and how we choose to spend it. His observations are so simple and so fundamental, and yet so profound. I find myself saying, “Yeah, I have thought of that or I know that.” The next question that naturally follows and begs to be answered is “Why haven’t I done something about it?” or more importantly, “What is wrong with now? What am I waiting for?” And I am sure I am the only person who says, “I am, just not now.” The timing is not right, or I have to do this first, and THEN, I will… and before I know it, a great amount of time has passed and I have yet to respond to the obvious awareness that I have and know that is waiting and begs to be addressed.
One of the greatest challenges we ever face is the choice of those with whom we choose to associate. Probably some of the most traumatic circumstances I have ever faced in my life are dealing with the impact of those with whom I have chosen to associate. Here are a few:
- My Church – The Church I grew up attending
- My Friends- Many I had known most of my life
- My Work- It did not take me where I believed God wanted me to go
- My romantic attachments – lovely and beautiful, but not who God had chosen for me
- My Pastor- a man I loved, believed in and cared much for, but his heart was unclean and his motives impure
- Family members – Sometimes may have difficulty seeing who we have become because they remember who we were
And there are many more. How many traumatic experiences have you had because it was necessary to change an association?
With whom we associate is very, very IMPORTANT. It influences and directs and determines our DESTINY, and the destiny of posterity. Examples – Good and Bad:
- Adam/Eve – ultimately everyone born after them
- Jonathan/David – Mephibosheth
What is our belief? Where did we get our belief? What is an Idea? Where do our beliefs and ideas come from? What makes us who we are?
Dr. Myles Munroe, the late master teacher of the Kingdom, provided his thoughts about our ideas and the source of our beliefs. These observations are worthy of consideration and evaluation. They are as follows:
Our beliefs are developed by the ideas to which we are exposed. The process can be outlined like this.
- An original thought is a precept
- A conceived precept is an idea
- A conceived idea is a concept
- An accepted concept becomes a conviction
- An accepted conviction becomes a belief
- An accepted belief becomes our ideology
- An accepted ideology becomes philosophy
- An accepted philosophy becomes a lifestyle
Understanding the source of our beliefs is very, very important. It is so easy, so natural to absorb our beliefs almost as if by osmosis from our surrounding – our Family, our Friends, our Church, our Schooling, our Government, the Media. Many people do this and never consider if what is being said or portrayed is correct. Why? It was what my Parents believed, and they did alright.
All of these influences are better described as culture. Culture can be defined as the customary beliefs, social forms, and material traits of a racial, religious, or social group. It is defined by the shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterize that group. The challenge with that approach to our beliefs is that it is not stable. It constantly changes. Can anyone dispute that the attitudes, values, goals and practices of our nation and our world have changed constantly over your lifetime? Our beliefs must be established on a Culture that is based on Truth and does not change. Truth is not situational. It does not change with circumstances. As Citizens in the Kingdom of Jehovah God our Creator, we must not be swayed by the Kingdom of Darkness and what we see around us. Our Citizenship is of a nation whose government and its community and culture do not change. It is the only place a person on planet earth will ever find a stable government and a community and culture where the values, the laws, the moral standards, the ideals, the norms and the true spiritual authority that is constant and it does not change. Humanity longs for this place and we have been charged to deliver this (Heaven) to earth and to show this Kingdom to those who dwell here. How serious is this? How important for humanity?
Read Romans 8: 19-22 KJV/NLT:
Where are we Citizens? Are we in this world but not of this world? Are we showing forth His praises until He comes? Are we living a life of victory different than those around us? Do they see the Kingdom Government of our God demonstrated in our lives both in our community and our culture?
For the earnest expectation of the creature is waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God. The entire of creation (humanity) groaneth and travaileth in pain together.
What are we telling them? What are we showing them? Or, are we the ones being told and shown? All of humanity is looking and longing for the Kingdom. The Kingdom has been given to us. It has been placed inside of us; God has called us to be Kingdom Birthers. Everywhere we go we must share the Good News of the Kingdom of our God. As Dr. Munroe has said, the Kingdom was God’s big idea from the beginning. It is a powerful thought. It is the idea that will change our world into the Kingdom of our God. Share the Good News.
Ideas are powerful.
The Influence and Impact of Ideas:
- The most powerful force on earth is an idea
- Everything on earth is the result of an idea
- Everything began and begins as an idea
- Ideas produce everything
- Ideas are more powerful than death
- Death cannot kill an idea
- Ideas cannot be destroyed
- Ideas multiply when attacked
- Ideas submerge and reemerge
- Ideas are the source of belief
- The world is ruled by dead men’s ideas
- Ideas are stronger than death
Dr. Jerry Horner used an illustration appropriate here. Place a boat in the water and it floats. Place too much water in the boat and it sinks. Place the Citizens of the Kingdom in the world, and they will rise above it. Place too much of the world in the Citizens and they sink.