Through the ages, it's always been important to turn from ungodly influences and focus on God's Word. Think about what God said to Israel when He sent them into the Promised Land.

He told them to destroy all their enemies who inhabited the land (Ex. 23:24). In fact, the Israelites got into serious trouble with God if they went in and only conquered some of their enemies without destroying all the heathen living there.

Now, God is a good God, and He loves people. He was as full of mercy then as He is today. But He knew that His people couldn't coexist with heathen and still walk in His ways. It was a matter of the survival of His covenant people.

God was also just as merciful when He told Noah to build the ark. God called Noah an upright man in his generation (Gen. 7:1). Sin had so encroached on God's creation that Noah was the only righteous man left on the earth.

Only Noah and his family stood between God and the annihilation of mankind. That's how long our merciful God waited to judge sin!

So God had to destroy the sin that ran rampant in the world in order to save those last righteous lives. Otherwise, mankind would have been totally destroyed.

Think about it. God waited until only one righteous man and his family was left, and then He had to act. I tell you, the mercy of God is amazing!

God told the Israelites, "When you go into the land, clear it out. Remove all the people who are there." But when the Israelites went into enemy territory, sometimes they didn't utterly destroy the enemy as God had commanded them.

As a result, they eventually began to become like their enemies. The ways of the heathen began to rub off on them. Instead of holding fast to the ways and thoughts of God, the Israelites began to think like the heathen people around them.

Well, God knew they would do that. He knew that the only way they could walk with Him successfully was to annihilate the ungodly in the land.

That's why He commanded them to completely destroy all evil influences that would eventually pull their hearts away from Him.

Today we are still under that same kind of strong pressure to conform as the world tries to pull us into its way of thinking. The world's way of thinking is opposite of God's way of thinking. That's why we have to keep the Word before our eyes and in our heart. God's wisdom will keep us from being deceived.

You see, the Spirit of God is the Spirit of Truth (John 16:13). He comes to live in us to teach us truth, and truth is all He will ever teach us.

So what kind of truth does He teach us? The same thing He tried to teach the Israelites:
The grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world.
(Titus 2:11-12)
In other words, it is the favor of God that teaches us to live righteously and to think like God, to act like God and to deny worldly lusts. He doesn't tell us to deny ungodliness so that we won't have any fun. He's trying to help us truly live.

Prov. 7:6-23 tells the story of "a young man void of good sense" (Prov. 7:7 AMP). This young man doesn't do what wisdom tells him to do. He doesn't deny ungodliness, nor does he avoid the scene of temptation (Prov. 5:8 AMP).

The young man lingers near the loose woman's house, and eventually he yields to her seduction. He follows her to the bed of adultery "like a bird fluttering straight into the net [he hastens], not knowing that it will cost him his life" (Proverbs 7:23 AMP).

God's principles never change. Truth is always truth. Adultery still costs people their lives.

So adopt God's perspective on this subject. When the temptation to stray onto the path of adultery looms in front of you, listen to the voice of the Spirit of Grace teaching and admonishing you, "Go God's way instead of the world's way. Deny worldly lusts. Avoid this path of evil."

That warning never changes, because adultery is never acceptable to God. As you heed His warning and turn from this path that leads to the chambers of death (v. 27), your obedience will keep you in a position to reap the rewards of the righteous.

Excerpt permission granted by
Eagle Mountain International Church, Inc.
aka:  Kenneth Copeland Ministries