When in front of US boarder officials it is not a good time to joke around, answers must be polite, accurate, but not in jest. Back in the mid 70’s, as a bearded, long haired teenager, (yes I did have hair on my head at one time), I had an opportunity to drive a senior couple into the US. While talking to the boarder security, the lady whom I was driving leaned over and said, “Officer, he’s not a part of our family, he’s just driving us across the boarder.” That was all the officer needed, the vehicle was searched, well, only my suitcase, my bag, my clothes and my guitar case.
There are many people that come into our sphere of contact. These individuals can easily influence us. If with friends, our conversation can be more jovial or light hearted, if with police or before a judge then our conduct and speech might be more reserved. The people around us affect our conduct and speech. Who affects you the most?
In 1 Kings 17:1, Elijah is standing before and speaking to wicked king Ahab, but note his opening statement to the king. “Elijah the Tishbite, of the inhabitants of Gilead, said to Ahab, ‘As the Lord God of Israel lives, before whom I stand …'”. Though in front of the king, Elijah identifies himself as standing before the Lord God. Elijah saw his presence before God as more predominant than standing before the king. This awareness probably gave Elijah increased boldness to stand and speak strong words, when he could easily have been intimidated by the presence of the king. He stood with confidence before a lesser king because he knew that at the same time he stood before the greatest King and Ruler. It also produced a higher level of accountability as he knew he was answering to God before Whom he stood.
In daily life, there are times when we fail to stand for truth, we compromise our values, or we let our thoughts drift astray. As we interact with others, are we cognizant of how we always stand before the Lord God? How would our conduct or speech be different if we knew that we were always right there before God?
Lord God, You are always here, we are always before You. Help us to live in this reality, help us to draw strength from an awareness of always standing before You.