You know that saying, “If you lie down with dogs, you’ll get up with fleas…”? It’s usually used in a negative way – to say that if you associate with people of questionable character, something negative will happen to you. In some way, their actions or reputation will affect you. If you think about it, this is really true. It’s even Biblical! “The one who walks with the wise will become wise, but a companion of fools will suffer harm.” (Proverbs 13:20, HCSB). But have you ever considered that this same principle can be turned around and looked at from a positive angle?
A recent lesson in my current Bible study over prayer spent some time discussing the passage from John 15:7, where Jesus said “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” (ESV). I’m not sure about you, but that promise sounded an awful lot like a blank check to me. Whatever I wish? Lord, sometimes I wish for things I know are bad for me! Ahh…but then comes in the stipulation. We must abide in Him. To abide means to remain, to continue in, to persist. To abide in Him means that Christ is in us, His message has permeated us to the deepest part of our core, and that it has remained for a period of time. When this has happened, the composition of our prayers (whatever we wish) are a direct result of Jesus’ will and desires, and not our own.
So if you don’t find it too irreverent to consider spending time with Christ to be like lying down with dogs, consider doing so. If you lie down long enough, you might just get some fleas. And in our little metaphor here, that’s actually a good thing.