“And Peter followed him afar off, even into the palace of the high priest: and he sat with the servants, and warmed himself at the fire.”
Peter’s desire to serve the LORD was great, but he did several things that hindered his early walk from being what it was supposed to be. The verse above reveals the greatest mistake that Peter made during the hours of our Saviour’s crucifixion. Though Peter said that he was willing to die with the Saviour, it was his associations when Jesus was arrested that got him into trouble. The verse above says that Peter “sat with the servants, and warmed himself at the fire.” The purpose of staying warm was not the fault, but it was with whom he sat that caused him later on in this chapter to deny the church, his faith, and his God.
Many believers have made the same mistake that Peter made in the verse above. If you were to ask believers in any church congregation if they wanted to serve the LORD for the rest of their lives, I would guess that most of those who attend church would agree that they desire to serve God. However, many believers find themselves doing wrong, and they never go back to look at who they are sitting with.
My friend, you cannot run with the wrong crowd without it influencing your boldness, beliefs, and witness. Who you run with is as important as what you believe, because the crowd with whom you run eventually influences you. You cannot have the boldness for Christ that you should have and run with a crowd that wants nothing to do with Christ. As much as many people don’t like it, there is a reason the Scriptures command the believer to separate themselves from the world. God wants you to live a separated life because He knows that the world will influence you. As great of a desire that you have to influence the world, you will never do so by participating in their functions with them; you influence the world by doing right all the time. You can’t go to parties with alcohol and expect the world to respect your testimony. You can’t sit with those who cuss and tell dirty jokes and expect them to listen to you when you invite them to church. Your testimony for Christ will be influenced for wrong when you spend time with the wrong crowd.
Moreover, your mind will be influenced for wrong when you read the wrong materials. You cannot read books by authors who don’t believe right and expect it not to influence your mind. I know there are many who use the cute little illustration that they eat the meat but spit out the bones, but what I have found is that many end up choking on the bones. My friend, would you drink water that has been poisoned? Of course, you would not; and neither should you read “spiritual” materials by those who don’t believe like you, and those who don’t use the King James Bible as their basis of doctrine. There are many preachers who once used to stand differently than where they stand now all because they read books by people who didn’t believe like them.
My greatest desire for you is to stand firm for Christ your entire life. However, I have watched many good people be influenced like Peter by sitting with the wrong people just so they could learn “good” things from them, or desiring to influence them for right. My advice to you is to follow the Scriptures and not sit with those who are against the Saviour. The older you get, the harder it will be to fight those influences in your life. If you sit with the right people, you will continue to do the right things.