“Everybody’s Doing It”
“Everybody’s doing it.” Doing what? You know… cheating on taxes, looking at porn, lying to get out of trouble, looking over the marital fence, shaming their friends to follow their example because, after all, “everybody’s doing it”. Really? Is everybody really doing it?
Concerning all but Christ, Isaiah wrote, “All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, everyone, to his own way; And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:6). All of us have at one time or another “done it” – transgressed God’s law of love. Interestingly, God didn’t inspire Isaiah to write that we have all gone astray like people, but rather like sheep. Sheep are notoriously eager followers. They will follow, seemingly without regard to where they are being led, sometimes even to their own destruction. That is why the idea that “everybody’s doing it” can have such a negative impact on our lives.
God has indeed called each of us to be followers, but followers of a different sort. It is something that requires spiritual healing and can only be accomplished through Christ. “Who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed. For you were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls” (1 Peter 2:24-25). Those who follow the Good Shepherd work at resisting the ever-present rationale that “everybody’s doing it.”
Satan would like for us, at any age, to think that we’re all alone – a misfit among the masses. That is the very thing that Elijah thought after Jezebel threatened his life following the slaughter of the priests of Baal. Regarding Baal worship, he thought “everybody was doing it” in Israel. He felt so alone that after a day’s journey into the wilderness, he said, “It is enough! Now, LORD, take my life, for I am no better than my fathers!” (1 Kings 19:4). When he finally made it to Mt. Horeb, God asked Elijah what he was doing there – why had he come? “And he said, ‘I have been very zealous for the LORD God of hosts; because the children of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with the sword. I alone am left; and they seek to take my life’” (1 Kings 19:14). Elijah felt all alone. He thought “everybody was doing it” — worshipping Baal. It had worn him out mentally and spiritually for the moment. Then God set him straight. “Yet I have reserved seven thousand in Israel, all whose knees have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him” (1 Kings 19:18). Besides himself, there were 7,000 other Israelites that still feared God, who “weren’t doing it.” With that renewed perspective, Elijah got back up (spiritually speaking) and went back out to do God’s bidding.
The very same holds true for us today – we’re not alone. The Good Shepherd is with all of us scattered ones. What began with John the Baptist, continues. “And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force” (Matthew 11:12). John taught repentance — that we can turn from blindly following the masses. Then, through Christ, came the Holy Spirit which facilitates the spiritual healing of the mind. Through both, we can follow the Good Shepherd wherever He leads us — forcefully into the Kingdom. Rest assured, “everybody is not doing it!”