Let me show you what happens to every child of God who enters into a relationship with a bitter, unrighteous, rebellious person. There are awful consequences.

"The fear of the Lord fell upon all the kingdoms of the lands that were round about Judah, so that they made no war against Jehoshaphat" (2 Chronicles 17:10). Jehoshaphat’s kingdom, Judah, was blessed and prospered abundantly, and nobody dared come against them.

But after Jehoshaphat entered into a relationship with Ahab, Scripture says, "Ahab . . . persuaded [Jehoshaphat] to go up with him to Ramoth-gilead. . . . And he answered him, I am as thou art, and my people as thy people; and we will be with thee in the war" (18:2-3). Jehoshaphat willingly got sucked into a hopeless war, one that God had no part in.

The Hebrew word for persuaded in this passage means "a soothing seduction." Jehoshaphat allowed himself to be seduced into war by Ahab, answering, "I am as you are." In other words, "I'm your friend, so I'm with you all the way. I won't let you down. You can count on me!"

Is your close friend full of bitterness, hatred, anger—and pursuing a war of some kind? Is he involved in a marriage war, a family war, a personal war? And are you like a Jehoshaphat to him, offering help and encouragement? If so, look out, because you are about to be seduced into it all.

That's right, very soon you will find yourself smack in the middle of your friend's mess and you will be asked to take a stand. If your friend is in a troubled marriage, for example, you are going to be forced to take a side. And you will end up sympathizing with him—all the way through his divorce!

Beware, Christian, because whenever you extend comfort or encouragement to someone who is in rebellion, you take sides against the Holy Spirit. And that makes you are a partaker in that person's sin. Tragically, when Jehoshaphat joined Ahab's war, he only hastened his friend along the path of destruction!