It is interesting to note that we, as believers, are called God’s holy, royal, priesthood. Yet, are we all living according to our calling? You may have heard it said that we are “in the world but not of it.” Did you ever wonder what that means? Forgive me if this is redundant for you, but it means that we, as believers in Christ, are set apart from the rest of the world. We live in the world, but we are not supposed to be like the rest of the world. We are supposed to be different. We are not supposed to act, look, talk, or even believe as the rest of the world does. Yet, so often, we find ourselves doing just that. I know that I do!
I have a tendency to want to blend in and not be noticed, for fear of someone criticizing my beliefs or stirring up trouble in my life because they disagree with me. God would rather that we stand up and not be afraid to speak out, and He gives us all the words that we need to say during those times when He has something He wants us to tell someone. That is definitely something I struggle to apply to my life, and I realize that I need to be more bold with my faith.
Do you ever neglect to ask God to help you with your problems because they are not important or big enough to bother Him with? I do it all the time! I try to handle my problems like the rest of the world does- all by myself, and it makes my life a whole lot harder. I realized recently that I had never asked God to help me with a problem I had at home that was eating away at me and causing me so much stress and unhappiness that I had to try to ignore it as much as possible. I was convinced that I had tried everything to resolve it and it was impossible to fix. Once I prayed to God about it, the answer came to me immediately, I got to work on it (my family even pitched in), and the problem was solved! Simple! I just needed to ask for a little help from my heavenly Father, and everything fell into place. He was just waiting for me to ask Him. Talking to God and asking Him for things is not something that the rest of the world understands, but it is an important part of our lives as His chosen people; however, He also wants to be included in our daily lives, not just when we need something.
Another way in which we Christians sometimes fail to distance ourselves from the world is simply by reading or thinking too much about the wrong things. What I mean is, for example, I sometimes have to stop reading the news, because there is so much bad stuff going on in the world; it really drains me and pulls me down. It makes me forget that God is the one in control. Then, I often find myself feeling disheartened and depressed. I worry that I will lose everything that I love, that it will be taken from me somehow, to punish me for all my daily wrongdoings. It is important for me to remember, though, that all that I have- my family, home, money, and even my own body- belongs to God and He gets to decide how long they will be part of my life. There are a lot of things wrong with the world, and things that I wish would change, but God is in control of it all, so I can rest in knowing that He’s taking care of it!
As believers, we are living in God’s Kingdom, not the world as everyone else sees it. Jesus came to earth to usher in that new kingdom, and though He has yet to return in order to make all things right, He is still in control here. What a comfort that is! All those times when I have had doubts, felt despair, thought that the world couldn’t possibly get much worse than it is, God has been watching and knows exactly what is going on and how He is going to make everything alright in the end. What a relief! So why worry? God’s resources and knowledge are unlimited! He has given all of us everything that we need right now! We only need to turn toward Him and let Him take care of us!
Knowing that I have everything that I need, that God is with me, that He knows everything that is going on in my life and everywhere in the world, I can much more easily, confidently, and joyfully live my life the way that God wants me to, unafraid to be the person He has called me to be. I don’t have to conform to this world but be transformed by the renewing of my mind, by reading God’s word and doing what He says. Hopefully, we will all take on the challenge of living in this world but not succumbing to it, accepting it, and becoming part of it (and therefore distancing ourselves from our Father in Heaven). May you enjoy the blessed assurance that you are not alone as you go about your days, and you are not meant to hide and be shy about who (and Whose) you really are! God bless you!
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” -Romans 12:2 (ESV)