In the World, Not of the World - Part 3
Jesus calls us to be different from the World, while making a difference in the World.
“I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.” John 17:14-15
Do you struggle to live for God in an ungodly culture? What does God want you to do when the world around you refuses to follow God’s laws? Jesus tells us to Love: love God and love others as yourself. (Matthew 22:36-38) How do you love others?
Living for God is Not Easy
“(Jesus said) If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first…..” (John 15:18-25). Why am I surprised when people make mean comments and dislike me for my beliefs; when the things I call holy are insulted; when fellow believers are being unfairly imprisoned and executed? Loving the people who do these things is really hard to do.
Ephesians 6:12: “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but...against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” I am better able to love when I remember that people are not my enemy. God loves them and Jesus died for them. My enemy is Satan. “You, my children, who belong to God have already defeated this spirit, because the one who lives in you is far stronger than the anti-Christ in the world.” (1 John 4:4).
A Spiritual Battle Needs Spiritual Power
Jesus prayed for our protection - “sanctify them (set them apart) by the truth; your word is truth” (John 17:15,17). God has given us His Word and the Holy Spirit to lead us in truth and give us power. (Romans 8:9-11) “Do not be conformed to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…” (Romans 12:2). We need to read the Bible every day so we know God - and what pleases Him. Then His power can be unleashed in us - producing spiritual fruit like love, peace, patience, and kindness (Galatians 5:22-25).
A Spiritual Rescue Needs Spiritual Intervention
When I encounter opposition, should I react in anger, argue, and demand my rights? Should I react in fear and doubt compromising God’s truth? Neither of these. I should Pray! “Pray in the Spirit on all occasions…be alert....that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel” (Ephesians 6:18-19). God alone is our strength and fortress, and only He can win the victory (Psalm 62:5-8).
God has placed each of us in a unique place, with unique experiences and gifts (Ephesians 2:10). Will you commit with me to look for God-given opportunities to be His ambassador of grace to the world around us?
Pray this week:
For God to empower you through Holy Spirit, teach you from His Word, and show you opportunities to love others.
Are you walking with God, or are you demanding that God walk with you? Talk to someone about this struggle.