Read: John 17
“I’m not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one.” (John 17:15, NLT)
I cannot think of a more difficult assignment that you have today than to live in the world but not be of it. Yet that is the exact calling that God has placed upon your life. You must live as light on a spiritually dark planet yet not be absorbed by the darkness; you are to be gospel seasoning in a tasteless world without loosing your God-flavor.
To get out of balance on either end of that assignment, which is an easy thing to do, by the way, is a recipe for spiritual uselessness at best, and spiritual offensiveness at worst. Some Christians have assumed their assignment is to retreat from the world so far that they are insulated from sin. Great—all they have succeeded in doing in making themselves weird and forfeiting any ability to attract people to the joy and abundance of the Kingdom Life. Other Christians, much larger in numbers, have gone so far the other way and have so blurred the lines between believer and non-believer that the world has no way of seeing in them the attractive beauty of Christ’s holiness. Not only that, but they have not made God happy in the process.
It is a tough act to pull off, to be in the world yet not of it, but Jesus, himself, has prayed to his Father for you—so that gives you a fighting chance. Not only that, Jesus, himself, has set for you an example of how to live in the culture and not be absorbed by it. It’s called the incarnation. The truth is, wherever Jesus went, not only was he untainted by the sinful world, his life for so compelling different that he drew unbelievers to the Father likes bees are drawn to flowers. Furthermore, Jesus, himself, promised to send you the Holy Spirit to lead you, guide you, walk with you every step of the way and empower you to live in this world but be set apart from it as living witness of the grace of God.
It sounds like your assignment, as difficult as it may be, is completely doable since Father, Son and Holy Spirit are on Team You!
“Our witness – good or bad – is the overflow of our lives.” ~Allistair Begg
What If God Took Over?
Read John 17 out loud today, and absorb the words as Jesus prays for you. You will be encouraged.