Strangers In This World
Christians all over the world will all be tempted in different ways. One problem we all will face is being tempted to conform to the world. Everyday we face the demands of jobs, raising children, and days with too much to do in too little time. Stress starts building up and it gets more difficult to make the right decisions. John 15:19 says 'If you belonged to the world, the world would treat you with affection and would love you as its own. But because you are not of the world (no longer one with it), but I have chosen (selected) you out of the world, the world hates (detests) you.'
There's an encouraging word in Proverbs 4:18 though: 'But the path of the (uncompromisingly) just and righteous is like the light of dawn, that shines more and more (brighter and clearer) until (it reaches its full strength and glory in) the perfect day (to be prepared). That makes me excited! Everything won't happen overnight, but slowly and steadily the light will become brighter. And if we focus on the Light everyday, living in this world will become easier.
Speaking of light - one way to ensure that we know the way that we have to go is searching God's Word and storing it in our hearts. Psalm 119:105 'Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.' We have to meditate on heavenly things and not get distracted by the world.
So, everybody's working and pushing themselves to new limits. How should Christians be doing their jobs? The most important thing to remember is to keep your priorities straight. Acts 20:35 'In everything I have pointed out to you (by example) that, by working diligently in this manner, we ought to assist the weak, being mindful of the words of the Lord Jesus, how He Himself said, It is more blessed (makes one happier and more to be envied) to give than to receive.' We should spend more time being thankful for what we have than longing for what our friends have. 1 Tim.6:8 'But if we have food and clothing, with these we shall be content (satisfied). And some of us think that we'll only be content when we are rich. The Bible warns against riches though! Mark 10:24b - 25 'But Jesus said to them again, Children, how hard is it for those who trust (place their confidence, their sense of safety) in riches to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.'
So how do we remain strangers in this world? We have to be so sure of our goal everyday so that we may recognise clearly every temptation to not do the will of God. This will only happen if we spend time with God. I will not be able to do pleasant things with my children if I don't spend time with them finding out what they need. The same is true of God. Pleasing Him and doing His will should be the biggest desire of our hearts and the first thing on our minds when we wake up in the morning. Out of our relationship with Him the right behaviour will follow. And although some things will still be difficult to do, it will be rewarding to know that we are doing His will. Remember that God has a perfect plan for each of our lives. Even though sometimes we think that we have a better idea of what to do with our lives and dreams. We cannot commit our lives to Jesus without also allowing Him to take control of our dreams and future. That's where faith begins - to walk step by step in the knowledge that, even when you can't see the end results, there will be God's results. And it will be to our benefit. He is God Almighty who wants the best for us and loves us - why not trust Him?
Other Scriptural references:
1 Chronicles 29:15
1 Timothy 4:12
All quoted scriptures are from the Amplified Bible.
Adele Laubscher is a mother of two and an active christian. She loves to share her experiences on a weekly basis with readers. She writes a christian newsletter called The Christian Walk. http://www.tradeology.com/christian.html
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