And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
– Romans 12:2
Being a Christian in this world can be really challenging sometimes, trying to be the shining light in the midst of a sea of darkness. Because of our sinful flesh, there will always be times when the lusts and the desires of this life will cause our faith, and our obedience to be tested.
The Word tells us that the spirit and the flesh won’t ever be friends, they will never agree, and they won’t ever compromise.
For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.
– Romans 8:5
Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
– Romans 8:7-8
For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
– Galatians 5:17
We cannot walk in the flesh, and think that we are still living in the will of God. There is no grey areas in our walk with Christ. We cannot serve both The Lord and Satan, it just won’t happen. Everyday it is a choice about who we will serve. Everyday we have to decide if we will allow our flesh to lead, or if we will allow the spirit to. To be a true follower of Christ, we cannot think that just believing in God is enough.
In order to be real followers, we must diligently strive to live a life that honors our Heavenly Father. We cannot choose to be in the world, and partake in the things of this world, but still claim to be a Christian. We need to stop being lukewarm Christians, and choose to be all in for Jesus.
Instead of sugar coating it, I’ll tell it straight, there will be times in your walk with Christ that it’s going to be tough. Even if we get a handle on resisting all of the temptations, there will still be other oppositions that come our way. If you are a bold follower of Christ, be prepared, because the world is probably going to hate you. They will mock you, betray you, and drag your name through the dirt. The Word tells us..
If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.
If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.
– John 15:18-19
You see, the enemy is trying to sabotage every believer’s faith. He knows that bold, God-honoring Christians are a threat to his plans. He will try everything that he can to persuade us to walk away from Jesus, and to choose to live a life without God. He wants us to abandon our beliefs, our morals, and our convictions, and start joining in with the world.
But even in the midst of all of the hatred, and the temptations that way we may face, we need to continue to choose Jesus. We need to have courage, faith, and trust that The Lord will not leave His children destitute. He will always make a way for us. But it is our duty to choose to stand strong
Let’s choose to be in the world, but not be of the world. The Word gives us very clear instruction and example of how we can do this.
Here are 8 actions we must take:
Do not love, accept, or partake in sin.
Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
– 1 John 2:15
I know this goes against one of the biggest messages we are being taught lately – tolerance. I don’t know about you, but that word really irks me. As Christians we should not be tolerant. Now let me make this clear, when I say to not be tolerant, I don’t mean to be judgmental, hateful, and unkind to those partaking in sin. We are still called to show love, kindness, and grace to all people, BUT we are not called to love, accept, or join in on their sin. By accepting sin, we begin to believe that it’s really not all that bad, which is exactly what the enemy wants us to believe. Like he did to Adam and Eve in the garden.. God gave them very clear, stern orders about what not to do, but Satan came in and sowed confusion and deceit into their minds. He made them question what God had said, and made them wonder if disobeying The Lord was actually all that bad. When we allow this lie to change the way that we think, we quickly begin to allow sin to creep into every part of our life.
Spend time seeking God
Seek the Lord and his strength, seek his face continually.
– 1 Chronicles 16:11
When Jesus came to this earth, it wasn’t all that easy for Him either. He was faced with one opposition after the next. He was questioned, threatened, and accused, but do you know how He found the strength to stand strong against every attack? He sought the Father. He sought Him continuously because He knew that this life was not going to be a walk in the park. He witnessed first hand how relentless and ruthless the enemy is when we use our light to push out his darkness. We are not strong enough to withstand the attacks on our own… we are weak, unable beings, but our God is greater, our God is bigger. The enemy likes to pretend that he can take down the will of God, but really he is no match. In order to resist the temptations we must be constantly seeking The Lord. We must set aside time through out the day to sit quietly in the presence of God, and draw near to Him. It is in His presence that our strength will be renewed, that we can find refuge from the constant storms, and we will be able to learn, and understand His perfect will for our lives.
Have God’s Word in your heart, & obey it.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
– Colossians 3:16
This one kind of goes hand in hand with #2. In seeking The Lord, we must seek His Word. Learning to read The Bible everyday is SO important, I really cannot stress this enough. Through it will we learn exactly what The Lord expects from us. If we do not have His Word in our hearts, we will begin making our decisions, and living our lives by our own standards and ideas.
Most importantly, we must not only read it, but we must also apply it to every single area of our lives.
Not only does The Bible give us wisdom and direction, but it also gives us comfort, strength, and hope in the most hopeless of times. When the whole world seems to be on a mission to destroy your faith, the Word of God will build it up.
Do not watch, listen to, or read ungodly things.
Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.
– Proverbs 4:23
Guard your mind! This is a very important part of living a godly life. You see the things that we allow to enter our minds and our hearts affects us. We might think watching a TV show or listening to a song that is not of God is no big deal, that we can hear it without actually believing or agreeing with it, but truthfully a lot of the time this isn’t true. It goes into us, and it affects our souls. After continuously being fed the same messages, we become so used to it, and we stop seeing it for the sinfulness that it is. We begin to view it as normal, and acceptable. This isn’t good! It is very easy to allow ourselves to become influenced by the world. Do not give any room in your mind to the enemy’s whispers. Instead of trying to fight them once you allow them in, do not allow them in at all.
Giving place to these things in your life also causes discouragement. The more we watch the news, the more we listen to songs of heartbreak, the more we read stories of hopelessness, the more our faith is shaken. We begin to forget about the hope, the love and the joy that comes from Jesus, and instead we begin to believe what the world tells us. The beauty of Jesus quickly becomes overshadowed by the ugliness of this world.
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
– James 4:7
Jesus had to endure the same temptations that we do. He came to this earth to bring the joy of God to those around Him.. Do you think the enemy was happy about that? Not so much. Instead, he figured he could trick the Son of God into obeying him, telling Him that everything in the world could be His, if He would just worship him. But there was no deceiving Jesus..
Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and only him shall thou serve.
– Matthew 4:10
You see, even though the enemy will try to tempt us, try to redirect us away from the straight and narrow path, we have the choice to resist him. Be like Jesus; when those temptations come, rebuke Satan. Tell him to get lost. Tell him that you are the child of the most high God, and you will ONLY worship Him, and you will ONLY obey Him.
When we say the name of Jesus, the enemy will have to flee!
As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.
– Galatians 6:10
In the society that we live in, we are being continuously taught to think about ourselves as #1. We should do what is needed to obtain whatever it is that we want, need, and “deserve”. The highly successful, rich, and famous are praised, while the lowly, hardworking servant is forgotten. When Jesus came to the earth, He did not focus on helping the self-seeking kings and “somebodies”, but instead He chose to help the needy, the forgotten, and the “nobodies”.
Let’s be like Jesus.. let’s stop thinking about what we can do for ourselves, and start actively seeking out ways that we can help those in need. Let’s be the hands and feet of God by using what we have to help those who have not.
The world will tell you in order to have a great life, you must work hard at obtaining everything under the sun, but this is just a big lie. You will not find joy in continuing to feed the wants of your flesh, you will only find joy when you give what you have to help those around you.
Do not partake in ungodly conversation.
Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.
– Psalms 19:14
Watch your words. Remember, as believers, we are to be an example to the world of what it means to follow Christ. The way that we speak to others will very much influence how they view us. We need to set ourselves apart from the world by not partaking in the unrighteousness talk of others. Complaining, insulting, gossip, and lying can become such a huge portion of what we say, but this shouldn’t be so. Instead of speaking negative words, let’s use our words to encourage, uplift, speak truth, and spread the beautiful Gospel of Christ.
Surround yourself with righteous, Christian friends.
Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
– 2 Corinthians 6:14
You see, we are told that, as believers, we are not called to build friendships with people that do not follow Christ. This does not mean that we should shun them, but that we should spend our quality time with other believers, and the time that we spend with unbelievers should be to witness about the love of Christ. This may seem judgmental, but the truth is that there are no benefits for our faith by building friendships with unbelievers. Again, we should seek out time with them in order to share the gospel, and to help those in need, but not for fellowship. If we spend time with unbelievers then we put ourselves in a vulnerable position where the influences of the world becomes so much more overwhelming.
We need to surround ourselves with other Christians who are striving after a relationship with Christ. By spending time with other believers, we will be able to encourage one another, comfort one another, and pray with one another. Together we can walk side by side in faith, working diligently to build the Kingdom of God.
So remember this, do not accept sin in your heart.. yes, we all sin in this life, but we do not have to just surrender to it. We need to remind ourselves daily of the standards that God has set for us. Let’s aim to reach those precious standards everyday, because in doing so, we will only gain innumerable blessings.
Don’t think that because the rest of the world is walking in darkness, that you need to follow along with them. The Lord has called us out of the darkness, and has given us the light so that we would shine it bright.. don’t give in to the lies, and the schemes of the enemy, look to Jesus, and follow Him wherever He leads. It’s like the song that says “Though none go with me, still I will follow”. Even if the whole world laughs, mocks, and ridicules, just lift your eyes above, and keep on walking after God.
(And remember this, they laughed at Jesus too.)
We have been given the light of Christ in our hearts so that we can overcome the darkness that has invaded this world. Do not hide that light away. Do not keep it hidden from the world. The world needs to see it, the world is so desperate for the light of Jesus. It is our duty as followers of Christ to let that light shine so that others may know the beauty and the love of God.
Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.
Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
– Matthew 5:14-16
We have been given a high calling, one that is far above anything else in this life. We have been called to share the beautiful gospel of Christ to all who would hear. Don’t allow the fear of man silence you. Do not allow the worries of what others will think to stop you from shining His light brightly for the world to see.
There will always be opposition, my friends, but living a life that honors God, and brings glory to His Kingdom, well, that’s greater than anything that the world could ever offer.
How do you bring glory to God?
What do you do to set yourself apart from the world?
Let me know in the comments!
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
– Ephesians 6:10
There are referral links and affiliate links on this blog. This helps me to afford to keep this blog going, but won’t cost you anything.