In my devotional reading this morning God has hammered home the truth that I need to be separate from the world. It is so easy to get distracted by the things of this world, to be seduced by the carnal side of life, and to place a great importance on this world’s power structures and philosophies.
Sports, movies, and music distract us from reading and pondering God’s Word. Advertisements, gossip pages, and the “good life” seduce us to experience all that this world has to offer and we end up not developing the discipline and hope that come from following Jesus. Politics, Wall Street, and popular causes beckon us to give our lives to their service and we miss out on experiencing what God can to though a life that is totally surrendered to Him.
We live with a great dilemma: how do you live in the world without becoming part of the world? One of the things we must do is to set ourselves against the values of this world. That means we don’t accept the values of this world. It also means that we don’t accept the world’s judgment on what is important, what is right, and what is true. Far too many of us have been lead astray because we have embraced the world’s judgment on what is truly important and have ignored God.
A second thing we must do is to immerse ourselves in God’s service and purpose. Our lives are no longer ours to be lived any way we want to live. Once we put our faith in Christ our lives become His to be lived for His purposes. How many of us are intentionally living lives that bring glory and honor to King Jesus? Make no mistake about it, following Jesus will set us at odds with the world.
We are presented with a great choice: will we be seduced by the world and follow its paths or will we follow the way of Jesus with all that we have: heart, soul, mind, and strength? It is impossible to please God and remain steeped in the practices of the world. Followers of Christ need to live differently from the world. It is how we show them that there is a better way to live life. Are you willing to be different?
Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever. ~ 1 John 2:15-17; NLT