Thursday, January 28, 2010

Be a Foreigner

In her devotional book You're the Voice: 40 More Days with God Christian Contemporary recording artist, Rebecca St. James wrote:
“Do people know by our actions and lifestyles that we’re Christians? Can people see a love, a joy, and a sense of purpose and hope that can come only from knowing Jesus? Can people see a difference in us? More important, what does God see when He looks at our hearts? I hope that He finds deeply imprinted the words, ‘God rules here!’”
Different. It is a scary word. We don’t want to be different. To be different means to be unlike; distinct; not the same. Human nature tells us that we need to be part of the group, like everyone else. It is embarrassing to stand out and to have people know that we are not like them.

The sad truth is that many people would have no idea that we are Christians by watching us live. We watch the same shows on Television, tell the same jokes, make fun of the same people, and wear the same clothes. Rather than standing out, and up, for Jesus, we keep him tucked away in our hearts and only bring Him out for special occasions. We will be undignified for God, as long as I am not laughed at.

God has called us to be different. This is not a difference that we can hide or keep to ourselves. The difference that God want us to have is more that coming to worship or Sundays, Bible Study on Wednesday, reading our Bibles in the morning, and praying before we go to sleep. The difference God demands that we have spills over into every area of our life. It is seen in how dress, it is felt in how we treat people, it is heard in the conversation that we have, and is modeled in our behavior. The difference is simply this: living out God’s will.

We sure do a lot of talking about God’s will, but we don’t actually live it. To live it would require us to be different. Our problem is that we don’t want to appear different, so we spend time thinking about what we can get away with doing. “How close to the line can I go without going over?” is the question we ask ourselves. That is not the way it should be.

Dear friends, I warn you as “temporary residents and foreigners” to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls. Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbors. Then even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior, and they will give honor to God when he judges the world. (1 Peter 2:11, 12; NLT)

We are to be different, not only for our sakes, but the sake of the people around us. When we seek to live as close to the line as possible we allow us selves to play around with the evil desires that fight against us. It is these evil desires that Satan uses to cause us to sin. They are just too dangerous to play with.

Being different gives other people the opportunity to see God at work and a chance to believe. Even if they don’t believe now, Peter says that our different lives will give them cause to believe and glorify God when Jesus returns.

Are you being different? Do you want to do God’s will or follow your heart? My challenge to you is: Live as a foreigner!

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