Do you find yourself at times feeling very uncomfortable living in this world? If so, it probably means that you are facing the battles that Jesus told us about in trying to minister to a world that rejected, despised and killed the Son of God. 2 Corinthians 4: 18 states “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” It’s so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day “seen” world that we have to remind ourselves of the promises God has made. Colossians 3: 1-4 states “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.” We have to “press on toward the goal to win the prize” and that prize is our citizenship in heaven.
We live in a world driven by immediate gratification and a “what’s in it for me” mentality. Philippians 3: 18-19 tells us “For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. There destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things.” In other words, self satisfaction and self indulgence is the focus and it leads people to a self-centered approach to the world around them. We can find ourselves being drawn to these earthly things if we do not maintain our daily walk with Christ. Daily prayer, studying God’s word and active involvement with other believers is essential to our ability to stay focused on the promises God has made to us. That is why it is important for us to be actively involved in a local church!
We should never get to a point in our Christian life where we say “I can’t fall prey to that.” Satan will use everything in his evil bag of tricks to capitalize on this mistake. In Matthew 4: 8-10 it tells us “Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. ‘All this I will give you’ he said, ‘If you will bow down and worship me.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Away from me, Satan! For it is written: Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.” Satan had no hesitation about tempting even the Son of God. What makes you think you are above that same temptation! Romans 8: 5-8 is a good reminder of what God not only expects, but demands from His children. “Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace: the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.” In order for us to be pleasing to God we have to yield to the Holy Spirit and by doing so we will find peace and joy in this temporary world we live in.
Often the world looks at us and states we are “sacrificing” our lives or worldly pleasures to be a Christian. We need to fully understand and be prepared to respond to this view. God does not ask us to sacrifice our lives but He does ask us to be obedient to His guidance and direction for our lives. Webster Illustrated Contemporary Dictionary defines sacrifice as “a giving up of something cherished or desired.” Based on that definition, the opposite of the world view is actually true. Sacrificing our relationship with Jesus Christ would be the giving up of something cherished or desired. We need to live our lives in such a way that reflects the joy in knowing Jesus Christ and stand on the promises from God’s Word ensuring us of our eternal home. Romans 12: 2 tells us “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is __ his good, pleasing and perfect will.”