“For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come.” ~Hebrews 13:14 (NLT)
I was stopped at a red light recently on my way home from work. It was a beautiful day, so I had my window rolled down and Christian music playing on my radio.
An SUV pulled up next to me, also with the window rolled down, and music BLARING from the vehicle. I don’t know what kind of music it was, other than to call it,” angry” music. I realized that I had two options at that point- close my window or turn up my music.
It immediately struck me that this is exactly what life is like. The things of this world try to drown out our Christian faith and we are also left with two choices in how to respond.
The first way is to “block out” the world…roll up the window, so to speak. As I have become more deeply rooted in my love for Jesus, I have found that many times this has become an automatic response. The stronger my faith in Jesus has become, the more I grieve the things of this world, for they are the things that grieve His Spirit. I can no longer watch many of the same television shows I had been faithful to for years and, while I listen to a wide variety of musical genres, there are some songs that I just find offensive.
As Christians, we are called to reach out to the lost and spread His Good News. That cannot be done if we only spend time with other Christians and like minded people. We are meant for fellowship with both believers and non-believers in this life. We must, however, always be cognizant of our weaknesses.
A Christian friend once told me that she had to distance herself from someone because that person was just too “worldly” for her. She felt that she was not strong enough in the Spirit to resist the worldly temptations that were coming her way through this relationship. My friend continued to love and cherish this person, but had to do so from a distance.
My friend was not being judgmental but was being wise in recognizing her weaknesses. It would not be prudent for an alcoholic to hang out at the local bar and it would be foolish for a person addicted to gambling to spend time in a casino. We must all do whatever is necessary to protect what we cherish. Sometimes that means having to walk away from people or places in this world, particularly when what we value is Eternal.
As I was sitting at the red light, my other option was to turn up the volume on my radio. That, at times, is the better choice than “rolling up the window” in life. We are living in dark times and people need to hear the message of Jesus now more than ever. Depending on the circumstances, sometimes that means “shouting” the Good News a little louder so it can be heard over the noise of life.
Since becoming a born-again believer, my life has changed dramatically. More and more I find that my beliefs and values are in direct opposition to the world around me. While at times I feel outnumbered in my views, I am completely comfortable with where I stand because the world in which I live is not my real home. Our stay here is temporary and someday we will be called back to our true home with Jesus. (Philippians 3:20 NLT)
James 4:4 (NLT) is very clear- if you are a friend of the world you are an enemy of God. We cannot have one foot in the world, and the other in Heaven, because when you live that way, eventually the line between His Way and the way of the world will become blurred.
I challenge you this week to keep your feet firmly planted in the Way of Christ. Stay true to who you are and Who you believe in, even if that requires you to pause and close a few windows along your journey.