Have you ever been in a crowd and felt like a fish out of water? As Christians, that is how we are. We are in the world but not of the world (John 15:19). But what does that mean for us as Believers and Followers of Christ? Should we go around wearing togas and carrying our scrolls of Holiness? Now that’s a little drastic, but I think everyone struggles with the idea of being in the world. How can we be relevant to this generation and reach non-believers, but at the same time not get caught up, allowing the fads of tomorrow to consume us?
A QUICK LOOK AT HISTORY
Take a look at a cultivator for a moment. If you do a web search for the definition and images of a cultivator (type cultivator into your preferred search engine and click on images). First we find that this farm machine is used to prepare the ground for planting. Secondly, we find some very large machines that are definitely 21st century products. Yet speckled throughout the images are some small wooden cultivators, containing one wheel, made back in the day – before the "super-sized” versions, when only a select few mega-farms would have needed the larger cultivators. People used what they had available to them, what was within their means, and what would be able to accomplish their goals. Nothing more, nothing less. I believe that if we use that as a model, we will be well on our way to staying modern and obedient. Take a gander at the history of Christianity. At the beginning people dressed in togas, and played harps and lyres. We jump ahead a bit to the 1700s where we had revivals going on just about in every household in the country, and people dressed like Pilgrims, playing more “orchestral” type instruments. In the late 1800s through the early to mid-1900s when Gospel Music reigned supreme, we see believers wearing “business-dress” attire. Nowadays, our generation has become a melting pot of the decades in fashion, and in music as well.
HIS LOVE NEVER FAILS
The bottom line is we shouldn’t be afraid to have our own style and to be cultivators to those around us. We must be ourselves and realize that although things of the world will change, we have a Father who always stays the same. One whose love NEVER fails.
I believe that the ultimate answer to this dilemma of “being in the world but not of the world” is summed up in John 17:10, Jesus is praying on behalf of his disciples and says "Everything I have belongs to you, and everything you have belongs to me, and I have been glorified by them (NET Version).” It is ultimately not about what clothes we wear, or what music we prefer, or if we were relevant in our generation. It’s about whether or not we are using our talents, our circumstances, our EVERYTHING to glorify the Name of Jesus Christ.
HOW CAN WE BE SURE WE ARE GLORIFYING GOD?
1. PRAY - pray that God would shed light in the darkness in our life. (Psalm 139:24)
2. SEARCH - find someone who can cultivate ourselves. (Galatians 6:1)
3. READ - the only way to know if we are living a life pleasing to God is to be in His Word. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
Maybe there are times we feel like a fish out of water, but our goal as Christians is not to please the world or be loved by the world, but remember that God chose us to come out of the world. Therefore, our goal is to live a life of Christ, one that is pleasing to the Father, who loves us so much that He sent His only Son to save us.