2006-10-07 - Just Looking
John 15:19 "If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you."
Christians don't go unnoticed. The Christian life is one that is in the world, but seeks to be not of the world. Pure and undefiled faith in the words of James 1:27, is "to keep oneself unstained by the world." We do not go through the Christian life unwatched however. If you are interested in Christ then both heaven and hell will be interested in you. It is by our faith that we overcome the world, and it is the duty of the follower of Christ to do just that. (1 John 5:4,5)
My friends you are never unobserved. There is a great cloud of witnesses about you and they are not indifferent as to how you live. They watch very carefully, how it is that you run this race called the Christian life. For those of us who live under the quickening of the Holy Spirit let us not become complacent and glide sleepishly through life as if there were no divine operations existent within us. The Christian is a wonder. The Christian is a wonder to those around him/her. The Christian is a wonder, through the grace of God, to Angels themselves. (1 Peter 1:12)
"Return, return, O Shulamite; return, return, that we may look upon you. What will you see in the Shulamite? As it were the company of two armies." (Song of Solomon 6:13) The admonition here is for the woman to return. It is not said once, or twice, but four times...return. What do you see when you look upon this Shulamite? Two armies are seen - two armies in the one that are at war with each other. It is the same with the Christian. There are two armies at war in the Christian. "The flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these two are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please." (Galatians 5:17)
So what is evident when the Christian falls under the microscope? There is a battle, but how does the battle go? How does your battle go? There is a conflict within us. There is a company of two armies. But we should fight hard never to let the world see it best us. Walking in the Spirit, we put to rout the deeds of the flesh. We can confess that battle lines are broken through and we fail, but if we are really in the battle, we do not let up because the world is dead to us, and frankly, the dead are poor company to keep.
We can tell those who would encourage us to drift away from our standards, our faith, and our hope, that we would be poor company for them. The world is dead to us, and we are dead to the world. The world is crucified to us, and we are crucified to the world. If we joined in with the world, we would only kill any momentary joy the passing joys of the world can trump up. We can tell the world that we are not likely to laugh when they laugh, and we would soon be a weariness to them for our joy is not found in this life or in this world. Our joy is complete in Christ and we look to another life: eternal life.
Heaven and earth are watching as long as we draw breath, but let us show them the new life in us. Let us witness of the indwelling of the Spirit of God. Then they shall see that we have neither time nor patience for such trifling things and we cannot be bothered to stop and fall into sinful habits, but rather we are too centered in Jesus Christ to be distracted by worldly cares and shadows.