7 Answers to the Question: "How do I remain in the world, but not of it?"
We've been feeling burdened lately about being lights in the middle of so much darkness.
• How do I live life on earth, while rooted in heaven?
• How can I remain in the world, but not of it?
• How do I let go of the things that tie me to this earth, but still allow myself to be tied to people?
We're finding it difficult to find balance, what does that even look like?
1.) I realize that my light is but a reflection of Christ's.
I reflect God’s light while remembering that He is the only source of light and life! My light will draw people in, but point them to Christ!
“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16
“Through Him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In Him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:3-5
2.) I recognize that my brokenness points others to Christ.
Christ understood the struggle of being a light in a dark world. When He was here, the world did not receive or recognize Him! I believe this is why God uses broken people! The world doesn’t understand the perfection of Christ; they understand failure and brokenness. While we may secretly seek perfection in ourselves and others (judging when we don’t find it), we are actually drawn to each other through the commonality of failure and brokenness. When our brokenness is visible to those around us, Christ’s grace is visible to others. It’s not about being perfect! It’s about acknowledging our own brokenness, recognizing that He is the only perfect One and we need Him to cover our failure!
“He was in the world, and though the world was made through Him, the world did not recognize Him. He came to that which was His own, but His own did not receive Him.” John 1:10-11
"For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake. For God, who said, "Let light shine out of the darkness," has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not us." 2 Corinthians 4:5-7
3.) I surrender my need to be judge by trusting that Christ will lead others to repentance.
He gives us grace when we stray and He gently guides us back into His will. So why then am I so quick to judge and condemn those that I see outside of His will?
“Do to others as you would have them do to you.” Luke 6:31
“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” Luke 6:37-38, 41-42
4.) I pray to be a Peacemaker with wisdom to live in grace & truth.
“But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure, then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.” James 3:17-18
Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will. 2 Timothy 2:23-26
“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father full of grace and truth.” John 1:14
“From the fullness of His grace we have all received one blessing after another.” John 1:16
“For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” John 1:17
5.) I find compassion and mercy for others through the love of Christ.
When I surrender to God's sovereignty, I'm freed to love others. As my Father works in me, my heart for others changes. My prayers become prayers that are "for" people... for redemption... for reconciliation... for Christ to break chains.
"Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you must also forgive." Colassians 3:11-13
“The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.” James 4:11b
6.) I look to God's Word for guidence.
Even as we sought God for wisdom in writing this blog, we immediately looked to the scripture. His Word provides clarity, wisdom, and truth as we navigate how to be in this world and not of it.
"For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart." Hebrews 4:12
7.) I remain in the world, but not of it.
While I am here it is through my failure and brokenness that I connect with those around me. I remain of Christ through His grace and redemption in my life and through His blood on the cross! Christ calls us to love the people He puts in our path, to pour into the work He puts on our hearts, and to commit everything to Him!
God has been showing us that we are not the ones who have to redeem and fix all the broken pieces in this world! He wants us to give Him all the broken pieces and let Him place them... because He knows where they fit! Our Savior sees the brokenness, too! His desire is to reconcile all people to Himself… isn’t He the best judge of how to do that?