Are You in the World or in the Word?
By Nathele Graham
Have you noticed how worldly Christians seem to be? Pink hair, tattoos, foul language, and vulgar dress seem to be the way many Christians live. Will any of those things send you to Hell? No, but they are an indication of your attitude. If you embrace the world, you will see nothing wrong with pridefully drawing attention to yourself by altering your appearance in shocking ways. I’ve heard of people who have split their tongue to look like a snake and have scales tattooed all over their body in order to look like a serpent. How sad it is to aspire to look like a serpent instead of desiring to let God’s light shine through you.
“I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are they works and that my soul knoweth right well.” – Psalm 139:14.
God created mankind with black, brown, auburn, or blonde hair, so why would you decide to have shocking pink hair? If you remember you’re “fearfully and wonderfully” made, your desire will be to be more like Jesus and less like the world.
We live in a fallen world, where most people choose to live in opposition to God. Christians need to choose to live for Jesus, and glorify Him in all we do. We have to be in the world, but not of the world. We are pilgrims, and just passing through this life and looking forward to a much better life in Heaven.
“For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.” – Philippians 3:20-21.
When we accept Christ for salvation, there should be a change within us. The ways of the world should have no hold on us. Our desire needs to be like Christ. After all, even though we are physically in this world, God sees us as already being with Him in Heaven.
“But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ (by grace ye are saved:) and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:” – Ephesians 2:4-6.
There are scars and bumps in our body that show that we’ve been beat up in this world, but we don’t have to hold onto the evils of this world. If we reject worldly ways, and dig into the study of Scripture, the things of this world will lose their hold on us. God’s mercy is beyond measure, and we need to appreciate His love for us.
There are addictions and habits which are difficult to let go of, but the more you study Scripture and try to emulate Jesus, the easier it is to get rid of worldly attitudes and ways. Anger, pride, addictions, and any other way of the world will loosen its grip on you.
“Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel.” – Philippians 1:27.
In this verse, “conversation” is a political word. We understand the nations of the world, and if you live in one country and move to another one, you are under the laws and customs of the new country. In the same way, we live in this world, but have “moved” to the Heavenly realms when we accept Christ for salvation, and are now under the law of God.
The Apostle Paul had a lot of experience in how God can change a person. He was a really bad dude! He thought he was serving God by arresting Christians. After a supernatural encounter with Jesus, Paul’s life was completely changed. He no longer served the god of this world, Satan, but submitted his life to Christ. Because of that encounter, Christianity was spread to the Gentiles…most of whom lived in a pagan culture. Paul encouraged them, and us, to turn away from the sin and evil of this world and to understand that the Holy Spirit lives within us. We are sealed by His holy presence at the moment we truly believe. God did everything He could to bring us to salvation. We just celebrated the birth of Christ…God incarnate…and in the course of time, we will soon celebrate His death, burial, and resurrection. If you have accepted His sacrifice for redemption, then it’s time to allow Him to change you from the inside.
“Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy: for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.” – 1 Corinthians 3:16-17.
Ponder that point for a bit. Corinth was slipping into a very liberal way of life. They had come to know Jesus, but held onto many worldly ways. They accepted much sin into their congregation, and were proud of their open-mindedness. Paul reminded them that they were special…they were indwelt by the Holy Spirit and that made them, and us, the temple of God. When you live a worldly way of life, you defile the temple. The only way to know how to live a set-apart life unto God, is to stay in the word, not in the world. I’m not talking about being saved by works, but when you sin…strike out in anger, or live opposed to God…you don’t honor God.
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” – Romans 12:1-2.
Study His word and submit to Him. It is reasonable to sacrifice your pride to God. Study His word and apply it to your life. Too often we see what other people are doing wrong, while missing the point that we can’t change others. We especially can’t change non-believers, but we can allow God to change us.
God loves us and wants the best for us. The closer we walk with Him, the less chance we have of grieving Him. The Holy Spirit is God, the third person of the Holy Trinity. He lives in us and will guide us if we allow it.
“And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.” – Ephesians 4:30.
He will guide you to a deeper understanding of Scripture, but you have to study. As we are about to enter 2022, there are many things that can scare us. Pestilence, tornadoes, earthquakes, war, hatred and more. Study Scripture to find peace. Prophecy is an important part of Bible study, but very few pastors will attempt to teach about it. Since prophecy makes up a large part of Scripture, God wants us to know the future. Study it and you will find that COVID is just part of the end-times scenario. Keep your eyes turned to Israel, because the end times are about Israel and God leading them back to a right fellowship. We tend to look at Scripture through the eyes of whatever nation we call home, and God loves all people in all nations. In spite of that, Israel is still God’s chosen people, and once Christians have been called Home in the Rapture, God’s attention will be turned back to Israel. Understand that Christians will be called Home before the Great Tribulation, and looking at the signs of the times, encourages us and tells us that we are getting very close to the Rapture. Watching the signs come about doesn’t make life easier, but understanding that none of the trouble in the world is a surprise to God brings peace.
In 2022, resolve to be in the word not in the world. Live for Jesus and get rid of the sin and rebellion that makes your spirit strive with God.
God bless you all,
All original scripture is “theopneustos” God breathed.
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