As a Christian, you have likely felt you were not of this world any longer. The worldly things you once enjoyed may now make you uncomfortable or maybe you just simply don’t find enjoyment in them anymore. I know there have been many times, especially lately in our society, that I have thought that I just don’t feel I belong in this world. I feel like an outsider, and that’s because the reality is, I am! I don’t belong in this world because my home is NOT this world.
Or at least it should be the case with us as Christians. But what happens when we try to have one foot in the Kingdom and one in the world? What happens when we try to live for God and, at the same time, try to please people or even try to please our own flesh?
Be In the World, Not Of It
John 17:16 says:
“They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.” ESV
You see, we live in the world, that goes without saying. Jesus lived IN the world as well, even though He was not OF it. We live our lives for Him and His Kingdom, not to build our own.
We cannot live with one foot in the world and one in the Kingdom. We are either all in or all out! Be IN the world but not OF the world.
Colossians 3:2 says:
“Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” ESV
Not of This World
We, as believers, are not of this world. We are not here to please ourselves and do what we like. We are to be the hands and feet of Jesus. We are to be fulfilling the Great Commission. We no longer live for ourselves but live for Christ.
This is especially true of those of us in ministry! People are watching you! Some are watching you because they look to you as a mentor and some are watching you to find the first opportunity to see you slip up or label you a hypocrite! Jesus was watched closely for those same reasons!
When you are living OF the world, you can put a stumbling block in front of a Christian who is young in the faith.
You Are Not of This World – Come Out From Among Them and Be Separate
2 Corinthians 6:17 says:
Therefore, “Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.” NIV
If we continue to enjoy the same “worldly” things we did prior to being saved then we are not any different than anyone else. When people look at us, will they see a change? Will they see Jesus? Or will they see the same person they did before?
Jesus was clear that we would give up a lot. We would give up things, we would give up what interested us before, and yes, we would at times even have to give up people.
And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life. NIV
“If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters–yes, even their own life–such a person cannot be my disciple. NIV
You see, you and I don’t belong in this world. We don’t fit in and we shouldn’t seek to. We should seek to be different, to be a light!
We cannot be on social media swearing or spewing political rants and expect people to see us as a light!
You and I don’t belong in this world with its focus on ME and what pleases ME instead of what pleases God.
I am NOT of this world! I am of the Kingdom of God and all that the Kingdom encompasses!
Do I mess up and sometimes find myself on the wrong side of the fence? You bet! We are still sinful in nature! But we should be seeking to put those things behind us, not relish in them. There IS a difference between slipping up and making mistakes and willfully enjoying the things we should be leaving behind.
[ctt template=”8″ link=”sS59U” via=”yes” ]I am NOT of this world! I am of the Kingdom of God and all that the Kingdom encompasses![/ctt]
Not of This World – Giving Up What We Once Loved
I used to be a BIG fan of scary movies! I love cuddling up on the couch and watching a good horror movie! I say “love” and not “loved” because I didn’t all of a sudden just hate scary movies when I got saved!
BUT…while I admit I do still love scary movies I do not watch them anymore. I didn’t wait for my feelings to line up with my desire to be obedient to God and give up things that are not healthy for my spirit or my witness.
I used to love some bands that I choose not to listen to anymore. My younger days of enjoying Judas Priest and Ozzy Osbourne are over even though I still do love some of their music. I had to make the choice to come out from that and be separate.
I am not of this world. The things I enjoyed at one time I have had to decide paled in comparison to the joy I have in following Christ. And even though I might be a strong enough Christian to be able to listen to Crazy Train or watch a scary movie, it could put a stumbling block in front of someone else. And this is especially true of those of us in ministry.
Like it or not, when you enter ministry you are held to a high standard of accountability. You are watched. You are (unfortunately) judged. You are modeled after. Jesus said we would be treated that way just as He was!
You cannot talk about righteousness out of one side of your mouth and then sing of worldliness out of the other.
You may have political opinions but if you express them in certain ways on social media, are you bringing people closer to Christ or pushing them further away?
[ctt template=”8″ link=”b19I3″ via=”yes” ]You cannot talk about righteousness out of one side of your mouth and then sing of worldliness out of the other.[/ctt]
You Cannot Straddle the Fence
Jesus made it clear in Revelation 3:16 that straddling the fence is not acceptable.
So, because you are lukewarm–neither hot nor cold–I am about to spit you out of my mouth. NIV
We either have to be on fire for God or all in with the world but we cannot have a little of both. We can be IN the world and not of it but we cannot be in the Kingdom and not of it!
[ctt template=”8″ link=”daE8e” via=”yes” ]We can be IN the world and not of it but we cannot be in the Kingdom and not of it![/ctt]
What are some things you’ve enjoyed in the past that you had to say goodbye to in order to live for the Kingdom? Share in the comments!
Some other posts like “Not of This World” you might enjoy:
Scripture quotations are from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. www.zondervan.com The “NIV” and “New International Version” are trademarks registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Biblica, Inc.™