We are called to be in the world but not of the world. The church is falling short of the glory of GOD not because it has been left in the world, but because it is mostly of the world. (For clarity when I say Church or Christians, I am referring to people who confess that they believe the testimony of Christ).
Living in sanctification of the spirit is a challenge for most Christians. This is evident in the number of Christians are or carnal. What does that mean? Christians which still treasure the same things this world treasures, consequently most Christians still have the same values as this world. Your values come in line with what you treasure. Meaning you value things in your life based on their relationship to what you treasure. That being the case, most Christians are still entangled or inter-woven with the cares of this world, so the Word can’t bear the glorious fruit it is capable of because it is losing the battle of resources from people’s lives because their time, energy, and focus are spent mostly on carnal things. Joshua 1:7-9
Without the Church shining as it should, the Way is lost. One of the things I have come to realize is that the world currently owns the narrative on love. When people think of love in marriage, they don’t think of Christ and the church, they think about movies like “The Notebook” or “Titanic”. When people think of godly love it is Jesus forgiving everyone and letting everyone into His feast without any conditions, because love makes everyone happy…. That’s not scriptural. How would you like to sit down and feast with a large gathering of people where there was no order or standard of cleanliness? Most people, including Christians, don’t know the characteristics of love because they don’t know the character of GOD. Many are still living in the narrative of the Old Testament where the veil of the flesh hindered man from knowing GOD. I hear many Christians today still saying GOD is unknowable, even though He has dwelt among us, clothed with the same flesh, engaging us as a friend in the person of YESHUA the Christ. The partition between man and GOD has been ripped apart in the New Testament by Christ the High Priest. They that seek GOD must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those that diligently seek Him.
The divorce rate in the Church is comparable to what is in the world because Christians are loving with the same love. The Church is riddled with the same division as there is in the world because the majority of Christians love with the values and standards of this world. What I am sharing is very evident in the world around us. The Church is in the world and mostly of the world. The things of this world that most people base their happiness on teeters and shifts and comes and goes like all things man made. Christ came to bring us a joy that is unshakable and everlasting, but to lay hold on that we have to let go of this world’s treasures.
Here is what Satan has done. He has redefined everything, so that GOD looks like the enemy. That is what he did in the garden with Adam and Eve. The law or decree that GOD gave concerning what could and couldn’t be eaten was meant to preserve their life, but through the deception of Satan, their focus shifted from what they did know to what they didn’t know. So fear and doubt was conceived, and faith was replaced with human speculation and reasoning. Just like the event where Peter was summoned on to the water to walk as Christ did. When he took his eyes off Christ and his thoughts shifted to processing physical boundaries, he began to sink. Christ response, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” This is why the promises of GOD are based on faith in Him, faith which fills the void of what we don’t know or understand with confidence in GOD’s love, so we can stay the course. Every time you must reach beyond what you know or understand and your focus shifts from resting in the assurance of GOD’s love and provision, the temptation to turn to the resources of this world, carnal knowledge, speculation, and reasoning, you sink into sin. All unbelief is sin. Only those that live by faith are justified.
So, we find the Church in the world living and loving like the world, and light of Christ is missing because the Church is reflecting the world back to the world instead of reflecting the Light of Christ. The light manifested from our transformation, from being crucified to this world with its values, reasonings, and fears, to being born again of faith in GOD with a renewed mind unto the glory of obedience. The glory of Christ life was the reflection of the Father whom He obeyed. The glory of our resurrected life is the light we bear through our obedience to the spirit of Christ within us. We have been called to show the world what new life looks like in the middle of everything happening around us today. Unfortunately, too often the Church is in despair with the faithless. Many Christians are wondering where is GOD in this? Faith it the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen. Instead of abiding in faith, many have allowed themselves at times to sink into what they don’t know. This leads to fighting, scratching, and clawing like the world in an effort to make it on their own. This is the path to worldliness, hating, stealing, lying, cheating, quitting, doubting, fearing.
We are called to be those who always know that GOD is faithful and true, and He never fails. As those who profess to have witnessed the love of GOD through Christ, we should always hold onto to the truth of the sure mercies of Christ. Realizing that He gave everything to save us, surrendering His life on the cross, allowing that knowledge to prevail over any uncertainty of heart, for why would He now withhold anything from us? The world should look at the Church and see the light of our confidence in GOD, through living in His Word and declaring truth while abiding in the joy and peace He has won for us.
What does resurrection life look like in a pandemic? What does resurrection life look like in racial tension? What does resurrection life look like in a system of injustice and inequality? What does resurrection life look like during a plague of hate and violence? We are called the body of Christ because we are called to embody His light. We should be reflecting the light and life of Christ. Satan tried to destroy Christ, but Christ wants to show the world He came back in greater power and magnitude? We are His witnesses. Called to be in the world to manifest His glory! These are the words of Christ prayed openly by Him openly for our encouragement.
“11 Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keepthrough Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are. 12 While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Your name. Those whom You gave Me I have kept; and none of them is lost except the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. 13 But now I come to You, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves. 14 I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 15 I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. 18 As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. 19 And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth. 20 “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; 21 that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. 22 And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: 23 I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.” (John 17:11-23 NKJV)
We have to turn back to GOD for the definition of life, prosperity, success, and joy. We have to realize that the world can’t fulfill us, it can’t love us or give us what we need. We have to stop seeking life from the things in this world, in other words, we have to die to the things of this world. This is the basis for the Apostle Paul professing, “God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.” (Galatians 6:14 KJV). We have to let go of the world’s views of success and happiness. As long as the world holds our treasures, the world holds our heart, and we are captive to it. We must cast down the lies of Satan that has been embedded in our minds through spiritual wickedness in high places.
“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” (1 John 2:15)
“If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.” (John 15:19)
Allow the word to become your standard in every area of your life. Free yourself from the values of this world. We should not have the faith of Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons ( James 2:1-9). If someone that has “D-R” before their name as in “doctor”, or if they are a Pastor of a mega-congregation church boasting 10,000 members should say something, then Christians are more apt to receive what they say based on the world’s standard of success, but they should be weighing what they say by the spirit of truth, as with any man regardless of his status in the world.
“26 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:
27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:” (1 Corinthians 1:26-28 KJV)
If we weigh things according to the values of this world we can miss GOD, just as they did when He was manifest in Christ. The Israelites were looking for the glory of King David, but Christ came as a humble servant.
We are called to be in the world but made of Christ. We are not just trying to be like Christ or imitate Him, His very spirit is seeking expression through us to manifest to the world, the Way, the Truth, and the Life.