In the world, and yet not of it

“But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables Him even to subject all things to Himself.” – Philippians 3:20-21

Do you ever feel like this world is completely against you? Like no one, I mean no one cares? Or do you ever look around you and feel like your life is pointless? Have you ever asked yourself why am I doing this? Why does it really matter?

As Christians, we are always going to be oppressed by the world. Satan, his minions, and the world hate us because we oppose them. Everything within us that is Christian appalls the world.

Some Christians don’t like this at all. They don’t like being oppressed. They much prefer being liked.This is where the problems begin because you have to ask yourself who am I on this earth to please: the world or God?

You cannot serve both. You cannot do the things of the world, you cannot take on forms of worldliness and still be a true follower of Christ.

Now, you might be asking, “Ok, well what are things of this world?” After all, you do live here on planet earth. You don’t really have any options there. You must live, learn, work, eat, sleep, exercise, communicate all within the world. Unless you die, there is no alternative to living on planet earth right smack in the middle of all the worldliness.

Remember this: God created the world and everything in it. Sin was brought in through the fall of man, and ever since we have been paying the price of Adam’s disobedience.

While we have to live in the world, we do not have to live of the world. Our time here on earth is simply a passing point for us. Our goal is heaven, for like the verse said above, that is where our citizenship as Christians lie.

So what could be labeled as living “of the world”?
Lovers of self – Self-centered behavior.
Lovers of the flesh – a constant desire to gratify your flesh desires
Jealousy and envy – lack of contentment
Strife – constant discordance with people
Anger – for no reason, you always feel anger about something
Lovers of Money – you can never seem to get enough of it. Yes, you need money to live, but when the gain of it consumes your every thought, it has become an idol in your life.
Pride – this is a huge one because we could be prideful and not even realize it
Arrogance – enough said
Ungratefulness – this is prevalent in today’s society with the spread of people thinking they should get something for nothing
Heartless – not caring what happens to others around you
Lacking self-control/self discipline in all manners of living
Sexual Promiscuity
Homosexuality
Sexual Immorality
a perverse and crude tongue – remember what comes out of your mouth reflects whats on your mind and in your heart
Gossip – yes, even something like gossip is keeping you locked into the world.
and the list goes on.

The above is an overwhelming list, for I am sure you are guilty of many of the things on it. I know I am. I’m human. We have all fallen short, but through God’s grace and mercy, and through our desires to please Him, we can overcome these things. You CANNOT however, willingly continue to do these things and continue to say that you are truly seeking God. Either your desire for the world or your desire for God is going to be greater.

“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” – Matthew 6:24

Your devotion cannot be split between God and the world. Either you will aspire to the things of God, or you will lower yourself to the things of the world and worldly pursuits. The choice is yours.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and its desires.” – Galatians 5:22-24

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