Thursday, September 19, 2019

Being Different Makes The Difference

As I begin this post let me say that absolutely no one is perfect. No one is flawless. I am so grateful that we don't have to be flawless to be in right standing with God. So as you read this, please understand that this post is not about NOT making mistakes. It is not about not measuring up. It's simply about following Jesus as a disciple of His, and being different.

Understanding that we are not perfect, we must also grasp that as Christians we are very different. First, we are different from the way we were. And second, we are very different from the world. One who is a follower of Jesus is different. The Spirit of God in us makes us different. As a matter of fact, one who claims to be a Christian and is not different may not be a true follower of Jesus. It's that simple. In order to be a follower of Jesus one must be different.

When I completely turned my life over to Jesus He made me  different. I knew it. I acted differently. I began to talk differently. I began to live differently. And even though I was convinced I was different, those around me also clearly saw the difference. My family witnessed the change. My friends witnessed that I was different. I was different from the world. I lost some of my friends, however God gave me new friends that were different from the world too! The flow of my life was different from the world. Did you catch the keyword there: different!

I see a world full of Believers coerced by the world to live like the world. So many Believers are addicted to entertainment. Entertainment in itself is not bad. It's the addiction that concerns me. A Christian life addicted to entertainment is numb to the Spirit of God, and thus numb to deep spiritual needs.

What I don't see are generations being raised up to be sold out to Jesus Christ. I don't see many Christian parents who require their children (from a very early age) to read, study, memorize, and quote the Scripture; to pray fervently to God, regardless of their youth. To be sold out to Jesus is to be different. Being different will impact our life at a time. Listen to Jesus. "If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me." (Luke 9:23) Following Jesus diligently makes us different. One who denies self is different from one who lives for self (and  the world).

Jesus has done His part. He came and bore ALL of our sins. He came and removed our guilt. When we truly choose to surrender our lives to Him, we become new creatures in Him. Our part is to embrace the difference, and follow hard after Him. It is impossible to change the world if we live for the world, and thus blend in to the world.

When people look at you, do they see someone who is different? Or do they see someone who is friendly with the world, but goes to church occasionally? When Jesus came, He was different. The way He came was different. His life was different. He didn't conform to the standards of religion and legalism. Instead of blending in with the world He testified against the world. He was different because He was from another world, not this one.

The truth is, if you are born again of the Spirit of are different. You will know you are different. But it is your responsibility to embrace the difference. God's power is in the difference, not in the similarities to the world. Jesus went against the flow of this world. As a result, He changed the world. That is what He called you and me to do.

Our world has gone crazy in these last days. Jesus said, "Because lawlessness is increased, most people's love will grow cold." (Matthew 12:24) This is so evident through all forms of news and social media. To stand up and live out loud for Jesus Christ today means your very existence screams out against the ways of the world. The Apostle Paul said, "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect." (Romans 12:2) You are the one whom God has chosen to reveal His will to the world you live in. And that happens only when you and I resist the flow of this world, and live for Him, no matter the cost! You can do it!