My friend Mark recently linked an article to a Facebook post that really got me to thinking. I thought I would share a few thoughts with you. The article was in Charismanews, titled Sex Symbols Who Speak in Tongues, by Michael Brown. You can read the article here http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/38090-sex-symbols-who-speak-in-tongues. I have grown uncomfortable with the influence of the world on the church. I believe that the early disciples understood the need to be a light and voice in the world, willing to stand for Christ no matter what the cost. As I sit in my comfortable chair, in my well equipped office I am challenged by the question, “what is the Gospel costing me?” Am I too comfortable and thereby willing to “soften” the demands of true discipleship in order to feel good about myself, or attract more people to church, or feel comfortable? The idea that we can “dabble” in the ways of the world and still be a follower of Christ is contrary to the Gosepl of Jesus Christ. Jesus, in speaking to His disciples (followers) said, “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.” John 15:18,19 (NIV) . As a fervent follower of the Gospel of Jesus Christ the Apostle Paul says that we are not “to conform any longer to the pattern of this world…” Romans 12:2a (NIV) . As I read it, and as I understand it, the ways of this world are often contrary to the Gospel. To be a true follower I cannot visit strip clubs while rapping about Jesus, or take on roles that would sexually objectify the woman and man that God created. These would seem to me to be pretty obvious examples of a carnal approach to being a follower of Christ.
With that I want to bring it back into my kitchen so to speak. The reason is that is awfully easy to evaluate our own following by looking at others. We get a kind of spiritual self-satisfaction when we hear of the way “some people” follow, as cited in the article. And there’s the issue, “spiritual self-satisfaction”. It really isn’t about Jesus, it is really about me. When I am driving down the road, listening to praise music on the radio, and call another driver an idiot … am I following correctly? When I have just finished praying to Jehovah Jireh and then bemoan my fate at not having enough ______ (you fill in the blank) am I really following Him and giving myself up?
True following comes when we move intentionally and purposefuuly through this world with our heart, mind, and soul fixed firmly on Jesus. Our measure is in how much more we are being transformed into His likeness, how our character reflects His, how our actions reflect that transformation.
Rise up church and be unafraid to stand for Jesus. Do not desire the applause of this world but instead desire that this world would see Jesus in you! That is my goal …to image Him more and more each day!