Not of This World
“You are going to be in bed with a fever for 6 days,” the nurse recently said to me.
I woke up last Wednesday with what I knew was the flu. Out of desperation, knowing in just two days I had a retreat to attend, I went to the doctor. The doctor confirmed what I already knew. The nurse told me just how long it would take to recover.
“I can see how people end up in the hospital,” I murmured to Colby on Wednesday in the middle of my misery. But, by Thursday I was back to 80%, making what seemed like a miraculous recovery within 24 hours. No fever. No aches. No misery. Congestion and fatigue still, yes. Rest was still needed, but as Colby said on Thursday, “I am glad to have my wife back.” I think he was referring to my silliness and loud voice that had been silenced the day before.
What the world had told me, including friends, Google and the doctors contradicted what I knew to be true. As with most things the world’s opinion of my diagnosis and the truth from the Word of God varied vastly.
I knew I didn’t have be in bed with a fever for a week, because the blood of Jesus speaks a better word over my body. The truth from Isaiah 53:5, that the stripes of Jesus paid for my healing was just as true for the flu as it was 2,000 years ago. I knew God’s Word had power and that I had authority over my diagnosis and doctor’s report.
Colby knew I didn’t have to succumb to the diagnosis either. Which is why he gathered a book on healing prayers and a cup of communion, both of which were waiting for me on our end table.
But why was I getting such a negative, fear-filled response regarding my diagnosis, even from Christians?
Whether it’s sickness, relationship problems, a financial situation or something completely different, the way we respond and react to every situation should be different than the rest of the world.
Yet why is that how we live as Christians looks exactly the same as the rest of the world? Why would we expect the flu to linger and take us out for weeks? Why do we have no hope when facing a hopeless situation? Why do we assume the relationship can’t be reconciled when we know the great restorer? Why do we think, speak and act as though the payment Jesus made on the cross meant nothing for us?
You and I are not of this world. We aren’t living in darkness anymore, we have been elevated to live in the light. That should in turn affect how we think, how we speak, what we watch, how we treat others and how we approach every decision we make. It should affect every facet of life, but does it?
There are so many verses on this topic. It’s hard to narrow it down, but here are a few verses that simply state how we are not of this world:
“If we claim that we share life with him, but keep walking in the realm of darkness, we’re fooling ourselves and not living the truth.” 1 John 1:6
“They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny them.” Titus 1:16
“I have given them your message and that is why the unbelieving world hates them. For their allegiance is no longer to this world because I am not of this world. I am not asking that you remove them from the world, but I ask that you guard their hearts from evil, For they no longer belong to this world any more than I do.” John 17:14-16
“Little children, you can be certain that you belong to God and have conquered them, for the One who is living in you is far greater than the one who is in the world.” 1 John 4:4
“Don’t set the affections of your heart on this world or in loving the things of the world. The love of the Father and the love of the world are incompatible. For all that the world can offer us—the gratification of our flesh, the allurement of the things of the world, and the obsession with status and importance —none of these things come from the Father but from the world.This world and its desires are in the process of passing away, but those who love to do the will of God live forever.” 1 John 2:15-16
Romans 12:2 also tells us “not to conform to the pattern of this world.” Are we as Christians conforming to the world? It seems like it when we think it’s okay that half naked ladies dance during a halftime show. Or when we believe the doctor report over God’s Word. What about when we allow fear to control how we view the future for our nation? Or when we doubt that the Lord will provide for our financial needs?
It just doesn’t seem like the light to me. It seems that Christians have in fact, conformed to the pattern of the world and are choosing to live in the dark, instead of light. I am not pointing the finger, I am bringing this up because I myself have been convicted. I will be first in line to say that my life often looks like a reflection of the darkness too.
Why aren’t we living out the mandate God gave us, to live on earth as it is in Heaven? Why are we living in the darkness instead of the light? I definitely don’t have the answers, but perhaps one of the reasons is we don’t know what God’s Word says? Or maybe it’s that our affections have been set on this world? I’m not sure what it is, but I know this, it’s not what God intended.
Which leads me to remind you and I of this, we are not of this world. And if following Christ isn’t affecting every facet of our lives, then we are doing something wrong. We are missing the point. We are living in the dark, not the light that was provided and promised. And this bothers me. I hope it bothers you too.
What does ”not living in this world” mean to you? How does it affect your every day life? Do you live just like the world lives or do you live in the light and truth? Does the way you approach your health, finances, job, family, city, government and everything else reflect Christ?