Sunday, August 30, 2009

Against The Flow...

It is never easy to be "out of place" in a certain crowd. You would stand different form the rest of the people that surrounds you and there's a very big chance of getting ridiculed by what you're standing out for. It may just be very simple daily things that we tend to be different about but it's never easy to be in the position. I remember Legally Blonde Part 1 where Elle Woods, the main character, went to a party dressed up as a bunny while the rest of the crowd came in their casual clothes. Everybody was stunned and was practically laughing at her. It is never easy to be different from the rest.

When we come to think about it in a deeper sense, though, christians were called by God to be set apart - different, form the rest of the world. We ought to look at ourselves and see if we look like the world, smell like the world, walk and talk like the world or live like the world. We need to examine ourselves if we are going WITH the flow of the world or if we're running AGAINST the flow. Becoming "counter-culture", so to say. Are you different? Is the world laughing (sometimes snickering) AT you? Or are you laughing WITH the world?

If we really profess ourselves to be "CHRISTIANS" or "Christ-like" there has to be a point in our lives where we would already feel out of place in this world. The norms of society will no longer be something we would enjoy. The currents of the way of the world will already have to be flowing against us, not with us.

I am so blessed today to have the chance to absorb Romans 12:1-2 in a new light. The bible speaks of no longer conforming to the world. If we no longer conform into something we are already going against the flow. You see, our culture today is going down the drain and if we don't stand up and go against its flow we will definitely find ourselves in the sewer sooner or later. I am blessed to have learned of this today. Our culture is the expression of our heart... and just look at what our reflection is these days:

Death -- talk about abortion as an option a woman can consider! And didn't Jesus tell us that if we harbor HATE in our hearts that's exactly the same as killing somebody?
Debt -- we crave and crave for more even if it means we loan and swipe our credit cards here and there.
Divorce -- we no longer fight for what God has given to us! One taste of the fire and we're out of there.
Detestable Behavior -- we've grown apathetic to the things that God hate: idolatry, adultery, homosexuality, sexual immorality, drunkenness...
Unbelief -- we tend to disregard the fact that there is a God in heaven who created everything with His word... and we exchange that with a belief in a theory that explains we come from monkeys?!
Deceit -- too much striving for "Mine, Mine and Mine!" and we all want "Our Best Life Now!" Can't you see deception is already the name of the game?
Individualism -- and there's the brainwashing of "You being the one in-charge of your life." It's a one-man/one-woman game. "I am my own master, I make my own life." (What ever happened to the sovereignty of God?)
Dishonoring God - we no longer consider the things of God and His commands and instructions to us in the bible. Are we ashamed to say grace in public? Are we afraid to talk about Christ and His love? Do we feel ashamed to tell our friends we actually READ our bible and not just display it? Are we drowned in the humdrum of life that we no longer appreciate our God for waking us up this morning?

Aaahhh... the reflections of our hearts indeed. So sad... yet, so true. Let us then allow the Word to sink into our lives:

"Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. 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 12:1-2)

Are you ready to go against the flow? It's not easy... it never will be and if you do it with your own strength you WILL fail. But take heart, for the bible gives us our hope as God gives us His promise...
"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."  
(2 Corinthians 12:9)

(Lessons learned are courtesy of Pastor Ray Cox of First Baptist Church , Pearland, TX)

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