People throughout history have often asked themselves the question, “What is my place in this world?” Since Adam and Eve’s fall in the Garden of Eden, humanity has been separated from God. However, in every person there is an inner longing to be part of something greater than ourselves, a higher purpose. People may pursue this purpose by doing charitable works, education, reading self-help books or taking up a social cause. While these pursuits are not inherently bad in themselves, apart from a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, they will not draw us closer to God. It is in a relationship with Christ and the study of the Bible where we begin to find our true identity and purpose. For the Christian, our place in the current world is to live our lives for Christ, proclaim His truth, and help bring others into His kingdom.
Before his trial and crucifixion, Jesus prayed this prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane:
“I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of this world, even as I am not of the world. I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so I have sent them into the world.” (John 17:14-18, KJV).
Romans 12:2 reminds us that we need to renew our minds with God’s Word that we may know God’s will for us. It is also through the Word that we come to know that this world is only temporary and we should be looking for our heavenly home, as did the fathers of our faith.
“These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth…But now they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for He hath prepared for them a city.” (Hebrews 11:13, 16, KJV).
As Christians, our focus should not be on pursuing worldly goals, but pursuing God and His kingdom as Jesus mentioned in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 6:33). We should not walk with one foot in the world and one foot with God. We are to be all in for God. If we are not careful, we can allow ourselves to be overtaken by the things of this present world and become “worldly Christians,” whereby we proclaim the Name of Christ, but live as the secular world lives.
Chasing after the world can put us at odds with God
“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in Him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever.” (1 John 2:15-17, KJV).
“Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” (James 4:4, KJV).
The pursuit of worldly things causes us to be unfruitful in our Christian walk
“He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word: and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word and he becometh unfruitful.” (Matthew 13:22, KJV).
“For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16:26, KJV).
We must not allow ourselves to be polluted by this present world
“According as His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” (2 Peter 1:3-4, KJV).
“That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world.” (Philippians 2:15, KJV).
We must live our lives for Christ and His blessed hope
“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20, KJV).
“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” (Titus 2:11-14, KJV).
The world is discouraging and growing more embittered with each passing day until the return of our Savior Jesus Christ. Brothers and sisters, we must continue to pursue God and walk in His ways despite of the increasing wickedness of this present world. Do not let your love grow cold. Do not allow the world to beat you down. May the God of grace and peace be with you all.