For those of us who were lucky enough to attend Hume Lake, this month got off to an amazing start. There is nothing better than getting away from the busyness of life for a week and dedicating your time to growing closer with God. While Hume lake is awesome, there is always a challenging time when we have to leave the mountaintop experience and come back home.
The reason this transition is difficult is because at Hume lake we are surrounded by like-minded people who daily push and encourage us to follow Jesus and pursue deeper relationship with God, but when we come back home we re-enter a world that pulls us in the opposite direction. As Christians the question that we all face is How do we live as Christians in a Non-christian world? How do we persist in following God when the world around us tempts us to live for ourselves?
To answer this very important question we turn our attention to the story of Daniel. Daniel’s story is closely related to ours, as a captive living in a foreign land Daniel was daily faced with the pressure to forsake his God and follow the way of the world around him. When we look at our own situation, we can directly relate to this cultural pressure that tempts us to leave the God we know and love. Recognizing the difficulty of our situation, the question remains: “How do we resist the pressures of this world?”
An important thing to always remember is that God gives us the strength we we need to resist the temptations and pressures of this world. In Ephesians 2:1-5, Paul describes to us how we at one time were hopeless to resist the world. We at one time were slaves to sin, destined to walk in the ways of darkness because thats all we knew, but while we were still dead in our sin Jesus gave us life. Through his death Jesus conquered sins power, he broke the chains that bound us to death and through his resurrection showed us the path to life. This is a powerful truth that we must grasp and hold onto as we face the daily struggles of this life.
To illustrate this amazing truth, we can picture this world as a river. At one time we were powerless to fight the current and temptations that pulled us down. We were dead in our sin and as the saying goes “dead fish flow downstream”. Because of his great love for us, Jesus made us alive, Jesus gave us the power to resist the current. This is incredible, we were made alive, but we must recognize that we are still in the river. We are not immune to the worlds temptations and pressures. We have been given the ability to resist but we must choose to do so. If we do not focus on intentionally pursuing Jesus, we will find ourself drifting with the current.
Recognizing that we must begin to intentionally choose the right path is good, but there is one other question: “In the decisions and choices we daily make, how do we know which path is right and which path is wrong?” Whenever we have a question or concern about the direction we are heading in this life there should be one place we always turn to, Gods Word.
Matt Chandler described this truth beautifully, he states ““The word of God is essential to the daily, ongoing life of a believer. If God’s message is not deep inside you, where you can meditate on it, return to it, and frequently call it back to mind, you wont be able to discern whats the true and right path from what may be an intriguing detour into this world thats no longer your home.”
It is essential that we learn and meditate on these truths if we want to live a life that goes against the flow of this world,. We will constantly need to remind ourselves of the power Jesus gives us over sin and the necessity of relying on His Word to guide us through our everyday lives.