Perhaps the most difficult thing the Lord ever did was to leave His people in the world with the clear expectation that they were not to become of the world (John 17:6-19). As disciples we must be human enough to touch hurting people. At the same time, we must remain strong enough to fully obey our Father. Sometimes this discipleship thing seems humanly impossible. I know I sure struggle with it. But maybe that is the point. The struggle I mean. And the part about it not being humanly possible.

Living in the world is the easy part. It certainly doesn’t take much effort to be a self-centered, hedonistic clod. But who wants to be a clod?

Isolating ourselves from the world is an attractive alternative, isn’t it? It is relatively easy to hide, lock the doors, and have no contact with the outside world. No mess, no hassle, and no offensive smell. Besides, it makes our little church look better when none of “them” are hanging around.

But how are we to obey the Lord’s desire for His people? How can we possibly remain IN the world and not become OF the world? I certainly don’t claim to have it all figured out; however, here are some Truths from God’s Word that I think will help us as we struggle to find the necessary balance (they help me in my walk):

  • We are made holy by the blood of Christ—NOT by our neurotic, obsessive religiosity (the power is in the Cross of Christ).
  • God is NOT counting our mistakes against us—our faith, as demonstrated by our struggle to remain “in Christ,” keeps us safe (the power is in the Cross of Christ).
  • Christ defeated sin on our behalf—He is our victory (the power is in the Cross of Christ).
  • We will never become strong enough to overcome sin—we MUST learn to trust Him and His victory on our behalf (the power is in the Cross of Christ).

We struggle against sin. As we learn to lean on Christ’s victory, we are becoming stronger. We are becoming more like Him. We are becoming more and more fit for our heavenly home with our Father.

Sin has already been destroyed; perhaps now we should learn to appreciate the relatively brief struggle that will teach us to hate sin as much as He hates sin and that will keep us faithful to Him throughout all eternity.