Who are you? You are not of this world. If you are a born again believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, you have been born into a new world, a new order – the Kingdom of God, the Kingdom of Light, the Kingdom of His dear Son Jesus Christ. As such, you have become a king or a queen in His kingdom. You have access to everything Jesus is and everything Jesus has and everything Jesus does. It’s only a matter of whether or not you are going to get serious enough with Him to accept everything He has to offer.
There are so many Scriptures that remind us that we are in this world but not of it. There is a reason God wants us to constantly remind ourselves of this, the primary concept being that light has no fellowship with the dark. You see, God’s light has overcome the dark. We have been rescued from the kingdom of darkness and translated into the Kingdom of Light (Col. 1:13). Now if God has rescued us from something from which He obviously thought we needed rescuing, why would we embrace or return to its way of thinking and doing things? In other words, why would we listen to the ordinary thinking, or logic, or traditions of the old world?
Let’s just remind ourselves of some of these powerful Scriptures. “If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you (John 15:19).” Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place (John 18:36).” Praying for His disciples, Jesus said, “They are not of the world, even as I am not of it (John 17:16).” I absolutely love the entire seventeenth chapter of John. It brings me to tears. Can’t you just hear Jesus’ heart of love pouring out before the Father as He prays for His disciples and for all believers to come? I can’t help but place the entire Scripture here so that we can all get the full impact of what Jesus is saying.
John 17 (NIV) says:
I. Jesus Prays to Be Glorified
17 After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed:
“Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. 2 For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. 3 Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. 4 I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. 5 And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.
II. Jesus Prays for His Disciples
6 “I have revealed you[a] to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word. 7 Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you. 8 For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me. 9 I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours. 10 All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them. 11 I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of[b] your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one. 12 While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by[c] that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled.
13 “I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them. 14 I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. 15 My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. 17 Sanctify them by[d] the truth; your word is truth. 18 As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. 19 For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.
III. Jesus Prays for All Believers
20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— 23 I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.
24 “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.
25 “Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. 26 I have made you[e] known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”
Dear ones, words fail me as I try to summarize the beauty of Jesus’ heart for us and just why He wants us to stand apart from the world, to walk in the Light, to stick to His Word when we act and speak, to stand against the “evil one,” to realize our true identity in Him, and to fulfill His true destiny for each of us. He doesn’t want us to look anything like the world, and we don’t have to! Jesus’ whole heart is to glorify the Father, to protect us from the world, to give us His glory, to impart into us His fullness of joy, to empower us with His Name! See His love for us dear brothers and sisters!
Why would we want to be part of the world or its way of doing things! Why would we care whether the world agrees with the way we do things or sees the logic in our way of behaving! When the world tempts you to agree with its tradition or mindset, stop! Question what you are doing and why! Don’t just go through the motions! Don’t just mindlessly say, “Well, that’s the way I was taught to do it. That’s what we did in my family. That’s what everyone else does or thinks. That’s what the doctors, or the lawyers, or the politicians, or the teachers, or my family, or my friends think. That’s the norm.” Evaluate every situation. Does what I am doing in this situation agree with the Word? Does it shed God’s light? Does it bring His peace? Does it share His joy? Does it bring Him glory? Does it show that I am devoted to Him and not just the blessing or thrill or fun that agreeing with the world might temporarily bring? So many times, what the world has to offer looks like so much fun; it may bring us immediate happiness, or excitement, or adventure, or an “escape,” but we all are called to think and look deeper than that. The enticements of the world do not bring the long-term blessings, rewards, and joy of doing things God’s way. They do not bring us the fullness of all that walking in God’s Kingdom and Light has to offer.
Let’s have the same heart that Jesus has for us. Be willing to be sanctified by the truth of the Word (v. 17-19). Let’s do the work He has given us to do (v. 4). By our actions, by our words, by our lives, by our separateness, by our uniqueness, let us minister to the world as Jesus did. We can’t do it by becoming like the world. You don’t save an alcoholic by becoming one. You don’t pull someone up out of a pit by crawling in with him or her. You don’t help someone who sees themselves as a victim to become an overcomer by joining in his or her pity party. You can’t pull someone out of sin by telling them it is o.k. You do it by offering them strength, love but not always agreement, and sometimes it might hurt initially. Be the difference someone needs to hear or see. We have to be willing to stand out, willing to disagree but to love, willing to be persecuted but to forgive. These are the end times, and it is our job to reveal Jesus to a world that is drawing farther and farther away from God and His ways. The only way for the world to notice is for us to look different by relentlessly standing on the Word (v. 6-8)! When we do that, we access all that God has for us and for those around us!
Take the challenge and glorify God!
If you have never made Jesus the Lord of your life and desire to, pray this: Dear God, I believe that Jesus is your Son, that He died on the cross for me and was resurrected for my redemption. I choose to make Jesus the Lord of my life. I thank you for forgiving me and for filling me with Your Holy Spirit. I thank You that I am Your child, that You are my Father, and that You have great things planned for me. Amen