Culture ShockHandbook 1: Article 39 - Who In The World Are You?

Christianity is a totally different way of living. If you have not found this to be true, if your life as a follower of Jesus has not shaken your world -- your values, ideas, hopes, dreams, lifestyle, plans for the future, self-esteem, then you have embraced something less than the faith Jesus came to proclaim. For the foundation and structure of the life in Christ is different than anything the world has to offer. To follow Jesus and become His disciple you must discard your previous existence, literally lose your life on earth while still physically living here. All the earthly things that have gained you the applause of your fellow man you will now find totally unimpressive to the Holy Spirit. He will beckon you to leave all this behind and follow Him into the spiritual world where your savior is King.

But to trust Him and follow is very disconcerting and frightening. No one really likes the new. Old situations, no matter how filled with difficulties, offer a measure of security. Old behavior patterns, no matter how destructive are predictable. We know how to function within the boundaries of our known existence. In the case of drastic change the uneasiness is sometimes overwhelming. We may wish to remain where we know our way around, in the old familiar places. But we cannot if we wish to follow Jesus. And any teaching that simply adds Christianity to our present situation to make us happier, more successful and prosperous, or healthier, is in error. Scripture tells us that to follow the world and its patterns will result in our ultimate destruction. To join in its workings and keep its values, trying to compromise and find some comfortable meeting place with Christian values is, to remain in darkness.

Christians are "called out" ones. The day comes for each of us when Jesus calls us as He did His disciples. He will lead us to a place where we must live by faith. One by one He will remove all the familiar props from our life, all those things that make us feel secure. He will destroy our earthly foundation and replace it with Himself. It will be a traumatic experience for us. It will shock us to the depths of our being. We will be tempted to turn back. We must realize that a tremendous event is occurring. As we follow Jesus in faith and obedience we are being transferred from the world kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light, from the power of Satan to the power of God. This is why the scriptures say that it is through much tribulation that we enter the kingdom of heaven. No wonder it is such a "shock".

MC

"I plead with you to give your bodies to God. Let them be a living sacrifice, holy -- the kind He can accept. When you think of what He has done for you, is this too much to ask? Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but be a new and different person with a fresh newness in all you do and think. Then you will learn from your own experience how His ways will really satisfy you."

Romans 12: 1, 2

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