In the World — Not of the World

John 17:15-16 My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.  They are not of the world, even as I am not of it.

It wasn’t until I was 21 that I entirely dedicated myself to the full reading of God’s word. Over the course of a year, I sat down with my Bible and read it front to back. Pressing into the Lord was necessary at that time. I waited 10 months to marry my fiancé who lived more than 8,000 miles away. 

It was during that study of Genesis, the Lord made me choose. Was I to believe the stories in Genesis to be true actual accounts of history? Or just a moral guideline? The Lord enabled me to submit to the authority of His word, as complete truth. After this commitment, history of mankind started to make sense to me. I embarked on seeing the world through a Biblical lens, discerning between truth and human theory.  

This wasn’t blind faith, but educated understanding. The genealogical records in Genesis among other books of the Bible are so precise, even tedious. Every person in one genealogical line is mentioned by name and age, including how old the fathers were upon their son’s births. By this we can only determine all these people, to be factual and historical. Conclusively, Adam and Eve created from dust, and the 7-day Creation accounts are also solid truth. 

Straying from the authority of God’s word began in the garden, when Adam and Eve doubted. They had God’s word to protect them, yet disregarded it. Their sin brought death and destruction into the perfect world God created. (Genesis 3) 

If we say, “Did God really say… does He really mean…” we follow in the footsteps of the father of lies. (John 8:44) A small child naturally listens to their father. Who we listen to, generally illustrates who our Father or father is.

If we define truth by perception, we create our own standard of morality. We create our own god or basically become our own god. (Isaiah 53:6) The opposite of defining truth for ourselves is accepting God’s Word as truth. Jesus prays for us in His next breath from today’s verse, “Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.” And thus we combat lies with God’s Word of truth. (John 17:17, 2 Corinthians 10:5)

Since the first sin, sinfulness of the human wayward soul continues through all generations. (Romans 5:12) Though some walked with God, none were perfect. (Romans 3:23) God’s people, the Israelites, fell into sin time and time again. They envied the peoples around them, who were sinners, instead of fixing their eyes and desires on God alone.

It wasn’t just the Israelites who lived immersed in sinful culture. We too, live in this fallen world. Being surrounded by sin, is the way of this earth. 

This is why today’s verse applies so well to us. Jesus is not from this world, but He created it. (John 1:1-3) He entered into it, (John 1:14) and overcame it (John 16:33).

Born into Christ, we die to our old self and now live in Him. (Galatians 2:20)
God is our Father, and guides us to be like Him. (2 Corinthians 3:18)

While sin originates in every heart, victory comes through Christ. (James 1:14, Romans 7:21-25, 1 Corinthians 15:57) This victory comes in a; then, now and future state.

Today’s verse goes right along with the principal God gave the Israelites. Don’t be like the nations around you, in their wicked and detestable practices of idolatry. Be in the world, but not of the world. We live here temporarily, for our forever home is with Christ who is seated above. (Colossians 3:1-10) That’s where our focus needs to be. (1 Corinthians 7:32)

Paul wrestled with the thought of leaving to be with Jesus, or staying for the sake of the gospel. (Philippians 1:20-26) And so, he trusted God’s timing on his departure. Until then, he trusted the Holy Spirit to keep him. We can be encouraged by this ‘bound for heaven’ attitude. For in Christ, we are not of this world.

As we grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, He guides us. (2 Peter 3:18) Our passion and desires begin to align with God’s will, being heralds of His purpose, to seek and save the lost.

Dear Heavenly Father, what a privilege to be aliens in this world. We praise You, for You deliver us from slavery to sin and death. You made us Your agents to the lost. Refocus our minds and hearts to represent Christ more fully. Enable us to hunger and thirst for the fulfillment of our sanctification and of those around us. ~Amen

Are you a disciple of Christ? Read and receive encouragement and power through Jesus’ prayer for His Disciples in John 17:6-19.

See a previous blog, “It is written”