[notice]A monthly column by farmer, preacher and writer for Jesus, Angus Buchan[/notice]
Just recently I have been so really challenged by the Lord to live a life of holiness. Holiness is the end product of obedience and in Hebrews 12:14 the Bible says “without holiness, no man will see God.” All of us are influenced by other people, at one time or another, and we need to be careful that we do not find ourselves, as believers, in a place of compromise (knowing better than what we are doing) just because other Christians are there.
Before I became a believer, I would see people who call themselves Christians, hands raised and shouting Hallelujah all the time, praying for sinners and telling folk that they need to get their lives right, me included and I knew for a fact that some of these guys were so lazy they did not even hold down a job, nor did they provide for their families needs. Other people did. I remember often going home and saying to my wife “If that is a Christian, I think I will get to heaven before they do.” Can you imagine me standing one day, before the Lord, saying “Lord, I didn’t follow You because I thought I lived better than that guy who calls himself a Christian.” You see, we need to follow Jesus and not other believers. Just because the majority of Christians are doing something, that doesn’t mean its right. We sometimes need to be like that live fish that swims against the current, not like the dead fish that flows with it.
I have never understood why so many young Christians want to live as close as possible to the ways of this world. They seem to be so taken up with this world’s lifestyle, fashions, how they look and what they have. We are not of this world and our priorities should differ greatly. It’s who we are, not what we look like that matters the most. God looks at the heart of a man, not the colour of his skin, the clothes that he wears, name brand or not. So we should, too, and the peace joy and love of God should be evident in our lives so that other people can see the Lord in us.
Eternity awaits us
However, we do need to live a balanced lifestyle. We need to work, to sleep, to eat, spend time with family and friends, braaing or playing sport, exercising and enjoying our hobbies. But we also need to remember that it’s not all about the “here and now”. Eternity awaits us and that is the believer’s forever home, so we need rather to have Jesus’ heart for this world. Jesus told His disciples to go into all the world and tell people about His salvation for all men.
If we live as this world lives and are passionate about what they are, how can we be seen to be different as Christians? 1 John 6:6 says, “Godliness with contentment is great gain.” It’s strange, but there seems to be more Christian books written recently about food, health and diets than about eternal life and Jesus’ return, and that concerns me greatly. Revival is so needed in this world.
We do still as believers struggle with our flesh, our selfish desires and self-centredness. Even Paul the apostle spoke of that in his own life in Romans 7 verses 19-24. If we desire to be holy as God is Holy we need to start to become separated into the Lord, desiring to be walking in His plans and purposes for us and choosing daily to be faithful and obedient to His Word.
One day, we will see Him face to face, not because we are good people but because we are believers who have served Him and been in this world, brave and strong and true to the Gospel of Salvation and Jesus our Lord.