Christians are citizens of two worlds: God’s kingdom and the world we live in. Sometimes it is a struggle to balance out these two. We don’t want to be worldly yet we are meant to live to the fullest. How should we balance life and faith?
It’s important to note that the secular world does not necessarily mean an atheistic world. The secular world is a world that has no special religious connotation. C.S. Lewis has stated “Christianity was never intended to replace human arts or sciences: it is rather a director which will set them all to the right jobs.” That guides us to see faith as a director which will set our lives on the right course. When we keep God as #1 in our lives we are on the right path.
“If anyone hears what I am saying and doesn’t take it seriously, I don’t reject him. I didn’t come to reject the world; I came to save the world. But you need to know that whoever puts me off, refusing to take in what I’m saying, is willfully choosing rejection. The Word, the Word-made-flesh that I have spoken and that I am, that Word and no other is the last word. I’m not making any of this up on my own. The Father who sent me gave me orders, told me what to say and how to say it. And I know exactly what his command produces: real and eternal life. That’s all I have to say. What the Father told me, I tell you.” (John 12: 47-50, MSG)
The danger to our faithful living is not (only) caused by atheists or the secular world. The battle is held within Christians. Do we believe that God is distant and powerless? Or do we believe in a loving, powerful, and personal God who is actively present in our lives? Do we reject God? Or do we embrace what He is doing in our lives?
Don’t fool yourself. Don’t think that you can be wise merely by being up-to-date with the times. Be God’s fool—that’s the path to true wisdom. What the world calls smart, God calls stupid. It’s written in Scripture,
He exposes the chicanery of the chic.
The Master sees through the smoke screens
of the know-it-alls.
(1 Cor. 3: 18-20, MSG)
In order to be able to balance life and faith we need to put our beliefs in action. If we actively practice our faith the secular world is not a threat to us. It’s the world God created for us. It’s the world where we are called to engage and serve. At its best faith guides us to make wise, godly decisions. At its best faith keeps us focused on God and gives us kingdom perspective for living.
Don’t love the world’s ways. Don’t love the world’s goods. Love of the world squeezes out love for the Father. Practically everything that goes on in the world—wanting your own way, wanting everything for yourself, wanting to appear important—has nothing to do with the Father. It just isolates you from him. The world and all its wanting, wanting, wanting is on the way out—but whoever does what God wants is set for eternity. (1 John 2: 15-17, MSG)
When we live in union with Christ, the world is not a threat to us. But if God is not #1 in our lives the values of the world start creeping on us. Slowly but surely self-centered behavior isolates us from God.
Let’s not fool ourselves. We are fully dependent on Christ! But if we take Jesus seriously, a new power is at work in our lives. When we daily surrender to God, we lead balanced lives by God’s grace. When we are God’s fools, grace empowers us to make a difference in the world. And suddenly our lives are full of meaning, joy, and peace. Not by our own doing. But by God’s grace.
We want balanced lives
but we are looking into wrong places.
Only YOU have the words of eternal life!
We surrender to you!
Come and be #1 in our lives!
Change what needs to be changed.
Show us how to live balanced lives.
Empower us to serve YOU by serving others.
In Jesus’ name,
Q4U: Do you find it difficult to lead a faith-filled lifestyle in today’s world? How do you balance life and faith?
Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you boldly live your faith out day by day!
Image courtesy of Jeff Brown. Linking up today with What’s on Your Heart Tuesdays & One Word at a Time: Secular Blog Carnival.
Bloggers: note a prayer blog hop “Weekend Prayer Wall” at Flowing Faith every weekend!