Do not collect likes, do not open new deposits, do not worry about the climate change or what will be fashionable in the fall – all this will pass.
Is it possible to live in this world and not belong to it at the same time? If so, is it possible to enjoy life to the fullest?
Many people today are looking for an alternative to the short-lived fast-paced life. Slow life, mindfulness, zero waste, return to nature, herbal medicine, being more than having. They noticed that something is wrong with this world, their soul does not harmonize with its rhythm. Yet even that will not bring fullness yet.
It was 2006. I was walking down the promenade to one of the Greek island ports at night. I struggled through the crowd of people having fun – they came out of the nearby disco into the streets and continued to play; drunk, others on drugs, women kissing other women passionately and men grabbing other men by the crotch. Women picked up their blouses over and over again and presented themselves topless. And among them a few stray little girls – I noticed them because they wore neon, glittering bracelets on their wrists. They melted into the crowd and danced their way.
– God. I paused and looked at it all again. – This is Sodom and Gomorrah. I said to my companion.
– Ivona, what do you want ?! After all, people are having fun! He replied carelessly, not understanding what the problem is.
And then I realized he was actually right. It was normal fun for the people of the world. There was no space in it for me anymore. And so I chose that. This is what happened in me when God gave me a new identity – His.
Stupid to the world
If you are an unbeliever (or you cannot define yourself yet), you have probably wondered what these Christians are and are sticking to it so hard ?! On the other hand, if you are a spirit-born Christian, you may have felt misunderstood and lonely in your views or lifestyle more than once. Do not be surprised – both sides: a spiritual man will never understand a carnal man. Paul was right in saying:
For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. (1 Corinthians 1: 18)
I also did not understand people who saw the point in reading the Bible, not going to discos, denying themselves so much pleasure, and there were others who did not feel sorry for it at all! And who didn’t worry too much! And when I go deeper and take them aside, it turned out more than once that they had used all the benefits of this world before.
They also had problems typical of humanity; diseases, family, financial and living problems – but they did not worry about them as before * and did not solve them as before *
Before – that is, when they did not know Yeshua Hamashiach. Before that, they were people of the world, living by world standards.
Such people are usually ridiculed, Considered ancient, naive, living a fairy tale. Who in the 21st century believes that Jesus will heal them ?! Either help him buy a new car or run a business meeting? Or that He even exists ?!
Well – they say – I respect it! (Be that harmless, self-flagellation Christian yourself, but make way for those who really have something to say.)
I, on the other hand, got to know a God who knows the realities in which we all live and answers in his own way:
For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel—not with wisdom and eloquence, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power. For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.For it is written:
“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;
the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”
Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe.Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles,but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.
(1 Corinthians 1, 17-25)
And then on:
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:2)
And for me, all the attractions that this world has to offer have faded, no longer have any meaning.
Not at all. As a born hedonist, willing to try everything, reaching for so many things, so many moments, impressions, one day I accepted a simple truth:
For this world in its present form is passing away. (1 Corinthians 1, 7-31)
I was born again, I look at everything with different eyes. And what has been seen will not be unseen.
For this reason, I do not read popular magazines, because I lack God’s spirit there and feel unsatisfied.
I will not go to an „ordinary” psychologist – because we will not understand each other. I would choose a psychologist after God’s heart, because only one would understand what I am really talking about.
I do not take motivational speakers’ lectures to myself, because when they talk about the dangers of the economic crisis, trusting in bank deposits, I know that God will guide me as he does and in due time He will let me know what to do.
Generally, I like to listen to various lectures, but the How To Be Happy ones are completely out of sync with either my soul or my spirit. These are different speeches for people from around the world who want to warm themselves with a piece of hope, which they will transform into a personal plan. But that’s not a science for me.
Because I have known the answer to this question since 2005.
What was Yeshua talking about when he told his disciples, „Don’t be of this world”?
Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Fatheris not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world.The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever. (1 John2, 15-17)
It is not easy for a person to reject the world. Someone will say.
And it depends, because if there are more of these people, together they create something better – they bring God’s reality to earth. Afraid of rejection? I am not afraid and I have never been afraid because I knew that God wants a life full of content, value and truth for me. And it will connect me with similar people.
“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.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 15:18)
How not to be of this world?
It comes naturally. The moment God begins to live in you and you live in Him, you gain a new heart and new eyes. Your mind renews itself over time. It is a holistic action. When God gives you His Spirit, nothing remains the same in you. Some things happen immediately, others are a process, but it is the Spirit of God that becomes your new guide. Because since you accepted Yeshua as your Lord and Savior, you gained, you gained a new identity – a child of God, heir of His kingdom. There is a place for you at His right hand, and your heart knows it.
Yeshua is also not of this world as he 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)
Everyone who accepts Him begins to belong to His world. Bah! To his kingdom! It changes things. It dresses a person with dignity – one that he did not know before. When God resides in a person, that person begins to belong to a different, spiritual reality. And he is never alone again.
I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. (John 14:18-20)
What is not – this – world like?
Such that everything is the other way around! If they speak of revenge here, in His world they speak of love (Mt 5: 38-42). If people are afraid and tremble, Jesus says: do not be afraid! (2 Timothy 1: 6-7 and e.g. Mt. 8: 23-46). Just read the first 10 chapters of Matthew and learn about the standards of the world according to God.
And in the first words I used a paraphrase of the words in Matthew, which in the original reads:
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.
(Matthew 6: 19-20)
…. but how relevant it is today! I would even say that it is gaining momentum. Lots of people live in fear of something; health, children, future. People want to have more to secure their existence, to have at least a substitute for a sense of security. Show others that they mean something, that they are coping, have authority. Be in control. To have many, many experiences, to have many memories, to be read, be good at something, be up to date. Don’t fall out of this carousel. For a hamster.
Jesus gives an alternative – let it go, break free, you can. There is real life beyond the edge of this world. But only a few choose them.
“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. (Matthew 7: 13-14)
What’s all this for? And is it true?
Well, this world – no matter what lifestyle you choose – only one fate awaits:
Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.
“Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him. (Matthew 24: 35-44)
I must admit that I am waiting for the fate of this world to end. On the one hand, I like so many things; sunrises, forest at dawn, animals, the smell of wooden houses, the warmth of people, the taste of coffee during a busy day, a movie watched in the evening with my husband and cats on the couch. But I don’t get attached to it. I know there will be something else, much more.
“What no eye has seen,
what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived”—
the things God has prepared for those who love him (1 Corinthians 2:9)
And I look forward to it with joy. For the rest – because a lot of that God has done in my life right now, right here. I am constantly experiencing something new that goes beyond my knowledge and comparison so far. And I consciously chose the narrow path. I feel good on it – because there are no crowds! (although I would like them) Finally:
What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? (Mark 8: 36)
What after living for several decades without knowing true love? Without God in the heart. Without leading Him through new ways of getting to know His places, people, smells, completely new feelings in the heart, His truth, which He willingly reveals to everyone who enters His kingdom?
There is a saying: turn into a pillar of salt. It concerns the biblical story, and the wife of Lot (Genesis 19:26) turned into a pillar of salt (Genesis 19:26) who ignored God’s command to run away from the city and not look back. Behind her were Sodom and Gomorrah and she looked at them once more. Too harsh punishment? A person who has not yet come into contact with God’s heart often misjudges things.
He said to them, “You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of others, but God knows your hearts. What people value highly is detestable in God’s sight. (Luke 16:15)
God says this:
“Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, like servants waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him. (Luke 12: 35 – 38)
There are words in the Bible that I love. Every time I read them, I try to imagine the scene when the Pharisees (those unfavorable to Jesus) say: See, this is getting us nowhere., for
Look how the whole world has gone after him!” (John 12:19)
What a power! When the world follows one man, not man follows this world! Yeshua wants it for each of us – that we are not of this world, but its light! A torch in the dark, a salt of the earth, a city on a hill – this is far more than one of the stars in the firmament that will shine and fade out. That is why I chose the narrow path – who of you will I meet on it?
The whole text in Polish you’ll find HERE