Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Challenge

     As I look around, I can't help but to see how many people claim to be a Christian, yet their actions say otherwise. Jesus never said the Christian life would be easy. If anything, He said that there would be troubles. He follows that up by telling us that He has already overcome the world. So, He understands that this life is hard. Today's culture has placed Christians under the radar, and now more than ever, persecution has brought out the worse in Christians.
     I honestly believe it is culture that causes Christians to cave into a lifestyle they know they don't want to live. Culture has given this image that if you uphold Christian morals and values, you're irrelevant and old school. Since when has that become a crime? "The bible is too outdated." "That was a long time ago." Have we become so prideful that decent values are no longer of importance?
     In nearly ten years of ministry, I have seen the ups and downs of a struggling Christian. I, myself, was once in that position. I'm not saying I'm not anymore, but there's a difference in living in sin, and striving to live apart from sin. The struggle is way too familiar. Stuck in hardcore addictions. Relationships. Lifestyles. It's hard to get out of what you're so accustomed to, and it's easy to get into it because "it's what everyone else is doing." Trust me, I've been there's too. I always thought it'd be cool to fit in, especially since I was regularly rejected in my elementary and junior high days.
     Growing up, I wore glasses and hearing aids. I was the laughingstock of all the schools I attended. I never could find the friends I constantly strived to have. Due to the desperation of wanting to fit it, I succumbed into a lifestyle I knew God did not approve of. It may not be as hardcore as most people's stories, but for me in my life, I was desperate to leave that lifestyle. All it brought for let down after letdown. Relationships were formed that never should had formed. Drinking what I shouldn't be drinking. Under aged smoking, knowing it was wrong, yet thought it was cool. But, the more I did it, the more I started fitting in. I started skipping class, got in trouble at school for smoking on campus, and it just all spiraled down from there. It wasn't until 2007 when I truly started to see God's calling in my life, and that He called me to be set apart.
     That's the key. We're called to be in the world, but not of it. If the friends we have are constantly nagging you about going to bars, going to parties, etc; I don't see the encouragement in that. They are pulling you into a position to not be in your right mind, and in that, can turn into something bad. Don't allow that to happen. You have been given authority by God (and as a human being) to say no. Take control over your life; guard what your eyes see, what your ears hear. If you guard yourself, you give God the control to move in your life. Quit looking at that on the Internet. Stop going to that party. End that relationship that has gone way too far. In that, you'll find your innocence is restored, your life is renewed, and you become stronger than ever.

God bless.