It is a strikingly different way of living than how the world would have us live. We process things differently.
As an example, let us compare the reactions to trials and tribulations. A child of the world would run from them, physically or addictively, or take a stand for a frontal assault, depending only upon their own resources. They may prevail, they may not.
A Christian, on the other hand, places their faith in the more-than-able help from God, that He’s in control of the situation.
In fact, God may even send some trials our way, to get us to lean more fervently upon Him, rather than seeking worldly (and often unprofitable) solutions:
“Do not be afraid; for God has come in order to test you, and in order that the fear of Him [that is a profound reverence for Him] will remain with you, so that you do not sin.” Ex. 20:20 AMP
God may also send situations to stay any bad behavior, to get you back onto the right path:
My son, do not reject the discipline of the LORD, or loathe His reproof, for whom the LORD loves, He reproves, even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights. Pr. 3:11, 12. NASB
We lean on God’s word to reveal how we are to be in any given situation:
“As for God, His way is perfect. The word of the Lord is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him.” 2 Sam. 22:31 NKJV
When we place our problems before Him, He will turn our situation around to align them with His direction for our lives:
…God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. Rm. 8:28 NASB
Even if our troubles are put upon us by others, or satanically sourced, God delivers His children from them all, through Christ:
For He has delivered me from all trouble… Ps. 54:7 NASB
“…Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat; but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail…” Lk. 22:31, 32. NASB
Another example of diametrically opposed life approache is demonstrated in the face of character failure. In the world, fractured character is often overlooked, justified, excused, or worse, even celebrated.
In this Christian life, God sends Holy Spirit conviction, so that the transgressions that are perpetrated by a character flaw, will bring grief, guilt and shame – so that God’s child is brought to his or her knees to confess and repent. It is at this point, that God’s grace makes His child whole again through the cleansing blood of Jesus.
Christ can only live in a humble heart, a heart that recognizes its frailty and its glaring need for its Maker:
“I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.” Jn. 15:5 NASB
The major upside is that this Christian process prepares the believer for an eternal heavenly life. There is also an eternal aspect of the worldly way, but it is far from heavenly. Ours is painted with mercy; the world’s will be smothered in wrath.
“He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” Jn. 3:36 NASB
The final illustration I want to take up for now, is worldly accumulation v. Christian giving. In many circumstances, one’s worth in the world is measured by their accumulation of material things. Yet, that is antithetical to their spiritual health and standing:
The righteousness of the upright will deliver them, but the treacherous will be caught by their own greed. Pr. 11:6 NASB
“Do not store up for yourselves [material] treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart [your wishes, your desires; that on which your life centers] will be also.” Mt. 6:19 – 21. AMP
God blesses us with things to enjoy, but moreover to share, by giving to others. Then our hands are empty and open to receive the next blessing:
Let each one give [thoughtfully and with purpose] just as he has decided in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver [and delights in the one whose heart is in his gift]. 2 Cor. 9:7 AMP
These differences only scratch the surface. Yet, we already see the monumental advantages of living in this Christian life – leaning on a loving, merciful God who rights our wrongs, cleanses our sins, makes our way in this world, delivers us from calamity, expands our hearts for cheerful giving and covers us in the now, that we may be preserved for His eternal love. Doesn’t get better than that…
Goodnight and God bless.
BIG ANNOUNCEMENT! I will be retiring YourGodMoments blog very soon. After nine years, I feel that God is asking me to change direction to include more personal application and to create a bigger invitation to the kingdom. I’m very excited, and I hope that you will continue along with me on our sacred journey.
I will let you know of the launch date of the GodCherishesYou blog soon!