The world does a fine job of conforming us to its image, doesn’t it? Before too long we’re disciples of the hottest actors, evangelists promoting the latest fads, bondservants to social media. We rush around, frantically trying to keep up with jam-packed schedules and work + school + social obligations, all too often forgetting that our purpose is to bring glory to God—to make much of Him, to make Him known.
When the world reduces us to one of its own, we may have some fun along the way, but goodness we’re missing out on so much!
“It would seem that our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are halfhearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.” | C.S. Lewis
My encouragement for us today:
Remember what—rather, Whom—you’re here for.
No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him. | 2 Timothy 2:4
The world is full of people who are enamored by earthly pleasures, enslaved to worldly technology, intoxicated by human praise.
What about us?
I fear that we blend right into our surroundings, live terribly short-sighted lives, and then wonder why we aren’t satisfied.
But the Bible is full of people who recognized that the world’s pleasures were a cheap joke compared to the surpassing worth of knowing Christ (Philippians 3:8).
Which camp are you in?
And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets—who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. Women received back their dead by resurrection. Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life. | Hebrews 11:32-35
Earthly pleasures, technology, human praise—none of these things are inherently bad. But the heroes of our faith were not consumed with or satisfied by them. Their focus was much grander.
Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated—of whom the world was not worthy—wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. And all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect. | Hebrews 11:36-40
They even endured incredible trials and sufferings because they believed God’s promises of something better to come.
As Hebrews 11 says, the world was not worthy of them.