As Christians today, we are challenged by a secular worldview that goes against almost everything we stand for. The truth is, we often find it very difficult to stand for what we claim to be true.
The world does not have the same definition for life that we do. Marriage, personhood, gender, truth, creation, eternal essence, even historical figures’ faith in God are all maligned and drastically twisted to meet the desires of those who want to live a life that is not described in Scripture as good, wholesome or holy.
So how do we walk in the midst of a fallen and broken world that would rather drag us down than have us help lift them up? First, I would suggest we walk in a way that is unashamed. Don’t allow the world to define who you are and who you are in Christ.
God’s definition of success is not the same as the world’s. There are too many places where God honors the lowly. Look at the widow and her tiny offering. See Jesus at a leper’s home. The lowly, the outcast, the hated were who Jesus spent time with. God is less concerned that you have the right car, live in the right house, wear the right watch and your kids go to the right school than He is with you living and walking the right way.
I would suggest one example for us lies deep in the Old Testament. It is no secret that life is hard, and how we face the world can make a huge difference in outcomes. In our journey through life, we need to realize there will be obstacles and challenges so overwhelming we need to listen to God and follow His direction.
Such was the case as Joshua and Israel after crossing the Jordan into the Promised Land faced the mighty city of Jericho. God gave them guidance and direction. Basically, it was “be who I called you to be, take Me with you and walk around the city.”
Notice God did not say “Throw rocks or rotten tomatoes at the city walls. Yell at them and tell them how bad they are. Walk with signs that read they are vile people and are going to hell, etc.” In Joshua 6, God actually said this, “You shall march around the city, all the men of war circling the city once. You shall do so for six days. Also seven priests shall carry seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark; then on the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets. It shall be that when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, and when you hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city will fall down flat, and the people will go up every man straight ahead” (Josh 6:3-5).
I know everyone doesn’t see things the way I do, and that’s probably not a bad thing, but is there a takeaway for us out of the history of Jericho? I think there is.
- The battle is already won! God is the victor and the provider of success.
- Be not ashamed. The Lord goes before you. “Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the LORD your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you” (Deut. 31:6).
- Just walk around. That sounds simple, but look at what God had them do. He had them walk around the city with the Ark of the Covenant, maybe even with some banners, dressed in their uniforms and priestly garments, and even blowing the trumpets.
As we engage the world, we can’t be timid or try to appease them. We can’t join the world in their definition of success and fun.
We can’t worry about offending them by how we live or the way we do life in a manner that honors God. We need to understand the truth will always offend people who want to live a lie.
We need to understand that, more than anything, all we have to do is listen to God. We should walk around unashamed of who we are, knowing that God is not only with us but goes before us and is ready to tear down the walls that stand between us, and lives He uses us to impact.
Do we walk around our city unashamed of who we are in Christ? Are we strong and courageous, knowing God has gone before us? Are we ready to move when God tears down walls?
All we really have to do is be who we really are and walk around unashamed. Are you ready for God to tear down the walls in your life?