Is it difficult to be different for Christ? Surely what you don't know how to do will seem difficult to do, however when you know the 'how to' of a thing and practice it, it becomes a walk-over for you. Being different for Jesus entails a progressive walk with Him. This post tells you how you can be different for the Lord.
And all of us, as with unveiled face, [because we] continued to behold [in the Word of God] as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are constantly being transfigured into His very own image in ever increasing splendor and from one degree of glory to another; [for this comes] from the Lord [Who is] the Spirit - 1 Corinthians 3:18 (AMP)
Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus - Acts 4:13 (NKJV)
Many people think that if they dress in a particular way, move with a particular set of people, and think, talk and act like them that they will be different for Christ. However, this is not the absolute truth. Most of the people who do these things when weighed on God's balance, which is the word of God, fail to measure up to God's standard. Jesus Christ is God's standard and if you are to measure up to Him, then you must stay with Christ.
Stay with Jesus
Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). Anyone who wants to stand out for God must sit at Christ's feet to learn of Him (Matthew 11:29). As you stay with Christ, His nature will rub off on you and you will start becoming like Him, for iron sharpens iron (Proverbs 27:17). This will then determine how you dress, reason, speak and respond to situations. This time it will not be because of man's doctrine but because of your love for God and your desire to please Him.
The disciples that walked with Jesus became like Him. They were different though uneducated and untrained, and the leaders couldn't understand it until they realized that they had been with Jesus (Acts 4:13). Their association with Christ transformed them into wonders, their backgrounds notwithstanding.
You may wonder how to stay with Christ who you can't see. The answer is that you stay with Jesus Christ through the word, prayer and then the company you keep.
How to stay with Jesus
You stay with Christ through:
Jesus is the word of God (John 1:1-14). So, as you study the word of God you are transformed into the image of God from glory to glory (1 Corinthians 3:18). Therefore, as you stay with the word of God you are staying with Christ. The word of God teaches you the ways of God and as you conform to it, you stand out from others. In other words, the word of God in you, being practiced by you makes you different for Christ.
The word of God is like a mirror that shows you exactly how God sees you. It shows you the spots that must be removed and places in your life that must be straightened out. It is also like water that washes off all the spots in your life (Ephesians 5:26). Hence, the word of the Lord exposes the dark spots in you and also washes them off as you adhere to the instructions in the word.
Prayer is another avenue through which you fellowship with Christ and sharpen yourself. In prayer you drink of God's presence and get enveloped in His glory. You talk to God, the Father in Jesus name, and He talks back to you through His Spirit. You can't spend quality time with God and not be different. It's like staying where they are smoking and going out with the smell of tobacco on you. Everyone that comes near you will know that you had been where there was smoke.
Moses was in the presence of God for a while communicating with Him, and when he returned God's glory was shining so strong on his face that the Israelites couldn't look at it (Exodus 34:29-30). Also, the disciples of Christ remained in the upper room praying till the Holy Spirit came upon them empowering them to be different for Christ (Acts 1:12-14, 2:1-4). They continued in the word and in prayer, becoming more and more like Christ, and the word of God spread and the number of disciples increased greatly (Acts 6:4, 7)
The company you keep determines if you will be different for Jesus. If you walk with the wise you will be wise but if you keep company of fools you will be destroyed (Proverbs 13:20). A fool says there is no God in his heart (Psalm 14:1) and expresses it in his utterances and actions. When you walk with such a fellow you will soon start believing that there is no God.
However, when you walk with people who love God and are zealous for Him according to knowledge (Romans 10:1-4), you will start being like them too. Through them God will reach out to you and teach you His ways that will enable you to stand out for Him.
When Peter and John were threatened because they preached and healed in the name of Jesus, they returned to their company and together they prayed for more boldness to declare the word and that God will confirm His words with signs and wonders following. And God answered them. Their company didn't make them speak evil of their leaders; neither did they encourage them to cease preaching and healing in the name of Jesus. They were the right company that enabled them to continue to be different for Jesus.
In all, you can't be different for the Lord, outside Christ. He is the one who will empower you to be so, sustain you and glorify you. Stick to Jesus and He will stick to you to be like Him.
Ngozi Nwoke is a teacher, counselor and author of "Peace Money Can't Buy" and "The Man Jesus" . She has a passion to teach people how to enjoy peace, God's love and christian living for more fulfilling life. Want more fulfilling life? Subscribe for free email updates today. http://stepswithgod.co
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