“They do not belong to this world any more than I do.” John 17:16 (NLT)
We are a peculiar people, an oddity to the world, and sadly, even to much of the church! We don’t fit, we are not ‘normal!’ But we are not meant to be. Those who are wholehearted lovers of Jesus are salt and light in the church and the world. We stand out! And we are meant to stand out, to be different, just like light is clearly seen in the darkness. Since we march to a different drum beat we are out of step with the world, and the lukewarm church. We are unique because of the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Our very being is different, we carry the fragrance of heaven! As they say in The Chosen, get used to different!
Nevertheless, Jesus warned that the world would hate us because it first hated Him (John 15:18-19)! I was recently reading Live No Lie by John Mark Comer, and I was shocked that followers of Jesus are not just seen as old fashion or out of step with the world. We are now perceived as a threat to the world. Here’s what he says, “A growing number of our secular friends and neighbors think of us not just as weird… but as dangerous” (p. xxv)! But we will only be hated, and considered dangerous if we look like Jesus. The world and the compromised church won’t hate those who look like them. We are called to be in the world but not of it (John 17:14-19). We are not to look like the world or be loved and accepted by the world.
So, the question is, do you feel peculiar, like you just don’t fit? Btw, Noah didn’t fit! Jesus didn’t fit! The disciples didn’t fit! And neither should you!
Cry out for Jesus to be seen in you, more and more, even to the point that people react. Ask God to allow your difference to be seen and felt by those around you! Ask Him for the grace to not just get used to different, but to embrace it. Pray for your pastor and church to not be content with being loved by the world, but to have a hunger to look more like Jesus than the culture we live in! Pray that the church in our city would embrace being a peculiar people, citizens of another realm, and to begin acting and sounding like it!