“They are not of the world, as I am not of the world.” John 17:16 (HCSB)
It is quite clear that Jesus intended His followers to be different. We are called to be in the world not of it! John told us not to be surprised if the world hates us (1 John 3:13), yet why do we flirt with worldly things to be relevant? Has our quest to be relevant in our culture led us to compromise? Do we look more like the world than Jesus ever intended us to? Quoting Jesus, John also said that if the world hates us, we should remember that it hated Him first (John 15:18). But so often the church tries to attract and be loved by the world so when unbelievers come into our assemblies they feel welcome and at home. Isn’t the church meant to be other worldly, supernatural, a taste of heaven on earth? Does the world hate you, or your church? Have you and/or your church come to the altar of compromise with ‘relevance’ in your hands? Does the world speak well of you and or your church? The answer to that might be quite revealing. Jesus said that “what is highly valued among men is detestable in God’s sight” (Luke 16:15).
Ask the Lord to show you any place where you have compromised to be relevant, to be liked, and/or to be attractive to the world. Ask Him to reveal where you have crossed from being “in” to “of” the world. Honestly, often, unless He shows us, we will or cannot see it! Pray for your pastor to have eyes to see any and every place they have compromised to be relevant. Such relevance could include underlying values, methods and even watering down the word. Pray that your church would not attract the world because it looks like the world, but would draw people in because heaven touches earth when you come together. Pray that your church would look more otherworldly, supernatural and perhaps even messy, as the Holy Spirit moves among you! Pray that your church would look more like Jesus!