There’s a handful challenges living a set-apart life in a secular-unbelieving society. How to be a light in a totally dark world? How to properly respond when testings arise? How can I continue to live out this verse, “Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds, and glorify your Father in heaven.” -Matthew 5:16
There are several things which God keeps on reminding me towards my personal walk with Him and here are some which are very relevant nowadays:
1. Feed yourself. I admit, I miss those times when I have direct disciplers who mentored me & guided me in my walk with God. There are those times that I want to be fed with solid food from the preachings & others, but at times, I’m only fed with milk. There are things that I really treasure with what I had in the past that I don’t experience it directly now. But then I’ve got to face these all. Things are different now. But God remains constant. Our faith in our walk with God is accountable with our own selves first! Be intentional in feeding yourself. Let yourself grow spiritually and in all aspects. If we refuse to feed ourselves, we will surely wither and die spiritually. Of course, we don’t want & God doesn’t permit that to happen to His children.
2. Stop relying on to others to do the work for your spiritual growth. Their relationship with the Lord doesn’t straightly get you closer to the Father. I hope you don’t get me wrong with this! We can be inspired & motivated to grow in our own walk from the lives of the godly people around us but it’s our job to build and strengthen with our relationship with Him first. It’s the same when we are doing a physical training. Others like professional athletes give us instructions what to do but they can’t make us get out from the house and move. It’s our personal choice to train & discipline ourselves. In the same way, we can have nourishment from the many resources out there: from our disciplers, mentors, pastors, online preachings, books, etc. They are all blessings from God and really good stuff. But if you have been a Christian for a long time like me, what others feed us should only be supplemental compare to what we are getting from God directly and what He clearly speaks from His Word.
3. Never stop doing the ministry that God has called you to do. The world can be overwhelming at times. Throughout our lives, God’s calling for us often bring great challenges, sometimes distress, a few times frustrations. We can’t succeed on these tasks on our own. Regardless of those things, our love for God and all the more His love for us make us keep doing which He calls us to do. But it’s so much rewarding and fulfilling when you know that you are obeying God’s calling for you. There’s so much joy, peace and complete satisfaction in the center of His will. Even in our secular jobs, they are our main ministry that needs daily surrender to God to sustain us through with wisdom, strength, patience & excellence. When it comes to our church ministries, they are really exciting & makes us keep looking forward to it each week yet they can sometimes be also a bit challenging. Whatever it is, we are made to submit to His divine tasks He has given us to accomplish. And yes, the reward is waiting for us in heaven!
4. Surround yourself with the right people. Everywhere I go, the main highlight of my stay in each place is neither my studies nor my job, it’s been always with the right family away from home. They are the family in Christ who encourages me, sharpens me, unleashes something in me, and lifts me up in times of need. Surround yourself with the right people who can give you the right advice, pray for you, and help you grow in your walk with God. In spite of the different backgrounds, even the different cultures and upbringings, Jesus Christ unites us one with His body of believers. Never neglect having fellowship with others. All of us together show the glory of God!
Going back to the questions how to be set-apart and be a light into this world? One online preacher reminded me today that our lives as Christians are called to be “radical” in today’s world. In the Bible times, following Christ was “normal.” Yet because of the fast globalization and many kinds of self-immorality & philosophies, true followers of Jesus need a solid foundation of understanding that we are set-apart and we are called by God to keep shining the light as we keep looking to the only One source of light!