Do not conform any longer to the patterns of this world. Romans 12:2
All vanity is empty, useless, and hollow. In other words, the ineffectual life is the one investing in the layover versus the final destination. Wisdom and value for Jesus was looking ahead “to where eternal joy abides” and making decisions that reflected this ultimate horizon. The rest, in the end, was vanity, because it did not carry over to home. To fulfill His mission on earth, Jesus had to have contempt for the opposition, and a powerful knowledge that the world was an adversary of His identity and His mission. Our bond with His mission was sealed in His own prayer for us, that our full mission would come about and God’s dream would be realized.
Jesus knew our layover time would follow His, but His attitude would continue on inside His men. He knew God’s men would be indigenous — planted tactically in every corner of the world to fulfill God’s kingdom purposes. He Knew God’s men would be pilgrims with a mindset like their Brother-King, not owned by culture, empowered by His words and actions. He believed in the hope that we’d be like Him, in the world but not of it, transformed by a different spiritual DNA. We would participate in relationships but be separate, guided by higher laws. Throughout the centuries, we would assimilate, respect the governments of earth, but not align with the darkness.
Similarly, there is strong encouragement in the apostle’ teachings on how to reflect Jesus. It is one of the most difficult balances in the Christian life, but as we strive for it, we become like Jesus, aliens and exiles, yet connected and indigenous for God’s purposes.
Father, Help me keep my eyes on the goal you have set for me.