Not of This World
As a young believer trying to understand the oneness of the Godhead (Trinity), the Holy Spirit reminded me of a familiar cartoon from days gone by, Casper the Friendly Ghost. That may sound strange, but I believe the Lord speaks to us where we are and from where we came. Casper used to separate into three images of himself. The picture spoke to me — I could relate to it, and so my understanding opened!
Periodically I daydream about conversations I have with the Lord and other people. Have you? Sometimes my imagination gets the best of me and I end up never having the actual conversation with the person, because it already took place in my mind!
Crazy, right? But Jesus said,
“They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world” (John 17:16 ESV).
Am I the only one pondering these kinds of things? How do we process what Jesus said or prayed?
My desire has revolved around having an intimate relationship with the Father like Jesus’. This compelled me to develop spiritual disciplines worthy of a disciple of Christ. Reading the Bible and praying daily became foundational. Life gets busy for all of us, but I am committed to not making excuses when it comes to these disciplines. Even Jesus spent a busy three years of ministry pouring out upon His disciples.
Through reading my Bible, I realized that Jesus prayed for me!
“I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me” (John 20:21).
This Scripture sent my imagination into orbit! Can we even comprehend that Jesus’ prayer reverberated throughout eternity? Who are we that the Creator of the universe desires to be “one” with us? My finite mind could not handle this, but my imagination soared!
I am — we are — “not of the world.” Our essence is from another realm. Jesus said He was returning to the “eternal life” realm. One day, we will join Him! I had to slow down and recognize that, for the moment, I must remain content on this side of eternity. We must “be present” and walk out our faith just like Jesus did. He already prayed to God for us. He will not take us out of the world, but in His absence, we represent Him (John 17:15).
This reality is revolutionary. It makes me desire to please Him even more. I “get to” be one with Him! May we bask in the presence of the Godhead: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We are not of this world!
2 Samuel 15:31-32 31Now David had been told, “Ahithophel is among the conspirators with Absalom.” So David prayed, “O LORD, turn Ahithophel’s counsel into foolishness.” 32When David arrived at the summit, where people used to worship God, Hushai the Arkite was there to meet him, his robe torn and dust on his head.
As David abandoned Jerusalem, he covered his head and went barefoot to the top of the Mount of Olives. His counselor Ahithophel had gone over to Absalom’s side. On the way up the mountain he prayed that Ahithophel’s counsel would be turned into foolishness.
As David reached the top, he saw Hushai. His torn clothing and dust on his head indicated his deep grief at what was happening. Hushai was one of David’s counselors also. Being an elderly man, he could not travel quickly like David’s men. David realized his prayer had been answered. He sent Hushai back into Jerusalem to oppose the counsel of Ahithophel. It was a dangerous assignment, but he took it as a willing servant of the king.
We pray and God often speedily answers. If we are not watching and expecting the answer to be sent, we will miss it. The answer to David’s prayer was not as he might have imagined, neither is God’s answer to many of our prayers. That is why we must be alert and attune to the Spirit, expectantly looking for the answer. This prayer of David and God’s immediate answer turned the whole course of the future and was a factor in the saving his house and throne.
Consider: Don’t miss God’s answers to prayers prompted by the Holy Spirit.
The young man’s prayer
By: Charles Spurgeon
‘O satisfy us early with thy mercy; that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.’ Psalm 90:14
Suggested Further Reading: Ecclesiastes 11:6–12:7
They who love Jesus Christ early, have the best hope of enjoying the happiest days as Christians. They will have the most service, and the service of God is pure delight. Their youthful vigour will enable them to do more than those who enlist when they are old and decrepit. The joy of the Lord is our strength; and on the other hand, to use our strength for God is a fountain of joy. Young man, if you give fifty years of service unto God, surely you shall rejoice all your days. The earlier we are converted, having the longer time to study in Christ’s college, the more profound shall be our knowledge of him. We shall have more time for communion, more years for fellowship. We shall have more seasons to prove the power of prayer, and more opportunities to test the fidelity of God than we should if we came late. Those who come late are blessed by being helped to learn so much, but those that come in early shall surely outstrip them. Let me be young, like John, that I may have years of loving service, and like him may have much of intimate acquaintance with my Lord. Surely those who are converted early may reckon upon more joy, because they never will have to contend with and to mourn over what later converts must know. Your bones are not broken, you can run without weariness, you have not fallen as some have done, you can walk without fainting. Often the grey-headed man who is converted at sixty or seventy, finds the remembrance of his youthful sins clinging to him; when he would praise, an old lascivious song revives upon his memory; when he would mount up to heaven, he suddenly remembers some scene in a haunt of vice which he would be glad to forget. But you, saved by divine grace before you thus fall into the jaw of the lion, or under the paw of the bear, will certainly have cause for rejoicing all your life.
For meditation: Consider some young believers who bore much fruit for God—Joseph (Genesis 41:12), Joshua (Exodus 33:11), Samuel (1 Samuel 2:18), David (1 Samuel 17:33), Solomon (1 Chronicles 22:5), Josiah (2 Chronicles 34:3), Jeremiah (Jeremiah 1:6), Timothy (1 Timothy 4:12). Tomorrow’s church leaders will come from today’s young believers.
The Right Perspective on Riches
From: Intouch ministeries
Trusting God with our money means prioritizing how much we can give away, not how much we can keep.
We all need a certain amount of money to meet basic needs such as food, shelter, and clothing. But few people are satisfied with the bare essentials. Many of us have been blessed with far more than mere necessities, thanks to God richly supplying us with good things to enjoy (1 Tim. 6:17). However, we must guard against fixing our hearts, minds, and hopes on earthly possessions rather than on the Lord.
Earning the money to support our desired lifestyle may sound like a reasonable idea, but living to maximize spending power is a self-centered philosophy, not a God-centered one. While the world advocates accumulating more for oneself, the Lord instructs us to do good with our wealth and readily share with others.
Instead of focusing on how much we can keep, it’s better to think in terms of how much we can give away. God has promised to supply our needs (Philippians 4:19) but often lavishes far more than the basics. And He delights to see His children joyfully sharing what He has given (2 Corinthians 9:6-7).
To the natural man, denying oneself and having less money seems illogical. But the opposite is true for God’s children. The more closely we follow His way of managing money, the greater our satisfaction and sense of security will be