How can I live for Jesus in a secular world?
It’s not easy being a Christian in a world that is increasingly hostile towardS religious belief especially those who decide to follow Jesus. The rise of secularism has placed Christian believers in the difficult position of being belittled, ostracized, and ridiculed. Sadly this intense pressure impacts many Christians and their walk with the Lord Jesus Christ.
If we look at what we see going on in our world today it is encouraging to notice that it is nothing new, the apostles and Jesus faced ridicule and belittlement too. As Christians battling against the popular current it is vital we hold onto the truth that God does not leave us to struggle by ourselves! 1 Peter 4:14 assures us that "If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you."
Christian the first thing you must realise is that the Christian walk will be tough. In Mark 5:40 we see that the people "But they laughed at him." and Psalm 74:10 shows us that there is a real enemy who will mock- "How long will the enemy mock you, God?" If you first accept that the Christian walk as rewarding as it is will bring trials and hardships you will begin to expect the trials, be prepared as a result of a closer walk with Christ thus withstanding the temptation through the power of the Spirit and being a soldier of the cross. This is how can you equip yourself in a secular world:
Prayer is a vital part of our relationship with God, it is free, unrestricted communication with our saviour and creator, so whenever you feel all else is against you remember that the Lord will always be listening when you call on him for help.
"The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them;
he delivers them from all their troubles."
Meditating upon His Word, the Bible is another vital tool we need to use to sharpen our faith and keep us alert against challenges we might face as a Christian in the secular world. The Bible is full of guidance and advice about what to do in many different situations which may be seen from a different viewpoint by the world such as marriage, relationships, sex, money etc... Gods Word is the truth, it never fails or changes and you must make certain you never compromise on the sound doctrines of Scripture.
"Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding"
Spending time and having fellowship with God's people. The Bible is clear that we as Christians should not isolate ourselves from the world, but realise that we are not of the world and are here but for a short time. John 15:19 puts it clearly saying "If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you." Of course, we will work with non-Christians, be friends with non-Christians and live among non-Christians just as Jesus did. Jesus was famous for eating with the sinners, healing the ones whom society stayed clear of. But we must be vigilant that we do not slip into the ways of the world but rather being filled with the Spirit use the great gift of fellowship to encourage other believers and be encouraged and strengthened ourselves. It is good and healthy that Christians meet with other Christians. God gives us brothers and sisters in Christ so that we can support each other in prayer, learn and grow more in Jesus together, strengthen each other and be accountable to each other.
"Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing."
1 Thessalonians 5:11
It is important to remember that we as Christians are also beacons of light, witnesses of the Lord Jesus Christ. We must never forget that we were once lost and in need of a shepherd. Love is so vital as Christians. We must love those around us and be witness to the glory of God by the way we act and what we say. When mockery and persecution come our way it is biblical that we do not respond to hostility with hostility but with love, peace and the meekness that our lORD Jesus Christ demonstrated when He walked and talked with the outcasts of society. Remember that God will always be there with you, no matter where you are, you can turn to him anytime! What a gift we have! Jeremiah 29:12 says "Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you."