In But Not Of
I will remain in the world no longer; but they are still in the world…I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world.
John 17:11, 17
I have friends who like to scuba dive. They put on their equipment and plunge into a different world under the sea. The sea isn’t an environment suited to man naturally. However, with the right equipment, it is possible to breathe and explore fascinating things God has created. As these friends scuba dive, they are “in” the sea, but they are certainly not “of” the sea.
John 17 records Jesus’ beautiful prayer for His present and future disciples. He states that believers are in the world but not of the world and that the world actually hates believers because we are different. On our own we believers cannot thrive in this environment. However, we are never left on our own. We are eternally in Jesus, and He is in us. For in him we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28). Through the enabling of the Holy Spirit, we live victoriously in this hostile world.
Scripture identifies believers as aliens in the world (I Peter 2:11) and calls us to be set apart from the pattern of the world. We are to set our hearts and minds on things above. (Romans 12:2, Colossians 3:1-2) By doing this, we discover the magnificence of new life in Jesus, and we begin to fulfill the purposes for which we were created. One purpose is to be a light in the dark world so that unbelievers are drawn to Jesus.
Lord, when You look at my life what do You see—Your life living through me in this hostile environment, or someone struggling to be a part of a world You rescued me from long ago? Help me to not be “of” the world. Help me instead to live and move in You so that others see You and are drawn to You.