“I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.” John 17:15-16
Happy New Years Eve! New Years Eve is always a great time of celebration as the old year ends and the new year begins. We are ready to leave the old behind and start a fresh, new year. So, what are your plans for New years eve? If you are a follower of Jesus then I am sure, like me, your plans now are totally different then when you lived as a non believer. I used to want to make sure that I hit the coolest party with the prettiest people in the hopes of ringing in the new year with a buzz and maybe a new girl. Then I started following Jesus and my priorities changed because I had stepped out of being ‘of the world’ even though I was still in the world. I found fulfillment in my relationship with Jesus and not in the popularity of the party. It helps to know that Jesus is praying for us to continue to be that new creation in Him. In John 17, we get an incredible glimpse into Jesus praying as we see through a window on the private time of our Savior praying for us. You can only walk away feeling loved when you see His care and intercession for His followers in what really should be labeled ‘the Lord’s prayer’. I like this part of His prayer as a compass for our lives. Obviously, Jesus knows and wants us to live in this world everyday as His prayer is that God the Father would not take us out of this incredibly tempting world. So, if we are to still be living ‘in the world’ then Jesus has a purpose for us everyday, right here, right now. We have to be ready for the enemy that is prowling around like a roaring lion seeking to destroy us and at the same time we have to be ready to be ‘the light of the world’ in a dark place. Everyday you and I have the opportunity to effect the world in our jobs, relationships, and daily excursions to the gym, starbucks, the beach, the store, etc… We just need to start making a choice to be available to impact whatever and whoever God brings our way each and everyday. We are still living ‘in the world’ so we should be making the most of it. What we don’t want to do is get so comfortable in the grace and forgiveness of Jesus that we end up being back in a lifestyle that is ‘of the world’, where we are acting like the world. There should be a difference in how we live, how we represent, and even how we bring in the new year. Maybe that’s an area you need to leave in 2014 as you press on with new goals and resolutions for the new you in 2015. This part of Jesus’ prayer is that perfect balance of understanding that I still live in a very tempting world, but I don’t want to slip up and make decisions that cause me to be of it. As we celebrate bringing in the New Year, remember we are leaving the old behind and starting afresh just as in Christ we are new creations, old things pass away, all things become new. Let that part of you that may be ‘of the world’ be only a part of your memories of the past allowing God to do a new thing in you for 2015. Happy New Year!