Both you and I were intentionally created. We don’t meaninglessly exist one moment and cease to exist the next. We were carefully chosen and purposefully knit together with more love and intention than you and I can possibly even begin to wrap our minds around. We are individually unique, uniquely called, and called to proclaim Him who claimed us. We are NOT designed to live individually independent of each other or of God. We are NOT to be mini-gods.
Our culture’s foundation rests on the premise that “self” matters more than anything or anyone. Not only is it a multimillion dollar market but an entrenched and deepening mindset, whether we want to acknowledge it or not. So much of what we do on a daily basis revolves around “self.” Self-satisfaction, self-satisfied, self-advancement, self-help, self-improvement, self-sufficient, self-awareness, self confident, the list goes on. Google it. There are literally pages of “self” prefixed words it’s overwhelming. We live and operate is if we were our own island. A growing generation of “believers” are barely even darkening church doors because they are re-defining and becoming their own interpretation of church. Self-belief has given a foothold to self-doubt and ultimately, self-denial. We are clueless as to what our true identity in Christ really means or is. Culture says it’s what you want it to be. Christ says it’s not about you. It’s about Him.
Matthew 5:13-16 addresses believers in this way. “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”
The marching orders of a Christian life are that we are to INFLUENCE. Defined, influence is: an affect or change (someone or something) in an indirect but usually important way: to have an influence on (someone or something).
We were designed to be set-apart, stand out, and affect the world. Not be infected by it. John McArthur wrote, “You are characterized by the Beatitude-quality of life, you who are the sons and daughters of the Kingdom are the salt and light of the world to influence the world for good and for God. Salt, in order to be effective, has to be mingled with the substance it’s affecting, and yet salt is distinct from that substance. Light, in order to dispel darkness, must shine upon the darkness, yet it is distinct from the darkness.”
So what does salt do? It preserves and purifies. Salt can kill the microbes of bacteria that break down a substance and can save it from decay. Likewise, salt cleanses and purifies. Salt can stave off illness; cleanse wounds, and aide the healing process. Salt diluted by impurities has no purpose at all. Salt without saltiness rots. The bottom line is that we were designed to be salt and light in a decaying world. McArthur states that, “The heart of man is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked. This is Jesus’ view, the view of any thinking person. Any evolutionist would have to be blind to reality to think human society is on the ascent. It isn’t true. So our Lord is saying that since we have a decaying, corrupted society shrouded in darkness, this society needs salt to retard the corruption and light to brighten the darkness.”
Are we living as if we belong to someone other than ourselves? Do we really even care to? If we, who say we believe, were truly a son or daughter of the King then without question we would want to, should want to. The Love that God first loved us with would compel us to. “Believers” are in an identity crisis. We need to get over ourselves in order to understand who God designed us to be in the first place. If we did, I think a lot more believers would be standing out and standing up. Frankly, I am sick and tired of mediocre christianity. I long to see believers run with an unquenchable thirst and passion for Christ, unswayed by popular opinion and grounded in the unchangeable Word of God. THAT is our identity. Sinners saved by grace to be lights in a very dark place. “Catch on fire and people will come for miles to see you burn.” John Wesley