Are you out of this world?

Are you out of this world?

If you're a single like me--and I know many of you are--you sometimes have the feeling you don't belong on this planet.  You feel out of place.  You don't fit in.  You see what's going on around you and you ask, "Huh?"

If you're a Christian, you really don't fit in.  If you're not a Christian, you probably feel pretty comfortable with your life.  You go about your daily routine and enjoy your friends. Your job may not be everything you like, but it pays the bills and lets you have some fun in your spare time.

So what's the problem, then?

Out of this world thinking

When you're young, in your 20s and 30s, you don't do a lot of deep thinking.  Do you know why?  The world encourages you not to.  We're all barraged by a constant flood of advertising, much of which tells us to indulge our whims and have fun.  When you're young, you should have fun.  I have no quarrel with that.

But what I do object to is shallow thinking and a shallow life.  Despite what TV commercials tell you, life is not a 24/7 party.  There's more to it than texting and hanging out with your buds.  If we're not careful, we get swept along with what everybody else is doing and we succumb to peer pressure.

Two thousand years ago, the apostle Paul recognized this danger and said: 

"Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect." (Romans 12:2, New Living Translation)

So here's the bottom line:  Don't be a herd animal by following everybody else.  When you get God and let him take over your life, he'll take you to a higher level  by introducing you to out of this world thinking.

Mediocrity is comfortable

No matter our age, none of us wants to leave our comfort zone.  We're satisfied with our little routines, and when you get right down to it, we enjoy sameness, not change.

But think about it.  Every bit of progress you have made in your life demanded change.  You changed from crawling to walking, from a little kid's bicycle to an adult bike, then to driving a car or riding the bus or train.  You changed from elementary school to high school and maybe to college.  You got a better-paying job.  Every change caused some pain and anxiety.  But would you still be content crawling around on the floor like a baby?

Where can you find the greatest wisdom?  In this world?  Even at universities you find nonsense that has no bearing on real life.  If your friends are like mine, they have plenty of problems they can't solve on their own.  They're looking for wisdom too.

This web site, like all sources of human wisdom and understanding, falls far short of what you need to live a joyful life.

You can only rise above mediocrity and get what you truly need by going to God.  But how do you do that?

Where to find out of this world wisdom

The best place to go is the Bible. 

"Ugh," you may think.  "That dry old book?  How can it be relevant to today?"

The reason the Bible is more relevant today than ever is because God, as our Creator, knows human nature better than anyone.  Human nature, as we saw from Paul's 2,000 year-old quote above, never really changes.

If you've found the Bible hard to understand in the past, I recommend you get the Life Application Study Bible, New Living Translation.  It presents Scripture in modern, everyday language.  Better yet, the Life Application Study Bible has thousands of footnotes that tell you exactly how to apply these principles to your personal life.

I've been reading the Life Application Study Bible for over 30 years.  I have about 10 different Bibles, and it remains my favorite.

Once you start reading the Bible seriously, studying it, and meditating on what you read, something incredible will happen in your life.  It did in mine, and it will in yours too.

God will change your thinking

It's true.  You'll begin to compare God's wisdom to the world around you, and your eyes will be opened.  You'll see through the foolishness.  You'll spot the pettiness of politics and the greed of business.  You'll discover that the Bible cuts through all the smoke and mirrors of the world and gets down to people's real motives.

Does this happen immediately?  No, but over time, as you pray for closer intimacy with Jesus, that prayer will be answered.  Things of the world will become less important to you as God becomes more important.  You have to live here, but you also have to make a choice.  What gets your attention, your heart, and your love? 

When we get out of this world, we shouldn't become pious or self-righteous.  On the contrary, the better we know God, the more humble we become, realizing what Jesus did for us.  God fills us with his wisdom as we're ready to receive it.

Are you ready to become that new person Paul spoke about?  Have you had enough disappointment and striving, emptiness and despair?

Single friend, this is not your home.  When you understand that this life is a kind of school, a temporary stop on the way to heaven, you'll rise above the trivial with a new perspective. 

Yes, your problems will still be there, but they can't defeat you.  You know where you're going.  You know who your Savior is, and nothing can stop you from reaching him.

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