Burning bright and being living sacrifices are founded on a perspective of eternity. If our focus and purpose are centered on things of this world, then striving and moving proudly forward in our own efforts align. But the ways of Jesus are quite different. We are not created for this world, and our new life in Christ is not a worldly birth but an eternal one.
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.2 Corinthians 4:16-18
The enemy’s main weapon and hinderance towards burning bright are lies. So many messages of the world go against the truth of His word, and as our communication channels expand, these lies are viewed more and more as truth, or shall I say ‘your truth’. Here’s an application of this point in light of Holy Barre’s audience.
One thing that breaks my heart is seeing others believe the lie that being thin will make them happy and their life worthwhile. Or that getting older is a bad thing we should cover up. No matter what the cost. I spent years studying and researching what makes effective marketing messages. While money drives SO MUCH of the messages we receive constantly, these messages about our appearance could not be further from His truth and actually hinder our happiness and lives! But they make corporations, celebrities, and social media influencers lots of money!
Technology allows our minds not to work as hard and doesn’t encourage the critical thinking skills valuable to help us identify truths and lies. It’s even been called a ‘luxury plateau’, allowing more space for the negativity and lies. Technology makes us idle – not living and active! And following Jesus while burning bright is not a spectator sport!
What worldly ways of thinking slip into your heart and mind? Do you know you were created in His image for His purpose? Do you believe you were created for eternity? What ways of the world tempt you the most? What lies and negative thinking about yourself are you allowing to consume you rather than His consuming love?
There’s a reason God is called a Consuming Fire in scripture.
As living and active sacrifices, burning bright, we seek His truth, surrender our own, and allow His consuming fire to fill us rather than the messages of our world. Next post we’ve dive into obedience, but I want us to lay a firm foundation on His love and power, not our own. Obedience can quickly look a lot like striving if our focus isn’t on Him. Obedience is more about our heart and our worship than our results.
I love the phrase ‘let God’ in the verse below . . . we don’t do the transforming, He does. And it’s for our own good, protection, peace, and freedom in Christ! So let’s guard our hearts and minds, identifying the lies of the world and replacing them with His truth. Let’s be living sacrifices, burning bright!
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person.Romans 12:2