Standing Out for God
Written by Jenn Arman | September 7, 2014
In the Old Testament, the nation of Israel is called God’s special possession and the “first of His children” (Jeremiah 2:3, NLT). Israel was holy to God. They were supposed to be set apart for the Lord.
Israel was meant to stand out.
When the nation of Israel entered the Promised Land, God told them to drive all the other nations out. God said that Israel would be successful in driving the other nations out of the Promised Land because He would be with them. After several years of fighting, however, Israel got tired of war and started to make compromises.
At first, it was just a “live and let live” policy. Israel tolerated the pagan practices of the nations around them in the Promised Land instead of destroying them as God told them to. Later, Israel would make treaties with these pagan nations and even allow their children to intermarry with the other nations.
Finally, Israel began to worship the idols of the pagan nations and God had had enough.
In the book of Jeremiah, God asks an interesting question:
Listen to the word of the Lord, people of Jacob—all you families of Israel! This is what the Lord says: “What did your ancestors find wrong with Me that led them to stray so far from Me? They worshiped worthless idols, only to become worthless themselves.” (Jeremiah 2:4-5, NLT)
God wants to know what Israel found wrong with Him that caused them to decide that worshiping pagan gods was better than worshiping the Living God. In addition, when Israel began to worship false gods, their testimony about the Lord became worthless.
Girls, sometimes it’s hard to stand out for God, especially if we spend a lot of time with people who don’t believe the same things we do.
We have to remember that standing out for God doesn’t always mean preaching to people or inviting them to church. It means being consumed by God and not by the things that this world is consumed by, like material goods or power.
Sometimes standing out for God means that when we’re with people who are doing something that we know wouldn’t please God (like bullying, for instance), we speak up.
It’s easy to stay quiet in situations like that, but even if we don’t participate in things that would displease God, our silence about those things implies that we’re willing to tolerate them.
President Jimmy Carter once found himself challenged by the title of a church sermon: “If you were arrested for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?”
I’ll be honest—I’m not sure there would be enough evidence to convict me, but I’m definitely looking forward to building up a mountain of evidence that the world could use to convict me of being a follower of Christ. I want to stand out for God.
But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. There is no law against these things! (Galatians 5:22-23)
Girls, is there enough evidence in your life to “convict” you of being a follower of Christ?
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