In 1976 Francis Schaeffer published his classic work, How Then Should We Live? Twenty-eight years later Charles Colson wrote what he considered to be his most important book, How Now Shall We Live? Both men echo Ezekiel’s cry to God when the nation of Israel appeared to be rotting away due to moral and spiritual decay. Today…I can’t think of a more relevant question.
Paul offers us a succinct answer in 1Corinthians 16. His words strike me as bullet points on how we should live in any age, in any culture (verses 13-14).
- Be on guard. It is easy to forget that we live in a spiritual combat zone. Paul warns us to keep our eyes open so we don’t give Satan opportunity to distort the way God wants us to live. Our enemy tries to afflict all of us with Attention Deficit Disorder. Don’t let the distractions he throws at you pull you away from the battle.
- Stand firm in the faith. Faith that stands firm is faith that comes from hearing the Word of God. If we hope to live in victory over the world, we cannot afford to neglect a daily, steady nourishing of our faith through scripture.
- Be courageous and strong. This reminds me of the instruction given to Joshua as he led Israel into the Promised Land. It would be impossible for them to take the risks needed to go forward in His call without courage. It’s the same for us. Cowering in a fear-filled corner of doom and gloom is not the way God desires us to live.
- Do everything in love. If love does not envelop all we do, our words, talents and deeds reflect nothing more than empty chatter. Love for God should motivate every aspect of our lives if we hope to live in His purposes.
So how are you living? Do any of these bullet points need strengthening? As the world grows increasingly dark, we don’t have to wring our hands in despair. We are called for such a time as this…to shine. So let’s be alert, resolute in our faith, fearless in fulfilling his purpose, and saturated in God’s selfless love.
Although the offenses and sins of the world may be weighing us down, let’s not waste away…let’s live!