While researching the work of the Holy Spirit for an upcoming high school lesson, I came across some notes from one of my college classes that caught my attention. When talking about the Holy Spirit’s work in sanctification, my notes say this:
The Old Testament saints had to use an artificial means for sanctification: withdraw fellowship from the pagans.
Obviously I had read this before, but it stood out to me today in light of some conversations I’ve had recently. Alongside this note, I wrote this:
no Holy Spirit to help overcome evil influences
(You have to forgive the bad grammar, as I was trying to take notes and pay attention to the professor.) Recently, I have had several conversations with people about what it means to live out one’s faith alongside those who do not believe. I have found that it is far easier for Christians to live in a “bubble” (surrounded by those who hold the same beliefs) than to live in the world. This mentality gets carried over into youth ministries, too.
Why do we carry this mentality with us?
- Do we forget we have the Holy Spirit with us?
- Are we not as close to God as we want people to think we are?
- Have we become too comfortable in the “bubble”?
As we look at Jesus’ life, we see that he spent a lot of time with those who were considered pagans. He ate with them, stayed in their homes, and listened and talked with them. Yet, one of the big reasons Jesus was able to do this was because he spent as much (if not more) time with his Father. Jesus knew the importance of connecting with God and staying connected to him. And so should we!
If withdrawing is your means of holiness, might I remind you that the Holy Spirit is in the business of helping you overcome evil influences. Might I remind myself of the same thing, too!