What are we suppose to do as Christians in this world? Even after 40 years of walking with Jesus some people have not grown past this question. Well there are a lot of things we need to "do" but if you really want to know, look at Jesus' example.
The big thing is to be engaged with people. We cannot fulfil our purpose if we are not engaged with people. Jesus doesn't care about the beauty of our church buildings or the size of our congregations. His focus is on the heart condition of people and that is why we must be engaged in this world and the conversation that is taking place. In other words, we are being disobedient when we hide out in our church buildings or in our homes.
You do realize what happens when God's children fail to obey the "go" command, don't you? Jesus told his disciples to "go" to the ends of the world with the good news. Instead they held up in Jerusalem and the Church began to grow in huge numbers there. So God allowed a great persecution to come on the Church forcing everyone to scatter. And where they scattered the Good News spread.
There is an attitude we are suppose to maintain as Christians to fulfil our purpose in this place, while we remain engaged and part of the conversation. I think we find a nice summary of that attitude in Colossians 4:
Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. (Colossians 4:2)
Let's be honest, we often do the opposite. There is a great prayer deficit in the average Christian life. Most of us spend less than 15 minutes in prayer every day and much of that has no real purpose, faith or power behind it. We pray because we feel obligated to "stay in touch" with God. It certainly is not a weapon we are wielding and it is not a provocation of God's power for the sake of the Kingdom. Much of our prayers are about ourselves and not about people we are fighting for. We certainly are not devoted to prayer. We have no real sense of purpose in it.
Pay attention? Hardly. Most Christians can't tell you who their political leaders are. We don't know what is going on in our various countries. We certainly don't know what is happening around the world. We don't even know what is happening in our neighbourhood. We are a very closed people who are only concerned with those things that impact us personally. We go to work/school, come home and eat, look for entertainment, take care of the family, take care of what is ours and that is our life. This is not paying attention.
A Christian should know his neighbours, notice when something is wrong, be engaged to be there to help and most importantly to pray. We need to pay attention to know what is going on to know how to battle in prayer. We aren't in this place for ourselves. We are here to fight for others.
Have you ever met a thankful Christian? Well shake their hand and take a picture because they are a rare breed. Most Christians are complainers, grumblers and accusers. We allow so much negative things to take up residence in us and yet the Word says that a relationship with Jesus produces an attitude of thanksgiving.
Yes, watching the evil of this world can have an effect on us. Seeing how much evil is in the world can even attempt to overwhelm us but maintaining an attitude of gratitude guards our heart. When we constantly remind ourselves of the goodness, faithfulness, and love of Jesus evil is kept in its place. Remembering the power and authority of Jesus keeps everything in perspective. With a heart filled with gratitude to Jesus for everything, we will find it that much easier to be engaged with people.
This is a call for us to wake up from our stupor and self-centered attitude and get engaged with the battle we are here to be part of. We need to shake ourselves up before God does and get back to the fight. Pray! Pay Attention! Be Thankful! This is our attitude and we will do well in the battle today if we maintain it. Come on warrior called by Jesus! Rise up!