I was reading an article about the Amish this morning. I have always been fascinated by them having grown up very near Lancaster, PA. The article was an interview with a a new order Amish men. In it there were some quotes I want to examine.
#1 – “Our faith will be lost if we adopt technology.” & “But if our people get lax and rub elbows too much with the world, then the world may not look too different – we become like the people outside.”**
How sad that they see their faith so weak that it cannot stand outside their community. Yes, there are many temptations that bombard us in this world every day.
God’s Word promises that we don’t have to face temptations alone or even in our own power.
“The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.” 1 Corinthians 10:13 NLT
10A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. 12For wec are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. 13Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm.
Ephesians 6:10-13 NLT
Jesus said, “I’m not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one. They do not belong to this world any more than I do. Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth. Just as you sent me into the world, I am sending them into the world. And I give myself as a holy sacrifice for them so they can be made holy by your truth. I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me.”
John 17:15-21 NLT
Jesus explicitly stated He was sending His disciples and us into the world, not as part of the world, but as messengers of the Gospel. We cannot follow the great commission of Matthew 28:19-20 to go make disciples of all nations and teach them to obey all the commands He gave us if we stay completely separated from the rest of the world.
Then He said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me.” Luke 9:23 NLT
Taking up our cross is crucifying our flesh, our sinful desires to live and walk as Jesus did and leads. When Jesus walked the earth He mingled with sinners, He ate with them, He met needs for them, He preached to them, but He went “home” to His disciples, those who believed in Him, shared faith and lifestyle with Him. He did not dwell in/with the worldly. He did not adopt the ways and lifestyle of the the sinners, that would have invalidated His message (not to mention His sinless sacrifice). We must maintain our biblical values and lifestyle while still living among the worldly as a light in the darkness.
#2 – “You might hear Amish people say something along the lines of ‘let your light shine, but don’t shine it in anyone’s face.'”**
This quote I like. Jesus said, “You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.
Matthew 5:14-16 NLT
We are to be a beacon drawing people to Jesus, not a blinding light that confuses and frightens like a deer in the headlights. Look at the image.
A city on a hill all lit up at night, especially in Jesus’ day with no other light around, would have been visible for many, many miles. We can’t be all in your face with people about their life choices as though they have already found Jesus. Brow beating them with their sins will not cause them to repent. It was Jesus’ mere presence – His difference – and kindness that often brought people to repentance. Have you ever had someone see Jesus in you and tell you that they want whatever it is you have? I have. That’s how we need to be living, loving, caring, noticing people, helping, serving, listening to Holy Spirit prompting us to action.
This is how we live in the world, but not of the world. Shine, do, be for Jesus, but don’t become part of the worldly. Always live as a kingdom-dweller.
Grace and peace be your in Christ this week, dear ones,
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**quotes from an article at http://amishamerica.com/a-visit-to-the-weavers-candid-amish-thoughts-on-technology-family-more/