I’ve been posting from First Corinthians, Chapter 7. Paul is dealing with romantic relationships. In my last article Paul advised that because of persecution that was starting, they needed to consider carefully if they were looking to marry.
Now Paul explains these principles in a little more detail.
What I mean, brothers, is that the time is short. From now on those who have wives should live as if they had none…
1 Corinthians 7:29
We have to understand that Paul is not saying to leave your wife. What he means is that whatever happens, keep your walk with the Lord your priority.
At any time your spouse might be arrested, imprisoned, or even martyred for your faith in Christ. If that’s the case, then you can’t let it affect your service to the Lord. That’s why God gives a special kind of grace to those undergoing persecution.
Many have come to me and said, “Pastor, I hope persecution never comes to America because I don’t think I could handle it.” I tell them that if we’re called to that kind of life, then we’ll be given the grace to withstand it victoriously.
Paul goes on to explain the underlying truth.
…those who mourn, as if they did not; those who are happy, as if they were not; those who buy something, as if it were not theirs to keep; those who use the things of the world, as if not engrossed in them. For this world in its present form is passing away.
1 Corinthians 7:30-31
The thing that Paul is trying to get across to us is that everything is subject to change. The world doesn’t get it. They think that a single event brings a permanent change.
If they go through a devastating loss, they think their life is over forever. On the other hand, they think that if they can just win the lottery, they’ll be happy forever. Neither of those two statements is true. Change is constant.
So as believers, we’re told not to look at any phase of life as permanent. Even if we get a new device that we’ve always wanted – we realize that it’s not ours to keep. It will wear out, break, or become obsolete.
We’re literally told that we can use the systems of the world, but don’t overuse or misuse them. The way society works is constantly changing. The strategies that made people successful 50 years ago, won’t work today.
The present form of the world – the way things work – is fading away. Society is always changing. The way people learn, interact and do business is always evolving. We can’t get engrossed in one way of doing things.
But here’s the good news. God’s kingdom works the same yesterday, today and forever.
It’s all about spending time in the Lord’s presence hearing from the Holy Spirit. Then we do what He’s leading us to do. It’s this obedience that makes us successful.
If somebody had told me as a teen, that one day I would sit in my den and explain Biblical truth to people across the country and around the world, I wouldn’t have believed them. It’s become a different world now.
The bottom line is that change will be constant and that listening to the voice of God is the only thing that will keep us on course.
Question: How has the Holy Spirit helped you to weather the changes in society?
© 2019 Nick Zaccardi