“Endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.” 2Ti 2:3
The new birth creates a battle between your old nature and your new one. When you were redeemed, you were recruited into this battle. And it begins the moment your eyes open each morning. The big question is, will you hold up or fold up? Victory depends on knowing your enemy’s strategy and having a plan to deal with it. As a follower of Christ the attack you face each day is twofold. First, there is the attack that comes from without. “Know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God” (Jas 4:4). Now that doesn’t mean distancing yourself from your unchurched friends and denouncing all their activities. Nor does it mean adopting a holier-than-thou attitude toward them. It means that instead of the culture affecting you negatively, you engage and influence it positively, like light in darkness. Susanna Wesley defined “worldliness” as four things: (1) ”Whatever dulls the sensitivities of my spirit toward God, or takes the fine edge off my thought of Him—must be ruled out for He is my Lord. (2) Whatever injures and weakens my body, or affects the mastery of it—must be ruled out for it is the temple of the Lord. (3) Whatever adversely affects the clearness of my witness to Jesus Christ before others—must be ruled out for it was His parting wish that I should be a witness of Him. (4) Whatever may cause my brother to stumble in his Christian life—must be ruled out for that would grieve Jesus.”