Written by Austin Jones of Calgary, Alberta
If you grew up in church, you’ve probably heard Christians should be “in the world but not of the world.” It’s as if the world is seen as a huge mud puddle, and if we go outside of the church we’re going to get ourselves dirty.
The message seems to be the world is going to corrupt us. Like Isaiah, we’re very aware of our sinfulness and that the world around us only makes us worse. We have “unclean lips” (Isaiah 6:5) – meaning we can’t even praise God appropriately or speak on His behalf – and we live in a world where everyone has unclean lips.
Well, if we only remembered the next verses too, we’d see the mud puddle idea is wrong. After Isaiah laments his sinfulness, one of the seraphim touches his lips with a piece of burning coal and tells him he is made clean.
Or consider what Jesus thought about our mud puddle. He wasn’t afraid to come down to earth. He wasn’t afraid of “playing in the mud.”
He wasn’t afraid to come down to earth. He wasn’t afraid of “playing in the mud.
When the coal touched Isaiah’s lips, he was made clean. When Jesus came to earth, He came to save us. What does this mean for us? It means that the world isn’t going to make us dirty. The biblical example is clear: When something holy touches something unholy, purification takes place.
When someone becomes a Christian they are transferred from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of God. And because we have been made holy through Christ, the world cannot take that away.
Because we have been redeemed, we are God’s holy presence on earth. When we go out into the world the Kingdom of God goes with us. When we go into dark places, we are the light. We can bring God into the most desperate situations by going to those places ourselves.
We shouldn’t be afraid of getting dirty because that’s not how the process works. All you have to do is look at Jesus’ ministry. He goes out and heals the sick, casts out demons, feeds the hungry, and spends a lot of His time with the tax collectors and sinners.
So remember to ask yourself: What happens when something holy – that’s you, because of what Christ has done in you – touches something unholy? They both become holy.