As Christians, though we have been enlightened by the gospel of truth, we still experience great difficulty in our attempt to live a life that is completely untainted by secular ways. One powerful force that holds us back is the constant influence of the majority. Secular friends and relatives surround us with worldly trends that are unhealthy for our spiritual life. But we often give way to weakness and entertain thoughts that desire what they have or what they can do. We follow the crowd, blindly pursuing with all our mind and strength the things of this material world, as though they would last forever. We forget that one day the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.
God chose us, as He had the Israelites, so that we may be a people different and set apart from the rest. God wants us to live a holy and godly life that will bring glory to His name. It is an undisputed fact, however, that everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ will be persecuted (2 Tim 3:12). Faced with so many temptations and obstacles, it is indeed a narrow and difficult path that we have chosen. Yet one simple but essential factor will continue to spur us on: faith.
Faith in the word of God and conviction of His promises allows us to foresee the future. Faith transcends the immediate but passing glories of the present. By faith we believe Jesus will come again. By faith we believe that this world and everything in it will be destroyed by fire. Therefore our ultimate hope is not in this world, but in a new heaven and a new earth. With this hope as our constant motivation we can forget what is behind and strain toward what is ahead. Even though this road is narrow, in the end it leads to life. Thus "we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are unseen are eternal"(2 Cor 4:18).
The majority of the Israelites failed to lead a consecrated life. They conformed to the ways of the Gentiles around them. Today, taking this warning from history to heart, let us learn to recognize and cherish our precious status before God, stand firm, and surmount the battery of sinful tides. Many a time when it seemed we stood alone, we in fact were not. For a great cloud of witnesses surrounds us. So "let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us" (Heb 12:1).