A common method of transport in Managua is moto-taxi. Drivers tend to personalize their moto-taxis with flamboyant stickers and decals, often of famous brands (especially Nike) and sports teams. As Nicaragua tends to be a very religious country many have religious decals, either as an expression of their faith or as a way to attract religious costumers. This week I found myself riding in a rather curious moto-taxi. On one side of windshield was a Playboy Bunny sticker, while on the other was a decal of the crucified Christ. This juxtaposition of the sacred and the worldly really struck me. Here was the Playboy Bunny, one of the most overtly worldly symbols I can think of, right next to Jesus, the holiest symbol there is.
This juxtaposition really struck a chord with me, because I feel most of us live out a daily struggle between following God and following the world. We live a Christian life when it is convenient (at church, around Christian friends, etc.), but we live a very worldly life when it seems more convenient (when it helps us get ahead, when we are around worldly friends and influences, etc.). We know that we should live a life that follows the way of Jesus, but we so often give into the worldly temptations surrounding us. Lucky for us, Jesus knew that we would all face this problem. This is what he prayed on our behalf:
I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified] in truth. John 17:15-19
Here are some key things for us to remember as we fight the daily battle between follow God and following the ways of the world:
- Jesus has CHOSEN to keep us in this world. Why? So that he can use us to make this world a better place. There is a reason that each of us is in this world, even if we can’t always understand it. When we follow his ways we not only live the life He has created us to live, but also position ourselves to best impact others.
- Jesus asks God to make us holy. In other words, he asks God to help us deal with the temptation to chase worldly things. God answers this prayer by providing us the Truth of Scripture and the guidance, conviction, and presence of the Holy Spirit. God wants to help you be more like Jesus, you simply have to choose to follow Him.
- Jesus dies for our mistakes. When we do fall into temptation Jesus’ death of the cross saves us for all eternity.