At the Olympics this week, USA beat Russia in hockey and the Cossacks beat Pussy Riot in Sochi Square. That second event must have been a vivid reminder to any westerner who witnessed it: You are not in Kansas, Toto; you are in Russia. Russia is under the control of Putin. And, Putin is not happy with Pussy Riot. Maybe you have been comfortable in Sochi, but don’t be fooled: you don’t belong there – not if you appreciate the freedoms we protect at home. Dennis Rodman may feel welcomed in North Korea. But, if he made one wrong move, he would quickly discover who really controls the country that it is not his home.
When a person discovers the truth about Jesus, and turns to Him by faith, he or she turns away from the world. They are not physically leaving the world, but are shifting their allegiance to Christ and becoming citizens of His kingdom. They are in the world, but no longer belong to it. They experience a radical shift in understanding and in priorities. Important motivators for the world, like seductiveness, fame or wealth, now make as much sense as Cossacks beating young girls in a punk band. Followers of Jesus, they have become alien visitors in this world. John reminds us:
We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one. We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true—even in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life. (1 John 5:19-20)
Is the whole world under Satan’s control? You can do your own assessment. Start with the news… Take a trip to the Ukraine, to Venezuela, to North Korea, to Egypt, Iran or Washington DC. Sit through a few previews of “Coming Attractions” to see what Hollywood thinks will sell. Figure out why so many public idols have overdosed. Is the world getting better?
Me? I’ll follow my King, my God and My Savior, Jesus. If you are curious and want to know more, I’ll do my best to show you what I have discovered. The nice thing is that it really is your call.