The people of Israel, after so many years of being governed by judges, turned to Samuel and said they wanted a king to be like all the other nations around them. You can read the sad story in 1 Samuel 8. God heard their request, and He essentially told Samuel, “Let it be. It is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected Me.”
In our world, living a different life for Christ is a perpetual conflict. Everything around us keeps grabbing us and striving to gain our attention, our time and our focus. It happens through emails, websites, sports, music, TV—everything. Even our friends and relatives, despite their best intentions, can pull us away from our devotion to Christ. They may say things like, “Don’t be crazy,” “Take care of yourself” or “You’re going off the deep end.” So many things around us try to hold on to us, to change our focus to ourselves, to have us be part of this world. But it’s a personal choice we must make to commit ourselves to Christ and say, “I belong to my Lord—body, mind, soul and spirit—both now and forever.”
I think about the early Christians in the book of Acts. They stood out and faced all sorts of pressure, difficulties and persecution for their faith. But if you reread Acts, which I’m encouraging everyone to do right now, it’s amazing to see how God was moving in their midst. It is good for us to see how these Christians lived in the very beginning of the Church. They asked God continually to have mercy on them, and they also found grace. Not only were they not afraid of being different for His sake, but they found grace to boldly proclaim His name daily.
I want to encourage you, even in the face of all the pressures of this world, to take some time to be with Christ. The only thing you and I need to do is hang on to Him and remember we are His.