According to the Scriptures, are we to be affected by our environment ( the 'world' ), or are we rather to have a positive effect on the world around us? The answer to that question is abundantly clear if one is honest in their understanding of the Story. By allowing themselves to be affected by the nations around them, rather than leading them into a worship of the Living God rather than mere idols, Israel according to the flesh unleashed a world of hurt upon themselves. The result of their failure, according to Scripture, was the cataclysmic end of their 'world'!
In today's world, it would seem that we face much the same situation; too many people, rather than being the cause of positive change in their world, are instead playing the part of the victim as they suffer under the negative effects that others have caused.
There is quite a bit of discussion surfacing recently about the fact that, largely through ignorance, history has been forced to repeat itself. 'Ignorance', we say, because it is ( mainly ) through forgetting our own history that the world continues to regress, or at least, so it would seem. Scripturally speaking, much of Israel's problem was a result of their failure to learn from their past history. By not learning from the mistakes of the past, much has occurred in our 'world' that might not have happened if more people had taken positive instruction from those lessons. Admittedly & thankfully, not all have failed the test; the success of the Gospel is a great indication of this.
The Gospel, of course, is the Good News that the Creator came to dwell with ( in ) His Creation. The Greek Scriptures tell the Story of how the Creator God sent of Himself ( His Son ) to earth, to awaken His Creation to the fact that they were His true Temple. In the beginning, according to the Story of Scripture, Israel served simply as a reflector ( the moon ) of the glory of the Creator God. With the lightning advance of the Gospel, through the Revelation of the Son of God, the Creator God now dwells within His Creation, as we are the true Temple of the Holy Spirit.
Near the end of the book of Revelation, in referring to the New Jerusalem, or the Holy City, John saw that 'There shall be no night there' ( Revelation 22:5a ). This is indicative of the fact, we may note, among other things, that the moon ( a reflective light ) is no longer necessary, for rather than reflecting off His Creation, the Light of the Creator God shines from within His Living Temple, His New Creation!
The Glorious Fact of 'the Christ in us' seems to have been lost on the majority of Christendom for the past 2,000 years! For whatever reason, the traditional doctrine of a future 'parousia' of the Christ has so infiltrated the Church that most Christians seem to think that rather than having made His Home with ( in ) us as He promised ( John 14:23 ), Jesus has yet to keep His promise to His people. Blame it on religion if you will ( many do ), the sad fact is that many have placed their hope outside themselves, not realizing that it is Within that our greatest Strength lies.
No longer does the Creation ( if ever it did ) simply reflect the Glory, or Image of the Creator! According to Scripture, the True Light is now projected from within the New Temple, His Creation. Although it may be up for debate as to whether this includes the entire Creation ( which this blogger believes ) or whether it is an exclusive right to those who have consciously entered into Covenant with the Creator God, in essence, become Christian, it is what it is. Though not all realize this Glorious Fact, it only needs to be awakened within them for the Light to shine forth in its true brilliance. Even in those who have not yet awakened from their slumber of ignorance, the Light shines through, despite their own weakness.
As we project the Light of the Christ into the world around us, we cannot fail to note a markedly positive change, for no matter how small it may seem, no matter how long it takes, if we determine within ourselves to be the cause of good, the effect must be that we will see good come of it. The Light shone in the Darkness of Jesus' Day & though many of His own people did not comprehend It, still It shone; through His Light, many who were in Darkness were brought, blinking, into the Light!
Scripture tells the Story of Israel. Their many failures were heart-rending, even maddening, but through their stumbling in the Darkness they created, the Light shone through to reveal a brand new Day! These many years later, that same Light shines in us even brighter. Through the choices we make, we can be the cause, effecting the much-needed change in the world around us!
May we BE the change we wish to see in the world,
Charles Haddon Shank