Movies along with a slew of books provide a seemingly endless supply of entertainment involving aliens.
Sometimes aliens invade Earth to annihilate humans and take over the planet (War of the Worlds and Independence Day). Sometimes they come to take back what another alien stole and that they need to survive (Men in Black). Sometimes they just get lost here (E.T.).
While here, aliens sometimes take over human bodies and sometimes just eat them. Sometimes, humans and aliens become friends. There are also stories about humans flying to alien planets, which makes the human become the alien (Space Trilogy by C.S. Lewis).
There are many individuals who truly believe that aliens exist, have already come to our planet, and that the government is conspiring to cover up that fact (think Area 51). We are fascinated by the idea that other races and worlds may exist outside of our own.
We Are The Aliens
“Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul.” (1 Peter 2:11)
As Christians, we know that we are in fact the aliens in this world (1 Peter 2:11). We are strangers here, and this is not our permanent home. Knowing this should change the way we live our lives.
Because we are strangers and aliens, we should stand out. Standing out isn’t exactly about appearance though. Standing out as Christians refers to the way we live our lives in contrast to our culture.
4 Ways Christians Should Stand Out
As aliens and strangers in this temporal world, we have a variety of ways we can and should stand out.
Every individual has unique qualities that set them apart from others. I am naturally organized. My youngest son is pretty athletic. My oldest son has an amazing ability to memorize. My husband has an unusual amount of constant energy. Some people have a unique fashion style, some have amazing musical talent, and still others have natural leadership or teaching ability.
These qualities in and of themselves are not what should bring notice to a Christian though. The way in which a person uses the gifts and abilities given them should be the focus.
Does God receive credit for the ability? Does the church, His body, benefit from the ability? Does the individual operate in the ability or gift for personal fame or to glorify God?
While only God knows the heart, actions often provide an accurate gauge of what’s happening inside of a person.
“Would not God have discovered it, since he knows the secrets of the heart?” (Psalm 44:21)
Christians stand out because we realize that this world is not our home. We become comfortable with being uncomfortable in an ever-changing and increasingly hostile world.
With one eye always on eternity, the Christian perspective exists as one that focuses on the eternal rather than the temporal. A Christian’s focus on eternity provides motivation and energy for living a holy (set apart) life.
“For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come.” (Hebrews 13:14)
The question of motive gets at the reason a person does anything. When the motive is for personal glory, the reward may be immediate and temporarily satisfying to the flesh. But when the motive exists for the glory of God, then the reward endures for eternity.
Asking “Why?” in every facet of life helps keep a Christian focused on the surpassing reward of pleasing the Father in Heaven. Being driven by this “Why?” sets a Christian apart in a world where selfish motives abound.
“We have been set apart as holy because Jesus Christ did what God wanted him to do by sacrificing his body once and for all.” (Hebrews 10:10)
4. A Focus on Truth
Empty promises fill this temporal world. Being sure exists only as an illusion in a culture of relative truth. What’s wrong for you is right for me, and both are okay. Right? Wrong!
As Christians focus on the unchanging truth of God’s Word, they become set apart because they refuse to focus on the ever-changing truth of a temporal world. They focus on truth that satisfies the spirit instead of that which satisfies the flesh (and does so only temporarily).
“Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.” (John 17:17)
Do you look like an alien?
As aliens, Christians live in this world but focus on eternity. They take the gifts and abilities God gives, makes sure their motives and perspectives line up with His Word, and then choose to focus on the truth He places in their hearts.
This temporal world is one of roller coaster realities with highs that quickly plummet into valleys. But a Christian living as an alien uses those highs to rejoice in God’s goodness and the lows to depend on His mercy and grace.
God wants His children to stand out, and He provides the tools for doing so. When we consider our gifts and abilities, our perspective and our motives and as we live those out with a focus on His truth, we see that God has truly given us a myriad of ways to be and stay set apart