If I learned anything last week — besides how incredible my God is and the power of listening to His voice — it’s that you should never compromise your faith to fit in with the crowd around you. Most of the people volunteering here in South Africa are not believers. They smoke, curse, drink, party, and listen to explicit music.
At first, it was almost refreshing to be around non-believers since I felt suffocated by “Hebrew Roots” people. Still, as the week wore on, I actually began missing freely listening to Christian music around the house and talking about the Bible. As I realized this, I heard the Father remind me that just because I’m here doesn’t mean I have to be like the other volunteers.
Believers aren’t called to fit in; we’re called to be different. One of my favorite quotes comes from the movie What a Girl Wants, “Why are you trying so hard to fit in when you were born to stand out?” So, I decided to make a change and go where the Father leads me. Instead of working on Saturday, I had my Sabbath. I began listening to the book of Psalms as I made breakfast and had worship music playing in my headphones most of the day. The night before, I even got to pray for my roommate, who was suffering from terrible stomach pains after eating dinner.
My encouragement for you today is not to compromise your faith because of the people around you. Be who you are and be a witness to those who are open to hearing about God; but, don’t rub it in people’s faces. If the subject comes up, talk about it and hear what others have to say before continuing with the conversation. We are all on a journey, and the people we meet along the way are a part of that journey and help us grow! It can be scary to be different, but it can also be a testament. I was nervous to ask my roommate if I could pray for her, but I knew it was the right thing to do. When I finally got the courage to ask, she immediately said yes and even held her hand out to me!
As I’m writing this, the words that are playing in my head right now are, “Be the wheat, not the tares!“
Matthew 13:24-30, “Yeshua told them another parable: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.
The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’
‘An enemy did this,’ he replied.
The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’
‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’”
Matthew 13:36-43, “Then He (Yeshua) left the crowd and went into the house. His disciples came to him and said, ‘Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.’
He answered, ‘The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the people of the kingdom. The weeds are the people of the evil one, and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels. As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. They will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears, let them hear.’”
You might be surrounded by ‘weeds,’ but that doesn’t mean they have to stay that way. Be the wheat and show the ‘weeds’ the Truth. Don’t live life for yourself; live for others! Go the extra mile, be there for someone you might not know very well, and don’t stand back when you see a brother or sister fall. Also, be vigilant and aware of those around you and continuously ask the Father to reveal things to you so that you can speak into their lives!
I pray that my words have resonated with someone reading this today. I feel so blessed to have been given this incredible opportunity and am honestly soaking it all up! Every day brings new adventures and new friendships. God has truly blessed me after all the turmoil I’ve faced in the last two years. I pray that you will also be blessed and continue to grow in your beautiful walks with the Father!