When you are born of God drastic things happens to you. Suddenly, you're an alien - an exile in this world where you grew up. You're out-of-place.


  You don't fit.


It's like becoming a stranger in the valley where you've lived all your life.


The King of the Golden City up there on the mountain has come down and,


- adopted you as a citizen,

- promised you a house of your own up there,

- gathered you with others in the valley who belong to the Golden City.


Now you're an alien in the Valley. But for some reason the King doesn't take you out of the Valley.


"How are we supposed to live as citizens of the Golden City down here in this Valley of Gloom?"


"How are we supposed to live as citizens of Heaven down here in this world of corruption, hatred, and death?"


Some of us seem to have the idea that we can get away from the world.


- If we have to stay down here in the Valley we can at least withdraw from the people of  the Valley and keep to ourselves.


- We'll cling together in a little enclave of our own and make our own world until the King of the Golden City brings this Valley of Gloom to an end.


And some of us seem to think that since we're already citizens of the Golden City we have a perfect right to disregard the laws of this crummy valley.


Why should we submit to its laws?

Why should we accept responsibility for its common­wealth? We don't belong here!


- Maybe we'll obey some of the laws,


And maybe we'll perform some of the duties of citizenship, but the ones that don't suit us, we'll disregard. After all, we don't belong here anymore.


Many of us don't take seriously the fact that we really are in this world.


- We aren't in Heaven.


- We aren't suspended half-way between Heaven and earth.


- We're right down here as solidly as anyone else, even though we are citizens of Heaven.


If God wanted to, He could have translated us to Heaven when we found Jesus. We're here in this world because this is where God wants us. Here in this world is where God calls us to be His servants.


Not on Mount Sinai.


Not in some half-way to Heaven monastery.


But here!


"I do not pray that thou shouldest take them out of the world but that thou shouldest keep them from the Evil One..... As thou didst send me into the world, so I have sent them into the world."


-----Into the world!


Into this world - just the way it is right now.


- A world that does not honor our God.

- A world that despises our Christ.

- A world that runs by lust, greed, deceit, and the thirst for blood.


And in this world we are called to serve God in the same way our Lord served the Father.


"I haven't come to do my own will but the will of Him who sent me."


"Lo, I come to do thy will, 0 Lord."


We are now the Body of Christ on earth which means we are the link between earth and Heaven.


If the souls out there whose hearts thirst for the Messiah are ever to know that there is a Messiah in this age of grace, they will have to find out from us. If they're ever going to find God's forgiveness in Jesus, they're going to have to find it through us.


We are the light of the world.

We are the salt of the earth.

We are a city set upon a hill even down here in the valley.

The light of the world and the salt of the earth..... but, that light can only be seen, that salt can only be tasted, when our hearts are in real touch with God and our lives are in real touch with this world.


1. We have to be in touch with God through His Son continuously.


"I am the Vine, you are the branches. Apart from me you can do nothing."


2. And, we have to be in touch with this world.


"As the Father has sent me, even so I send you."


The problem with many of us is that we are out of touch both with God and the world. We're living in a world of our own. Satan has succeeded in luring us off into a world of religious fantasy where our communion with God is an illusion and our conception of the world around us is utterly unreal.


You think I exaggerate? My friend, if we were in real touch with God, our gatherings would burn with glory every time we come together. The light of God among us wouldn't flicker and sputter. And, we wouldn't haggle over methods of worship.


"I can't sing those hymns."

"I can't stand that liturgy."


We'd turn "Mary Had A Little Lamb" into a liturgy of praise to God.


- The places where we gather would shake.

- These hearts would burn.

- These tongues would glorify their God.


And if we were in real touch with the world,


- the world would feel the impact,

- the world would hear the gospel clearly.


Those people around us might not accept the Word, but they would hear it and they'd know exactly what they heard. There would be a stirring in our neighborhoods, a stirring in our cities. All it takes are some servants of God who have come from Mount Sinai to where the people are.


The apostle Peter tells us to live as servants of this world. Two simple things which should be self-evident. But what miracles, what mighty things will begin to happen in our ministries when our lives embody those two things!


l. Servants of God.


"And now Lord, look upon their threats and grant to thy servants to speak thy word with all boldness."


Those people knew what they were!


            - They weren't "church members."

            - They weren't "Jesus freaks."

            - They weren't "paragons of respectability."

            - They weren't "spiritual status-seekers."


- They were servants of God.


Do we see ourselves, twenty-four hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week, as servants of God?


A servant of God is a person who continuously presents his/her body to God as a living sacrifice. If you're presenting your body to God as a living sacrifice,


- it cannot dominate you with its lusts,

- it cannot control you with its aches and pains,

- it cannot turn you into a vegetable with its love of ease.


Now your body functions as a temple of the Holy Spirit. It serves. It glorifies God.


A servant of God is a person whose mind is continuously being transformed and renewed by the atmosphere of Heaven.


You can't serve God with a stagnant mind.

You can't serve God with a mind that wallows in the thought-life of the world around it.


You renew your mind by soaking it in God's Word and steeping it in God's Spirit by giving your mind to God and concentrating on the things God is saying.


A servant of God has a heart that is broken and contrite before God, not only in moments of crisis, but all the time. Not a broken and contrite face, but a broken and contrite heart.


- A heart that acknowledges God as holy and itself as unholy.

- A heart that knows its only claim on God to be the blood of the Lamb.


You never get beyond repentance.

You never "grow out of" repentance. The minute your heart is no longer broken before God, your heart has departed from God.


A servant of God has a mouth that is continuously filled with God's praise.


"I will bless the Lord at all times. His praise shall be continuously in my mouth."


"And day and night they never cease to sing Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord God Almighty."


And we are those servants, not in Heaven, not in some isolated desert retreat, but in the city or town or valley or desert where we live. If we're not aware of the bitter hatred that eats at the soul of our city, the sus­picion, the cynicism, the despair, the deceit, and the moral corruption that grips the throat of our town and its gleaming suburbs, it's only because we've been lingering on the mountaintop - we haven't dared to come down and face reality. And it's down in the middle of all this mess that we are to live as servants of God.


We don't come in with a tent, preach for nine days and split. We live in this. If we can't live in all this as servants of God, then our message means nothing.


We are to maintain good conduct among the Gentiles.


- Never mind if they speak against us as just another rip-off.


- Never mind if they suspect our motives.


We go right on living as responsible God-fearing men and women.


            Not as slobs,

            Not as emotional babies,

Not as drifting clouds that change their direction every ten minutes, but as sons and daughters of God.


And we are to be "subject to the human institutions" around us for the Lord's sake.


We don't take the "revolutionary cop-out." Our Lord didn't, nor do we.


Our Lord paid His taxes.

Our Lord went to the synagogue on the Sabbath.

Our Lord went to the temple.

Our Lord submitted to the authority of the High Priest, the Sanhedrin, and Roman soldiers.


He could have called down fire from Heaven.

He could have escaped in the arms of angels, but mindful of His Father's will, He  submitted .... even unto a humiliating, sin-atoning death.


Which bring us to the final things we are to do in this world. We, like our Lord, are to endure pain, suffering wrongfully.


"When He was reviled, He reviled not again. When He suffered, He threatened not. But committed Himself to Him who judgeth righteously."


We are going to be wronged.

We are going to be slandered.

We are going to be willfully misunderstood, and we are going to endure it in the Spirit and power of our Lord.


- Then our message will start cutting ice­

- Then the world around us will do a little trembling at the name of Jesus.


We read of all the mighty things believers accomplished in the Book of Acts, but we somehow slip over the things they suffered.


- Stephen was killed.

- James was killed.

- Peter and John were imprisoned.

- Paul and Silas were imprisoned.


They were lashed with whips, starved to death, despised by their own flesh, because they lived as servants of God right down in the middle of a perverse and godless world. But their message had bite, it had sting, it had power, it caused things to happen. So will ours!


Every spring we hear believers say, "It's going to be a heavy summer." "Mighty things are going to happen in the name of the Lord." The summers have passed with hardly a ripple in this sluggish, sullen sea of humanity we call our city.


Pray for this summer to be different. Perhaps our town is going to hear the gospel this summer. Perhaps God will have saints out there doing the job. Men and women living as His servants down here in Satan's crumbling domain. Their word will have force because they are paying the price of being in touch both with the living God, and this dying world.


God grant that there will be laborers out there!


God grant that we will be found among them.