For many years, most of my Christian friends thought I had changed if I acted like it; they placed their faith about me in their view of me, in their assessment of me and how I seemed, rather than in how God had changed me. In other words, I held their view and He did not. Have you ever done that? Has that ever happened to you? What they saw determined their interaction with me, rather than what they knew about me—about me and God, and how we’d gotten together and were really close. Unfortunately, I believed they were right and that I hadn’t really been changed—changed by God—so we were all deceived. And that meant all of us were hurt because of it. But not anymore.

Today we see by faith in Christ, not by faith in appearances. Faith in Christ and in the profound changes He has made to us invigorates and fits us and leads us into the day—the sons of God. The other faith, assessing people and situations by appearances, confuses us and wears us out. It’s the only possible result. Christianity then seems to become impractical to us when we’re focused upon appearances, and we’ll say things like, “Well, I have to live in the real world; you know, in reality,” we’ll say. And that’s where the confusion takes hold of us, aliens in this world, and shakes us to misery. Even though we cannot live as this world does, we’re duped into believing we should make the attempt.

If you and I are going to enjoy eternal life—not life made longer, but the real life of God given to us in Christ—then we will want to accept the Spirit’s leading to view our days (and the people in our days) from our true vantage place—in Christ. It will be invigorating and adventurous for us, because we’ll be living by faith in Christ, which is normal for us now. And it will be encouraging to others, who will see upon our faces at least occasional glimpses of the hope of life by Jesus. We’ll know what’s actually going on—and that’s tremendous—and they’ll have the hope of something better than what they see alone.

That will open a whole new way of life to us. And that’s the life that counts—life by Jesus.

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