Are you ready to follow the beat of a different drum?

Every day our world seems to be spinning just a little bit more out of control. Every day we hear of more “wars and rumors of wars” (Matthew 24:6). Every day we watch news accounts of our nation’s ideological and political divide. Every day our lives are touched by “the rulers, the authorities, and the cosmic powers of this present darkness, spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12).


We have heard these reports. We have seen them and looked upon them with our eyes. They have touched the core of our being, and we cry out to God, “for we have not passed this way before” (Joshua 3:4).


I propose we reorient ourselves to the beat of a different drum by what we hear, see, and touch. Let us follow the example set by the apostles, as John wrote:


That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life—the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us—that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete (1 John 1:1-4, ESV).


Can you imagine? In a time of persecution, uncertainty, and unchartered waters, these early followers of Jesus believed it was possible to have a joy that is complete, full, whole. But how? By reorienting their lives to the beat of a different drum than the culture around them. They couldn’t help but hear, see, and touch the reality in which they lived, but they didn’t have to march to that drum. They chose to hear, see, and touch the reality centered in the resurrected Christ. By choosing Him, their joy was made complete, even despite the crosses they had to bear.


According to the words of Jesus, following Him requires we take up our cross daily. It won’t be easy. It’s not always fun. We find ourselves too often swimming against the current of our culture. But the worst thing we could do in this present age is stop hearing, seeing, and touching the reality of our risen Lord.


If we wish to remain yoked to Jesus, we don’t have the option of choosing which cross to bear. The Christian poet Vasily Zhukovskyu wrote, “We all have crosses to bear, and we are constantly trying on different ones for a good fit” (Payne, Life and Death of Lenin, 209). Erwin Lutzer commented, “We are all trying to find a lighter cross” (We Will Not Be Silenced, 17). We are called to bear the cross we’ve been given through the help of the One we hear, see, and touch, Jesus the Christ.


Let us hear, see, and touch the risen Christ who makes our joy complete. Let us follow the beat of a different drum than the rulers, authorities, and cosmic powers of this present darkness. Let us stand for truth with love, as we know that how we are perceived on earth is not nearly as important as how we are perceived in heaven. And “let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:1b-2, ESV). Soli Deo gloria. Amen.