As a Christian, have you ever felt like you just didn't belong? Let's say you're at a family gathering, or your workplace, or your school, and as far as you know, there's no one else around you that professes to be a Christian. Sure, you love your friends, co-workers, or family, but the conversations they have, the things they do on the weekends, even the way they dress, carry themselves, and treat others...all of it is hard for you to take in.
Do you know why? Because as a new creation, you've been made different. It's not a "bad" kind of different, but a "good" kind of different! When the Holy Spirit of God comes to take up residence in your life and heart, you can't help but change!!
And you discover...
Truth #2 - You are a stranger in this world.
1 Peter 2:11 says this,
"Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul."
The psalmist in Psalm 119:19 declares, "I am a stranger on earth..."
And in Hebrews 11:13, after the Word speaks about the faithful acts of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, we read,
"All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth."
Verse 16 goes on to say, "...they were longing for a better country - - a heavenly one."
When we are sealed...marked...stamped...as a Christian, our desires change. We long for righteousness, goodness, peace, purity...things that are lovely and praiseworthy. Our heart's desire is to please God, to know Him more fully, to live completely for Him, and to bring glory to His name. Suddenly, just as the heroes of the faith, we long for Heaven...our true home! The Lord puts those longings in our hearts. You may not like it all the time, this "being different", and there may be times that you even feel like you don't fit in with certain groups of people, but honestly - - praise God for those feelings!! It simply means that you are experiencing the effects of your DNA as a born-again Child of God! I can assure you, there is nothing better!
One of my favorite quotes from C.S. Lewis is, "If I find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world."
It's true. We don't really belong here. We were made for another world, one that will be our eternal home with the Father. Ah, I can't wait to meet you all and worship with you there!! It's going to be an amazing place, beyond our wildest imaginations!
If going there means that I am a stranger here, so be it.
Lord, we are longing to be with You. You put eternity in our hearts and heaven on our minds. Thank you for the hope we have of that day when we will walk side-by-side with You, basking in Your awesome presence. While we are here though, we are strangers...at times peculiar and seemingly "weird" in world that does not understand You. Help us, strengthen us, and draw close to us in those moments when being a Christian means we take a difficult path, maybe even losing friends. Remind us, Lord, that by design being a stranger here only means that we are adopted "There".
Once again, I was reminded of a song as I was writing this. It's one of my all-time favorites! Be forewarned, you will sing it all day long...but it will be a good reminder to you of Truth #2 - You are a stranger in this world. (P.s. If you're a subscriber, you'll have to hop on the blog to actually view it.)
My oldest brother, ages ago (sorry bro...we are getting old!), would listen to a song by Petra called, "Not of This World" that would apply here, too. It stuck in my head as a kid! Go to youtube and look it up:)
*In case you missed the first post in this series, go to - Truth #1
*The next post is - Truth #3
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