I am a Pilgrim
What is it that genuinely stirs your passions? Politics? Sports? Fashion? Maybe travel? Social Media has given us a revealing peek into people's true passions. If you go to someone's Facebook or Twitter feed you will see conspiracy theories, political rants, sports rivalries, and trolling, lots of trolling. All of this revealing what it is that captures your interest and attention. The mouth (Facebook feed) speaks from the overflow of the heart. (Matthew 12:34) I like to keep up with politics and current events, but when I find my political passions running hotter than my Spiritual ones, I know I need to reevaluate.
When I spend more time researching my team's chances for this week's game than I do studying God's word, I have become distracted from my true task, my real purpose on this planet. God wants me to be a radical, spiritual revolutionary, ready to take a mission at a moment's notice. I am a member of a group of pilgrims (ekklesia) living and moving according to His purposes. But sometimes I devalue myself, and I forget who I am. When I am not focused on my mission, the temptation to make this place my home is waiting there. It tells me that its okay to find my belonging and identity here on earth. If we are honest, we kind of like it here. We have grown accustomed to this carnal life. We need to be reminded that
WE DO NOT BELONG HERE!
If we are comfortable in this world, that is a sure sign that we have lost our focus.
A Singular Mission
We were saved from a pointless existence in order to live life in abundance. Jesus gave us a critical mission to accomplish. We should live accordingly. Living overseas has been tremendously helpful to my spiritual walk.
It is an awkward feeling to be a resident alien, to be different than everyone else. No matter where you go, you feel like a stranger. Your skin color, language, and religious background cause you to be an outsider. After living far from home for a significant time, you realize that you can make small adaptations, but you will never ultimately be like your hosts.
You will forever be a stranger, a pilgrim, a foreigner. And that is okay.
Your hosts are usually fine with that. They know you are different, and they accept that. It bothers us more than it bothers them because most of us are addicted to the acceptance of men. Unfortunately, we often don't value God's acceptance as highly.
As an alien, I can focus on the most important things without getting distracted by the less critical things that others spend their passions on. I always stay out of the politics of my host country. I can't vote here. As a non-citizen, I have no impact on the political process. So it is better to stay neutral and live out my faith in whatever political climate that God has ordained for that time. It helps you keep things in perspective. This world and its systems are passing away, but His Kingdom will endure forever.
Being a foreigner encourages me to keep my eyes on eternal things. I focus on my real home, my spiritual family, and I strive to live in that reality even here on earth.
I am not a man without a country. I am not just a resident Alien, I am an emissary for the Kingdom of God. I am building His kingdom, I am expanding the reach of His reign wherever I go. Because His kingdom is secretly embedded within every sovereign nation on this earth, it can exist in a communist or a democratic country, a wealthy nation, or a poor one. Every citizen in my host country CAN become a citizen of heaven, but they must first hear. I must be driven to that end. I must wake up every morning thinking of how I can, as a pilgrim, have a positive impact on the host country I live in and the people I encounter.
Strangers & Exiles
In Hebrews 11, after describing the most faithful of God's people, the writer says:
"These all died in faith without having received the promises, but they saw them from a distance, greeted them, and confessed that they were foreigners and temporary residents on the earth.Now those who say such things make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they were thinking about where they came from, they would have had an opportunity to return. But they now desire a better place — a heavenly one. Therefore, God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them." So, let's stop living like we belong here and set our eyes on our eternal home, putting our hands to work on this eternal mission. Allow Jesus to steal your heart away from this world and give him all of your life. You will not regret it, I promise.