We just completed another move. This was the seventh move in our 12 years of marriage.
At this very moment we have unopened boxes screaming at us to be unpacked and organized. Furniture pesters us, telling us it needs arranging. Again, we see that we have too many clothes and some need to be donated.
Our moves have taken place for a variety of reasons. Some were due to job relocation. Others, for additional studies. A few were for monetary reasons. One move took us out of state. Another, out of the country.
The unpleasant (to put it mildly!) aspects of moving are many. The packing and unpacking. The heavy lifting. The stress. The organizing. The thought and energy needed to design a new living space. The additional financial costs. The list goes on.
Amidst the unpleasantness of moving I am reminded of an important biblical concept: this Earth is not my home. I am not a citizen here.
1 Peter 2:8 instructs us, “Dear friends, I urge you as strangers and temporary residents to abstain from fleshly desires that war against you.” Peter teaches that we are just passing through. We have temporary guest visas. One day we will be moving to a different, permanent home. But right now we are “strangers” on this little blue ball.
If you ever feel like you don’t fit in here, it’s because you are not supposed to. You were not meant to dwell eternally on this planet. You were meant to spend eternity somewhere much greater. You have been granted citizenship to a different place, namely Heaven.
When we fail to remember that we are temporary residents on Earth, we live like this is our permanent home. We get mixed up in the affairs of the world and our flesh.
This creates many problems for us. We get confused about what really matters. We place priorities on things we should not. One crucial result of a short-term perspective is that we give up the peace that God offers us.
Earth is largely influenced by the enemy of God, Satan. 1 John 5:19 teaches us, “the whole world is under the sway of the evil one.”
Don’t feel like you fit in? That’s expected.
Do people reject you because you make decisions that honor God and not them? That’s not surprising.
Do friends and family treat you like a freak because you believe in Jesus? Welcome to the club.
Jesus said these things would happen to those of us who truly follow Him, not just give Him lip service. In Matthew 10:22 Jesus said, “You will be hated by everyone because of My name.”
And in Matthew 5:11 Jesus taught, “You will be blessed when they insult and persecute you and falsely say every kind of evil against you because of me.” Be glad and rejoice, because your reward is great in heaven. For that is how they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
Knowing this, is it really surprising that our culture in the U.S., but other places as well, is becoming more hostile towards biblical faith? Is it really a shock that people hate us for claiming one way to a right relationship with God?
We would do well to remember that this Earth is not our home. God calls us to live like citizens of His Kingdom, not the Earth. It may be more difficult to do but it will result in future rewards and personal peace now.
Jesus said it best in John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Your heart must not be troubled or fearful.”
May we always keep in mind that we are here on temporary visas that could expire at any moment. Until that time comes, enjoy your visit.