Looking for a Country

For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.”

Hebrews 11:14-16

“I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world”

John 17:14-16

There are days when I think I’m living on the wrong planet. The things that show up in the course of my day make me wonder if it’s just me that’s crazy, or has the world lost its collective mind and I’m the only sane person here? I’m talking here to my Christian brothers and sisters because I’m sure many of you feel the same way, but there are others who may have the same thoughts. If so, I welcome them to read along.

  • What passes for “news” these days: Covid is still around, so we need to continue the hysteria and paranoia and keep doing all the things that haven’t worked up until now; the United States may or may not be going to war with Russia over the nation of Ukraine, but the Russians better do what we tell them, or we’ll slap them with “sanctions”; and while prices on everything keep going up, our leaders assure us that this is the best the economy has been in years. Sheesh.
  • This morning I stumbled across a Home Free (an American acapella group, for those not familiar with them) cover of an old Dire Straits song Brothers in Arms (which you can listen to here). Most of those on YouTube who listened to the song loved the music but missed the message. The message is contained in the last verse: “We’re fools to make war on our brothers in arms”. The song is not so much a tribute to the military as a commentary on the stupidity and waste of war. And yet we are breathlessly warned of the potential for war daily and seem to have a leadership only too eager to rush into it and once again sacrifice their military men and women like so much meat to the meat grinder in service to the state. We glorify warfare, idolize the military, and then mourn them as heroes when they are dead, telling ourselves they died to protect our freedoms and way of life (waging war is the most useless human endeavor in the history of mankind).

My apologies: I try to stay away from politics as much as possible, but unfortunately politics is so thoroughly entwined into every aspect of our lives there’s almost no way to avoid them. There is more that could be said, but I think you understand. Some days I just want to ‘go home’. I get tired of the constant bombardment by evidence this world is enslaved by evil and sin, and the fact most of those who live here have no recognition of it. It would be easy to surrender the field and withdraw; Satan loves it when we do that. He continually beats on those who follow Christ in order to discourage them, because if he succeeds he wins, and we become his battle prize.

It’s why it is absolutely vital for Christians to stay in the Word, daily or even more often, and pray like our lives depend on it, which they do. We need to keep both close, in our minds and hearts, because they are the “reality check” against the lies and deceptions of Satan. Christ prayed for those who are in the world, but not of the world-that’s us. We don’t belong here, and when life gets really crazy, we feel it more acutely than ever. But we are here for a purpose, and we need to remember that. We are light-bringers and hope-givers to those who are desperately searching for both. We share what we have been given in abundance. We know God will take us Home when our task here is finished, and we want as many as possible to be there with us.

So, my brothers and sisters, think of home and long for it, but remember that we are here for a purpose. Yes, we lose courage and strength sometimes, but God reminds us, “Be strong and courageous”, and provides both in abundant measure. He has already achieved victory; ours is more of a hostage rescue operation. If we’re faithful to the task, imagine what a sweet homecoming it will be.

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