Have you ever felt like a "duck out of water"? Have you ever felt uncomfortable, out of place, like you just didn't belong here on earth?
The Lord tells us in His Word that
“Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from fleshly desires, which war against your soul.” 1 Peter 2:11I also have always known that
"Our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ," Philippians 3:20Lately, more than ever before, I have felt like I am a stranger in a foreign land...called earth. This world is NOT my home. I do not belong here. As a follower of Christ, this is supposed to be a good thing, but then why do I struggle with this so much? I think it is because of the earthly relationships and distractions that pull me away from putting God first. I think that, if we are honest, we all struggle at least a little bit with this.
According to these Scripture passages, God's people, Christians, should always feel somewhat out of place in this world. They ought to feel like strangers, pilgrims, aliens. We are not supposed to be conformed to this world, to share the same interests with the world, behave as the world behaves, watch what the world watches and have the same vision and interests as the world has. We are strangers and aliens here and we are not supposed to be integrated or conformed to this world (Romans 12:2) Yet, we are not to completely isolate ourselves from other people.(which, I have to admit, is tempting to do at times.)
Though we travel this land as strangers or temporary residents, the Lord wants us to do good and show others His love along the way. The pilgrim Abraham was a great man of faith, who interceded for Sodom and rescued Lot.(Genesis 18:16-33) Like Abraham, Peter urges believers to make a difference in this world for God and for good. All of us are called to be servants and witnesses for Christ.
After living for awhile in a place, people often can become more and more comfortable. They adjust, and may even adopt some of the customs and traditions of their new home. In time, they no longer feel like strangers. Scripture warns us not to become too comfortable here on earth. (James 2:1-4) The Bible does not promise us comfortable lives. It teaches us that our lives on earth are temporary, and that, spiritually speaking, even when we are in the world we are not of it.(John 17:16) It informs us of the comfort that comes from knowing that we belong to Jesus.(John 16:33)
So, I suppose this feeling that I have, of being a stranger in a foreign land means that I am on the right track...this struggle between living on earth and looking forward to heaven will always be a part of my life. My comfort is and can only be in knowing and living for Christ alone!!
May you also find comfort, if you struggle too, with knowing that we are not alone in this struggle. All our sisters and brothers in Christ are also aliens and strangers here on earth.