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You’re Not Home Yet

Jet Plane to NowhereIn my last post I talked about some of our attitudes toward our faith in God. There was a word that we looked at that stood out to me. I want to take it a step further today. The Apostle Peter mentioned it as well.

Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to God’s elect, strangers in the world, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by his blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance.
1 Peter 1:1-2

Peter wrote to the churches that he was in relationship with. His desire was that they experience God’s grace and peace in abundance. This is something that every believer should seek after.

The question is; how do we receive this? In this verse Peter shows us the foundation. It’s how we view our walk with God. The first thing he mentions is that we are strangers in this world. The word strangers literally means aliens alongside, resident foreigners. In my last post we looked at a verse from Hebrews that said almost the same thing.

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.
Hebrews 11:13

These saints confessed that they were aliens in this world. We need to pick up this same mindset. I do not belong to this world. I live by a different set of rules. I live on a different level.

You may not know this about me, but I’m a Sci-Fi geek. I love TV shows and movies with a Science Fiction theme. One of the major types of shows revolves around aliens.

There are two kinds. The first involves aliens that try to take over by force. That’s not what I’m talking about. The second is the group of aliens that infiltrate society and look just like the humans around them. They hold down a job, go to school, and act like all the humans they come in contact with.

But there’s more to their story. They have a different agenda. They have a goal that’s bigger than society around them. Their goals were set by a government that’s not of our world. Why am I talking about all this Science Fiction stuff?

The answer is simple. As Christians we’re supposed to be living it. We belong to a government – a kingdom – that’s not a part of this world. We have an agenda that’s so much bigger than just getting the highest paying job that we can. It’s more than getting degrees and fame.

We’re to be preparing society for the biggest takeover that could ever be imagined. Jesus Christ is returning to establish His kingdom. It’s up to us to get everything ready for that day.

Our priorities should be different than the rest of the world. Who’s in power, the economy, the weather; all these things interest me and I need to understand them, but they don’t determine what I do. It’s the Holy Spirit that I ultimately answer to.

You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.
James 4:4

Scripture makes it clear that our loyalties are above. We are to live as aliens and strangers to this world system. Only then will we see the grace and peace of God working abundantly in our lives.

Question: In what ways have you experienced an “alien lifestyle”?

© Nick Zaccardi 2015

 
 

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Are You Wrestling with God?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe all face hardships in our lives. Sometimes it’s our own doing. There are even times that our goals are in direct opposition to what God is trying to accomplish in us.

Many Christians come up with their own plan for their lives. Then they pray about it simply to have God bless it. Unfortunately, if it’s not God’s plan, there will be no blessing no matter how hard you pray. You’ll simply find yourself struggling against God’s purpose in your walk with Him.

The Patriarch, Jacob, found himself in just such a position.

So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak.
Genesis 32:24

We know from the context of Scripture that God came down to Jacob this night and wrestled with him. He was alone. His family couldn’t save him. His possessions couldn’t save him. He found himself totally alone with God.

This is the power of time alone with the Lord. If God wants your undivided attention, He knows just how to get it. We need to take the time to hear His voice speaking to us. It would save us a lot of grief in the long run.

When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man.
Genesis 32:25

This portion of Scripture always bothered me. How could Jacob, a man, beat God in a fight? There was something not right about it.

Then it occurred to me – if it was God’s intent to beat Jacob in a fight, the Lord could have squashed him like a bug. God could have done it with a word, never even laying a finger on him. As it turns out, the fight was not for God’s benefit. The Lord didn’t need to prove He could win. It was all about getting Jacob’s attention.

This shows me the love of God. When we find ourselves struggling against His will, He lowers Himself so as to fight at your level of ability. Like a father wrestling on the floor with his child, the goal is not to win, but to instruct.

I find that it’s easier to have these wrestling times with the Lord in private. In public you have to act like everything’s okay. When you’re alone, you can take your time and struggle through some issues without the usual distractions.

Don’t be afraid to tackle some big issues with the Lord. Remember that He’s not out to hurt you, but to make your life better than you could ever do it on your own. Give Him the chance to help you fight through your struggles.

Questions: Have you ever found yourself struggling against God’s plan? What were the issues? How did it turn out?

© Nick Zaccardi 2014

 
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Posted by on July 9, 2014 in Prayer

 

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