Hi Hope! Very good conceptualization and view of the difficulty we face as individuals day in and day out being in a such a state of flux or in great need, being outside of the place we truly belong, which is with our Father in heaven. I had just thought about you and wanted to see if you had something posted today and then this evening when I checked my email listings the notice for this new posting was right at the top!
It’s not the intrinsic outward perception of what we see with our eyes or the material value of an object, even that image of the material thing or object that we can physically touch, which is entirely fleeting, none of that matters in the end! It’s the unseen value, the greater hidden meaning and purpose which all eventually culminates into at the point of final judgment by God. Just like all of your efforts over time that no one outside of God actually sees or can fully perceive, not being with you 24/7 or seeing all you see through your own unique perspective. But, respect and genuine appreciation for anything of lasting value must come from the heart and soul, and only God the Father through Jesus Christ knows each heart completely; and in the final analysis that is all that matters!
True one man’s junk can be another man’s treasure, but, to me this is all earthly yet ethereal because it’s a smoke and mirrors illusion, this is not real to me in a sense, actually nothing here is meant to last or be the begin all and end all! It’s a trap or maze in a sense, because nothing here will bring lasting happiness, nothing not ever; only the resulting death due to sin and the subsequent fallen state of being!
So this temporary stopover in a real manner of speaking to the heart of it, is like being between that proverbial rock and a hard place.
“14But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? For everything comes from You, and from Your own hand we have given to You. 15For we are foreigners and strangers in Your presence, as were all our forefathers. Our days on earth are like a shadow, without hope. 16O LORD our God, from Your hand comes all this abundance that we have provided to build You a house for Your holy Name, and all of it belongs to You.” 1 Chronicles 29:15
“For we are aliens and vagrants in your presence, as were all of our ancestors. Our days on the earth pass away like shadows, and we have no hope.” 1 Chronicles 29:15
“10Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. 11Beloved, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from the desires of the flesh, which war against your soul. 12Conduct yourselves with such honor among the Gentiles that, though they slander you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day He visits us.” 1 Peter 2:11
“Dear friends, you are foreigners and strangers on this earth. So I beg you not to surrender to those desires that fight against you.” 1 Peter 2:11
“Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them.” 1 John 2:15
John 17:14 Jesus says, “I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world.”
Then there is this fine perspective pointing to the dichotomy or inner and outer conflict we face daily!
When we read of the “world” in the New Testament, we are reading the Greek word cosmos. Cosmos most often refers to the inhabited earth and the people who live on the earth, which functions apart from God. Satan is the ruler of this “cosmos” (John 12:31; 16:11; 1 John 5:19). By the simple definition that the word world refers to a world system ruled by Satan, we can more readily appreciate Christ’s claims that believers are no longer of the world—we are no longer ruled by sin, nor are we bound by the principles of the world. In addition, we are being changed into the image of Christ, causing our interest in the things of the world to become less and less as we mature in Christ.
Believers in Jesus Christ are simply in the world—physically present—but not of it, not part of its values (John 17:14-15). As believers, we should be set apart from the world. This is the meaning of being holy and living a holy, righteous life—to be set apart. We are not to engage in the sinful activities the world promotes, nor are we to retain the insipid, corrupt mind that the world creates. Rather, we are to conform ourselves, and our minds, to that of Jesus Christ (Romans 12:1-2). This is a daily activity and commitment.
We must also understand that being in the world, but not of it, is necessary if we are to be a light to those who are in spiritual darkness. We are to live in such a way that those outside the faith see our good deeds and our manner and know that there is something “different” about us. Christians who make every effort to live, think and act like those who do not know Christ do Him a great disservice. Even the heathen knows that “by their fruits you shall know them,” and as Christians, we should exhibit the fruit of the Spirit within us.
Being “in” the world also means we can enjoy the things of the world, such as the beautiful creation God has given us, but we are not to immerse ourselves in what the world values, nor are we to chase after worldly pleasures. Pleasure is no longer our calling in life, as it once was, but rather the worship of God.
I think this last short paragraph speaks directly to what you described, when in that drab setting describe and wanting to see outside of it or beyond that confined space into the beauty that is out there but almost out of sight and out of mind. This reminds me of the yearning we should have for Heaven and being with our Father or Creator, having nothing blocking us from seeing and being in His presence anymore, but instead, beholding His glory and being filled with His everlasting love!
That is truly the Promised Land our Ultimate Inheritance that we must strive to reach, and that ultimately; will be based upon what we do here in the now, and how well we follow our Father’s will.
And this statement said it so true! “When really all we should care about is pleasing God (which in turn would open the door for the right man to come into your life). Our identity is found in Christ—placing it in anything or anyone else will always lead to disappointment and depression.”
Absolutely Hope! We are “Strangers in a Strange Land” who more than anything need to get to that “Promised Land,” which will never be here, so we are not of this world; but, are only of the “Kingdom to Come” which is with our Father in heaven. Amen.
Brother in Christ Jesus,
Lawrence Morra III
On a daily basis we subconsciously ascribe worth and beauty to what we see around us. From the roses in our garden to the new girl on the block.
As I remodel my home and simultaneously search for a literary agent who will take on my first novel, I am left to wonder whether others will value my hard work as much as I do.
As I stated once before, no one will know the blood, sweat, and tears I shed, the time I spent, and nights I burned the midnight oil working. The truth is, the more we work/sacrifice for something—the greater it’s worth (personally).
Take a child, for example, who was freely given a toy. And another who worked hard, completing chores, picking up small jobs in their free time for weeks in order to buy that same toy.
Who do you think will value it more?
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