Drinking Deeply

Sunday, June 26, 2005 at 10:26 PM

In faith

Hebrews 11) 13These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. 14For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. 15If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. 16But 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.

...
32And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets-- 33who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, 34quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. 35Women received back their dead by resurrection. Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life. 36Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. 37They were stoned, they were sawn in two,[a] they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated-- 38of whom the world was not worthy--wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.

39And all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised, 40since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect.

Over the last year or so, I've come to a realization: I'm very different from the person I was 3 years ago. What once was dead is now alive, and what once was corrupt, is now life giving. God has transformed my entire being, from the core outward. I've come the realizations that my friends who I had in high school... just aren't the same. I no longer enjoy what they do, and while sometimes I wish that was different (I always want to fit in and be accepted), I realize that it is not something I want back. God has opened my eyes to His promises of true fellowship, true love, true worship. Having tasted the fruits of paradise, I no longer need turn back. (Though sometimes I sinfully want to).

With this change, has come a gradual alienation from all those that I was close to, and a newfound closeness to all those who were markedly different from me. The person I talk to most from home is a person whom I never talked to during high school. The people I hung out with daily in the past I never see, nor talk to. To the core, we're very different people now.

My parents, who are so focused on pleasing self, attaining status, are completely mystified at who I have become. They are confused as to what relevance God has at all, and why I feel so strongly about it. I don't know. It's very difficult to talk to them. But God is sovereign. He has given me a unique mission field, one that no one else can fit. And if He wills, He will use me to His glory. Though it's hard at times. I come across passages like Matthew 10)

34"Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. 36And a person's enemies will be those of his own household. 37Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

And it's simply terrifying at times. But glory be to the Father. His will and not mine. My life is but dung compared to the glory revealed upon the cross, and if this is His chosen route for me, praise be to the Father above who plans all things out in accordance to His will.

Eph. 6
1Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2"Honor your father and mother" (this is the first commandment with a promise), 3"that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land."

I'm always reminded that I am but an alien in a foreign land. God grant me the faith of the ancients, that I may look to the kingdom who's architect and builder is You.

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