Strangers, Aliens and Exiles

Election year, high blood pressure, elevated emotions, regretable rhetoric!  These all go together, and it takes extreme discipline to maintain a Christ-like perspective of it all!  Try as I may, I get too caught up and, worse, too emotional, as I watch listen online to news, whether it’s “fair and balanced”, or the most listened to talk show on earth, or “just in” from the “situation room.”

I am compelled, for mental and spiritual survival, to immerse my thoughts and renew my mind in God’s Word.  With the utmost gratefulness, I’m never disappointed, and my spirit is refreshed.  I’m reminded that there is MORE!

“You are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light:  for you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God,; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.  Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts (sin!), which wages war against the soul.”  I Peter 2:9-11

“Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were entreating through us, we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God!” 2 Corinthians 5:20

“So then, you are no longer strangers and aliens (!), but you are fellow-citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, having been built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together is growing into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you are also being built together into a dwelling of God in the spirit!:  Ephesians 2:19-22

“All these died in faith, without receiving the promises, but having seen them and having welcomed them from a distance, and having confessed that they were strangers and exiles on the earth.  For those who say such things make it clear that they are seeking a country of their own!  And indeed if they had been thinking of that country from which they went 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 a city for them.”  Hebrews 11:13-16

A.W. Tozer, one who is already in a “better country,” wrote and sternly warned believers of the position and mindset Christians should have in the midst of our present turmoil.  Though he penned this over 45 years ago, his counsel remains true:  

The issues that divide our leaders are so important that few Americans can remain neutral.  Almost everyone has a pronounced opinion, and is sure he is right.  That men equally wise and good take the opposite side does not seem to occur to any of us.  Felling is running high, and most of our thinking is being done with our emotions…..Liberty as used by the American founding fathers meant freedom to do good; many today conceive it to mean freedom to do evil, and they work it for all the traffic it will bear.

“One thing must be kept in mind:  We Christians are Christians first and everything else after that.  Our first allegiance is to the kingdom of God.  Our citizenship is in heaven.  We are grateful for political freedom.  We thank God for democracy as a way of life.  But we never forget that we are sons of God and citizens of another city whose builder and maker is God.

“For this reason, we must not identify the gospel with any political system or make Christianity to be synonymous with any form of government, however noble.  Christ stands alone, above and outside of every ideology devised by man.  He does not join any of our parties or take sides with any of our great men except as they may come over on His side and seek to follow Him in righteousness and true holiness.  Then He is for them, but only as individuals, never as leaders of some political faction.

“The true Christian will be loyal to his country and obedient to those in authority, but he will never fall in to the error of confusing his own national culture with Christianity.  Christianity is bigger than any country, loftier than any civilization, broader than any human ideology.

“Any form of human government, however lofty, deals with the citizen only as long as he lives.  Ant the graveside it bids him adieu.  It may have made his journey a little easier, and if so, all lovers of the human race will thank God for that…

“So let’s keep cool [yeah–he said that!], and let’s think like Christians.  Christ will be standing upright, tall, and immortal, after the tumult and the shouting dies and the captains and the kings lie stretched side by side, the “cause” that made them famous forgotten and their whole significance reduced to a paragraph in a history book.”

from The Next Chapter after the Last, ed. Henry Verploegh, pps,47-50

Since we have received a “kingdom which cannot be shaken,” let us live for Him and to Him, and “offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe: for our God is a consuming fire!” (Hebrews 12:28, 29).  Nothing should shake us!  He appoints leaders, He lifts, and puts down.  We must trust our Lord in the political arena as well as in the personal one.   Our trust is in the Changeless One, who is the same yesterday, today, and forever!

4 thoughts on “Strangers, Aliens and Exiles

  1. It’s true. Submersed in love, we abide in mercy;
    we operate in the wisdom of forgiveness.
    Our tongue offers hope as we reach out with blessing to those who oppose us.
    Oh how blessed is the name of Jesus that sets us free to pray;
    “Lord forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

    Many blessings to you for your precious heart.

  2. How very true, we are not of this world and we must keep our sights upon our Lord Jesus Christ. He raises up and He puts down. This does not releave us of the responsibility to pray and vote, but the end results is in the hands of the Lord.

    Love you so much!

  3. Pingback: Resting in Jesus « Absolutegrace

  4. Pingback: God, Our Founding Father « Absolutegrace

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