Saturday, October 18, 2008

Eyes On The Father's Land

In the midst of the “current events” I am sure that most of you are like me these days—America is regularly on your mind. The zig zagging of the financial markets, the “woe to us” of the daily news, the grabbing headliners in the newspaper, the politicking of the elections, the stories now gripping at our hearts as statistics become real stories of difficulty for ourselves or those that we know.

While I was talking with God the other day about everything, I was impressed with the image that He gave me. Reminding me that we are “aliens and strangers” here on earth, He asked me to keep my eyes on the “Father land”.

The country of one’s birth is usually referred to as their “mother country” or “mother land”. In my requests concerning America I was thanking God for the privilege to have been born and raised in this country. As I look over all the varied nations in our world, I have no “mother land” envy for any other country. I love America. I am patriotic, grateful, honored and thrilled to have been born here. But the truth is, even though America is my country of birth, I am only a visitor passing through.

“But you are a chosen race, 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....keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles (unsaved)...that they may on account of your good deeds...glorify God in the day of visitation (Christ’s coming again in judgment).” 1 Peter 22:9-12

I am one of those “people of God”. I am “God’s own possession”. I gave myself up to Him years ago and became part of that “holy nation” where He is King. No republic, no democracy, no evolving into socialism. No...a nation where He is King and I willingly, gladly, joyfully, worshipfully bow the knee in allegiance to Him.

I belong to the nation of that King!

“So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and are of God’s household.” Ephesians 2:19

So not only am I a “fellow citizen” of this nation, but I am “of God’s household”! I am a daughter of the King Himself! He is my Father!

I belong to the nation of my Father—Home is the “Father land”!

“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name.” John 1:12

Being a child of Americans made me an American. Being a child of God makes me a princess in His Kingdom! Now forget Disney...that is “princess talk” that I get excited about!

“and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ” Romans 8:17a

I am His child and His heir...a “fellow heir with Christ”. As He is the Son of God and I have become one of God’s “children”, we are heirs together. Think on that for a minute...I am a joint heir with Jesus Christ!

Who else do we see from the Word living as aliens on earth although heirs to the Kingdom?

“By faith he (Abraham) lived as an alien in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, fellow heirs of the same promise; for he was looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God.” Hebrews 11:9, 10

I am a coheir with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. “And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's descendants, heirs according to promise” Galatians 3:29.

“It is not the children of the flesh who are children of God, but the children of the promise are regarded as descendants.” Romans 9:8

“Fellow heirs of the same promise”... "heirs according to promise”... “children of the promise”... So what is the promise?

“The hope of eternal life, which God, who cannot lie, promised long ages ago.” Titus 1:2

"Blessed is a man...approved, for he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.” James 1:12

Eternal life...the crown of the promised future for the children of God. For those of the “Father land”!

“For here we do not have a lasting city, but we are seeking the city which is to come.” Hebrews 13:14

The “city which is to come...whose architect and builder is God” Heaven!

Here on earth we do not have a lasting city--let alone a lasting nation. America, my “mother land” will not last. But I am a child of God, joint-heirs with Christ, descendant and heir of the promise of eternal life in the eternal city, adopted daughter of the King--having been adopted into the “Father’s land”

“If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one's work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth.” 1 Peter 1:17

I am just visiting. I am on temporary work release here on earth. America is where I have been assigned to spend my time. But that time will come to an end. All visits, all temp work ends. And then we go home.

Heaven is my home!

Now...most of us already know all of this. There is nothing really new or enlightening in what I am writing today. But we get weighed down by the concerns, the hurts, the scary unknowns of living in this world and I so appreciated God’s gentle reminder to me of these truths. He is my Abba Father. He loves me. I am His concern. My eyes are not to be set on the things or people or circumstances of this world. My eyes are fixed on Him, my hope is set on the promise of eternal life.

“Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised. For yet in a very little while, He who is coming will come, and will not delay.” Hebrews 10:35-37

Are you ready? Are you ready to go home? Are you ready for “He who is coming”? For He will come! He is coming! And He will not delay! No one has more impeccable timing than He!

“Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” Hebrews 12:1-3

Dear God, help us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus and on our heavenly home—our “Father land”. Remind us daily to hold things, relationships, circumstances, attachments, loves... everything here on earth...loosely that we not get “entangled”. Remind us that we are only here as visitors. We are aliens and strangers just as our Father Abraham was so long ago. We have great responsibility while here to love others and spread the gospel--to “let our light so shine before men”. Remind us that while the light is within us, the Light is also with You and where you plan to bring us home to someday. Keep us in Your perfect peace while here! Strengthen our weaknesses so that we will not grow weary! Stir our hearts to obedience, faithfulness, and righteousness for Your glory—and Your glory alone! Amen!