I am an Alien
These men of faith … saw it all awaiting them on ahead and were glad, for they agreed that this earth was not their real home but that they were just strangers visiting down here.”
(Hebrews 11:13 TLB)
John Wesley said, “We ought to live every day as though we’ve come out of another world into this world — but with the power of that world still upon us. We should live and speak and move in that power, and have our whole being in Jesus Christ!”
When we are in Christ, we are called to live like strangers in this world. We are present in it, yet we are like foreign diplomats who belong to an entirely different kingdom, who have been dispatched here to perform a specific mission. We may have to live within the framework of this land, but ultimately we are subject to a higher authority.
Many people live lives that are governed by their environment and the circumstances in which they find themselves. Our English word “circumstance” finds its origin in Latin and literally means “that which surrounds us”. As believers who are learning each day to walk in the Spirit, we find that we can live life two ways:
1. We can live in reaction to the things that surround us – our culture, our circumstances, the example of the lives of others – and be defined by those things.
2. We can live from an inner source of faith, hope and love and allow those fruits of the Spirit to shape and define us.
When we live from the inside out, as carriers of the presence of God, we find that our reaction to our “surroundings” in life is entirely different. We are no longer blown about by our circumstances, but rather led by the gentle wind of the Spirit. Circumstances submit to Christ in us. No longer are our lives like thermometers; we become thermostats – atmospheres change around us.
Born again Christians are a new race of people, seated in a new realm (1 Peter 2:9, Ephesians 2:6). We are beyond human (1 Corinthians 3:3). We are to live differently to those around us. Most people cling onto the fabric of their lives – people, possessions, self-worth, self-image – because they have nothing else apart from the here-and-now. Instead, we are to live as pilgrims. The material aspect of our world need have no grip on us, because we are on a journey to a better place. We have our eyes fixed on our eternal destination. Here are four indications that your Christian pilgrimage is maturing:
· You carry increasing joy outside of circumstantial blessing
· You walk in deepening trust outside of circumstantial control
· Your desire to see people saved far outweighs your desire to stay safe
· You are less concerned about “me” and more concerned about serving God and others
Remember today that the “here and now” is not your final destination. You are here, but actually you don’t belong, because you are a citizen of another kingdom – the kingdom of God.
This article is an extract from