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The Daily Word of Righteousness
Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; (I Peter 2:11)
Perhaps most Christians of our day, especially in the wealthy nations, are too much at home in the world. We are making the Gospel of the Kingdom a means of success in the present world. The truth is, the Gospel of the Kingdom is a vision of the future. We are to place our treasures in Heaven instead of this world. Every true saint is a pilgrim and a stranger in the world. If he is not, he is not a man of faith. He is a worldling.
That the Gospel of the Kingdom is a vision of the future and not a plan for success in the present world needs to be emphasized in our day. No doubt great trouble is about to fall on many nations of the world because of the sins of the people. Persecution may come and we may have to decide whether to accept the blessing of the world governments or else to turn away and join the persecuted people of the Lord. It will be far easier for us in the future if we make up our mind now that we are not of the world and this world is not our home. Our citizenship is in Heaven where the Lord Jesus is and we are waiting for Him to come and establish His Kingdom in the earth.
When we are asking God to grant our request it is important that we are living as a pilgrim in the earth. If what we are asking is so we can live happily on the earth without serving the Lord, then it is not likely we will receive the answer.
Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. (James 4:3,4)
Abraham answered the call of God by leaving the familiar and entering a strange land, the land of Canaan. For the remainder of his life he lived as a stranger in a foreign country. Canaan later proved to be Abraham's inheritance.
So it is true of us that we must be willing to follow God by faith into situations that are new to us. If we are willing to obey God when we do not understand Him we may find ourselves in a place that at a later time will prove to be our eternal inheritance.
Abraham had a vision of a city that has foundations, a city built by the Lord. That city is the new Jerusalem. We also must have a vision of the new Jerusalem, always being aware that the present world is passing away. One of the worst mistakes we can make is to view life in the present world as the central issue of our existence. If we do we may attempt to make the present world a paradise. In order to make the present world a paradise we have to sacrifice our integrity. We have to betray others and live only for our own pleasure. We have to break the rules of the game.
Because Abraham was a relentless seeker after God, he and Sarah experienced a miraculous change in their bodies. A child was born, fulfilling the promise of God. The promise was fulfilled, not only because Abraham believed God in the beginning but because he sought God for twenty-five years until God's Word came to pass.
To be continued.