Wednesday, April 7, 2010

A Question of Citizenship

"If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth." -Colossians 3.1-2

I seem to be a creature of contradiction.

I live in a world of death, darkness, and decay. Yet most of those around me live in willful ignorance to the truth. We have manufactured a world of neon lights, suburbs, technological achievement, academic pursuit, high-minded philosophy, and comfortable morality in an effort to disguise reality. We dress up the pain and darkness of life in order to hide ourselves from the hopelessness of it all. What startles me the most is my own response to the insanity of this world. Have I become content in the contradiction?

I am a sinner turned saint. A child of God with a high calling who finds within a contradiction. For not only is he surrounded everyday with all that is contrary to God, but he continuously discovers within himself an intense craving for that which is abominable in God's sight. All that man holds dear pulls at my own heart. There is no greater enemy than ME. As if everything that would tempt me one way or another to partake in this world's delights, as if this was not enough I am indeed the true problem. The only reason why I experience any kind of internal struggle in the face of temptation is because there is that in me which loves to sin. I am the sinner who loves to sin.

"...[W]e look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal." -2 Corinthians 4.18

It is to this which I am ever struggling to focus my eyes upon: that which is unseen. I cannot see God. I cannot walk up to Him as His child and talk with Him. I do not tread upon the gold of heaven's streets. What I have been given is a Book which is God's disclosure of Himself to mankind and on its pages I find many things which are hard to believe. It says things about myself that I would not know otherwise. Specifically, I am not of this world. Trusting this statement is a daily battle. This Book tells me to deny the things of this world because I am not its citizen but am heaven's own. Yet I walk upon the stones of this globe looking upon all that my eyes and heart find desirable. To deny oneself is to trust the testimony of God. It comes down to a decision whether to believe the words of this world or the Word of God. I am torn between one and the other, but there is much reward when one takes God at His word. The world offers me instant gratification, self-esteem, and little to no accountability. God offers me His Son - broken, bruised, scourged, and hanging upon a cross. A spectacle that men mocked and ridiculed. His Son who died and was laid in a tomb. His Son who came back to life and is alive today! His Son who is Life itself.

Tears are shed, bodies are laid in tombs, and men revel in their drunken orgies or high-minded snobbery. In the dark depths of this night I find hope in this Book and fix my gaze upon its words therein as the star by which sailors were known to guide their ships over the vast expanses.

"But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ." -Philippians 3.20