Purpose


"God didn't send me out to collect a following for myself, but to preach the Message of what He has done, collecting a following for Him" (1 Corinthians 1:17)

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Monday, April 30, 2012

You’re Not From Around Here, Are You?

home is heaven


REMINDER FROM GOD: Do not be conformed to this world [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs]. For your citizenship is in heaven.

{Romans 12:2; Philippians 3:20}


NOTE TO SELF: I’m a true Mid-westerner. I was born and raised in Kenosha, Wisconsin. In 1994, during a very rough time in my life, my mom invited me to move down to Knoxville, Tennessee where she had moved a few years prior. Reluctantly I agreed, having no other real options.

Upon trying to acclimate myself with my new surroundings, I found it difficult to understand the Southern dialect and often frustratingly asked people to repeat themselves. Instead of complying, they would rudely declare, “You’re not from around here, are you?” in that deep Southern drawl. And proudly I’d reply, “No. No, I’m not.”

I’ve never traveled outside of our country, but I’m sure if I ever do, I will find myself in similar situations again. Mainly, I will need to abide by their rules and adjust to their ways of life. I’d drive on the right (or wrong) side of the road. I’d adhere to certain customs as to not offend the locals. However, that wouldn’t make me a citizen.

We are not citizens of this world. We are foreigners here. This is not where we take up residency. Our home…is heaven. Where our family is. Where our hearts are. Where our lives makes sense.

Living in Tennessee was one of the most frustrating experiences of my life. I just couldn’t relate to their way of living. And being a strong, opinionated woman made me more like a criminal than a resident. I resisted a lot of things down there and ached to be home again.

As bad as it was for me there, God took full advantage of the situation. He set people on my path who planted seeds, watered them, and eventually I was saved. My absolute distaste for the place was my saving grace. I stayed in Tennessee for another two years after that, but after six long years I knew God was leading me back home. When I moved back to Wisconsin, I felt my spirit settle. I felt peace and joy. I was truly happy, even in the worst of circumstances.

We can adjust to the way of life here on earth, but we can’t completely conform. We need to know where we truly belong. We may have to abide by certain rules that we don’t always agree with, but in the process we need to remain obedient to our real citizenship.

Living in Tennessee didn’t make me a Southerner by any means. I was always—and will always be—a Wisconsinite. Just like living on earth doesn’t make us natural. We are reborn by the Spirit, which makes us supernatural.

We are here on a green card; a visa. We are only temporary citizens here. This is not permanent. The real problem begins when we deny our home and forget where we came from; when we neglect our heritage in order to fit in here. That’s what happened to the Israelites. They forgot where they had came from—forgot their history—and it was their ultimate demise.

MY PRAYER: Father, remind me daily where my true home lies. Keep me in tune with the ways of Heaven, rather than being bogged down by the ways of the world. Instruct me in Your ways, and help me resist conforming to the ease and eventual destruction of a life of false freedom. Lord Jesus, each morning when I wake up, fill me with Your Holy Spirit knowledge that my citizenship belongs with You.

2 comments:

  1. i enjoyed reading a page of your life story. Mine being very similar. the difference being that i was born in Tennessee. A place i have never lived. My parents divorced with mother taking me to NC. My dad to Alabama. Another place where i have never lived. i must say that i shared your distain. At 17 i went to California to live. So California is the place i was actually raised. But the truth is that there are bad people who refuse to Love Jesus or take on His character. It has been a good ride Not an easy one but a good one. We just have to be careful not to judge others who may not have had the time or finances to further their education. I don't think the south eastern U.S. offer's the education that we are alloted here. Therefore we must see everyone thru eyes of mercy. And act upon that, to enlarge God's earthly Kingdom and lead the lost set straight the crooked places and provide the pathway to Christ Jesus. In whatever way the Lord uses us to do that. Remembering always that it's all for God's Glory. What an awesome opportunity we have been given.

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  2. Don't get me wrong, I met some wonderful people there with whom I am still very close and have a deep connection. That is where most of my Christian family resides. It really had nothing to do with the education or financial backgrounds; it just wasn't "home" for me. In my quest for a home church here in WI, we have yet to see or experience any church that truly allows the Spirit to move as freely as the church I attended in TN.

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