Monday, March 21, 2016

Seeking a Homeland, Part 3

If this world is not our home, when and where is a Christian at “home”?

At what point do we attain the state of being settled and satisfied, feeling “at home”?

Is it only when we reach Heaven, our eternal destination? I sincerely don’t believe so.

In Part 1 of this series I urged us all to choose not to settle here, not to view this world as our permanent dwelling. In Part 2, we looked at God’s pursuit of being with man, and when man could no longer be with God, how God chose to be with man.

But being confined to a cloud or a Tabernacle and coming and going in and out of our world was not God’s ultimate aim.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God…And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:1-2, 14

At a predetermined time in history, Jesus, the Eternal Word, stepped into our world, donning human flesh, to dwell among us. The word “dwelt” here is akin to a baby inside its mother’s womb – it is inside the mother, not near, but fully within the womb. Jesus chose to be inside our world, among us, with us, as us.

Among the prophecies God gave Isaiah concerning Jesus and His coming was a very significant name – “Immanuel,” meaning “God is with us.”

If there was a message God kept repeating to mankind since the dawn of creation it was this – “I want to be with you. I want you to be with Me.” 

And He went to the greatest lengths to make this happen.

Jesus entered the world as we all do – as a baby.  He could have chosen any type of entrance; after all He is God and Creator. But, Jesus entered the world as each of us has – through the pain of childbirth, born as small, helpless, needy individuals, born under the law, born as weak flesh (Gal. 4:4).

“This intimates not only that he was really and truly man, but that he subjected himself to the miseries and calamities of the human nature. He was made flesh, the meanest part of man. Flesh bespeaks man weak, and he was crucified through weakness, 2 Cor. 13:4. Flesh bespeaks man mortal and dying (Ps. 78:39), and Christ was put to death in the flesh 1 Pet. 3:18. Nay, flesh bespeaks man tainted with sin (Gen. 6:3), and Christ, though he was perfectly holy and harmless, yet appeared in the likeness of sinful flesh (Rom. 8:3), and was made sin for us, 2 Cor. 5:21.” (Matthew Henry’s Commentary)

Like each human has or will experience, he also died – not suddenly or unwillingly as us, but by laying down His own life. In His death, He broke and defeated what and who have kept us separated from God’s presence since the fall – sin and Satan.

He forever defeated these that prevent each of us from reaching “Home.” For all who receive Him, He made it possible to enter by “the new and living way” into God’s presence – freed and forgiven (Heb. 10:19-22).

“In the beginning God created the perfect home for your soul: a garden of perfection where He could be with you. That is all God has ever wanted. Because of our choices, we separated ourselves from God, but He relentlessly pursued us, offering us a way to return to Him and be with Him.

“Because we no longer live in that perfect garden, we sometimes forget that He is there, and we continue to live without Him.”1

Like Adam and Eve, we run away from “Home.” We try to hide. We attempt to cover our sin and our shame. Like the prodigal, we think we can find satisfaction and approval and wholeness elsewhere – in other people, other things, other pursuits.

But, God our Father, is persistent in His loving pursuit. He seeks, He finds, He welcomes us back – always with waiting, loving arms.

“That’s just how God works with us – He relentlessly pursues us because all He has ever wanted is to be with us. He reaches out to slaves, people in prison, and people like me doing silly, foolish things and says, ‘Welcome back.’”1

“Your soul will never find rest unless it finds its home. We find it in the simple daily discipline of asking ourselves, ‘Is God here in this moment?’ If He is not, He can be…God invites you to let your soul rest in Him.”1

1 Soul Keeping: Caring for the Most Important Part of You, by John Ortberg.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you, dear heart, for sharing these sweet, intense, provocative thoughts.... (CR)