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We’re Not Home

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The perfect job.

The perfect connections.

The perfect spouse.

The perfect group of friends.

The perfect children.

The perfect home.

The perfect body.

The perfect face, or hair or skin.

The perfect clothes.

The perfect personality.

The perfect itinerary.

The perfect image.

The perfect _____________.

Are you longing for any of the above? Do you honestly believe in the secrecy of your own heart that any of these things will finally bring you the absolute peace or joy you have been longing for? There is something that keeps occurring to me time and time again: it is the simple fact that we are not home yet.

As they say, we are merely passing through. And the place where we happen to be is broken and full of hurting people who are well acquainted with pain and disappointment and longing. We, ourselves are flawed. We are sinful from birth and selfish by nature.

We are here for a divine purpose – to know God, to make Him known and to fulfill the plans that He has for us (Jeremiah 29:11).

We can rest assured that this life is not all there is and we can derive satisfaction knowing that worldly success in this temporary life is not the end goal. Can we accept our life even without whatever it is that we are longing for? Can we relish it?

We are here for a divine purpose – to know God, to make Him known and to fulfill the plans that He has for us

If we sink deeply into this higher call, the nagging need we have to keep up with the crazy expectations of the world will fade. We can love ourselves for who God intended us to be. And we can help to lower the bar in a healthy way for others to live in freedom as well.

They say addiction often happens when people can no longer cope with reality. Don’t you think much of this pressure comes from the need to measure up to our crazy expectations?

Why do we strive so incredibly hard to achieve the ”perfect” life? Why do we long for the white picket fence and all that comes with it? Why are we so worried about our image and what people think?

No wonder we’re always feeling just a little “off”…

a little lonely

a little insecure

a little confused

a little discouraged

a little frustrated

a little “less than..”

a little sick of the same old, same old…

Can we accept our life even without whatever it is that we are longing for? Can we relish it?

We are here for the purpose of Another – to further a kingdom divine – yet we get so focused on our little castles that we lose sight of the big picture.

Our expectations get so wrapped up and influenced by our culture and what everyone else is doing. I think it takes literally 5 minutes for me to get side-tracked and lose sight of what it is I’m trying to accomplish. My old pastor used to say, “Any time you have a pure motive, just wait a minute. It will pass.”

We must derive our sense of purpose from the eternal. How does one make the jump from longing for worldly pleasures and endeavors to living for a higher call? We must head to Scripture for the answer. The Word tells us that in order to find peace and live eternally on Earth, we must SET our MINDS and FIX our EYES.

Meditate on the following verses.

Isaiah 26:3

You will keep in perfect peace

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all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!

Colossians 3:2

Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.

2 Corinthians 4:18

So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

We must derive our sense of purpose from the eternal.

Hebrews 12:2

Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

We see in psalms that we are to cease striving (be still, stop fighting), and know that He is God. Psalm 46:10.

This requires a daily commitment to lay down our fleshly, selfish will and pick up His. It requires time spent in the Word, in prayer, and among others who long for the same eternal perspective. Read good books that turn your eyes to Him. Spend time in silence. Journal. Fast. Worship. Turn off your computer or TV. We must redeem what little extra time we have to feed our souls and maintain perspective.

Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full in His wonderful face. And the things of Earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace. – Helen H. Lemmel
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Image Credit: Kristin Olszanski, Creative Commons


Jen Bell

About

Jen Bell is a southern girl at heart, having spent her childhood in a quiet town in Oklahoma where all that matters is the Friday night lights. She is married to Brad Bell who pastors at the Well Community Church. They have two daughters who could be called “Night” and “Day” (in no particular order) and bring them great joy even though one is on the brink of the teenage years. She has a passion for discipleship and going back to the “ancient paths” and hopes to be a woman who speaks the truth in love for the glory of God. She and her husband converted their suburban backyard into a mini farm complete with grapevines and chickens, therefore much of their free time is spent tending and cultivating the growing things.


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