Not of This World

I love to read. The books I love most are those in which the author creates a whole new world for me to enter - waking up in The Land of Oz, traveling to Hogwarts by train, being part of the Cullen family, running through the Colored Forest, fighting alongside Kahlan and Richard Rahl and maybe best of all - walking through the wardrobe to the Land of Narnia.

I've always wondered if one of the reasons I love to escape to these fictional worlds is because I'm not entirely comfortable in the world I live in.

Then the truth hit me - I don't feel at ease in the world and I shouldn't.

1 John 2:15 says, "Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him."

As Christians, we are aliens and strangers in this world. Jesus said, "Don't be surprised if the world hates you." We are instructed not to conform to the pattern of this world. We know that our citizenship is in heaven.

Hebrews 11 gives examples of heroes of faith - Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham - and after explaining their faithfulness it says of all these heroes, they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth . . .[and] they were longing for a better country — a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.

We are different. We don't fit in. But take comfort - Jesus said to his disciples, "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going."