I have found myself getting really homesick of late. I am finding that I have a deep longing for my true home and that is with my God in glory. You see, I look around me and see pain everywhere. I know awesome Christian women that desperately want to meet a Christian man to share their life with, but can't seem to meet one that wants to be with a lady that desires to honor God and stay pure until they are married. I see people that call themselves followers of Christ mistreating others in ways that I think would make Jesus very sad, if not angry. I see people that call themselves Christians, living their lives in the same manner as the rest of the world and going to church on Sunday, acting like it doesn't matter to God. One of my favorite posts going around Facebook is the one that says something like, "going to church on Sunday doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car".
You see, in 1 Peter 2:11-12, the bible says: "Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us." Also, Philippians 3:18-21 says: "For, as I have often told you and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction and their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so they will be like his glorious body."
Why do people that call themselves "Christians" live like unbelievers. One option is that they don't really know Christ. 1 John 2: 3-6 says: "We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. The man who says, "I know him," but does not do what he commands is a liar and the truth is not in him. But if anyone obeys his word, God's love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know that we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did."
A second option, in my opinion (and mind you, this is just an opinion) is that many of us have misplaced hope due to wounds we have received in life. I have learned that biblical hope is not just the anticipation that some desire of ours might come to fruition. If that's all biblical hope is, why then would it be listed in the "big three" of 1 Corinthians 13: 13 which says: "And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love." I have learned that biblical hope is when the conclusions of you heart lead you to believe that something can fulfill your needs. Whatever this is for you is your hope. As followers of Christ, our hope should be in Christ himself and in the promise that one day we will be with him in glory. A Christian's hope should be lived out as stated in Colossians 1:27: "...Christ in me, the hope of glory". I think that this misplaced hope comes as a result of wounds of the heart received before we became followers of Christ. I know that it did for me. At the time we received the wound or some time after, we may have learned to "self medicate" with things like sex, power, money, alcohol, or drugs. All these thing may give us some relief for a while by deadening the pain but then they leave you empty because they can never really fulfill the innate desire placed in us by God to be intimate with him. Only God can truly fulfill our needs. In the book, "The Sacred Romance", John Eldredge calls these things our "less wild lovers". In this he is saying that our only true lover is God, the author of love and the only thing truly worth pursuing in order to fulfill the longing God himself has placed within us.
I know that I chased many of these things for years, which led me from one broken relationship to another and caused much pain to many people that I truly care about. If one really thinks that any of the things that I mentioned above can be truly fulfilling, they are believing a lie straight from the mouth of hell. From the very beginning in Genesis, the evil one has been using the same game plan. His plan is to give us a partial truth that hides a lie. All the things that I mentioned above; sex, drugs, power, money, and alcohol do take away the pain we feel and make us feel better for a while, but inevitably they will all leave us empty. That is why some people go from one relationship to another, one drug to another, one deal to another, and so on. I have come to the conclusion that none of these things is what I want. I want the Real Thing and all the best that he has to offer. That is where I am placing my hope from now on! As the apostle Paul so eloquently stated in Phillipians 1: 21: "For me, to live is Christ and to die is gain." I am choosing to live as a citizen of heaven, after all that is my true home.