«Beloved, I beg you as foreigners and pilgrims, to abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; having good behaviour among the nations, so in that which they speak against you as evil-doers, they may by your good works, which they see, glorify God in the day of visitation.» (1 Peter 2:11-12).Peter is pleading with us «to abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul».As Christians we have to acknowledge our responsibility to preserve ourselves “undefiled by this world” (James 1:27).We have to focus our thoughts and desires on God and His commandments “throwing down imaginations and every high thing that is exalted against the knowledge of God, and bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” (2 Cor 10:5).We have to “put away, as concerning your former way of life, the old man, that grows corrupt after the lusts of deceit; and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new man, who in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of truth.” (Ephesians 4:22-24)We must not desire to stay in this world of sin neither to enjoy “pleasures of sin for a time” (Hebrew 11:24-26).Brethren, if we refuse to admit ourselves as pilgrims and aliens in this world, we will definitely seek comfortable life in this world instead. We will aspire to meet desires of flesh which, in essence, are the enemies of God.
«For the mind of the flesh is death, but the mind of the Spirit is life and peace; because the mind of the flesh is hostile towards God; for it is not subject to God’s law, neither indeed can it be.» (Romans 8:6-7).As believers in Christ we should learn to look at ourselves the way God looks at us. The God´s word says we are pilgrims and aliens, therefore, do your best to see your selves as such. Doing so we will take after people seeking heavenly home, those who desire not to return to the place they have exited, rather longing for something better, namely, heaven. God is not ashamed of those who are filled with hope of salvation. He is gladly calls Himself their God, for He has prepared a city for them – a shelter to stay in safety during the storm, flood or hunger. God has prepared comfort everlasting and obvious victory for their souls. Just like the following passage tells us:
«These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them and embraced them from afar, and having confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For those who say such things make it clear that they are seeking after a country of their own. If indeed they had been thinking of that country from which they went out, they would have had enough time to return. But now they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed of them, to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.» (Hebrew 11:13-16).I like the expression: «A tramp is a person without home; a criminal is one who stays away from home; a pilgrim is far away from his home, while an alien is just going home.”We are neither tramps nor criminals, but pilgrims still away from home while determinately heading home.Be abundantly blessed in the Lord!Rufus Adjiboye, pastor
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