In this day and age, our culture has become so accustomed to having constant activity going on — computers, cell phones, television, email, video games. And there’s nothing wrong with that stuff; but sometimes, we have to stop and be still so we can focus on knowing God.
This is especially true during the difficult times in life. When you are facing a challenge, it’s easy to want to run to a friend or talk about it with a neighbor. But at some point, you have to stop and say, “God, I rest in You. I know You have me in the palm of Your hand.” Remember, our battles are spiritual battles. The people in your life aren’t your enemy, the forces of darkness are. When you choose to be still and know that the Greater One lives on the inside of you, you are saying to the whole world, “I trust God. He is my Defender.” When you choose to believe in Him, you will enter into His rest.
Remember, the battle belongs to the Lord. As you are still before Him, as you tune out the distractions of the world and lean into Him, you will find rest and experience His victory and blessing in every area of your life.
Only Jesus can make a person into a citizen of heaven. When you put your trust in him, you receive your new citizenship. If you can point to a process of bringing your life under his jurisdiction, then you are one of heaven’s citizens. So live as one. Make no apologies for your loyalties. Wear the colors of your native land proudly. Live by heaven’s values in whatever place you currently reside. Make your home and church into little colonies of your heavenly homeland. You don’t have to be hostile to those whose citizenship is elsewhere; in fact, the policy of your King is that you should be loving. But, you can’t be like them. You don’t have to be different for the sake of being different, but you shouldn’t fit in all that well, either. After all, your citizenship is to another homeland.
We can’t live any longer as if we have no memory of where our homeland is. The scriptures remind us of who we are and where we belong. The Spirit of God living in us sings the songs of our heavenly homeland.
When our Savior comes and it’s time for us to see our home, may we not be strangers. Until then, let’s carry a picture of our homeland in our hearts. May it be as familiar as our own backyard. May we be ready when our “hometown hero” comes!
puts heaven into perspective!
Isn’t it good to know that no matter what happened yesterday, no matter what you said, no matter what you did, God’s mercy is new for you today? Mercy is empowering. It frees us to make the right choices and live in a way that is pleasing to God. We have to always remember that God is not condemning us. Romans tells us that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ. God wants to love us and equip us to overcome in this life.
Do you need new mercy today? Receive it by faith. You don’t have to beg God to forgive you. He forgives you the first time you ask, but it’s up to you to receive that forgiveness. Open your heart today and receive His mercy. Let Him wash over you with His peace and joy. Then choose to extend that mercy to others. Remember, you are God’s representative in the earth. As you show His love and character to others, He’ll pour out His blessing upon you and use you in ways you never dreamed!