Saturday, June 21, 2008

Ambassadors in a foreign land...

Confirmation is a beautiful thing. ::heartfelt sigh::

I just got back from a Saturday women's meeting where a woman I've never met before shared. She and her husband are friends of our pastors, and they're in for the weekend. I, quite frankly, had never heard about them before this church (which is probably a good thing) and still managed to hear very little about them until today. So I went to this meeting open-minded but cautious, like I am with every other speaker I know nothing about. And during our little worship beforehand, I asked the Lord for freedom from something that still held me bound... He could choose the thing... it could even be something that I didn't know bound me!

What I got was total, total confirmation of practically everything God's been showing me for the last three years.

There have been so many times that I've wondered if I'm the only one He's showing this stuff too. All the things I've shared here about learning to trust completely... about the ever-increasing importance of learning to hear His voice and follow His lead... about the idols that we set up in place of God and what they do to us... about everything that He has for us, yet how we can't receive it unless we give all of ourselves to Him... how everything He has for us is everything that He knows we need, so we need to stop expecting it to look like what we think we need... and I got the summary of it all today.

Not Of This World. That's what she called this message, yet it could just as well have been called The Summary And Confirmation Of What God Has Been Showing Katie. Yet it is so wonderfully obvious that this IS what God has been showing me... that not only are we not of this world (John 17:16), He has made us ambassadors of His kingdom (2 Cor. 5:20). And that is, perhaps, the sweetest confirmation of the whole morning.

What is an ambassador? An ambassador is a representative of a ruling authority, and those in authority have chosen to send that person to another country. Yet, no matter how long the ambassador lives in that country, he never becomes a citizen of it. An ambassador also has the right to expect that the authority that sent him will supply his needs. He does not make his living from the country he resides in, he relies totally on those who sent him. In return, he is expected to represent the agenda, plans, and viewpoint of that government. He is not to advance his own ideas or follow his own itinerary or have his own agenda.

And that's what God says He has made us! When he chose us, we became strangers and aliens here on earth. (Eph. 2:19) We are now citizens of heaven, with both the responsibilities and the rights of that citizenship. Take finances, for example. We are not supposed to be looking to our paycheck to supply our needs, for God is obligated to provide for us, since He has made us His ambassadors!

Would you like more verses about how we are not of this world, and what it means?

Hebrews 11:13-16 - God says that because we desire a country better than the world, He is not ashamed to be called our God. (I have to say that the flip side of that is something to be dreaded... that if we are content with the world, He is ashamed to be called our God. Father, forgive us!)

John 15:19, John 17:14, and Matt. 24:9 - The world will hate us because we don't belong here. We need to understand why we have the effect that we do on others... why they often hate us when we haven't done anything. We need to stop getting offended and stop acting surprised, because if we are acting as proper ambassadors, it has nothing to do with us! Rather, the world can sense who and what we are. In reality, we've got a major problem if the world loves us!

John 16:33 - God has chosen us, and He tells us to be of good cheer and courageous when the world persecutes us, because this means our citizenship is truly with Him... and He has overcome the world! It might not look like that on the natural realm, but we must learn to look at things from God's perspective... that our time here on earth is a limited assignment we've been given, and the victory is already won in the final scheme of things.

More verses that say we are strangers and aliens: 1 Pet. 2:11, Psalm 39:12, Ephesians 2:19, and 1 Peter 1:17.

1 comments:

  • annie says:
    Saturday, June 21, 2008

    SO cool, Katie. God's been showing me so many things in creation off and on (have you read my posts recently?) and it's cool because ... I'm really seeing that humans see life upside-down of what it really is. Things here on earth ... they're a picture of heaven, right? So we think something like, "God's Word is so much like eating." When really it's, "eating is so much like learning God's Word." See the difference? What difference does that make? Well ... just knowing where the reality lies, I guess. It makes a difference. :)

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