“Dear friends, I warn you as ‘temporary residents and foreigners’ to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls.” - 1 Peter 2:11
In a season of new beginnings and pursuits, there is a danger of being consumed with the events and influences of our culture. So many things can serve as distractions for us from the eternal. From entertainment and current events to arguments and deep pain, the range of interruptions that overtake our attention is unrelenting.
This tension is what led Paul to encourage Timothy to endure as a good soldier and not get entangled in the affairs of civilian life. (2 Timothy 2:3-4) Likewise, Peter warned believers to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls. (1 Peter 2:11) This tension is constant and leaves a Christian weary. There are times I don’t like being compared to a soldier because I’m tired of the idea of having to endure. The question persists within, “Can’t Jesus just give me victory now?”
The answer is a resounding, “Yes!” He can bring victory and He does work triumphantly in our lives, but the reality of being a citizen of Heaven means we are temporary residents and foreigners here. This is not our home. We are sojourning. We are reminded through scripture to be yearning for heaven and not entwined in this world.
This mindset brings freedom and operates from a place of faith. Not just for whimsical thought, this way of thinking is founded on the truth of our citizenship. Being mindful of the eternal is not a work that we strive to maintain, but a natural nationalistic response of a true citizen.