“I am a stranger in the earth: hide not thy commandments from me.” Psalms 119:19
Do you know what it is like to be a stranger somewhere?
I will never forget my first time in the village where we planted our first church. Children ran from me, women stared at me and a monkey peed on me. I never felt so out of place in my whole life. But after several years of living there and getting used to using the bathroom out under the tree and washing dishes in the river, things shifted and what was once unfamiliar became familiar.
Matter of fact, I got so used to living in Brazil, that it was strange coming back to the USA. I remember my first trip back to Walmart when I came home on furlough. I was SHOCKED by so many aisles and cereal choices. I had to leave the store because I couldn’t cope. I literally felt like a stranger back here in my own country.
There is something powerful in today’s verse that we shouldn’t miss. You and I ought to remember that we are just passing through down here. If the world becomes so familiar that we aren’t bothered by sin anymore….SOMETHING IS WRONG! We should ALWAYS feel out of place amongst the world.
Don’t you love the feeling you get when you go to church on Sunday? Everyone (usually) is polite and you praise God together in song and prayer and then share in burdens together. You feel at home, don’t you? You know why? Because everything is Christ Centered. We are come out and assembled together for our Saviour and His Word.
We don’t sense that fellowship when we are out at Walmart or Publix. Walking by Spencer’s in the mall and the gigantic portraits in front of a VS store don’t make me feel welcome or “at home”, do they you?
That’s why we need Psalms 119:105 to help us remember that the Word is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our paths. We need Galatians 5:16 to remind us where to walk: “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.”
The Psalmist has recognized that he is a stranger passing through and he doesn’t want God’s words hid from him. Sometimes I think we do the hiding! We don’t like being so weird in other’s eyes or the oddballs praying over their food in a public place, so we try to blend in….but we are supposed to stick out! We DON’T belong here.
I don’t know about you, but I am tired of feeling like I have to apologize for being a Christian. I am not ashamed that I believe in Christ. I am not embarrassed that I have placed my faith in Jesus to save my soul. I believe in a place called Hell and I believe Jesus is coming back to gather up His own one of these days and I am not ashamed to try and tell others about Him. The world may be shifting, but I don’t need to shift with it. I can still use the Word to guide me and keep me on the right path.
Let’s lift up our voices in church and help each other remember the comfort that will one day be ours in the presence of the Lord so that we walk here carefully and never make it our real dwelling place. Let’s dwell in Him while we are here.
Until Next Time, Lord willing,
READ THE BIBLE THROUGH WITH ME IN 36 WEEKS!
Today’s reading: Numbers 17 / Isaiah 51-52 / Psalm 101 / James 2