Faith ... stepping out where God is calling us ... not knowing what the end result will be but instead faithfully following God ... all because we know that He is always faithful to us.
That is tough stuff, isn't it?
Being an alien in this world ... living today for eternity. These are hard concepts to grasp yet they are what God calls those transformed in Him to.
I didn't grow up with this view of being a disciple ... my view was more one of accepting Christ and then trying to live a good life ... that was what God called us to ... a lot of years of living like that have created pretty engrained patterns and thought processes.
This idea of really truly, not just on a superficial level, but really truly opening myself up to God ... seeking Him ... hearing Him ... following Him ... those really are relatively new concepts to me ... and it's not easy to break old habits.
And then you throw in that we're working for rewards not in this world but for eternity ... have you ever thought about just how much that goes against what we're all told growing up? Study, get good grades, work hard, earn a good living ... not that those are bad things to do but how often did we as children have our focus forced on the things of this world instead of livig for eternity?
What is our opportunity today to change the focus and direction of not only ourselves but also of the younger generations? I see fantastic things happening so often amongst youth today who even at very young ages are hearing God's call ... and following hard after Him. How awesome that is ... but how sad, also, that that sort of thing was, for the most part, not even on the radar screen of myself and my friends when we were younger.
My, how perspective changes ... how behavior is affected ... when we focus on living for eternity rather than for this world. But, oh my, unfortunately, how hard it is ... especially for those of us who have many years of living for this world engrained on our DNA ...
As Hebrews 11 reminds us, we are called -- just as so many before us -- to truly step out in faith and, not knowing what the future will bring -- not caring actually what this world brings us -- follow hard to have the intimate relationship with our creator that He so very much wants to have with us. Staying mindful and vigilant that our reward comes from following Him, not from chasing the things of this world.
What does this mean to me ... to my generation ... how will it affect my actions today?