God told Abraham “Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee.” (Gen. 12:1) He led the people out of Egypt with a mighty hand, (Deut. 26:8) He removed the children of Jacob from the land of promise because of their continuing sins, (Jer. 52:11) He took Paul from all he knew, He has told the man that “For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife,” (Mark 10:7) He set Noah in the ark, (Gen. 7:9) took Lot from Sodom, (Gen. 14:12) and He will remove His children from this planet before His wrath falls upon it. (1 Thess. 4:17)
Christians are almost always on the move, rarely are we left in one place to serve, we were nomadic from the beginning, and will remain so until we arrive home. It is one of the ways that our Lord shows us that this earth is not our final place, it is not and never should be considered our home. This is not to say that He does not use us where we are, but how many times can you look back on your life and wonder about those lost opportunities, those times you may have felt the prompting, if you will, of the Holy Spirit, telling you of a place of service that was not where you are now at.
I do not know how many of the children of God are profitable who remain in their “hometown” area, “No prophet is accepted in his own country.” (Luke 4:24) I suppose it depends on the amount of change the lost see in that individual, the writer of these letters to you, the man that God is using to pen these words was an extremely vile and corrupt individual before he fell on his face at the cross, and when he returned to his town of birth, he was mocked and disbelieved, his ministry was not believed. Not always, perhaps sometimes, but I believe it is rare, does the man who serves Satan and self and then repents and gives his heart to Christ bring much change in his home community, the heathen are difficult to persuade. They will lay in wait for the man of God to falter and fall, and then chide him at every opportunity, a long life must be lived amongst the lost before they will be persuaded of the changed heart and life of one who now calls Christ Lord. They want proof, and they want it over and over again.
The born-again believer is to be prepared to abandon all when the Lord calls, he is to cling to nothing of this world, we are always to see ourselves as missionaries, not of this earth, ready to depart at any moment, and my friends, that moment is coming soon. We must be as Abraham when he was told to leave Ur of the Chaldees, no questioning, as when he was commanded to take his beloved son Isaac to the mount to be sacrificed, (Gen. 22:1-3) we are ambassadors of God, servants of the Most high, we are not to question, we are to always be prepared to say “Thy will be done.”
Have you ever wondered why Zechariah when he questioned the angel about the son, John, that was to be born to him was shown the proof he asked for was shown it by not being able to speak, why Gideon was allowed to question several times, (Judges 6:37,39) or Moses kindled the anger of God at the burning bush, (Exo. 4:14) yet Mary said, “Behold the handmaid of the LORD; be it unto me according to thy word.” (Luke 1:38) Why so many responses to so many different people? Faith, faith and trust in the messenger, faith and obedience is what our Lord seeks from us. You cannot sing “Where He leads I Will Follow” or “Onward Christian Soldiers,” and then continue in a place where you remain unprofitable, the security of the known is never to be traded for obedience to the will of God.
Far too many who call Christ Lord have become comfortable here, they have hardened their hearts to His calling. They have made excuses for so long that they have deceived themselves into believing the lies they have been telling themselves. Service to Christ means the Sunday morning service, studying the Scriptures means listening to the sermon, giving of themselves means opening their wallets and putting a little something in the plate. They believe they are blessed because they have things, they believe they are to stay where they are because things are going well. They have become dull of hearing, and sadly few can count on even one hand those they have led to the Lord.
Those who are not studying the Scriptures, those who rely only on the message of the one who stands behind the pulpit many times would not recognize the voice of the Lord if He was to call to them, and this is more than a little disturbing, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” (John 10:27) I have been this person, I have intimate knowledge of what is written in this letter to you, many times did I hear His voice and run from Him, deny His calling, cling to the old man and his sinful nature, I sought my own will instead of submitting to His, and at times I still do. “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” (Romans 7:24)
Yes my friends, you can sacrifice all you want, but it is obedience that our Lord demands of us. (1 Sam. 15:22) We are to “believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world,” (1 Jon 4:1) but few will even do this today, the comfort of the same has brought a form of apathy into their hearts, they have made themselves at home in a place that is not to be considered their home, they have found a form of rest where none is to be found, they have traded the peace that passeth all understanding, (Phil. 4:7) for a temporary form of assurance.
At any moment the Lord Jesus could return, we know not the hour or the day, (Matt. 24:42) are you prepared, or will you be ashamed, will you miss anything here, or has it already been given to the one who gave all to us in the first place. Where is your home?