You don’t belong here

Downtown Chicago Building Roundup: North

Downtown Chicago Building Roundup: North (Photo credit: Josh*m)

The only way you will find a new culture is if you realise the old one isn’t for you 

Later she gave birth to a son, and Moses named him Gershom, for he explained, “I have been a foreigner in a foreign land.” Exodus 2:22

 Moses was adopted into the Egyptian culture at the highest level. He was an adopted prince living in the palace of pharaoh himself. He had experience the best of life in this rich land. He had known the best of the fashion and cloth, architect, social structure, artwork and delicious cooking. His original family were nomadic wanderers, farmers – those nutters who went on about a promised land. In worldly terms he had the best life as prince in such a powerful nation – yet he knew that he didn’t belong. He knew that he was not one of them and he couldn’t settle.

He named his eldest son “foreigner” so that every time he called his son he was reminded of his home land far away. His heart would leap once more at the promise there was something better. A land where God lived amongst his people and it was like heaven on earth.

His ancestor Abraham saw the same

10 For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God. Heb 11:10

Moses knew in his heart that although he couldn’t fully understand what it was there he knew there somewhere even greater than this land and culture that he was an integral part of.

Life may seem good. You have what you need and the friends, family around you. You are settled, happy and content. If you are then can I suggest that you are not ready for an adventure? If you set off with others you will always be harping on about what you left behind, what you could have been, where you could have lived. If you are settled and happy – then exploring a whole new culture isn’t for you.

This adventure is for those searching for a better kingdom. For those not satisfied with the number of people they have seen healed, how many people they have helped their lives turn around or the state of family and community. They are not satisfied with the lack of justice, the suffering of the poor, the loneliness of the old, the vulnerability of the young. They are not settled and want things in their old culture to change. They are nnot happy with aggression, drunkenness, depression, confusion and self-rejection filling their streets and churches. This kind of person sees something better –a different kingdom. These people are desperate for change. They think about it every day. They are ready for something big, new and exciting.

How about you? Are you ready to give up everything to understand something bigger and greater? Are you hungry for the kingdom of God, His city and his culture? Or are you too settled?

Lies and labels

In Exodus 5 we find that because the Israelites  were trying to find freedom to go and worship their God Pharaoh put the pressure on big time! Do not be suprised if whilst try to shake of inhibitions and find freedom that your enemy starts putting the pressure on for you to stay the same. We must be careful that we don”t react in fear but stand strong.

 “That same day Pharaoh gave this order to the slave drivers and overseers in charge of the people:  “You are no longer to supply the people with straw for making bricks; let them go and gather their own straw.  But require them to make the same number of bricks as before; don’t reduce the quota. They are lazy; that is why they are crying out, ‘Let us go and worship our God.’ 6-8

Traditional target arrow and replica medieval ...

Traditional target arrow and replica medieval arrow. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

They are lazy!! What a label for a people crying out under the constant work load demanded of them. If I was trying day in day out just to keep going and get everything done  and someone turned around and called me lazy it would be like an arrow to my heart.

I have had arrows like that thrown at me before. Often I dodge them as they are thrown in jest – “Oh Alison you are crazy!” . I can brush them off when I don’t agree with them. They do no damage to my heart and I do not listen to them. But sometimes things people say stick to me. I remember a lie said to me once by a leader – “You are negative that is why you are not feeling happy”.  I agreed with the assessment of me  as I listen to them and the arrow was given permission, by me, to land into my inner life.

The arrow started to cause problem with my daily living. It was painful and caused me to accept other lies. I thought “I am negative and a bad influence on other people and I will just bring everyone down”. I stopped talking in fear that I would be negative. My lack of interaction in conversations made me think up questions whilst people were talking and I thought that it was a symptom of being negative. I  sometime thought the questions were wrong and perhaps I was not good hearted after all—- I think you get the picture.

The key to dealing with lies that people throw at you is not to agree with them. They can only stick on you if you let them. If you brush them off they loose their power straight away. Laugh at the cheek of the enemy to try and stick  false labels on you. The time that is hardest to brush off a lie is if you know that there is a glimmer of truth in it. You see the sugar coating is true so you swallow down the whole pill into your depths thinking that the medicine is yours.

Today: List all the lies and labels people have put on you over the years. It might be a church leader, school teacher, friend, spouse, parent etc. Sit down and break agreement with the lies you have agreed with and allowed in. Tell them they have no place in your life.

Don’t just read this post but be deliberate in taking each of those arrows out – they wont go away by chance 🙂