I am an alien
Processing 1 Peter 2:11-12
Immigration, aliens, assimilation, integration.... All are hot topics these days. Thanks to all political and Facebook posts, I see and hear the word "alien" a lot. And, each time I see or hear it, I think it a strange word to describe people. When I think of an alien, ET comes to mind. Thus, the silly Snapchat picture.
As I read what Peter writes to those of us who call ourselves Christ followers, the passages hit me in an entirely new and fresh way. First, Peter calls us Beloved. Next, he says we are aliens and strangers. Attention: I am a beloved alien! My eyes locked in on these words and I couldn't go further. I had to hit the pause and ponder button. I've been processing these words and their impact all week.
As far as my US citizenship, I am not an alien. When I hear this word on the news, I don't identify. So, when I read Peter's words, I had to adjust my thinking. He reminded me that I am an alien and a stranger here in this world. As I paused, the Spirit brought these Scriptures to mind.
- "For He (Jesus) rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son..." Colossians 1:13
- "For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ..." Philippians 3:20
- "So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household..." Ephesians 2:19
America is my physical home, and as a citizen, I pledge allegiance to my country. But on a spiritual level, I've been transferred from the kingdom of darkness (the world ruled by the devil) and into the kingdom of heaven where Jesus is my King and my Lord. Because of Him, I am now a citizen of the household of God. I love the good ole USA, but it's a kingdom of the world and not all US citizens are citizens of heaven. So, it is true...
I am an alien.
As an alien, I should look and act very different from citizens of the world. Okay, so the silly Snapchat picture is taking it a bit too far. But, listen to what Peter says:
- "Beloved, I urge you, as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul. Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the things in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation." 1 Peter 2:11-12
I am a good kind of alien! Because I am here to do good and my behavior to be excellent. Peter pretty much takes the rest of the book to explain how as an alien I am to act and what I am to do while here. If I get it right, the citizens of earth may glorify God when He comes. It, this alien behavior, will also ensure I don't blend in. I should look and act like the alien I am. I imagine some will run for the hills and others will welcome me with open arms, eager to learn about the kingdom of heaven. Either way, I'm left here with a beautiful purpose to fulfill and mission to accomplish. Until I am beamed up (so to speak).
I am fairly confident that in many ways, I've tried to blend in. Oh Lord, take Your word and do your work so that my behavior will be excellent and You will be glorified.
I can't wait to continue my study of alien behavior. Hint, hint...the very first word of the next verse is SUBMIT.