Abraham, "Looked for a City."
A city - with foundations.
A city - whose Builder and Maker is God.
A city - which is Real.
Very little in this world is built by God.
Even in what we call the church, most of what we see is man-generated and man-controlled.
Some within the church have been blinded by the call of material prosperity,
Others, it would seem, are pursuing a sort of erroneous "spiritual prosperity"
- an abundance of blessing with a total absence of lifting the burdens of life,
- a sort of self-seeking, self-satisfying inversion of God's processes.
In both cases, one is seeking to build a place, a city, a kingdom, for oneself,
and forgetting it is God's Kingdom, not ours.
In His kingdom God wants above all to reign over ourselves,
and not merely our "things."
William Law had a statement to the effect that the greater price one payed for a spiritual blessing, the greater was the bargain he obtained.
This is very different from thinking that obstacles will be minuscule and blessings will be infinite.
Afflictions and burdens will be absent in heaven, but here on this fallen earth they are parts of life.
The trials and burdens of David, Samuel, Paul and John were not symbolic;
they were real.
"The fiery trial which is to try you" (1 Pet 4.12) is not symbolic but real.
God is "the Lord, Mighty in Battle," (Psa 24.8)
and it is He who "always causeth us to triumph in Christ." (2Cor 2.14)
God's call is not to complacency and comfort, but to strife and to Victory.
The God of the Bible is the God:
Who delivers his own,
not from, but out of battle,
not from, but out of affliction,
not from, but out of weakness.
God of the Bible is the God:
Who quickens the dead,
and shows His power,
where the night is darkest,
and the battle is most intense.
The lesson of life is not about Avoidance, but about Overcoming!
The violent, the ones who use force, the eager, the passionate, are the ones who take the Kingdom of God. (Mt 11.12)