Over the past 10 months, this description of how a Christian should live in this present age has become increasingly clear and something we—as five volunteers in the country of Jordan—have been able to relate to very personally. Every day we hear the mosques' morning call to prayer (at 4:30 a.m.), greet our neighbors in a different language, begin school days with the Jordanian national anthem and hear the tune we associate with ice cream trucks in America accompanying the fuel trucks traveling along the streets in Amman.
We are constantly reminded we are in a foreign place. At the beginning these instances were very strange to us; and even now, 10 months after our arrival, when we stop and think about it, they are still not normal. In preparation for returning to our homes in the United States, we have spent a good portion of time thinking about what we're leaving and what we're returning to in the States.
It begs the question, Where do I belong?
In Jordan it has been so clear and easy to understand that we are simply different from those around us. From the beginning of our time here we knew our purpose was not to become like the culture around us. We were not in Jordan to become so familiar with it that it would be our new permanent home physically. We did not travel here to belong. On the contrary, our purpose here, and as God's people around the world wherever we are, is to live our lives to represent something greater than any physical home we have come from.
Representing Something Greater Than Ourselves
We are here to be ambassadors for Christ; we are ambassadors for what He did and continues to do—and that includes what His Kingdom is all about (2 Corinthians 5:20). We are but vapors and shadows in this physical world. The substance of our lives, what we are to show, is the true reality of God's Kingdom. David described this system operating by God's way in a prayer in 1 Chronicles 29:10-15.
Last year's group of volunteers wrote about a lesson they learned on the subject of representing peace. The point made in the article is inseparable from the lesson we have been learning this year about being pilgrims on this earth and ambassadors for Christ. This part of the world is in constant stress over impending war and conflict. "Whose side are you on?" is a question never far from conversation or thoughts, especially since we are indeed foreigners in this part of the world.
As God's people, we are pilgrims and strangers in this land and, on a larger scale, in this world; we are not to be lovers of this world (1 John 2:15-17). We don't take sides in this world's politics, wars, ideologies or anything else that is a part of its system. We represent something more—being called to do God's will, which is exemplified in the life of Jesus Christ, who is our Head.
God ultimately wants peace according to His laws. He wants to build a family and bring many sons to glory. He wants to establish a perfect way of life as described in His Word, and that is what we are to stand for too.
In our relationships with others and when we deal with the world around us, this should be very plain no matter where we live and what we're doing. This year we have gained a simple and fairly clear understanding that we are different in many ways. As we return to the States, we desire to grow further in understanding and representing the way of life God has called us to and the way that will be lived in His Kingdom to come.
Simply stated, we don't belong in this world. We are called out of it by God and seek to understand and do His will in our lives as we await His Kingdom.UN