Many a time, we have the chance to leave the borders of what we call home to go far away to a strange land. Either to “seek greener pastures,” to study, for holidays or some other personal reasons best known to us. But we forget that a change of environment is a lot to grapple with. You have to adapt to the cultures, norms, food, and traditions of the new land.
But living far away from home is not what we always anticipate it to be. Going beyond what you have called home since birth leaves you mesmerized at the striking difference that exists in that strange land in comparison to yours. But what does it take for a Christian to leave far away from home? What are the consequences and the likelihoods of you throwing your faith in the trash and letting yourself sink deep into the cultures you find yourself?
When you’re far away from home, one thing is sure—you’re far away from your parents and religious leaders who know how to chastise and commend you for anything. They also have the ability to give you good bits of advice that would be beneficial to your life. Above all, there is the church where you often go to listen to God’s word as well as interact with peers with the same like-minded heavenly goals like you. You find yourself in a bond of love and compassion; a community where everyone cares for each other (although, I know this is not the case in some churches today). However, when you leave home, what happens?
First, you are independent. That’s the thought that comes to you once you arrive. Now, you have the freedom to do whatsoever you want with your body and your life. No one (parents and religious leaders) is around to chastise you, hence, your freedom. So what do you do with yourself? As a result of this knowledge of realizing how free you are, you might end up in a state of being lawless even to yourself. What do I mean? Some people, when they found out they are free, they decide to do whatever they like giving little consent to determine if the step they are taking is God’s wish. Slowly, the love of God will start diminishing in their life, and then anything that is about God might seem cumbersome. Praying can be difficult, reading His word can become a burdensome task. However, He can find you yet again and bring you back to His fold.
Many of us leave our homes with the fire burning more than ever before, however, when we get to a strange land, the fire starts dwindling slowly as a result of the external pressures that come with being in a strange place. If you’ve read this article to this stage, I want you to pause and think about something—I want you to create an analogy between your past life and your current life? What were you like before? Were you burning and yearning to serve God but didn’t have the opportunity at home and now it’s all you do every week? Or were you serving Him fervently and living by His word all the time and all of a sudden, you find yourself in a strange land, and that fire starts going down? Have you gotten to a point where the things of God no longer interest you because you don’t just feel like it? Have you gotten to a point whereby whenever you go back home, you seem to struggle with the things of God?
I must state that God is a God of love and He is waiting for you to come back to Him. He has a huge plan for you, and one of those plans is for you to keep the fire burning for Him and for you to start sharing the light of His love and mercy to the world. When you no longer yearn for the things of God, it would be pretty much difficult for you to be used by Him. You will start questioning why you should carry out the tasks of serving Him? What are the benefits of doing these things? Then slowly; your interests will start fading away.
But you need to keep the fire burning. The bible says “Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them” (Ecclesiastes 12:1). God’s plan is for us to keep serving Him till then end. Afterall, we live for Him and Him alone. It’s about Him and not about us. In the book of Hebrews, the Bible says: “Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.” (Hebrews 10:38,39). Listed below are the things you can do to keep the fire burning:
- Dedicating yourself to always praying (1 Thessalonians 5: 17): I am not saying you should always pray every day (although it is not bad because the Bible says “pray without ceasing”); however, you need to commune with your Father wherever you are. He listens to you every time.
- Read his word (2 Timothy 2: 15-18): The Bible says we should Study to shew ourselves approved unto God. It’d be great if you can do this every day too. Just make sure that you dedicate enough time to read His Word so you can see the things He has in store for you as well as learn from the things written therein.
- Never forsake the assembly of the brethren (Hebrews 10:25): It is true that you’re away from your church members and spiritual leaders and parents. However, you should always find the people you have like-minded spiritual goals with, check-in with each other and encourage each other to grow in His faith and love. Associating yourself to a nearby church is a good idea but do not let the dynamics of the church deter you from chasing The Father. If you don’t find a church, check in with people like you, encourage each other, fellowship together and you’ll see how much strength lies in two people coming together to fellowship with The Father.
- Share God’s love with others; for this is the great commission given to us directly by Christ Himself (Mark 16:15).
“Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.“ (Jude 3)