Monday, July 31, 2017


I like to watch those survival shows on TV.  They are a bit contrived but there are some useful things to be learned when you see survival experts use brains and creativity to deal with the things mother nature sends their way.  One common theme in the survival business is the need for a shelter that keeps out the elements.

Most of the shelters have common elements.  First, they have a roof to keep away rain and the persistent effects of the sun.  Second, they are located in a way that protects the occupants from predators and dangerous wildlife.  Third, shelters need to allow occupants to be raised off the ground, protecting them from hypothermic heat loss and ground-dwelling critters.  Finally, shelters need to be built with the knowledge that survival depends on extricating ones self from the situation (they are temporary because the occupants goal is to move to a sustainable destination, hopefully home).

Let's think about that last one.  Hebrews 11 and 1 Peter 2 both remind us that we are pilgrims traveling through this world.  But we sometimes forget that our path and even our lives are temporary things.  We get so attached to the things here that we forget the place to which we travel.  We find security in places, things, people and even ourselves.  We build, reinforce and fortify something that should never be thought of as permanent.  The old song, Wayfairing Stranger says:

 I am a poor wayfaring stranger
While traveling through this world of woe
Yet there's no sickness, toil or danger
In that bright world to which I go

The song reminds us that as we go through this world we shouldn't get too comfortable.

So ... what kind of structure should we build?  Israel, during the times of the Torah, was nomadic.  In New Testament times God's Word says (Hebrews 3:6) "we are God's house."   The exterior shell is durable but temporary.  The house is able to be moved from place to place.  The house depends totally on God for provision and protection.  The house is structured for God's purpose and to seek God's destination.  The house is built to grow spiritually, even when the exterior shell is constantly deteriorating (Romans 8:36).  The house is moving toward the only sustainable destination ... God's place.

The survivor shows remind us to keep moving toward a place that is true security, remembering that shelters in the wilderness are only to sustain us for a short while.  So we travel, move, grow and journey "to that bright land" God has prepared.  Randy

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