“For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart and to be with Christ, which is far better; nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you.”
It’s a constant “struggle of the soul,” but we must continue being faithful in our calling in Christ until He calls us Home.
How “at home” do you feel these days, Pilgrim? Are you having “the time of your life”. . . “grabbing for all the gusto you can get”. . .“partying hardy”. . .or do you better understand what the writer meant when he described us as “strangers and pilgrims on the earth” (Heb. 11:13)?
If you’re truly walking with the Lord, the above questions are “no-brainers”—for, as Paul later told the Philippian church—“our conversation (citizenship) is in Heaven, from whence also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Phil. 3:20). Simply put, as born-again believers we basically live in two worlds: The one into which we were born and the one that awaits us.
The question, then, is: In which one do we feel more comfortable?
Again, if we’re growing “in Grace and Truth,” then we’ll increasingly feel more out-of-place in this world. Her values are not ours. Her way of doing things is different. Her world-view is diametrically opposite of a Biblical one.
No wonder Paul said “For I am in a strait (Grk. ‘sunecho’—‘to hold together, compress, afflict, press together, constrain, etc.’) betwixt the two.” He felt like someone being tightly squeezed in a press or someone being constrained in a straitjacket. And, how constrictive this feeling of “a strait betwixt two”!
You’ve been set free by the Blood of the Lamb. You know the joy of serving the Lord and “the peace that passes understanding” (Phil. 4:7-9; Jn. 14:1-3, 27). You have assurance in crises and hope in times of despair.
But, so many around you don’t.
You try talking to them, but they ignore or reject you. You try convincing others of the error of their ways, but they laugh at or mock you. You want to talk about the Lord and spiritual things to other professing believers, but they’re more into the latest fads, fashions or philosophies.
No wonder you’re “in a strait betwixt two.” You’re “homesick for Heaven!” Hallelujah!!
But, then, the dilemma becomes “What are you going to do about it?” Some withdraw from society, becoming ascetic and mystical like Simon the Stylite, who sat on a pole for 30 years, meditating on God’s Word. Others adopt an “It’s me against the world” mentality and seek to change the world by lambasting it or attempting to legislate morality.
Much better is our living as “salt and light” in this world of the spiritually blind, deaf, dumb and dead (Mt. 5:13-16; Eph. 2:1-3)—for, as someone said, “We’re the only Bible that some of them will ever read.” So, be faithful, Pilgrim. When the Lord’s ready, He’ll call for you.
By Tom Smith Morning Manna Dated November 20, 2009