There is a common thread that weaves its way through scripture…its always whispering. “go outside the camp” All the great heros of faith listed in Heb 11 lived as “strangers on earth” They were non-conformists to the worldly system…they were looking for a city…an enduring one that a was built by God.
Jonathan Edwards once prayed, “Lord, stamp eternity on my eye lids” Why? because he wanted to live in light of eternity…not his measly four-score years on earth. The heros of Heb 11 were heros because they had eternity in view and their highest desire was God himself…to know Jesus.
Living in that reality, changes everything. The glitter of wordly things lose their lustre. Truly desiring God will always lead you “outside the camp.” Out of the melee, out of the mainstream…out of the clamour. You will be disgraced and ridiculed for being “fanatical” or “weird” and “different.”
Join the club…Noah, David, Elijah, Elisha…all of them…they all took a road toward God that led them out of the “system”
Once while conversing with Moise, my Monkolé language teacher in West Africa, he related how frustrated he was with the nomads who’s cattle kept coming into his fields and ruining his crops. I told him about electric fencing and how a solar panel and wire could fix the problem. I asked him if he thought that would work.
He chuckled and said, “no”
“Why?” I asked
“Because my neighbours(fellow Monkolé farmers) would mock me for being so different. Then, if it actually did work they would become jealous and sabotage the fence by cutting it.”
The ultimate example of someone who “went outside the camp” was of course Jesus…and our call is the same…
“Let us, then, go to him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace he bore.” Heb 13:13
Are you ready to be strange in the eyes of the world…
Are you ready to be ridiculed by people even in the church? That’s the hardest kind isn’t it? A certain jealousy can arise. Pharisees suddenly show up and oppose you even believing that they are doing you and God a service.
Jesus made it a habit of also physically removing himself to be alone with God. Why not consider physically getting away. Take nothing with you. No cell phone, no computer. Just your Bible, a notebook and pen. Take a couple days. Fast. Pray. Listen. Hunger and Thirst. Get your eyes on eternity. Its a good start.
Heck get a tent and do what Jean Luc and I did. We bought a wall tent, put a wood stove in it and use it as a place to escape to with God. We use it to meet with other other guys who are shaking off the world too. Its called the Tent of Meeting. Check out our Website about it called The Threshing Floor. It might give you some ideas.