Escaping a Fallen World

By: Jim Allen

Had enough? Are you longing for the day when the troubles of this world will come to an end? Often hard to imagine — and even harder to believe — is that this world is not our home, even though at times it appears it is all we have (Hebrews 13:14). Did not the apostle Paul yearn for the day when his life on this world would become a distant memory (Philippians 1:21)?

While some may look upon such sentiment as escapism, they do not recognize everyone practices escaping the reality of life in one way or another.

Escapism is real. Everyone does it. Some read novels to escape this world for another. Some watch sports, movies, and a long list of reality programming to get away from the madness. And still others engage in hobbies and crafts and addictions to pass away the hours. Any activity away from the daily demands of life is escapism.

J. Maarten Troost, wrote:
But it's a funny thing, escapism. You can go far and wide and you can keep moving on and on through places and years, but you never escape your own life. I, finally, knew where my life belonged: Home.
Perhaps unknown to Mr. Troost is his reflection calls up a profound biblical truth. There is a place for each of us and until we find it our journey home is on and on through the places and years.

Is Mr. Troost right? Of this matter of escapism Neil Gaiman writes:
It can take you somewhere you've never been. Once you've visited other worlds, like those who ate fairy fruit, you can never be entirely content with the world that you grew up in. Discontent is a good thing: discontented people can modify and improve their worlds, leave them better, leave them different.
Are you content in the world you've come to know? While some people are, most are not. For the Christian, this world is particularly unwelcoming and not at all a place we would want to call home.

After the fall of Adam and Eve, the world became a dark reality show where everyone has a starring role to play. Sadly, the reality show of this world is taking on a darker persona with a more menacing theme. We were never meant to live in a world like this one, not for an instant. And while many of us will leave this world a better place because of our coming, others struggle daily with what seems like an abyss of never-ending trouble and misery.

While the world is not hell, it is for many and explains why escapism (in whatever form available) is a part of life.

But, here's the thing. While escaping from the pressures of world is not always a bad thing, what we escape to can be. I don't have to go into all the dreadful stuff people do to each other and themselves when they escape. You see and hear and read about these things all the time; and, I suspect you really don't want to hear any more about human depravity.

The Bible says there is a place we can go and it is encouraged. Psalm 91 refers to it as a special place to go and be with God:
Because He is Spirit and His glory is beyond our ability to perceive, we must meet with Him in the secret places of the heart in order to commune with Him… That is the picture the psalmist is painting in Psalm 91. God has a secret hiding place and He invites each of us to join Him there. *
Jesus prayed about this divine meeting place (John 17:21). It is not a place we visit once or occasionally. It is a place we discover and stay (Colossians 3:1-3). The beauty of this place is once you been there you will never be entirely content to go back to the world you once knew. Here, in this place, the wonder of life is made anew. The world and its woes fade away. New life unfolds like a blossoming flower in spring time.

As Village Church of Laguna Woods says in their article "Abiding in the Secret Place:"
The "secret place" is an intimate place of personal relationship with God, not a doctrinal position or an actual physical location. It is the inner court versus the outer court position. It is being at home with God. It is a private, intimate place of personal relationship with God. The Hebrew speaks of a protected hiding place.
So then, how do we make the LORD (who is our safe harbor of peace and joy) our dwelling place?

We enter the secret place by recognizing God's will for us is to live in peace and joy. Meditating on the good, true, and lovely will make it possible (Philippians 4:8). We meditate on the word of God (Joshua 1:8) and all that is good because the world's problems are overwhelming and a burdensome load too heavy for anyone to carry.

To be anxious about worldly things takes away our peace and joy. Billy Graham said:
The Old Testament saints declared themselves strangers and aliens on earth, and we, too, should hold loosely the things of this world because they will not last.
In closing, we enter the secret place when we "...walk away from the clamor and enticements of the world…willing to quiet our hearts before Him and allow Him to investigate those inner recesses we reveal to no one else. Secret places imply honesty and trust. We cannot join God in His secret place unless we are willing to be transparent and honest with Him." [1] Believers who release their grip on this world will escape from their life into His life, the greatest and most daring escape of all (John 10:28-29).

* 1. Read more: "What does the Bible say about the value of a secret place?"

Image credit: Demi-Brooke; God is - ; Creative Commons

TagsBiblical-Truth  |  Christian-Life  |  Eternity-Forever  |  Hardships  |  Sin-Evil

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Published 8-11-2014