Peter wrote, “Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul” (1 Pet. 2:11). Peter is talking about self-control. We should be law-abiding citizens all the time (Rom. 13:1-7; 1 Pet. 2:13-17). This is always right, and especially when traveling or staying in a foreign land. If we slip up due to unfamiliarity with the laws or fall prey to corrupt officials, we might not make it back home.
As Christians, we know that we do not belong here. We are travelers, sojourners in the land. Earth is temporary and heaven is our home forever (2 Cor. 5:8; Phil. 3:20). This is a proving ground for eternity. We dare not get caught up in the here and now and fall prey to the devil’s temptations. The pursuit of pleasure is the downfall of many a soul. For every human appetite, there is legitimate fulfillment. Human sexuality and attraction finds its fulfillment in marriage. Unfortunately, multitudes in the world pay no attention to God’s guidance and restrictions. When people live as if there is no God, morals are abandoned (Romans chapter 1). Chaos prevails. Self-control keeps us on the right track to make it home to heaven when Jesus comes back for us.
To be a child of God is the greatest privilege we have, but we also have responsibility. May God bless us all as we work with his Spirit to develop the character the Father expects of his children. TC