"Now the tribes of Reuben and Gad owned vast numbers of livestock. So when they saw the lands of Jazer and Gilead were ideally suited for their flocks and herds, they came to Moses......They said....the Lord has conquered this whole area for the people of Israel.....please let us have this land (on the east side of the Jordan) as our property instead of giving us land across the Jordan River." Numbers 32:1-5....'Abraham did this because he was confidently looking forward to a city with eternal foundations, a city designed and built by God." Hebrews 10:11
The other day, a friend and I, who get together each week to spend time in Him, were talking about how so few seem to really have any sense of His eternal Kingdom. How many seem so content and at home here in this world, that they spend little, if any time thinking about living life in the everlasting Kingdom of God. Not just in some future time, but right now. He said it reminded him of the two tribes of Israel, who, after being given the land promised them by God, wanted to stay on the east side of the Jordan river. A land that seemed "very good" to them. A land they were most comfortable in, and didn't wish to leave. It was the east side of the Jordan. The wrong side of the Jordan. How like them are we?
How can it be that so many of the people of God, His called out ones, are not living called out lives at all? How is it that a people created for His eternal Kingdom, are so much more at home in this alien world? Paul said that His deepest desire was to be with His Father, and that this world held no attraction to him. That the only reason he would wish to stay was to show forth the life and wonder of Christ through his own life. To invite those he ministered to into that life. One could not meet Paul and ever believe he was really of this world. He was a citizen of the Kingdom of God, and even those who didn't really understand what all that meant, knew, as my friend put it, that he "wasn't from around here." How many say that about us? How many remark as to the presence of Almighty God manifesting Himself through our lives? Or, do our lives, speech, ways, and language show that we are very much "from around here?"
When we choose to live on the wrong side of the Jordan, the east side, we will assuredly take on the mindset of those who dwell there with us. We will have Eastside vision, Eastside thinking, Eastside understanding, and Eastside discernment. In short, we will have Eastside lives. I grew up just outside of the city of Pittsburgh. Areas of the city were referred to as the Northside, Southside, Eastside, and Westside. Each was distinct from another, with their own ethnic makeup and culture. The influence of each was seen upon those who grew up there. Aware or not, we will bear the mark of the spiritual side upon which we live. What mark are we bearing?
Mark Buchanan tells the story of an area in Africa between two nations, simply called "the Borderland." It was populated by a large number of people living in makeshift dwellings. They were citizens of nowhere, belonging to neither nation either before, or behind them. How like them are we? No matter how much we seek to build a dwelling place in this world, it will always be makeshift. No matter how at home we feel, it will never be home. If you're on the Eastside today, you are on the wrong side.
Before you lies His Kingdom land. You were created for it. Will you take up your citizenship there? Jesus said that those who are His, "Cross over from death unto life." There is a "Jordan" before you right now. Christ and Christ alone is the means of getting across. Will you come, or, will you go on living on the Eastside, the wrong side of eternity?