Hebrews 13:14-16 (NLT) For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come. Therefore, let us offer through Jesus a continual sacrifice of praise to God, proclaiming our allegiance to his name. And don’t forget to do good and to share with those in need. These are the sacrifices that please God.
At this very moment, everything that we own is packed in one very big U-Haul truck, an equally large covered trailer, scattered among a number of automobiles, and our family housed with friends. It is a very distinct and odd perception to see everything that you own consolidated like that. It is humbling as well. It seems small for the investment of our life the contents and possessions that we accumulate. Furniture, once bought brand new, reveals its imperfections when emptied and moved more than a decade later. Clothes you haven’t worn in years are carried to another place in mounds. All those things that seemed so important unceremoniously stacked all around in an effort to move it to the next destination. Last night my husband reminded me for the evening that essentially we were homeless.
Transition is never. In the natural or spiritual sense, it is hard and uncomfortable. Today, an old chapter ends and a new one begins. Yet still I will not be home in every sense of the word because this place that I live is not my permanent home. I have a better more fulfilling place to look forward to. It is important in life to gain this perspective from time to time. To see our life not by where we are now, but where we are going. To see the treasures of this earth and their deteriorating state, to remember that this is only temporary so that the Lord can remind us that He has given us freedom to live for so much more.
Though moving less than an hour from our previous home, it seems like it is taking an eternity to complete this journey that began about a year ago. The day that I walked in a church and the Lord set my heart ablaze again. I cannot explain how God works all the time. I just know that when we choose to love Him that He never stops working on our behalf even when we give up, give out, or just can’t take another step. In the challenges of life, it is not always easy to offer a continual sacrifice of praise verbally but our willingness to continue this journey home even when it is uncomfortable, inconvenient, and just plain hard is praise in and of itself. We are on a pilgrimage not to a new earthly destination but we live our life in full pursuit of God and His Kingdom. Our allegiance is to King Jesus so therefore everything that I have, will have, want or discover is homage to Him as Lord of my life or at least it should be.
I am trying not to complain in my discomfort. I really do not want to balk at the inconvenience. I know that God is moving us to better things and for His Purpose. The enemy has made it clear that he wants to stop our movement and hinder all progress. To God be the Glory this is not my permanent home, therefore the temporary trials cannot stop me. Life in perspective is a good thing when we look down from where the Lord is seating and take it for what it is worth which is far more than the contents of our life that fills trucks, homes and businesses. It is the One who fills our heart.
John 1:14 (NLT) So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.
God’s People just couldn’t get it. Pilgrimages and journeys could not change their perspective on God and His Faithfulness. Unable to see the forest for the trees, God sent His Son Jesus to us so we could see His Word come to life. Jesus came to make His Home among us. To find a way from outside of us to live in our hearts. People proved to be a tough crowd. Jesus loved us and died for us just the same because God our Father and Jesus the Son could not image life without us eternally. God loves you. Do you believe that today? The perception of your life and circumstances would change dramatically if only we could somehow grasp the sheer magnitude of the Father’s Love. To live too far gone to turn back now…kind of like we are today.
The Word of God in our heart should promote our heavenward progression. In our daily determination to demonstrate our allegiance to Christ, it should always be evident that our purpose in life is God’s Word that has made His Home not just with us but in us! In this state of being unsettled that I am currently in, I am acutely aware that God is working doing more than I can think or ask. I sense His Spirit urging me gently on as the task ahead seems so overwhelming. Life is full of transitions, however; if our relationship with Jesus does not progress as His Word grows into a prospering soul – what have we gained.
John 14:23-26 (NLT) Jesus replied, “All who love me will do what I say. My Father will love them, and we will come and make our home with each of them. Anyone who doesn’t love me will not obey me. And remember, my words are not my own. What I am telling you is from the Father who sent me. I am telling you these things now while I am still with you. But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you.
Yesterday afternoon, there were more than a few challenges associated with our move and closing on the new house. Details that could have derailed us completely. Frustrations that could have ended in defeat. Constant opportunities to throw in the towel and just give up except for one small fact – I believe that God told us to make this move. Driving to our friend’s house last night, I could feel the pity party starting and was determined to fight the urge to begin the chorus of complaints. I just did not think that after all the Lord has done for me behaving like Hezekiah would be appropriate either by reminding the Lord of all that “I” have done for Him. How could I? So instead, I just reminded the Lord of His Word both written and spoken to me. My circumstances did not change. My attitude did.
I love Jesus. I try to do what He says. I face opposition on a daily basis. The Lord has made His Home in my heart and given me the Holy Spirit as a helper. I have everything I need in this life to live like I am at home with Jesus. But that doesn’t mean that things always go the way that I think they should or how I would like them, too. Just because God said it does not mean that He will immediately do it. It is in this nomadic journey called life that I discover the true potential and fulfillment of Christ in me rather than what I have around me.
2 Corinthians 5:5-8 (NLT) God himself has prepared us for this, and as a guarantee he has given us his Holy Spirit. So we are always confident, even though we know that as long as we live in these bodies we are not at home with the Lord. For we live by believing and not by seeing. Yes, we are fully confident, and we would rather be away from these earthly bodies, for then we will be at home with the Lord.
Just like every other step closer to the Lord and His Will for me, each one is just as challenging as the one before. My life is filled with purpose and potential written by the Hand of God. His Son, Jesus has made His Home in my heart. His Spirit fills me and surrounds my life with His Fruit. In every patch of my existence surrendered to the Lord, there is prosperity. It is times like this I can dig a little deeper in my heart to find a fertile place for the Word of God to grow some more. It is in my displacement and discomfort that I see even here in the midst of chaos that He is with me, in me and working for me not against me. We must live as temporary residents faithful to a timeless and limitless God. How do we do that? By being pushed beyond our comfort to find rest in the Lord. To be moved past complacency as not to die in this place but life in His Presence for His Glory. Not a single that I have will give me greater joy and peace than Christ who lives in me but how will I know that unless I see things as they are – the reality of this life is that what we have is worthless compared to knowing Jesus and asking Him to make Himself at home in our heart.
Colossians 2:6-10 (NLT) And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness. Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ. For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body. So you also are complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority.
When our kids were smaller and we would go on trips, they would begin the chorus of “are we there yet” sometimes minutes on our way. One would ask and then another might join for good measure. I would begin my response of “almost” which continued into reaching our destination. I know that there are days I cry out to the Lord the very same thing. Challenged to trust His Timing and determined to end disbelief, I want to welcome His Way, His Word and His Will in my life. My flesh likes comfort but commitment is born of sacrifice. I am stubborn by nature but God is looking for a soft and pliant heart to welcome His Seed and let it grow in my life. I must continue to trust that the Lord is working out my salvation, making every detail for my good and perfecting my way when things are to the contrary – I choose not to be contrary but strive for commitment.
My life is all about faith. It is learning to lean on the Lord and trust Him just a little bit more each day. Days like today are challenging. Not many people can actually comprehend that our family is completely transitioning because we are taking God at His Word…but that really is the only reason. It has to be enough. It can only be enough when I allow Jesus to make His Home in my very unstable and weak heart. It is the moment I decide that the One who lives in me is greater than he who is in the world. It is in that moment you tell God you cannot go any further, yet somehow find a way to take one step more called faith. God lives in us. His Son, Jesus has made His Home in our heart. This means no matter where we are, what we are doing, what state we are in or the current conditions of my life – I am still almost home because Christ lives in me.
I Peter 2:9-12 (NLT) But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light. “Once you had no identity as a people; now you are God’s people. Once you received no mercy; now you have received God’s mercy.” Dear friends, I warn you as “temporary residents and foreigners” to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls. Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbors. Then even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior, and they will give honor to God when he judges the world.