Looking for that City…

 

We moved recently.  “PCS” or “Permanent Change of Station” is a way of life for military families, yet it is not very permanent.

There is a “white-picket fence” part of me that longs for a home to settle in, get established in a church, and know, that apart from unforeseen events, I am home and will be here the rest of my days on earth.

(A little non-sequitur here:  Amid the busy-ness of the move, getting settled, and needing to refinish some bedroom furniture, my computer died! …which, in part, explains why you haven’t seen any posts from me for a while.  I am grateful for my son who advised me on how to salvage the hard drive!)

The thing about it is, there are no Permanent Stations here on earth, life will always be changing, we will always be, by the grace of God, adapting.  Abraham understood that, even though God promised to give him a new home, a land, and a family, his future lay elsewhere.  “Now the Lord said to Abram, ‘Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you.  And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing’” (Genesis 12:1).

“…God said to him, ‘Behold, my covenant is with you, and you shall be the father of a multitude of nations.  No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham, for I have made you the father of a multitude of nations.  I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make you into nations and kings shall come from you.  And I will establish my covenant between me and you and your offspring after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you.  And I will give to you and to your offspring after you the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession, and I will be their God” (Genesis 17:3-8).

Abraham lived in tents, no white picket fences, in a land that God promised to give him and the generations of his family afterward – an everlasting covenant that we are still waiting to see fulfilled!

The thing is, not being completely settled on this earth, not having all our desires fulfilled, is ok!  This is not our Permanent Change of Station – it is yet to come!  Our home, our jobs, the things we enjoy such as our cars, our houses, our electronics, our wardrobes, and all the possessions that we treasure are temporary, better things are coming!  Like Abraham, we are looking for that city whose designer and builder is God: “By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance.  And he went out, not knowing where he was going.  By faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise.  For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God. …These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on earth” (Hebrews 11:8-10, 13-14).

What matters most right now is loving “the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength” …and loving “your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:30-31)

And the best way to do that is to “run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:1-2).

It is way too easy, allowing circumstances and things of this world become so important to us that our emotions plunge us deeply into disappointment or frustration, those times when what we want evades us, things don’t work out as we had planned, or people fail to meet our expectations.  Often, we don’t realize just how attached we are to temporary things until our reactions betray us!

Here’s the counsel the Holy Spirit gave through Paul to the Colossian church, applicable to us today: “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.  Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.  For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.  When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory” (Colossians 3:1-4).

My flesh, the earthly part of me, often distracts me and my focus strays from my eternal destiny, but God promises that the good work He has begun in me, He will bring to completion (Philippians 1:6), and there is “no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1).  –It is my intention is to continually grow in the grace and knowledge of God, to bring my focus back to things above, and to walk faithfully with my Savior.

 

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