Home is where the heart is…
June 22nd, 2019
If you are like me, sometimes you just sit back and ponder the suitability of our existence in this world.
I don’t mean that we can’t eat what we nourish ourselves on, nor breath in the air. But when you see all that is transpiring around us, the emphasis of deviant behavior as the acceptable social order; you certainly have to acknowledge this world is not our home.
Years ago a song was introduced that echoed the phrase, “This world is not my home, I’m just passing through.” Though this was a secular song, it had a profound message that despite our best efforts to make our lives here, as agreeable as possible, this is not all there is. There is a brighter, more glorious, existence that awaits those who place their hope and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. The song doesn’t detail the cause of our traveler status, but it does clearly point out that this place, is not our place.
Paul perhaps expressed this clearer than anyone in scripture.
Thus we are full of courage and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.
2 Corinthians 5:8 (NET)
Home isn’t here. Home is with the Lord.
God has done everything possible to give us a sample, small as it might be, of what our home is like at the end of this flesh bound existence we endure. The eternal part of us is going to exist in some state at a point in our future. That domicile will be our home forevermore.
The struggle we are engaged with right now, is the battle of the flesh against the Spirit. If we have given our lives to Jesus, then we have taken ranks with the Spirit and have denounced the flesh. It wasn’t always that way. It wasn’t designed to be that way.
God saw all that he had made – and it was very good! There was evening, and there was morning, the sixth day.
Genesis 1:31 (NET)
Very good, as in perfection. For God to say something was ‘very good’, exceeds our standards in every way, shape, and form. So much so, that we have no concept of how good ‘very good’ really is. More specifically, his final creations man and woman were some of his finest work.
If we men want to make some points here, we could just say that God saved the best for last, and while he did create man and woman as the last two creations, the woman was his final touch to his masterpiece.
Interestingly enough, God does tend to save the best for last. While the creation event was astounding, what with him speaking the universe into existence and all he did in six short days, the best is yet to come.
We have yet to see THAT city he’s built for us, or the new heaven and earth that he will prepare upon the destruction of the old ones. When the new Jerusalem descends.
And I saw the holy city – the new Jerusalem – descending out of heaven from God, made ready like a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying: “Look! The residence of God is among human beings. He will live among them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death will not exist anymore – or mourning, or crying, or pain, for the former things have ceased to exist.”
Revelation 21:2-4 (NET)
All the best things are coming. God’s saving them for the end of time as we know it.
Not that we will cease to exist, but that we will transition from a temporal existence to our eternal existence in our eternal home. “Look! The residence of God is among human beings. He will live among them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death will not exist anymore – or mourning, or crying, or pain, for the former things have ceased to exist.”
NOTHING can compare to this! We can’t even grasp what this will mean to us today.
I’ve heard some pretty descriptive sermons from some faithful men of God describing the coming events in our future but each and every one of them only scratches the surface to the glory and magnificence that await, us at our homecoming.
So those feeling of homelessness are just an aberration. Only something the enemy is seeking to inflict on us while we abide here in this house of flesh; flawed, decaying, and miserably deficient.
He’s bringing us home
One of the most poorly referenced passages in scripture is Jeremiah 29:11. Despite the common misuse of the passage, it does provide a shadow of God’s glorious plan for us. Much more significant than what is happening in the next hours, days, and months.
It is truth, God does have a plan for each and every one of us that has entrusted our lives in his grace. But it is so much bigger and spectacular than what we might consider.
The children of Israel had been exiled from their home. Hauled off to a corrupt and Godless land. In these four verses God promises them that this is not their home, their current situation isn’t what he has architected for them. He’s got it all plotted and the home he has laid aside for them is the home that they were banished from.
For I know what I have planned for you,ʼ says the Lord. ʻI have plans to prosper you, not to harm you. I have plans to give you a future filled with hope. When you call out to me and come to me in prayer, I will hear your prayers. When you seek me in prayer and worship, you will find me available to you. If you seek me with all your heart and soul, I will make myself available to you,ʼ says the Lord. ʻThen I will reverse your plight and will regather you from all the nations and all the places where I have exiled you,ʼ says the Lord. ʻI will bring you back to the place from which I exiled you.ʼ
Jeremiah 29:11-14 (NET)
He was committing to them the promise that he would bring them back home to the place he had intended they call home.
This passage is a parallel to all of humanity.
Adam and Eve were perfect in every way, the garden their home was perfect as well. No creature inflicted death on another for sport or for food. God walked with his creation day after day. The discourse was open.
But then the fall.
Eve deceived by the serpent, Adam complicit with his wife’s poor judgement regarding the fruit from the tree of knowledge, took it from her and ate that which God had specifically told him he could never eat lest he die.
And they died that moment. Spiritual separation from God the first death, physical death to come as decay immediately began to erode their vitality, bit by bit.
In addition, they were banished from their home and forced to live in exile.
So the Lord God expelled him from the orchard in Eden to cultivate the ground from which he had been taken. When he drove the man out, he placed on the eastern side of the orchard in Eden angelic sentries who used the flame of a whirling sword to guard the way to the tree of life.
Genesis 3:23-24 (NET)
Talk about your bad day, this was the worst!
Back to that shadow drawn in the four-verse passage back in Jeremiah 29:11.
Just as humanity was banished from our home in the garden, the Israelites were banished from their home. They were force to live in exile in a Godless culture; just as we are and have been forced to live in a world that has been allowed to be dominated when humanity gave up their dominion over the earth to the enemy.
But God has plans. Those plans are about restoration, and redemption. Those plans are about bringing us back to our home to live with him and he with us, as new creations, with new bodies not of corrupt flesh, but perfect bodies. Glorified bodies to bring glory and honor to the Creator who is eager to complete his plans and bring us home to himself.
“Homeless Christians”? No, we have a home, but this world is not our home. We pass through this valley of the shadow of death, but we fear no evil. Because the Good Shepard’s rod and staff, they comfort us and defend us from the enemy. Guiding us along the way, till at last, one glorious day that will last forever, we are again home once more!
In the Grace of Jesus!