(Today’s post by Chris Queen)
One of my favorite bands from the ‘80s was Lone Justice. They started out as a “cowpunk” band, blending old school country and rockabilly with edgier rock. One of the first songs the band performed was their spin on the old gospel chestnut “This World Is Not My Home.”
Lead singer Maria McKee (who just happens to be a believer in Jesus) wrapped her unforgettable voice around lyrics like:
This world is not my home; I’m just a-passin’ through
My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue
The angels beckon me from Heaven’s open door
And I can’t feel at home in this world anymore
The sentiment in that song is similar to what Paul talks about in Philippians 3. Paul describes our eternity with God as a prize that Jesus has already achieved for us but that we should consider our goal:
13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
15 All of us, then, who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you.
And a little while later, Paul contrasts those whose minds are “set on earthly things” with the rest of us who follow the God who will reign forever:
20 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.
The question is: how do we live like that? We don’t need to quit our jobs and laze around like slackers just because we know we’re on this earth temporarily. And we don’t need to turn into spiritual weirdos that our friends and neighbors can’t identify with.
So how do we act like citizens of Heaven stationed on Earth? How do we live eternally oriented? I think the first thing is to take encouragement from the fact that our lives are so much bigger than our current circumstances. When this life gets you down, remember that it’s only temporary.
The next thing is to focus on joy, not happiness. Don’t chase after earthly things; even though God gives us material blessings for our enjoyment and pleasure, we shouldn’t make them the center of our lives. Live a life of worship that seeks a closer relationship with Jesus.
Lastly, if we’re citizens of Heaven, shouldn’t we want to take others with us? Reach out to your friends, family, and neighbors and share with them the good news about eternity. Imagine the joy of spending forever with more of the people you love.
Let me encourage you to never lose sight of the fact that this world is not our home!