Over 30 years ago, I spent four months working in the United States of America. It was a good time, and I enjoyed it and learned a lot, but it was not home (my apologies to any readers from the USA!). The language was the same as home, the people were friendly, but it was different; I didn’t belong.
Hebrews 11:13-16 shows us that we do not belong here in this world. There are many good things and God blesses us abundantly, He provides and guides and protects. He gives us families, church and friends. Yet, we long for something better. Verse 16 says, “they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one.”
If we are to follow in the footsteps of the heroes of faith in Hebrews 11, then we need to ask ourselves: “am I too attached to this world? Do I long for the better country?”
We don’t ignore this world and the blessings God gives us here. He “richly provides us with everything to enjoy” (1 Timothy 6:17). We have a purpose on earth to bring Him glory and to be His witnesses. However, if we are so attached to this world, we won’t be able to live for God’s glory.
If you read Hebrews 11, you will see that a lot of the things that these Old Testament believers did were risky. Building an ark, leaving your home, choosing to please God rather than enjoy the treasures of Egypt. They were able to live for God’s glory because they had their eyes on a better country.
If you are a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, that heavenly country is secure, the Lord will not take it away from you. That heavenly country is more real and certain than anything this world can offer. Therefore, it is worth the risk to live by faith, to please Him rather than live for this world, because He has prepared a city for His people (Hebrews 11:16). Your name is written in the Lamb’s book of life. Your citizenship in that city is secure forever (Revelation 21:27, Philippians 3:20).
All those years ago, looking forward to the day when my feet would touch the ground of Heathrow airport gave me joy through my time away. How much more, as we look to the better, heavenly country now, will our lives be filled with joy to live for God’s glory?