Friday, September 28, 2012

Abraham and Tent Living

By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he didn't know where he was going.  (Hebrews 11:8)

This is a very personal verse for me this week.  The job situation with hubby has come to a point where we've been figuratively on our faces before God asking for clear direction as to where He wants us to go.  Examining our own hearts, trying to empty ourselves of our own agendas so we can be completely submissive to his direction.  Wherever, Lord . . . just point us the way.  Shut every other door tightly.

When you read the Abraham story, it seems that God essentially told Abraham to start walking and He would tell him when to stop.  Wow.  Oh, to have faith like that!  Excuse me a moment while I get a mental and emotional picture of what that means and try to apply it to my heart today.  Just start walking, hon . . .

The rest of this Abraham section (the first of three about Abraham in Hebrews 11) has been speaking to me for a few weeks now: By faith, he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country.  He lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise . . .

They lived in tents -- no permanent dwelling.  Ready to get up and move at a moment's notice.  Yes, he made his home there, but as a stranger in a foreign land.  We've been preparing our hearts for a move from Sioux City for over ten months now.  I can relate to this feeling.  Our home is here, for now, but it's not a permanent dwelling.  We are attached and yet unattached.  It's kind of an odd feeling.

But it's how Abraham, Isaac and Jacob all lived.  And why?  For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.  The city with foundations -- that would be heaven.  The writer of Hebrews expounds on this more a few verses later, making some general comments about all of the faith heroes he's describing:

. . . and they admitted they were foreigners and strangers on earth.  People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own.  If they were talking about the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return.  Instead, they were longing for a better country -- a heavenly one.  Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.

My past several months of "living in tents" as a "stranger and foreigner" in my own land of Sioux City has given me insight to how believers should be living all the time here on earth.  This is a temporary dwelling.  A place we should enjoy and bless while we're here, but always with an eye toward the "city with foundations" that God is preparing for us.  The better country.

Those times in my life when I feel a persistent dissatisfaction, a gaping hole, a never-ending longing for I don't know exactly what . . . I try to remember that this feeling shouldn't surprise me. I'm a stranger in this country.  This is not my real home.  My citizenship is elsewhere. 

And thank God, there will be no political campaigns in the heavenly city with foundations.  Hallelujah.


Mrs. Sloan said...

This is a great post (can't believe no one has commented on this). My husband, son and I are about to begin living in a tent for a while for various reasons, and this is a real encouragement. :)

GJK said...

Thank you, Mrs. Sloan. So glad it encouraged you. Praying for you in your tent. :)