"All these whom we have mentioned [Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham & Sarah] maintained their faith but died without actually receiving God’s promises, though they had seen them in the distance, had hailed them as true and were quite convinced of their reality. They freely admitted that they lived on this earth as exiles and foreigners. Men who say that mean, of course, that their eyes are fixed upon their true home-land. If they had meant the particular country they had left behind, they had ample opportunity to return. No, the fact is that they longed for a better country altogether, nothing less than a heavenly one. And because of this faith of theirs, God is not ashamed to be called their God for in sober truth he has prepared for them a city in Heaven." Hebrews 11:13-16
Can you sense how much the writer of Hebrews is using language so consciously here, language that is certainly just as much aimed at our heavenly vision as it is of the Old Testament saints? Me, I love it. I love the picturesque bravery of these people as they wandered the earth. I love the imagery of that heavenly city - that other country - to which their hearts were aimed. Oh, I love it all!
You see, friends, this is us. We are meant to be these people. After all, the definition of our human lives will always come from our life's deepest desires.
So what do we want? What do we want this particular workweek? Would we be the ones who maintain our faith and live while actually receiving God’s promises, having heard of them from a distance, and having hailed them as true and then living as the proofs of their reality? Would we freely admit that we live on this earth as exiles and foreigners; for our eyes are fixed upon our true heavenly homeland? Have we finally let go of the old life, the particular country we left behind, to which we want no opportunity to return?
For, yes, let us grasp the fact that our hearts are longing for a better country altogether, nothing less than the heavenly one – where Jesus Himself calls us! And because of this faith of ours – this daily growing belief-muscle that we’re learning to flex – God is not ashamed to be called our God for in sober truth He has already prepared for us a city in Heaven!