A Heavenly Citizenship

[taken from my latest booklet: A Heavenly Citizenship: Living in a Strange Land.]

I am tempted to raise the political issues of the day to point out how little relevance they have in our lives other than to fret us about bridges we may never come to.  In 1973-4, while in the drawn out and worrisome process of transitioning with my family from one ministry to another, I was not even aware of the so-called “Saturday Night Massacre” episode of the Watergate scandal and an impeachment inquiry against, then, President Nixon.  My mind was on other things while I waited in long gas lines with my 2 dollars for a little gas or cleaned elementary school facilities as a part time custodian or argued with the wife about better times to come.  

Nixon, who?  While the country no doubt took sides or grew enraged at the political shenanigans that had to answer to a Congressional oversight of the national interests, I went to work, did a little teaching at a local Bible school, eventually came home, locked myself in a hot bath while listening to the ball game on my tiny portable radio, and then dove into bed until the next cycle hit.  It wasn’t the best approach to solving the problems of life, I grant you, but I would inevitably learn.  Yet, on the plus side, the political turmoil was off my radar—and that was, for me, a good thing!

What I am learning is that this world is not my home.  There is great comfort in knowing that everything God is doing or allowing in our lives as believers is a view to preparing us for His world. We should not compare the trials of this life with the glories of the next. 

So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.⁠1

Perhaps, enough has been said to make the point that we should be living this life with a focus on the next.  It is the way of a peaceful co-existence with the many challenges we face. We should keep in mind that our true citizenship is not in the country we find ourselves domiciled. We should allow God to remind us through His Word of the promises of His providence and protection …and then sleep well at night.  

In a phrase:  Heaven is our true home.

Becoming emotionally involved in the political chaos of the times disturbs our peace and takes our thoughts away from the spiritual reality, our relation with God, that in actuality supports and nurtures us. Our personal history is being written by the providence of the God Who called us to serve Him.  No politician has a say in that matter.  We should view the “news” as simply the ongoing histrionics of a government (or maybe, Press) that mistakenly thinks it has broken free from God’s control. Watch the drama unfold. 

It is important for our sense of equilibrium, while the political world quakes about us, to spend time in God’s Word and christian fellowship.  It is important we maintain perspective, that we can envision in our minds—as Isaiah did—God high and lifted up upon His throne. In the biblical account, there was political unrest because the king of 4 decades was gone. …but God was there …still seated …still reigning!

In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple.⁠2

Don’t take the issues of the day personally.  We are truly insulated from bad news and news that is more editorial than fact if we continue to find our christian experience our primary reality, if we wrap our hearts in the message of Calvary, if we allow ourselves those personal moments in prayer when God through His Word says something special to us, reminding us that He is working on the problem.

But the overarching truth, again, is that everything the Spirit does in our lives—and there’s a lot—is but the first moments of an eternity to come. We may need to turn the news off to remind ourselves that the Kingdom of Heaven is already here.

1 2 Corinthians 4:18
2 Isaiah 6:1
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One Response to A Heavenly Citizenship

  1. Nick Langione says:

    Great article John!

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