By Lori Witham
9 By faith [Abraham] lived as an alien in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, fellow heirs of the same promise; 10 for he was looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God.
Hebrews 11:9-10 NASV
In my latest monthly newsletter I commented how I don’t feel settled yet, since only four months ago I moved to the USA to work for the PNG branch remotely. A wise friend replied that if I’m confused about where I’m a citizen, just remember that my ultimate citizenship is with Jesus in God’s Kingdom, and that my residence here on earth is just temporary.
What a timely reminder. It’s a perfect opportunity for me to keep in mind that as God’s child, I’m not meant to get comfortable with the material things of this world; I’m not meant to “settle.” We are sojourners (Lev. 25:23, Ps. 39:12), exiles (Heb. 11:13), strangers (1 Pet. 2:11), and citizens of heaven (Phil. 3:20).
One of my favorite verses has become Hebrews 11:9-10 (quoted above). Once Abraham moved to the Promised Land, not only he but also Isaac and then Jacob lived their entire lives in tents rather than building permanent structures. They did this because they were following God’s lead, prepared to pick up and move at the drop of a hat. Their desire was God’s kingdom that was promised to them. Searching the word “tent” throughout scriptures, you see that they and Israelites afterwards, then Christians amidst the pagans, were known as sojourners, those who lived in “tents.”
I want to be like that. I want to be where God wants me, ready to move at the drop of the hat. So no, I don’t want to settle down and get comfortable. I want to be blessed by God, but living in my tent. Ready to serve where He wants me to go.
Lori serves as a desktop publishing specialist, assisting translators lay out translated scripture text into a book to send to the printers.