I think I’m longing to be home.
While I love living in Chico, adore our church family, and call where I am home, it is increasingly clear to me that I am dissatisfied with my life.
I tire of having people sit in my office and explain the pain they are going through due to broken relationships, disease, loss of loved ones and pain that seems never ending. I’ve come to expect brokenness in this world, in my own heart and in the people I see and love every day.
So, when I lament that this world is not my home it is not because I don’t appreciate the friends and family God has given to me – it’s the fact that they experience so much pain and loss, and I’m longing for healing to be poured out in a broader, wider, more liberal fashion. While we continue to see God’s faithfulness in healing and helping people all around us, there are thousands of others who are suffering and learning to trust God who don’t experience breakthrough and healing.
Much of our dissatisfaction with the world is because, as children of God, we don’t belong to this world but we find our home in heaven.
In John 18:36 Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.”
Philippians 3:20 - But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Jesus was praying for us in this struggle of dissatisfaction with the world in John 17.
John 17:14-16 says, “I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it.”
This is why it can be so exhausting trying to fit in and be accepted by a world that we don’t actually belong to. We are aliens – and you know what the movies show that humans do to space aliens? They are fearful of them first, then prideful (wanting to prove that human culture is most important), and usually end up turning violent (persecution, even to death is what the aliens usually get).
We have been chosen to be citizens of heaven, who are currently living in a foreign land. The laws of our country (heaven) aren’t all enforced here. The values of this world grow further and further away from the values of our Father as sin continues to pollute and corrupt the world. When we see a lack of respect, honor, and kindness around us, it’s because of the work of the enemy of our soul, and the sin that we can so quickly choose because we live for ourselves instead of God.
It was not supposed to be this way. The Garden of Eden didn’t have garbage cans, cancer, jails and pain. God’s intention for this world was blissful joy, and when humans infected the world with virus of sin, it has never ceased to spread through all of creation, including all men and women on earth. Our Father God had a rescue plan and sent Jesus, His son, to come to earth to redeem (buy back, make new and restore) all things. So, in the Gospel, we find life to the fullest – power for physical healing, emotional wholeness, mental alignment, and for relationships to experience peace and purpose.
Jesus told us that He was going to prepare a place for us (John 14) in heaven to be in God’s presence for all time. For those of us still on earth, without knowing it, our hearts are wired for home. We long for the presence of the Lord: for wholeness in our mind, body and spirit, and relief from the deep pain of this world.
I choose to live in a thankful space while I still have days on this earth. We pray to see God’s Kingdom come and will be done on earth as it is heaven. We keep seeing glimpses and moments of heaven in this Kingdom Jesus is building, but when we are gut level honest, we are longing for heaven.
May God give us the faith to pray heaven coming down to earth.
May He also give us the grace to endure the pain of this world, knowing that this is not our home -- that we belong in heaven.
-Andrew Burchett, Lead Pastor