This World Is Not My Home

We sang this hymn Sunday morning with the church where my husband and I have been attending since we moved to Arkansas. It was even mentioned in the sermon that morning as a bullet-point about Christians’ true citizenship. It’s one of my favorite songs because of the picture it paints in my mind of reaching the true end goal. Here are the lyrics below if you haven’t heard it before (by Albert Brumley):

This world is not my home I’m just passing through
my treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue
the angels beckon me from Heaven’s open door
and I can’t feel at home in this world anymore

They’re all expecting me and that’s one thing I know
my Savior pardoned me and now I onward go
I know He’ll take me through though I am weak and poor
and I can’t feel at home in this world anymore

Just up in Glory Land we’ll live eternally
the Saints on every hand are shouting victory
their song of sweetest praise drifts back from Heaven’s shore
and I can’t feel at home in this world anymore

[Chorus] O Lord you know I have no friend like you
if Heaven’s not my home then Lord what will I do?
the angels beckon me from Heaven’s open door
and I can’t feel at home in this world anymore

 


I’ll admit that most times this song comes to mind it’s when I’ve heard about a tragedy or injustice or just when I feel sad. But during that sermon Sunday morning, the preacher talked in terms of staying unattached from the world, not loving or preferring the world over God. Somehow this hadn’t crossed my mind as strongly as it did then – but it’s so true!

Because this world is not my home, I should be working harder every day to reach the home where I belong. Paul said in Philippians 3:20-21, “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.” If I recognize that the world I’m living in right now is not my true home, it’s going to do at least two things:

1 | Keep me focused on spiritual rather than worldly things

Recognizing that this world is not my true home, and having a full understanding that I don’t belong here is going to begin focusing my mind on being with God instead of the troubles or even excitements of this world. Of course all good and perfect things are gifts from God (James 1:17), blessings that He has given us so that we can be slightly more comfortable here, but He tells us that we shouldn’t be completely comfortable with that. What He has in store for us is much better, much more exciting – things we can’t even imagine. He gives us relative comforts, but only relative to what He has been preparing for us since creation. “But as it is written:’Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man, The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.'” (1 Corinthians 2:9). Jesus says in John 14:1-4,

“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know…I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

These few verses heighten my perspective and give me the right focus, helping me really hone in on what God wants of me. The unknown and unthinkable can be scary, but when I remember that this unknown is in my loving, merciful, awesome Creator’s hands, fear dissipates – because this is a beautiful forever-future to have. I think that this focus is one gateway to zealously following God.

2 | Boost my zeal in working for God

Having zeal for God -or as some people say “being on fire for God” – is extremely important when it comes to being a focused and dedicated follower of Christ. I don’t mean the overbearing zeal that will make a person do anything simply because he or she is excited or emotional. I’m talking about a balanced zeal that is “according to knowledge” (Romans 10:2). This type of zeal is going to motivate, encourage, and energize, all while staying withing the bounds of God’s law and keeping your mind going the right direction; it’s a focused enthusiasm. In Revelation 3:16, Jesus Christ says, “So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of my mouth.” What an image of hatred Jesus gives for being only halfway there – both ways! Being completely unmotivated is terrible, but God also hates mediocrity and lukewarmness. This being so, zeal is needed all the more. We don’t get a break; being Christians is our full-time job until we finally get to rest at the end. Our first priority. And working hard with zeal is what’s actually going to get us to that place of rest and forever praising of God because we will be focused on doing what He wants and only what He wants.

Think about Paul. Paul had an overwhelming amount of zeal. He sought to preach the gospel to all men after having formerly terribly persecuted Christians – and being forgiven of that (1 Timothy 1:12-17). He didn’t stop at anything to selflessly communicate the good news to whomever he could. Prison didn’t even stop him. He was level-headed and focused, and because of this he had the right zeal for God. We should want to be like Jesus, and we should want to be like Paul, and having a healthy view of heaven versus the world is a solid step in that direction.


Being attached to this world is only going to pull us farther away from God. There are far too many distractions to be able to make it if we love the world. C.S. Lewis said “There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind.” It is a beautifully and wonderfully created world because our God created it and all that’s in it, but there is sin and there are distractions because of Adam and Eve in the beginning (Genesis 1-3). God loves us and wants us to be with Him, but we can only do that if we choose to do what’s right in His eyes. Distractions won’t ever bring us the true joy that walking with God can. Loving the world will ultimately only bring us sorrow – so focus on the joys of being God’s child! Focus on heaven. Focus on the goal.

Philippians 3:12-16

Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you. Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind.

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