Citizenship

The immigration crisis in this country is clearly a hot button issue. Although the President, thankfully, has now issued an executive order to ensure families will not be separated at the border, the country still has much to do to sort out how to effectively deal with the ongoing problem of illegal immigration. The path to legal citizenship in the United States of America is something that is of utmost importance to multiplied millions of people, seeking to become citizens of this country.

I’m proud and I’m thankful to be an American.  I believe that we live in the greatest country on the face of the earth and I honor those whose sacrifice and blood has paid for the freedom that my family and I enjoy. But every once in a while I have to remind myself that, as a Christian, ultimately, my citizenship is in another place. The USA is not my home.  I’m first and foremost a citizen of heaven.

The Apostle Paul says in Philippians 3:20, “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.” For those of us who have believed that the Lord Jesus Christ paid for our sins and rose from the dead so that we might be adopted into God’s family forever, our residency and citizenship is already in heaven—we are simply passing through this world! This fact is as real to me as the air that I breathe.

As I write this, my wife and I are preparing to go on a vacation soon. Just the two of us, no children. I expect on this vacation we will thoroughly enjoy the time alone, the new things we will see, the new culture we will experience. We’ll probably even say things like, “I don’t want to go back to reality after the trip; I wish we could stay here forever!”  But through the week I also imagine we will both talk about and think of our children and our home. There really is no place like home.

In the same way, I realize that I can get awfully comfortable and complacent down here on earth. God certainly wants us to enjoy His earthly blessings, but I’m pretty convicted that sometimes I lose sight of the fact that I’m a citizen of heaven. I’m convicted that some days I’m not  “eagerly waiting” for Jesus to return.  During life’s trials, the hope of heaven has been a great comfort to me, but when things are going well for me down here, heaven’s reality begins to wane.  The fact of the matter is that no matter how great things seem to be here on earth, everything pales in comparison to how beautiful heaven will be and how glorious it will be when we see His face!

A line from the old hymn “When We All Get To Heaven” says,  “just one glimpse of Him in glory, will the toils of life repay.”  Hallelujah!  None of the current trials in life will matter when we see Him face to face in heaven!

I pray that the Holy Spirit will help me to regularly realign my perspective, reminding me of the joys of heaven as my eternal home and about my life’s purpose to bring the message of heaven to this earth while I’m here.