“For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come” (Hebrews 13:14, English Standard Version).
We live in a very mobile society. Statistics say on average Americans move slightly more than eleven times during their lifetimes. Europeans average about four moves. Reasons we move vary—job relocations, changes in the family, renting to ownership, moving up or scaling down. If you’re like me, you don’t really enjoy all the sorting and packing, but you’ve probably done it several times already and more moves may be in your future.
Various articles describe the best and worst places in which to live. A little research before the big move helps us know what to expect. Where are the best neighborhoods with the best schools? What cultural events and entertainment is available? What recreational sites are nearby? What type employment opportunities are available? The list of things to consider goes on. We desire to live in a pleasing and safe environment.
“I’ll Show You Where” -God
I’m not sure how well I would have fared had God spoken to me as he did Abraham in Genesis 12. His instructions were basically, “Pack up and go. I’ll show you where.” Abraham wasn’t given any census statistics, a list of cultural events, a map showing the best neighborhoods—nothing. Not even the ultimate destination. Yet Hebrews 11:8 tells us, “By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed and set out for a place that he was going to receive as an inheritance. He went out, even though he did not know where he was going” (Christian Standard Bible).
Abraham may not have known where he was going, but God made some promises to him. That was enough. Hebrews 11:10 says Abraham “looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.”
A Better Place
We may or may not move as many times as statistics indicate, but we also have been given some wonderful promises from God of a better place to live. I’m looking forward to that move. (No boxes needed!) It’s going to be better than any place I’ve ever lived. “But they now desire a better place — a heavenly one. Therefore, God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them” (Hebrews 11:16, CSB).
“I also saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared like a bride adorned for her husband . . . and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; grief, crying, and pain will be no more, because the previous things have passed away” (Revelation 21:2-4, CSB).
The city God has prepared for us is indeed splendid, and His promises are enticing. Who would want to miss living in such a place? Have you prepared yourself for the move?
Prayer: Lord, You have prepared a wonderful future for us and have called us to follow You to a city You built as our eternal inheritance. We will no longer experience pain and suffering, and there will be no death within its boundaries. It is unlike any city I could choose to live in on earth.