“Cutting to the Chase” Meditations 29: Keep Looking
Heb 11:14“People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own.”
As we continue with these thoughts in the Heb 11 ‘Gallery of Faith’, our present verse speaks of these people of faith who lived out their lives in faith, responding to what God said, or what the Spirit witnessed to them, and emphasizes what has already gone before, that they caught something in their spirit that showed a better way, another way of living to what they saw around them, and they felt like they were strangers in this world, aliens who really didn’t belong there, and that helped them live out their lives in the way the writer to the Hebrews spells out.
Now I am sure that few of us consciously feel like this, at least in the terms we have seen in Hebrews 11, and I suspect there are various reasons for this.
The first may be that we’ve simply never thought about it like that before, but I suspect there will be many who, when they do start to think down these paths, realize that the dissatisfaction they feel with themselves, feel with the church, or feel with the world, is exactly what this has been saying. But mere dissatisfaction is not enough, there needs to be a positive goal or desire that we are yearning for to replace the inadequacies of the present. Don’t just be a critic, be a changer!
The second, and less comfortable thought, may be that we are so at home with the world around us, and the spiritual side of our lives so in the background, that all of this talk feels utterly foreign to us. Should that be so, it may be because the things of the world – ambition, desires, hopes etc. have built up over the years to such an unhealthy level they have squashed, or even eased out, the spiritual dimension you might have once had. If that is so, some adjustment is needed.
The third reason is that some of us may have become activists in such a measure that our vision has been so taken up with just one particular area of change you are working for, that you’ve lost the bigger vision that says we need to change people as well as structures, hence the gospel. Changes of structure etc. are needed but the biggest change needs to be in people. Now there is, I believe, always to be a dichotomy, a divine division within us. On one hand we are to enjoy the ‘world’ (the earth) as God’s gift (Gen 1:28). On the other hand we are to be distinct from the ‘world’ (attitudes of godless humanity 1 Jn 2:16). Whether it be what we do to the earth or do in respect of others, we are to be looking for a new ‘country’, a restored earth. Don’t be content with this present ‘country’ but pray and work for a new country we can make our own where peace and blessings reign.