And as they went on the way, a certain man said unto him, “I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest.”
And Jesus said unto him, “The foxes have holes, and the birds of the heaven have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head” (Luke 9:57-58).
People tend to have an attachment to what is called their “home.” Many times that “home” involves the location where they were born and/or raised. “Home” may mean their current location, or the location of their immediate family. Nevertheless, the appreciation of one’s “home” transcends cultural, religious, and geographical lines. How many have been willing to give up their lives, after all, for their “homeland”? This impulse is extremely strong!
Yet God calls upon those who would believe in Jesus Christ to consider Heaven their “homeland” (Philippians 3:20-21). Christians are to recognize that while they are at “home” in the body, they are absent from the Lord, and that it will be much better when we are absent from the body and at “home” with the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:6-9).
This is a difficult challenge. The challenge evokes the lives of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, men whom God called to live as sojourners in a land that was not theirs (Hebrews 11:8-16). Even though they knew that God would give the land to their descendants, these men could never really feel at “home” there. The people around them had sinful customs, and there was great danger in intermarrying with them. Whenever they had disputes with the “locals,” they were always at a disadvantage. Nevertheless, they believed in God’s promise, and for their faith they obtained the heavenly country.
While God may not call us to sojourn in a different country today, He does ask that we look at our lives on this earth as Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob saw their lives in Canaan (1 Peter 1:1, 17; 2:11). We should not get too comfortable, and should not really “feel at home” while in the world (Romans 12:2, Romans 8:19-23). We must recognize that many people around us have sinful customs, and must always be concerned about how their customs may influence us and our families (2 Corinthians 6:14-18). It very well might be that because we are sojourners on the earth that we are at a disadvantage against our fellow man.
Yet, in the end, if we recognize that our true citizenship is with Jesus Christ and His Kingdom, and we reflect the values of the Kingdom and not of this world, we will obtain the reward that awaits us (Hebrews 11:39-40, 1 Peter 1:3-9, Revelation 21-22). In short, if we feel “at home” in this world, we will not have the opportunity to feel “at home” with God; but if we recognize that this world is not our home, and live accordingly, we will have the opportunity to truly be “at home with the Lord” one day!
Ethan R. Longhenry