But our citizenship is in Heaven, Philippians NIV.
Life is filled with dreams deferred and for each one the list is different. What's tucked away in my heart may not resonate with anyone else. That's ok. We're individuals.
A dream close to many believer's hearts is Heaven, the Sweet Bye and Bye. Relegated to some time off in the future we miss out on what is ours right now. What a mistake. Philippians describes our Heavenly citizenship in the present tense. Since this is true, what does that look like?
I lived in Haiti for three years. My experience there gave me some insight into our posture as citizens of Heaven.
I was a legal, resident alien with all the proper documentation. Although I had some of the same rights as a citizen, which didn't say much, I wasn't a citizen. As a resident alien of earth, our physical bodies permit us to legally operate here in the natural realm. There are scores of spiritual illegal aliens in search of bodies to squat in. We call it demonic possession.
During my tenure in Haiti the idea of relinquishing my U.S. citizenship was never even a passing fancy. The thought was ludicrous. Why forfeit all my homeland afforded me for life in a primitive, third-world country (no offense to Haiti). Wasn't happening.
Compared to Heaven, earth is less than third world quality. Should we surrender all our Heavenly nation of origin provides for a substandard system here? No thanks.
My white skin wasn't the only dead giveaway that I wasn't a Haitian. My composure, behavior, speech, dress and mannerisms identified me as a foreigner. I wasn't better than any Haitian, just different. I didn't try to hide my nationality, but I didn't flaunt it either. Haitians strive to emulate those from cultures more advanced than their own. They desire to improve.
As a citizen of Heaven we don't need to dumb down and blend in. Jesus never hid who He was and people gravitated to Him in droves. We need to learn from Him.
In Haiti the resources used to fund our mission came from lot boa, Creole for “the other side,” primarily the U.S. We used these to help improve the lot of the Haitian people.
“your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” Matthew 6:10 NIV.
On earth our mission is simple. Retrieve the things needed from “the other side,” and bring Heaven to earth. We are to complete God's original mandate given to Adam.
Our work in Haiti didn't depend on resources or funding from our host country. They were never our source. Here on earth, God is our source, not our jobs, bank accounts, talents, gifts or abilities. We won't find what's needed here; we have to go home for them.
Finally, Haiti was never home. When things got crazy as they often did, I closed my eyes, remembered the States and gave thanks for my citizenship there. I'd process the challenges I faced through my American filter to find creative solutions or I'd just escape in my memories of home.
“set you minds on things above, not on earthly things,” Colossians 3:2 NIV.
Earth isn't our home either. Inside the bible we can find descriptions of our country of origin. We can imagine what it is like and we can view our circumstances from that perspective.
How about you? How would consciousness of Heavenly citizenship change your life here now? What images of Jesus, His ministry, Heaven and those who reside there appeal to you? How can you train your spiritual senses to get in touch with your homeland?