Longing – Hebrews 11:1-16
If God wanted a family, why didn’t he just create one? He created angels didn’t he? But angels were not made in the family likeness so he created Adam – the seed of his intentions, but we know the setback in Eden. Consequently, we now live within a mysterious plan of restoration. God will have his family.
En route to this destination we can think of earth as a vestibule. We must all pass through it. Hebrews 11 and the balance of the New Testament describe how we must conduct ourselves in the vestibule. Above all we must have faith and faith is a peculiar thing indeed.
As its starting point, faith requires that we rip up all the previous surveyor’s work. None of the old stakes mean anything. This is very disorienting! What is seen is not made out of things which are visible? Faith requires us to exchange the familiar for the invisible. How important is this? Without faith it is impossible to please Him. By faith we develop a working understanding of the things established by the Word of God. We grasp what has been lost and the glorious potential of its restoration. It is in the vestibule that our love and our loyalties, which at times are scarcely more than longings, are transferred to the kingdom of God.
Faith’s understanding eventually goes public. We confess that we are strangers and exiles on the earth. By our speech we make it clear we are seeking a city of our own, one which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God. With our declarations we burn the bridge behind us and God is not ashamed to be called our God. By faith of this type, we please him.
The visible will grow strangely dim. We will not know exactly where we are going but we can look ahead by faith, and see our destination. We can even have assurance of it and conviction, even though we can’t see it with our natural eye.
The type of men and women we become in the vestibule will speak even after we have made our exit. In Christ, our lives will have served as warnings by God about the things not yet seen. Our lives will testify against the wisdom of this world, condemning it by our simple devotion to Jesus Christ.
Father have your way. Establish your family for the world to see. Let our bones ache with longing for you and for each other until our hearts cry out. May faith work itself out, revealing you as the radiant contrast to death and its lame threats. Amen.