If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Hebrews 11:15-16
Longing for a Better Place
What do you long for? No, I mean it. What do you really long for? In the above statement, we see that Abraham left the place he had been for a better place. What would cause someone to leave one place for another? Faith and confidence that the next place is better! But we must be careful not to keep thinking of what used to be because we might just return to it! Thoughts of returning usually come when things get hard. Often, life gets difficult due to sin/compromise, conditions we bring on ourselves or perhaps the consequences of another’s sin. God promised Abraham and his descendants something much better—a land of promise. Hasn’t Christ given us the same hope of a promised land. All four Gospels, within their first few chapters, tell us about this land by quoting the words of Jesus. In Luke’s gospel we learn that this location is available in the “here and now” not just the “later and forever.” Luke 17:21
The place I speak of is the Kingdom of God! Kingdom means a government having a king as its head. A King rules and reigns over that Kingdom. Who governs your life? Who reigns over you? If it is God, then we can say that the Kingdom of God is the rule and reign of God in the hearts of men and women. If that is your confession, you have entered the Kingdom of God! Here is another definition that would apply. A Kingdom is a realm, a grouping together of forms of life that share fundamental characteristics such as the animal, vegetable and mineral kingdoms.
We can be part of the greatest kingdom of all, God’s kingdom where we can share in His characteristics. Sin, in fact, has caused us to identify more closely with the animal kingdom and its characteristics. Maybe that is why so many believe we came from animals; our sin causes us to act like them. Christ came to give us a new identity, a new nature and a new kingdom—a heavenly one. If we choose to enter and walk in this kingdom, our old nature and its characteristics fade away; we take on the characteristics of the new. The key is the direction of our walk. Are you like Abraham longing for a better place? The real test is your willingness to leave your former country (kingdom) and focus on the new one provided by Christ. The first words of Jesus recorded in the Gospel of Mark: “the time has come,” he said, “the kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!”