Monday, April 16, 2012

Tent Villages

For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.  For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked.  For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life.  He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.  2 Corinthians 5:1-5

Different countries have different laws regarding citizenship.  Some countries allow for dual citizenship, while other countries require that you must renounce your former citizenship before you can become a citizen of that country.  The United States of America does not allow dual citizenship, upon becoming a naturalized citizen of the United States, an immigrant must give up their citizen status to any other country.

When we accept that Jesus died to forgive us and invite Him into our lives as our Savior, we renounce our citizenship to the world.  We become citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven with immigrant status to the world.  Yup, we’re in the world but not of it any longer.

We, therefore, must not think of ourselves as part of this world.  We have a much higher calling, a much better citizenship.  2 Corinthians 5 gives is an example of how this concept.

I have traveled around the globe, literally.  I was in Kuwait for a few months driving trucks.  One of the most interesting things I have seen is the way they build.  In Kuwait, they build the whole city at the same time.  Houses, businesses, apartments, etc… it all gets built before anybody can move in.

Just outside of the city being constructed, there were Bedouin tent villages.  I even saw a tent with a satellite dish outside of it.  The people living in the tents were waiting for the city to be built so that they could move into the city.  Their expectation was to move from the temporary dwelling of a tent into a solid more permanent home made with bricks and concrete.

That’s kind of what Paul is talking about here.  We’re like the Bedouins living in a temporary place waiting for a more permanent home.  We’re not here very long.

When I was in the Marines, I spent a lot of time living in a tent.  It’s not comfortable living in a tent at all.  Tents are dirty, they can tip over from high winds, you have no place to keep your things, and you have no security.  Tents aren’t supposed to be comfortable.

We’re not in this world to be comfortable; we’re in this life to live for God and to wait patiently on our call to enter into our permanent dwelling.  That’s why Paul writes, in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling.  God is preparing us for our eternal dwelling with Him!

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