things we desire more than heaven

Address Challenged: The Things We Desire More Than Heaven

I enjoy spending time with my beloved on his days off. Some days we may just run errands, but we are together. While waiting to have our car detailed last weekend, we were reading the local paper together. There was an article about a homeless man in our community. In the interview, the man asked not to be called “homeless” as he preferred the term “address-challenged.”

Just hearing those two words drew my mind to a time when my beloved and I were briefly “address challenged.”  We were far from homeless in the fullest sense, but we were definitely “between addresses”.  We had just purchased a lovely home in Southern California, packed all our earthly possessions, and loaded up the trucks in the snow and ice of Kansas to head to sunny California.

“This Could Be The Day…”

Much to our surprise, upon arriving in California, we discovered there had been a “glitch” in the paperwork of our home loan concerning the home’s city address.  It took over three weeks to resolve. Thankfully, God provided the means for us to live in hotels until our home was ready. Dr. Harris’ church family was so kind to let us safely park our two U-Haul trucks in the church’s parking lot for safe keeping. (To be honest, there were days we would have gladly given the keys to the “thieves who break in and steal” to avoid having to unload two homes worth of possessions and put them into one home!)  Each day our realtor would say, “this could be the day!”  We were hopeful for “the day” we would finally be in our new home.

Content or Complacent?

I think as believers, especially believing women, we can often find ourselves “address challenged.”  Trust me. I know. I am speaking for myself.  We are here in the world, surrounded by possessions, comforts, distractions, lures, and desires that are constantly drawing our heart’s affection away from our real home…We are extremely comfortable here. Like myself, most women reading this know nothing of homelessness.  Rather than looking to see what the root cause may be for this lack of contentment, we look for more ways to be more comfy HERE!  And so the cycle continues…

“And he said, ‘I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years to come; take your ease, eat, drink and be merry.”‘ (Luke 12:18-19)

Confession Time

Maybe I am the only one, but I think as women we are challenged because our home is such a huge part of our lives. I love making my home a beautiful, warm, inviting, insulated environment from this broken world…a bit of heaven while on earth. You can ask anyone; I truly love using my home for hospitality, counseling, and fellowship. As a woman, I am called by God to be a “keeper of my home.”  But even good things -right things – can take me away from better things…the best thing actually… my future home. Living in the tension of the “now and yet-to-come,” as one theologian has said, can be tricky.

I have come to realize over the past few days that I have been spending – no, make that wasting – HOURS admiring new dining room furniture. Case in point – I JUST received an email from a retailer boasting “SALE! SALE! SALE!” as I typed my confession! I have been occupied on how new dining chairs would make my home “perfect.”  This obsession has pointed out my sinful desire for things and comfort more than my desire for heaven.  I have been “address challenged” to say the least. As a result, please know I am repenting of this as I write to you! Hudson Taylor said it well:

“We tell people the world is vain; let our lives manifest that it is so. We tell them that our home is above and that all these things are transitory. Does our dwelling look like it? O to live consistent lives!” — Hudson Taylor

True Contentment in my Savior

I can only find true joy and contentment as I focus on my real home, the dwelling place of my Savior!  The ONE who gave up heaven, a holy dwelling place, next to God His Father, to come to earth to die for my sins. He had no place to lay his head, and I am obsessing about new dining room chairs? This is not what our earthly homes should be about.  Rather, I should find my heart compelled to use my home for hospitality, discipleship, and evangelism whether I have $10 junk store bargain chairs or the latest from the beautiful home magazines. If I am not already exercising those acts with the $10 chairs, then that could be an indicator of my heart being found “address challenged.”

The Cure… Simply Seek and Set

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. (Colossians 3:1-4)

My heart should be of one who seeks and longs to please God. One who desires to know God and to be like our holy God will seek the things that are above – Jesus, the Father and the Holy Spirit. My thoughts will be occupied with a desire to know God and heaven – my future home. I will want to see Him face to face, have an eternal relationship with Him, and to please Him with my life until He appears.

Heart Evaluations:

What do I treasure most…my stuff or my Savior?

Am I making Christ my life or am I consumed with earthly distractions?

Are my earthly desires keeping me away from quality time reading and studying the Word or ministering to others?

“This could be the day” our Savior appears…are you hopefully preparing your heart for “the day?”

If you have found your heart far from heaven, take comfort in knowing that the Lord’s mercies are new every single morning. His faithfulness is great and, like me,  you too can put off a sinfully complacent, discontented heart and replace it with gratitude for His earthly provisions as well your future Home…Heaven!

“Turn your eyes upon Jesus,

Look full in His wonderful face,

And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,

In the light of His glory and grace.”

Helen H. Lemmel

The Glory of God changes everything


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