Summary: I’m looking for a city while I travel this life through wilderness experiences. There’s no place that I can call home but Heaven and that New Jerusalem.
Looking for a City
Hebrews 11:8-10, "By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God."
Romans 12:3, "… God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith."
Faith – Hebrews 11:1, "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."
What brought you to church this morning? I’m not talking about your means of transportation. What made you get out of bed, get all dressed up and come to the House of God? Did you come expecting something? Did you come looking for something?
The point I am trying to make is this: We have all been called to go out. We’ve been called to leave home, leave family and friends, and go in search of a city. We are compelled by our faith that the Word of God is truth, and that there is a very real and tangible inheritance out there, somewhere.
Abraham was Called to go out –
Out of the presence of friends and family
Out of the safe haven of familiar surroundings
Out of the land, and earthly inheritance that would surely be his
Out into world that was hostile to strangers
Out into the open road without knowing what pitfalls, what curves, what mountains and what valleys lay ahead
All that God said was, “GO”, so Abraham went.
God is still calling people out today. He is calling us to set our hearts on something that we cannot see, feel, touch, smell and hear – but yet it is as real to us as though we could do all of those things. It’s not something that the physical senses can discover, but by faith we know that it’s there. By exercising our spiritual senses we can almost see the lights of that city. It’s like a magnet drawing us ever closer. I don’t know what you sense, but I know there’s a city out there. A city not made with hands. A place where I will finally find complete peace and rest, and joy beyond measure.
God gave Abraham a place to go, a family to provide for and a job to do, but that wasn’t his final destination. He was still looking for a city somewhere. It wasn’t made on earthly foundations. It was built upon God’s Holy Mountain in the portals of Heaven. It was on a different plane, a different dimension, but it was there and it still is.
Along the way Abraham would fight many battles. He would have to provide for his family by earning his way and taking possession of earthly things to meet those needs. But they weren’t his focus, only a means of getting where he was supposed to be going.
He had an inheritance coming –
No doubt he had the opportunity to inherit land and wealth from his family back in Ur of the Chaldees. He could have been a man of means if he hadn’t given it all away. But Abraham gave up the earthly inheritance for a Heavenly inheritance.
Paul said in Philippians 3:7-8, "But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,"
The only treasure he had with him when Abraham left Ur was his faith in an eternal city that he would somehow find.
Sure he loved Sarah, his wife. He cared for those of his household and all that he possessed, but none of it could sway him from chasing that dream.
The winds of adversity would blow on Abraham all along the way. He nearly lost his wife in a foreign land. He had every intention of sacrificing his only son. He chose the way that seemed to have less to offer when Lot chose the green, well watered plains for his flocks. But what seems like prosperity to the world is really only a trap that leads to destruction.
In order to fully possess the green fields and the good life, Lot had to compromise so much until he was finally cornered in the city of Sodom. He had let his standards of holiness fall by the wayside. He had allowed sin to stay around him, and he stayed around sinful people so much that he became used to it all and learned to live with heathens while perversion was rampant. He just closed his eyes to the sin and convinced himself that this was his life.