We Aren't Home Yet
I’m not a happy crier, though I wish I were. I’ll tear up as much as the next one at a sad situation or movie. I will cry with you in your pain but my eyes stay pretty consistently dry when it comes to gratitude or happiness or any of the other fluffy emotions that get others’ tears flowing. I’ve even prayed on multiple occasions that God would make me one to no avail (yet). I see people that I really respect tear up on the regular when they talk about Jesus and it makes me question if it’s maybe that I just don’t love Him enough—if I’m just not grateful enough for what He did for me.
While I’m writing this and not surrounded by my teary-eyed friends, I hear it for what it is: a seed of doubt, a lie from the enemy to keep my focus inward and not upward. But I guarantee, the next time our pastor tears up in a message or my husband starts crying during worship that same thought will come and I will have to wage war against it again.
I say all of that to say this: my tears may be few but they are consistent when it comes to one thing—the thought of going home and finally hearing the much-coveted, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” My heart yearns for that day, to finally see my King, the lover of my soul, my Savior, my brother, my friend, my Jesus. The thought of finally seeing Him face-to-face, of touching His hands that were scarred for me, and of hearing Him tell me “well done” makes my heart so full it hurts. I live for that day.
This is why the notion of standing in front of Him with nothing to offer, no crown to throw at His feet, is such a harrowing thought. While speaking of the Judgement Seat of Christ, Leonard Ravenhill often said, “On that day, you better hope you are not standing knee-deep in ashes.” I don’t even want to imagine what that would be like, to watch everything that I built burn up in front of Him, to realize that I built it from the wrong motive. If I’m going to work, I want to be sure that I’m doing it for Him and not for me—for His name instead of my ego. I want to live for an audience of one, the only One that matters.
“But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. The fire will show if a person's work has any value. If the work survives, that builder will receive a reward. But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer great loss. The builder will be saved, but like someone barely escaping through a wall of flames.”
- 1 Corinthians 3:13-15 NLT
So, yes, I live for the day that I see my Jesus but I also hope to always live from a place of awareness that what I build here will face the fire of judgment there. This is not time to kick our feet up and wait until our roll is called up yonder because, beloved, we aren’t home yet. We still have a ways to go and He still has a purpose in our going. It’s time to work, to build, to fight, and to suffer for His good name.
“So also Jesus suffered and died outside the city gates to make his people holy by means of his own blood. So let us go out to him, outside the camp, and bear the disgrace he bore. For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come.”
- Hebrews 13:12-14 NLT
I will say it again…we aren’t home yet! We are merely sojourners passing through but while we are here you better believe that we have a job to do. While we are here, we are ambassadors for His Kingdom and it’s time that we start living like it. Andrew Murray said, “We now belong to Jesus, and fear not the rejection of those who rejected Him…In heaven we share His honour; on earth His reproach.”
It’s not going to be popular; do it anyway. It’s not going to be comfortable; do it anyway. Jesus bore our shame on the cross now it’s our turn to bear His reproach as we live as carriers of His name.
“Then Jesus said, "Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light."”
- Matthew 11:28-30 NLT
Here’s the good news: we don’t have to do this alone! Jesus is the best teacher! He promised that He would never leave or forsake us. When I came to Him, I was weighed down by my sins and heavy with shame. He took that from my shoulders, hallelujah, I am free! I pray that you are too. Notice, though, that He replaced it with another burden, one that is light but present. I can think of no one else that I would rather be yoked to than Jesus, but in this life with Him, we do have the responsibility of representing Him well.
Thank God that we don’t have to figure out how to walk this path on our own. I am hitched to my Jesus and He is guiding me along the best pathway for my life. Will it be uncomfortable? Absolutely! But I promise you this, it will be supremely worth it because one day I will stand in front of my King and He will tell me call me good and faithful and whether or not my eyes well up, my heart will be full and I will finally be home. Come with me, beloved, and let’s pass through this place together, always keeping our eyes on the prize at the end—always keeping our eyes on our Jesus.
Written by Amanda Strauser