We were created to live continually at home in the presence of God. His purpose has always been to have a home among us - the people he created to enjoy a loving, intimate relationship with him. We became estranged from God on the inside when we went our own way and lost our life connection with him; and the beautiful world he created to inhabit became a broken world. One day God is going to have his dream home among us in a new heaven and a new earth, a new home (Rev.21:3; 2 Pet.3:13). As Christians we get to anticipate something of this when we enjoy God's presence and live in increasing intimacy with him now. But this broken world we live in is not our home. We can live in it either as restless wanderers like Cain, or as responsive pilgrims, like Abraham - who follow the call to pursue the presence of God, ultimately knowing that we can never build our home in this present age/broken world, because we are looking to the home/city/renewed world where God dwells among people.
And even when he reached the land God promised him, he lived there by faith—for he was like a foreigner, living in tents. And so did Isaac and Jacob, who inherited the same promise. Abraham was confidently looking forward to a city with eternal foundations, a city designed and built by God. (Heb.11:9-10)Like Abraham, then, we can only live 'in tents' in this world because we are aliens and strangers here; we belong somewhere else, in the place of intimate connection with God. So we set our hearts on pilgrimage, to be pursuers of his presence.
But I suggest there is another journey going on. God is not just waiting at home for us to arrive; He is always pursuing us - even into our brokenness, pain and mess - in order to draw us back into the intimacy of his presence, to take us home to be with him.
Tomorrow, I'll get on with what the journey is actually like -and how it strikes at the vital issue of where our security lies.