Live and Work as a Citizen of HeavenDaily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
“Above all, you must live as citizens of heaven, conducting yourselves in a manner worthy of the Good News about Christ. Then, whether I come and see you again or only hear about you, I will know that you are standing together with one spirit and one purpose, fighting together for the faith, which is the Good News.”
Introduction by Mark Roberts: I am pleased to welcome Dena Dyer as our reflections writer this week. You may know Dena already from her work at The High Calling where she writes, features community articles, and demonstrates hospitality to our community on Facebook. She has published five books, including Grace for the Race: Meditations for Busy Moms. Currently, she is focusing on her family and her career as a writer and speaker, but for many years, Dena and her husband were professional musicians. She is a delightful, positive, bubbly, smiling, thoughtful Christian with practical wisdom for all of us who are trying to integrate our faith and work. I pray that her words this week will help you focus on the Lord and be in deeper relationship with him. –Mark
Katie Davis, a vivacious, passionate young woman, was just eighteen years old when she first went to Uganda on a mission trip. On that trip, God called her to go back. Forsaking college, her parents' plans for her, a long-time boyfriend, and friends who thought she was crazy, Katie settled in Uganda and began a ministry. She also adopted thirteen Ugandan orphans.
Katie told her story in the 2011 bestseller Kisses from Katie, a book which continues to inspire millions of people to say “yes” to God, just like Katie did–wherever it leads. She says, “Human beings long for a place to call home, a nest, a sanctuary of their own. I have many and none…But God whispers to me that I really have only one home, and that is with Him. I will never be content on this earth. I will always be a nomad. It was meant to be that way. My heart was created with a desire for a home, a nest, a sanctuary, and that can only be found with Him in heaven.”
Katie’s dedication to follow God wholeheartedly makes me wonder if I am too comfortable. Have I forgotten that my permanent citizenship is in heaven, and not in any particular country? And what would my life look like if I took that to heart, every single day? I bet I wouldn’t feel as anxious about my paycheck (or lack of it). Certainly, the small frustrations I encounter would be put into perspective.
Paul urges the Philippian church—and today’s believers—to conduct themselves as citizens of heaven; to stand together with one purpose; and to war together for the faith. When we forget that God deserves our first allegiance, we let all sorts of opportunities slip by us, and we begin to focus on unimportant details instead of the big picture.
Our purpose is to live out our faith in such a way that glorifies the Father and draws others to a relationship with him. It surely grieves God to see Christians fighting with one another instead of together. He must shake his head in frustration when we let small problems rule our thoughts, instead of focusing on his grace and love.
I want to be more like Katie—and the Apostle Paul. How about you?
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: In what ways do you struggle to remember that you are a citizen of heaven? Does Katie’s story resonate with you? Why or why not? How could you remind yourself of your true allegiance daily (or more often)?
PRAYER: Lord, give me the perspective shift I need to remember that I am a citizen of heaven. Remind me continually, Lord, of your truth and majesty. And help me to conduct myself in a manner worthy of the gospel—not on my own strength, but through yours.
Thank you for the beauty of the earth and the joy that you give me through my family, friends, purpose, and accomplishments. But let me never forget that all of it is temporary.
Creator of all things, I so earnestly desire to be more like you. But my humanity gets in the way. Forgive me for putting too much stock in earthly treasures, relationships, and status. And thank you for the forgiveness you offer, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.