(And if you call upon Him as [your] Father Who judges each one impartially according to what he does, [then] you should conduct yourselves with true reverence throughout the time of your temporary residence [on the earth, whether long or short].) AMPLIFIED
Hebrews 11:9 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: KJV
([Prompted] by faith he dwelt as a temporary resident in the land which was designated in the promise [of God, though he was like a stranger] in a strange country, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, fellow heirs with him of the same promise.) AMPLIFIED
Hebrews 11:13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. KJV
(These people all died controlled and sustained by their faith, but not having received the tangible fulfillment of [God’s] promises, only having seen it and greeted it from a great distance by faith, and all the while acknowledging and confessing that they were strangers and temporary residents and exiles upon the earth.) AMPLIFIED
After arriving in Togo, it took me forever to obtain my Carte de Séjour! Being Canadian, things were not simple like they were for my American passport holding wife and daughter. For whatever reason, Togolese law will not stamp any long term visas into the passports of Canadians. So, instead of an inexpensive and simple process of getting a one year visa, I had to undergo the lengthy, complicated and expensive process of obtaining a “Carte de Séjour”. In essence, this is the first step of becoming a permanent resident in the country.
I would have preferred simply getting a visa extension every 6 months or so, because we have no intention to reside here in Togo for the long term. We are here to teach in the Bible College which serves several nations in French West Africa, while we await our North American deputation. Let it be understood, that we are not just “putting in the time”, but truly feel that this is the will of God for our lives at this juncture. We are investing in multiple West African nations at the present time through our ministry and believe that the seeds we are sowing presently shall return to us as a great harvest in Senegal (and beyond)!
Being a temporary resident changes your priorities!
The furnishings in our home are a part of the rent. The bed is not as comfortable as we would like, but we are just temporary residents. The dining room table is pretty worn, but we are just temporary residents. The chairs and sofa in the living room are not as plush as what we have had before, but we are just temporary residents. There are many changes we would like to make, but will not, because we are just temporary residents.
I have to wonder what would happen to many in our world today, and more specifically in the North American church, if everyone would begin to have the mindset that we sing about: “This world is not my home… !”
- We sing about heaven being our eternal home, but stockpile earthly goods like there will not be anything in the stores tomorrow.
- We dream about a mansion on golden streets, but invest heavily in mansions that won’t last beyond the life span of our grandkids, should the Lord tarry.
- We preach about investing in eternal matters, yet our balance sheet leans heavily toward temporary returns.
Live life to the fullest. Be a witness and do the work of an evangelist. Count your blessings, and give thanks to the One who provides from his riches in glory. But in all that you do, always remember, you are just a temporary resident!