By faith he [Abraham] made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.Hebrews 11:9-10 NIV
Hebrews 11 provides us with a great definition of biblical faith. It gives us both a dictionary type of definition (Heb. 11:1, 6) and numerous examples of faith in action. By faith, these men and women lived and died in obedience to God’s call. Their faith was not static. It was active and reflected in what each of these people did.
These two verses reflect a mindset that we would do well to copy. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were each promised by God that the land they lived in would belong to them and their descendants. But they lived in the land as nomadic foreigners. They lived in tents rather than in permanent dwellings. The land where they lived was not theirs. But they were looking forward to what God had promised. And that impacted the way they lived.
Living as a Stranger
That should be our mindset as well. I live in a house rather than a tent. And I own the house and the property it sits on. But faith would call on me to look beyond the trappings of this world. To look to the salvation that awaits me at the end of this life’s journey. And to live with my eyes fixed on that eternal home rather than the temporary things of this life that occupy so much of my attention. Like Abraham, live as strangers in a foreign land (1 Pet. 1:17). Living to serve the one who gave himself for me.