At the time of writing this, I’ve been living in the USA for a total of 241 days. It’s been quite the whirlwind experience – learning to drive on a different side of the road AND a different side of the car, adopting a bit of a southern drawl to my British accent, so that baristas can understand me, re-learning how to pronounce words, and a thousand other adjustments, both big and small.
As a UK citizen living abroad, there’s a lot to get used to. Some days, I feel like I completely belong here. I don’t use my GPS, I manage to use the correct coins to pay for things, and I make a joke about something local that people understand. Other days, it feels like I’m 3,989 miles from home. Which I am.
Where you come from is one of the most significant things about you. It forms your worldview, dictates your opportunities, and plays a major part of your identity. It’s one of the first things strangers ask one another.
In a few years, I’ll be eligible for citizenship and who knows, maybe the USA will feel like home. But even if it doesn’t, it doesn’t really matter. Because there’s a more concrete identity that goes far deeper than simply the personality we have or the place we come from. Whatever the image or color of our passports, if we’re a Christian, then our nationality doesn’t define us. Jesus does.
Philippians 3:20 puts it like this: “But, our citizenship is in Heaven.”
Don’t misunderstand. Nationality is important and we should thank God for where He allows us to live. However, through adoption into the family of God, our primary allegiance isn’t to a flag, a state, or a country. It’s to Jesus Christ.
What does it mean to be a citizen of Heaven?
Well, like a citizen of any country, there are benefits that come with our divine citizenship. We are under the protection of the King of Kings, which is more powerful than any earthly army. We have permission to be enter His presence at any time, just as we have the right to be in our home nation.
These benefits come with responsibilities too. Citizens adopt the culture and behaviors of their nation. As citizens of Heaven, we have the responsibility to demonstrate God’s kingdom here on Earth. That’s why Jesus teaches us to pray, “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven.” (Matthew 6:10)
Wherever you’re reading this and wherever you’re from, you can choose today to live like a citizen of Heaven. This mentality will transform the way you love and serve the world around you!