My daughter has four children between 8 and 2. She is busy. House projects get done slowly, if at all. House cleaning gets done very slowly. But something is in the air. Her home has become a bustling hub of coordinated activity. No more procrastination. Fatigue is now a mere nuisance that will not stand in the way of progress. The family is a happy army working toward a common goal.
She is moving to a new house. The new house will be depressing within a few days after she moves in because it is actually an old house that has not been maintained. But, for now, the enthusiasm is contagious and the extended family has been mobilized. We all drive by the place to get glimpses whenever we can. There is something about a new place to live, even when it is old, that is inspiring.
And a new place it shall be.
“And I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” (Ps 23:6)
Perhaps the most pervasive image in Scripture is that we are on a journey to the house of the Lord. The house was Eden, Sinai, Jerusalem, and is now, finally—Jesus. We dwell in him by the Spirit as we wait to dwell with him forever, to sit at his table and eat his food. Meanwhile, we worship with psalms of ascent as we go up to the dwelling place of God and enjoy his presence. He is preparing that dwelling even now (John 14:2). Or, as John witnessed, he will bring his dwelling place to us as we set our hearts on him.
And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. (Rev 21:2-3)
This is our hope—full communion and fellowship with God and with his people in his house. This is what the Spirit uses to bring us through the hardest legs of the journey. The quest is not for a larger or better house in this world. That is not enough to keep us going, our wilderness is too arduous. We aim for nothing short of the house of God and being face-to-face at the banquet table.
Evidence of this hope is that we become energized on our present journey. Since we are certain that we will arrive home—nothing can stand in our way—we busily trust Christ for forgiveness of sins and then jettison the sins that still cling to our souls (Heb 12:1). After all, when we actually see him we will be without sin, and we aspire to grow now into who we will be then.
With our new dwelling place in view, hope looks like quiet confidence that God will do what he has promised, and it looks like renewed zeal to fight sin rather than succumb to it. As hope becomes more vivid, watch your pace quicken. Many will “run and not be weary,” some will feel like they are flying (Isa 40:31).