The Bible makes it clear that our Creator has written eternity in our hearts. With the light and longing He has given every one of His creatures, we find ourselves yearning for the good things to be found only in His heaven.
In fact, from childhood on, we hunger for “a better, that is, a heavenly country” (Hebrews 11:16). And Christians who are schooled in the Bible can feast on and trust in the promises of God, can delight in the previews He has provided of the perfect and everlasting kingdom awaiting His children.
It’s all there for anyone who cares to look.
Unfortunately, those who can’t be bothered have to settle for poor and very fleeting substitutes.
Some pursue the peace of God in pills or meditation, being deceived into equating numbness or thoughtlessness with “the peace that surpasses all understanding” (Philippians 4:7) provided by the Lord to all who have repented and trusted in Christ.
Some look for miracles in magic, for love in sex, for joy in the endless pursuit of happiness or achievement or the admiration of men.
Some try to satisfy their longing for “a heavenly country” by traveling to increasingly exotic locales ... by acquiring things from houses to clothes, cars or money ... or by immersing themselves in hobbies and entertainment.
Some seek rest for their spirits in another time, studying history or frequenting museums or visiting spots like Mad King Ludwig's castle in southern Germany or, closer to home, the Renaissance Fair.
Some devour books from fairy tales to fantasies, finding in Oz and Wonderland, Narnia and the Hobbits’ Shire, something more enchanting or beautiful than we can find here in the midst of our day-to-day routines.
It’s true that there are some who love darkness, who want a world that embraces their most evil thoughts and deeds, who actually prefer the Johnny Depp vision of Wonderland to Lewis Carroll’s.
But others want just the opposite: abundant light and space, bright colors, happy songs, talking animals and dancing flowers, perfect pleasure and endless good health, all in a land free of sorrow, villains and fear.
Such people long for, in short, all that heaven offers – with one notable exception:
The righteousness of Christ.
It’s interesting that the one thing shared by all these alternate realities is a lack of His righteousness – in fact, His complete absence.
We don’t want to be told what to do, you see. We are finding our glimpses of our hearts’ “heavenly country” in things He condemns or disparages. We don’t want to be distracted from what we think will take us “there.”
And there’s the rub.
The only place that will satisfy the longings of our hearts forevermore cannot be reached apart from righteousness. As Jesus said, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33). All these things – not some, not for a few moments, but forever.
Here’s the rest of the story: There’s only one way to reach this place. We can’t get there via any manmade route, but only through the person of Jesus Christ.
How about you? Are you still seeking to satisfy the yearnings of your heart through earthly pursuits? If so, why not make today the day that you set out on the only way to all your heart longs for?