Location x 3
It’s the real estate agents’ mantra. These property experts say there are only three things to consider when buying a home: Location, Location, Location.
The same needs to be said about our spiritual lives. When you understand your location, you will live in a radically different way.
Location 1: Your World
You live in a dramatically broken world. It groans as it waits eagerly for redemption (Romans 8:19-23). Trouble surrounds you on every side. That means you have to live with realistic expectations and preparedness. If you don’t bring a biblical understanding to the location where you now live, you will constantly be caught off guard, disappointed, and unable to function as God intended.
Location 2: Your Heart
You must acknowledge where you live, but you cannot give way to spiritual environmentalism where you blame all your struggles on external factors. The most prominent location battle is fought internally, on the turf of your heart. There is something dark and deceitful that still lurks in every one of God’s children who has not yet been fully glorified, and it’s only ever first the sin in your heart that draws and hooks you to the sin in your world.
Location 3: Your Refuge
In the middle of your trouble, be it external or internal, you will run somewhere for refuge. There are many faux fortresses where we tend to hide: another person, entertainment, a substance, food, sexual pleasure, etc. Since none of these can provide the actual shelter, putting your hope in them only adds disappointment to the trouble you’re already experiencing! There is only one place to run where legitimate protection, rest, and strength can be found. You and I must learn to make the Lord our refuge (Psalm 7:1, 31:1, 57:1, and countless others).
Location 4: Your Destination
Real estate agents may repeat location three times, but we need to add in a fourth.
Before I do that, as if I haven’t driven home the point of location, location, location enough, you could summarize the biblical story with three locations:
- The Garden of Eden, a place of perfection and beauty that became a place of sin and trouble;
- The hill of Calvary, a place of horrible suffering and death that by transforming grace led to life;
- The New Jerusalem, our everlasting place of peace, lit by the brightness of Christ, which will be our final refuge forever.
Where you are heading, trouble will be no more. Because of the Cross of Jesus, your story will not end with daily trouble and temporary refuge. Your final location will be unlike anything you have ever experienced, even on your best and brightest day. You are headed for the New Jerusalem, where the final tear will be dried and trouble will be no more.
Today you will face trouble of some kind. Today you will run somewhere for refuge. Today there is hope and help to be found. May God be your refuge, and as you run to him, may you remember that he has promised you that there will be a day when your trouble is no more.
1. How have you experienced the groaning of this world this week? How has its brokenness made you groan for redemption?
2. Are you living as a spiritual environmentalist? What external factors did you blame when ultimately internal sin was the cause?
3. What are some false sources of refuge to which you have run in the past? How did they fail you?
4. How can you live with eternity in view today? What, specifically, will that change about your everyday life?
5. If our final destination as believers is as important to us as we say, how can we be sure to tell others about its significant? What can you do and say this week to share the Good News of eternity with others?