As I read this verse this morning, I am reminded immediately of two things. One, I am reminded of the first Petra album I ever owned: Not of This World. ("Grave Robber" was one of my favorite songs!) "We are strangers, we are aliens, we are not of this world." Two, it reminds me of all the other places in Scripture where we are reminded that this is not really our home. The writers of Hebrews and 1 Peter refer to us as "aliens" and "strangers." The New Living Translation refers to us as nomads. 2 Corinthians 5:20 says, " So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, 'Come back to God!'"
When I wander to foreign lands, I spend a lot of time trying to prepare myself for what I will encounter. I try to understand their culture, their language, and their customs. But I always learn it first from the perspective of someone in my own country. I read travel manuals written by people in my own language. God has given us a travel manual for this earth- the Bible. It tells us our purpose and mission. It gives us guidelines about cultures and customs and lifestyles. It provides us with the language to speak to the people around us.
We are all missionaries on mission, and we need to constantly be checking back in with the travel manual.