Moments 'Til Midnight Blog Series: Part 2
Wandering Well…Rediscovering a Pilgrim’s Identity
People who place their faith in Jesus are pilgrims journeying through this world toward their heavenly home. Thus, when Jesus walked along the seashore of our lives and said, “Come, and follow me,” He was inviting us to go on the greatest journey in the universe! Rediscovering this identity is essential to living a life full of meaning and purpose. For us to rediscover and begin viewing our lives through the lens of pilgrimage, there are four ideas we must embrace.
- A pilgrim is consumed with the understanding that his/her life is all about a journey or pilgrimage.
If pilgrim is my identity, then it is safe to say I was created for this journey. We are “transients in the world” or rather “temporary residents” on earth. It is a sobering thought to ponder that everything about my life takes place within the context of this identity. In short, nothing in my life can or should be divorced from my view of Jesus, who has given me this identity. If a pilgrim is who I am, then how I journey determines how I live.
- A pilgrim is willing to exhaust his/her resources to journey well.
If we have established that our identity is that of a pilgrim and all of life happens within the context of a pilgrimage, then it makes sense to steward our resources with the journey and the destination in mind. Jesus taught, “But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves don’t break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also (Matt. 6:20–21, CSB).” While Jesus is not teaching against earthly possessions, He is teaching how to have a heavenly perspective. The manner in which we use our earthly resources should be consistent with the priorities of heaven. If our hearts long for the things/possessions of this world, then we will get continually bogged down in the journey; but if our temporary possessions are viewed as instruments to move us onward toward our permanent place, then our ultimate treasure will be Jesus and all that heaven has to offer. In short, what truly matters to the pilgrim are not things that can be consumed by moths, corroded by rust, or confiscated by thieves.
- A pilgrim believes that one journey can change the world.
Hebrews 11 reads like a highlight reel of Old Testament figures who impacted their world for the glory of God. Abel presented a righteous gift to God. Enoch pleased God so much that God allowed him to bypass death and go straight to heaven. Noah obeyed God and built an ark. Abraham, by faith, obeyed God and received a son. Sarah, despite being infertile, gave birth to a son and a nation. Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph demonstrated faith in God’s promises toward Israel. Moses led the nation of Israel. Rahab, a pagan prostitute, feared God and protected the Hebrew spies, thus aiding in Israel’s defeat of Jericho—not to mention becoming part of Christ’s lineage! Many more could be named, but the picture is clear: each one was identified as a pilgrim, and all of them changed their world.
- A pilgrim lives with the tension between the present journey and the destination.
Pilgrims live on the rugged road of the redeemed with the knowledge and anticipation of the glorified state that is restoration. In other words, we know there is a real day on God’s calendar in which He will make all things new again. A real day when God will “wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; grief, crying, and pain will be no more” (Rev. 21:4, CSB). In the meantime, we live and journey through a world where pain, tears, and death are a reality. We live as those redeemed but not yet restored. Each pilgrim, then, should look forward toward heaven to inform the manner in which we live on earth.
With all this in mind, we must journey through the wilderness of this world as temporary sojourners. For some, the heavenly country is just around the bend; for others, the road is much longer. For all of us, heaven is a home that is both close and far. A home with God’s desired will on full display. A home we were meant for all along.
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This blog post is an excerpt from the book Moments 'Til Midnight and been used with permission from author and company.