Pilgrim or Settler?
“Blessed are those whose strength is in you, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage… They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion.” Psalm 84:5,7
The Word of God is very clear. Those who are blessed choose to place their strength in God. They set their hearts on pilgrimage, a constant journey with God. Therefore, they go from strength to strength and this process never stops until they leave this earth and appear before God in heaven. I want that.
If I truly want to go from strength to strength I must decide to go on pilgrimage. I have to be willing to move away from everything I know into what only God knows. I must decide that it can’t be done in my own strength and place all my trust in the God of Strength. I will face adversity, and keep going in God’s strength. If I take refuge in God, we will keep moving through any and every opposition.
What about …, the verse in the middle?
Verse 6 addresses what we do when we face adversity; “As they pass through the Valley of Baca (tears and weeping), they make it a place of springs; the autumn rains also cover it with pools (blessings).” Meaning, when we face obstacles and adversity on the journey we have to be willing to keep moving through that valley and allow renewal and revival to spring from such dark places of pain and disappointment. We have to keep progressing, knowing that new seasons usher in refreshing rain that quenches the dry places in our hearts. Our God of Strength turns tears to joy, ashes to beauty.
Our God is on the move and He has called us to lives that are constantly on the move with Him. So, where do we get this notion that we should build our homes and fill up storage units, when God is on the move?
From the Old Testament to the New, God is on the move. In the OT His presence went from the tabernacle, a traveling tent housing the arch of the covenant, to God in the flesh in the very body of Jesus Christ. In the town of Nazareth Jesus grew up in wisdom and stature, gaining favor with God and favor with man. Then he moved out and never had a consistent place to lay His head. His journey was more important that His comfort.
Jesus didn’t invite his disciples to follow Him to a final destination on earth. He told them to make disciples of all men, take the message of truth to the ends of the earth, and that He was going ahead of them to prepare a place in heaven, not on earth. They too traveled with Jesus with no consistent place to lay their heads. Their journey was more important than their comfort.
Jesus voluntarily went to the cross, was crucified to account for the sin of the world, so that the Holy Spirit of God could take up residency in you and me, empowering us for life and Godliness. We are more empowered than the disciples who walked with Jesus. He is in us.
This time of year we celebrate the courageous pilgrims who made it to our land in God’s strength. We are blessed to receive this land, but God never intended the journey to end here.
Are you a pilgrim or a settler?
What would God call you?
What has He called you to in His strength?
In His Unfailing Love,