We Are Pilgrims

“These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.” HEB 11:13‭-‬16 ESV

How often we feel like we’re wandering through the wilderness of earth? Sometimes we forget that we are pilgrims. We are passing through this plane to another place, a better one. I once heard it said, “When you pitch your tent don’t drive your pegs too deep into the earth. You don’t know when you’ll have to suddenly up and leave.” Basically don’t get too comfortable and attached to anything here. Don’t set your heart on it. “Here,” is not your destiny. (1 Corinthians 7:29-31) 

If we keep our faith we will one day reach the end of this journey and say, “What a ride!” There are great things we never would have learned had we not traveled through earth. God in His divine wisdom planned it this way. He knows what He is doing. 

“The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand.” Psalms 37:23‭-‬24 KJV

All men steps are ordered by the Lord, so especially are the steps of a good man or woman. (Proverbs 16:9) That doesn’t mean that we are robots. God created us with free will. On this journey we choose daily (throughout the day) which road to take. Jesus says to choose the one least traveled:

“You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.” Matthew 7:13‭-‬14 NLT

If your way is difficult because you’ve entered the narrow gateway be encouraged, you’re on the right road. Isn’t that what we want to know; that we’re traveling the right way? Jesus says if you have difficulties in this life because you follow him you’re definitely going the right way. Stay on course. (Luke 9:23-25) The way to life is difficult. But a life of ease and self indulgence means death:

“And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’    “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.” ’    “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’ “This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.” Luke 12:16‭-‬21 NIV

Doesn’t this man’s life retirement plan sound familiar? Some today call it, “The American Dream.” There is truly nothing new under the sun. (Ecclesiastes 1:9-10) The highway to hell can look very appealing. It’s wide, it has many lanes on it. You can get where you wonna go faster, so it seems. That road is a trap. It leads only to destruction (hell). And many travel that way. We’re much better off on our slower, one lane, dirt road, filled with potholes. Our automobile will break down by the end of the trip, but this road leads to eternal life. Who cares about the bumps in the road along the way, as long as we reach our destination? And that old car; our body, we can’t take it with us where we’re going anyway. Besides, we will get new bodies:

“He will take our weak mortal bodies and change them into glorious bodies like his own, using the same power with which he will bring everything under his control.” Philippians 3:21 NLT

We will be given new bodies just like Jesus’ own glorious body. Wow! We will live forever in our city, our country, the New Jerusalem. We will be with God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, the angels, and all of our brothers and sisters who were sojourners on earth just like us, forever. That’s our destination. That is our family. That is our home. Getting a little homesick? Just hold on. In a little while we will all be there. 

“But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior. He will take our weak mortal bodies and change them into glorious bodies like his own, using the same power with which he will bring everything under his control.” Philippians 3:20‭-‬21 NLT

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