The Spiritual Tourist
My wife and I just returned last night from a few days vacation. We went alone (without kids!) for only the third time in our 29 years of marriage. Anytime I travel, I discover some things that help me understand what Peter meant when he called us sojourners and pilgrims in I Peter 1:1 and 2:11:
“Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the pilgrims of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia…Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul.”
Commenting on the great patriarchs of old, the writer of the Book of Hebrews affirms this point of view in Hebrews 11:13-16:
"These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.”
This world in its current fallen condition is not home for someone who has made Christ Lord and King of their Life. We are citizens of another Kingdom and owe our allegiance to another King. When we accept this citizenry as our identity, life begins to take on new meaning. Like the vacation Nicki and I took together, we live life differently when we know we are tourists and not residents. Here are 7 mindsets that we will adopt the Biblical perspective of life and see ourselves as sojourners, strangers and pilgrims:
1. We Really Don’t Belong Here. So if you feel out of place sometimes, that’s normal!
2. Life is a Journey. So pack light!
3. Everything is Temporary. Good or bad, you only have to put up with it for a short time.
4. We’re on a Mission for God. Stay focused on what you are here to do!
5. Investments are Best Made in Heaven. Why invest so much in something that won’t last?
6. Everyone Who Journeys With Us is Valuable. It’s nice to find someone who can speak your language!
7. We’re Not Home Yet!