To travel by faith implies the unknown. Lewis & Clark’s Northwest Passage map was marked “Unknown”
Rom.4 Abraham – Against all hope, in unbelief…”fully persuaded that God had the power to do what he had promised.”
Heb 11:13 All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth.
No extra baggage. Nomads don’t accumulate unnecessary baggage.
Rom 8:1 no condemnation, set free
Matt 11:28-30 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
- They are outfitted for the journey …
Matt 6:25 Provisions for the journey are assured.
We have the most experienced and reliable guide.
“I will be with you.” Ex. 3:12 “I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
- They are clear about their allegiance …
Joshua “For me and my house…” Mary “I am the Lord’s servant, let it be with me as you said.”
“The Lord is my shepherd..”
Eph 2:19 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, …
- The journey is immersed in mystery, awe and adventure …
Infinite God, mysterious and wonderful.
An adventure… not of a lifetime… but of an eternity.
Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!
“Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?”
“Who has ever given to God, that God should repay him?”
For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen.
How lovely is your dwelling place, O LORD Almighty!
My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the LORD; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.
Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young– a place near your altar, O LORD Almighty, my King and my God.
Blessed are those who dwell in your house; they are ever praising you. Selah
Blessed are those whose strength is in you, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage.
As they pass through the Valley of Baca, they make it a place of springs; the autumn rains also cover it with pools.
They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion.
- They encounter the world …
They pass through the Valley of Baca
People who hold out never engage the world. As pilgrims, our journey does not bypass the world but takes us through it. Ps 23 ;
Our journey does not end when we find Jesus, it is no longer a restless wandering but a journey filled with hope and joy. It is along that journey that we are salt and light to the world.
“… they make it a place of springs; the autumn rains also cover it with pools.
It matters what happens in the world. Until Jesus returns, the world’s future is our future. God’s people are called to effect/infect the world.
- They find strength in the journey …
“They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God inZion.
Prov 17:3 “The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold, but the LORD tests the heart.”
We find strength in the journey. Holding On does not allow God’s power to prevail and strengthen us. “A clinched fist cannot receive a gift.”
Ps 23 I will fear no evil for you are with me. Your rod and your staff they comfort me.
- They are always prepared to move on…
Mark 6:8-11 These were his instructions: “Take nothing for the journey except a staff– no bread, no bag, no money in your belts. Wear sandals but not an extra tunic. Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you leave that town. And if any place will not welcome you or listen to you, shake the dust off your feet when you leave, as a testimony against them.”
Christian pilgrims understand and are prepared to move. They tempted to hold on but the promise before them is greater than that which they see and they keep moving.
Elijah – I am the only one left. Rom 11:3-5
“Lord, they have killed your prophets and torn down your altars; I am the only one left, and they are trying to kill me”?
And what was God’s answer to him? “I have reserved for myself seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace.
Rev 7:9-10; 13-17
After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: “Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.”…
Then one of the elders asked me, “These in white robes– who are they, and where did they come from?”
I answered, “Sir, you know.”
And he said, “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
“… they are before the throne of God and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will spread his tent over them. Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst. The sun will not beat upon them, nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”