By Bill Randles
Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul. ( 1 Peter 2:11; emphasis added)
By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.( Hebrews 11:8-10; emphasis added)
No matter what happens in the Political realm, I offer this short piece to remind my precious brothers and sisters in Messiah that we are all called to be Pilgrims. We are only passing through and will find no lasting home in this world, for we are being fitted and prepared for the next one.
All of us have heard Jesus’ voice which has called us up to somewhere and something so much higher and purer than anything this World has to offer. The apostle encourages us:
The sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. (Romans 8:18)
We don’t know what will happen in the next few days. Obviously, I have personal preferences: I don’t want to be ruled by the Left with its anti-Life platform, but it might please God to allow this to happen; and should it happen, we should rejoice, knowing our pilgrimage may be daring to a close.
It could also be that the so-called “right” could prevail and that it could become just as despotic as the so-called left would like to be. Who knows? A Pilgrim cannot rely on anything in this fallen world except the inevitability of human depravity and hostility to God and His people.
Only God knows. We just have to set our sights on the LORD and His eternal Heaven.
I was told this morning that the “Lockdown” imposed upon the UK is so severe, church meetings are now forbidden. I know a good many precious and faith-filled believers there who will not bow down to such an unjust edict. I assure you all there, we are praying for you. It just might please God to call upon us to offer various degrees of sacrifice for the cause of Truth.
Remember, we are Pilgrims, sojourners, and exiles. Our true home is in Heaven. We come from a long line of others who heard the heavenly call and who left all to follow the One who had no place in this Earth to lay his head (Luke 9:58).
We have no desire for things to get worse, nor to suffer, for we are not “Super Christians” (there is no such creature); we are merely redeemed men and women who love Jesus Christ. I don’t want to suffer, but there is something I dread more – I don’t want to deny my LORD when it is my turn to stand up and be counted with Him with our brother and sister Pilgrims throughout the world and over the centuries.
I am often comforted by a story Corrie Ten Boom told in her book The Hiding Place. She was raised in a devoutly Christian family, and her father, Casper, was a rock of faith. Casper had read the Foxe’s Book Of Martyrs to Corrie and her sisters when they were little girls, and the thought of martyrdom disturbed Corrie. She confided in her father that she was afraid of death and was quite sure she did not have the strength to be a martyr. Corrie’s father reminded her of the train ride to Amsterdam. “When you take a train trip to Amsterdam, when do I give you the money for the ticket? Three weeks before?”
“No, Daddy, you give me the money for the ticket just before we get on the train.”
“That is right,” her father said; “and so it is with God’s strength. Our Father in Heaven knows when you will need the strength . . . He will supply all you need just in time.”
Our God is good. He knows what is going on, and He cares. A sparrow cannot fall out of a tree without His loving notice, and you and I are worth more than many sparrows. I hope this song (words by John Bunyan) will minister to you as it does me: He Who Would Valiant Be.
"He Who Would Valiant Be" By John Bunyan He who would valiant be 'Gainst all disaster Let him in constancy Follow the Master There's no discouragement Shall make him once relent His first avowed intent To be a pilgrim Who so beset him round With dismal stories Do but themselves confound His strength the more is No foes shall stay his might Though he with giants fight He will make good his right To be a pilgrim Since, Lord, Thou dost defend Us with Thy Spirit We know we at the end Shall life inherit Then fancies flee away! I'll fear not what men say I'll labour night and day To be a pilgrim
(illustration of “Christian” from John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress from alamy.com; used with permission | copyrighted photo of Casper ten Boom from the Lighthouse Trails book, Father ten Boom, God’s Man; used with permission from The Corrie ten Boom House Foundation, Haarlem, Holland. https://www.corrietenboom.com)