Sojourners

7:16 PM

I'm involved in a Bible study called Community Bible Study (CBS). This year, we're studying the Book of Genesis which initially didn't excite me. I mentally yawned and thought, been there, done that. Except that just goes to show you how short-sighted I was. The miracle of God's word is that it is constantly changing - not what it says, but what it says to you at any given day. Insight afresh can come from texts and stories that you've known backwards and forwards since childhood.

And that's because the Bible is literally a living, breathing text unlike any other. Amazing.

Time and again these past 8 months, God has opened my eyes to new truths, new insights, fresh revelations about Himself and how He works in regards to time, space, people, plans, etc. Just tonite, I sat here amid my two very hyper children and somehow managed to do a week's worth of lessons. Not because I had to, but because once I got started, I didn't want to stop!

And something once again struck me. In Genesis 47, Jacob sits down and meets Pharoah, for whom his son, Joseph, has been serving as second in command of Egypt. And Jacob describes his life as a pilgrimage. Interesting choice of words. The Bible study pointed out the parallel between his use of that phrase to describe his life and how as followers of Christ, our lives are essentially the same: pilgrimages. We are sojourners. This earth is not our home. Heaven is. (Philippians 3:20; Hebrews 11:13-16; 1 Peter 2:11)

Which led me to ponder something. And for those of you who roll your eyes at excessive text in posts, please bear with me. Or just move on.

We often hear people comment on their desire to Leave Their Mark on the World. Humanity seems to fear disappearing. We want there to have been a record of our existence, some footprint or initials in the concrete to make our having been here worthwhile. I think this is a particularly strong desire among men. Ties in with sowing their seed, having children, working, making money, being entrepreneurs...making names for themselves. But is it really for themselves? Or for a legacy they hope to leave marking their place in time on this world. An etch in history books.

And if you are a Christ-follower, a sojourner, a pilgrim, is that a legitimate desire or goal? My thoughtful inclination is to say, "well, not really."

For a couple of reasons. One, you can almost guarantee that if there is a human "instinct" or propensity, God's desire is for us to give that up to Him and use that instinct for something a little different. He seems to make us for what seems like an obvious purpose, but later reveals that purpose to be something different altogether and yet, MORE perfectly suited to our gifts and talents. Secondly, God likes to use the lesser to bless the greater. Uses the weak to confound the strong. He places within us that desire for posterity and yet then expects us to do something quite different. So He can be glorified by doing something really great through us lowly folks.

He wants us to live as sojourners. To view our time on this earth as a pilgrimage, rather than being permanent homesteaders.

So if we, from a human perspective, are wired with the desire to Leave our Mark on the World, what is the contrast from a spiritual perspective? Is there such a thing as a good legacy? Yes. There is. And we are, in fact, commanded to leave a legacy. A legacy of godliness. One, through having and raising godly children who we will leave behind when our pilgrimage finally takes us to heaven. They stay behind, our living footprints, continuing to touch the world for Christ. Also, it's a fulfillment of the Great Commission: go make disciples of all nations. And as we walk this earth, we should be telling others about the home we're living for, our heavenly home. And bringing them with us on that journey. Our legacies are our children and those lives that we touch for God.

For men and women, though, it's often boiled down to one lifelong struggle: Career or Family. Which is the thing that you're supposed to pursue? From the worldly perspective - career is the answer. Work hard, make a name for yourself. From the Biblical perspective - honor God with your work, but build a family that will leave a godly legacy. That is what will endure, not your money or titles.

God's ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts are higher than our thoughts. What we assume to mean make a name for ourselves...He means, take what I've given you and make a name for Me. Leave a legacy not about you, but about Me. About who I am in you. What I did through you.

You Might Also Like

2 comments