Sunday, October 19, 2008

A Pilgrim Mindset

I was reading "Life As a Vapor" by John Piper today. He was quoting Edwards (does that surprise anyone?) in Chapter 24, page 134, "Jonathan Edwards On the Pilgrim Mindset". I was struck by how these quotes have taken on a whole new meaning for me. Living temporarily here in Alabama while we look forward to the upcoming journey to Zambia - this should be a miniature picture of our whole life perspective. We're just pilgrims passing through. Here is an excerpt for your enjoyment:

Pilgrims are not diverted from their aim.

A traveler is not enticed by fine appearances to put off the thought of proceeding. No, but his journey's end is in his mind. If he meets with comfortable accommodations at an inn, he entertains no thoughts of settling down there. He considers that these things are not his own, that he is but a stranger, and when he has refreshed himself, or tarried for a night, he is going forward.

Pilgrims are to hold the things of this world loosely.

So should we desire heaven more than the comforts and enjoyments of this life... Our hearts ought to be loose to these things, as that of a man on a journey, that we may as cheerfully part with them whenever God calls.

Pilgrims ponder what they pursue.

Labor to be much acquainted with heaven. If you are not acquainted with it, you will not be likely to spend your life as a journey thither. You will not be sensible of its worth, nor will you long for it. Unless you are much conversant in your mind with a better good, it will be exceeding difficult to you to have your hearts loose from these things, to use them only in subordination to something else and be ready to part with them for the sake of that better good. Labor therefore to obtain a realizing sense of a heavenly world, to get a firm belief of its reality, and to be very much conversant with it in your thoughts.

Pilgrims will not be satisfied with anything less than God.

God is the highest good of the reasonable creature, and the enjoyment of Him is the only happiness with which our souls can be satisfied. To go to heaven fully to enjoy God, is infinitely better than the most pleasant accommodations here. Fathers and mothers, husbands, wives, children, or the company of earthly friends, are but shadows. But the enjoyment of God is the substance. These are but scattered beams, but God is the sun. These are but streams, but God is the fountain. These are but drops, but God is the ocean... Why should we labor for, or set our hearts on anything else, but that which is our proper end, and true happiness?

And here are two scriptures to encourage you.

Hebrews 11:13-14
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.

Philippians 3:20
Our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.

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