5 Characteristics of a Pilgrim

Are you a Pilgrim? A pilgrim is defined as a person who journeys to a sacred place for religious reasons. Hebrews 11 gives us 5 clear characteristics of spiritual pilgrims.

Many believers live their lives as though they have arrived. Having gotten the hard work of repentance done, they settle down into a leisurely life of reading a short devotional most days, praying most days, and attending Church most Sunday’s. Their Christianity is treated like a club membership where members are required to keep up some minimal club activities, while enjoying the status of belonging. We call ourselves brothers and sisters. We call ourselves Children of God. We call ourselves followers of Christ. But there are Christians you and I know who can’t actually be followers, because they aren’t going anywhere in their walk with Jesus. Please don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to shame anyone, or criticize my brethren. If you feel shamed or criticized, I grieve with you, and am here to encourage you.

It is true that if a person becomes an energetic and focused pilgrim on a path to a daily deepening walk with Christ some things can go wrong. As the Apostle Paul’s life shows, we could be rejected, abused, and attacked by the very people we are living our vital Christian lives among.  The 11th chapter of Hebrews concludes by collecting many of the horror stories of godly spiritual pilgrims into one place, but the clear message of Scripture is that there is much more to be gained than lost if we choose to be pilgrims in Christ.  While it would do us no good to dwell on those last verses, the earlier part of this chapter can teach us a lot about what pilgrims are like. (From Hebrews 11:8-16)

  1. They listen for, and accept, God’s call on their lives to progress to new territory with their Lord.
  2. They are never satisfied with how far they have come, but long for everything the Lord has to offer them.
  3. They search Scripture and seek the testimonies of those (past and present) who have glimpsed more of the promised life we are called to.
  4. They believe they belong in vital and victorious communion with Christ, and accept by faith that He will lead them into that place of spiritual rest.
  5. They never look back to ponder worldly things that have been lost, but strain ahead for glimpses of glory yet to be attained.

Am I a pilgrim? Whether we are leaders or followers in our circles of life, we all need to ask ourselves that question. Do I consider myself a follower of Christ, and if so am I living in anticipation of moving ever closer to Him? Am I expecting to hear Him clearer, and clearer each year I journey with Jesus? Do I refuse to be satisfied with Spiritual growth attained, or do I strive for a deeper and more intimate communion each new day? Do I believe Jesus wants me to know Him more and more every day, and do I let that aim keep me focused on what will be, while shedding my selfish past? Am I a pilgrim?

Blessings,

Pastor Tim

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About Tim Wenzig MAML

I am a pastor at Rosedale Friends Church. Rosedale Friends Church is a congregation affiliated with North West Yearly Meeting of Friends Chruches (Quakers).
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