OK good people, forgive me if I’m being redundant, but I want to be sure to commend you for making it thus far. As I promised from the beginning ….. this web site is not for the faint of heart. Truth be told, the things that are most costly, especially to the soul, are quite often the most valuable. Hopefully this has challenged you to the high calling to which is common to all who call upon his name, Christ Jesus our lord.
About the time I thought we had wrapped things up, the lord dropped the word “Sojourners” on my heart as I was in fellowship with him, and the following is where it lead me. To boil things down in to one word thus far, the word would be “overcomers”, and the various connotations thereof. As I searched out certain scriptures that deal with the word Sojourners, or it’s synonyms I began to realize that it would not be a stretch to say that in fact the words overcomers and sojourners are kissing cousins of sorts. Allow me to say it this way… an overcomer is who you are, and conversely speaking a sojourner is what you are.
The word sojourn has a universal meaning in any language known to man, one who is just passing through. Peter says it this way, “I urge you aliens, (or sojourners), to abstain from fleshly lust”. The (overcomer) is the one abstaining from fleshly lust. Peter ties the two concepts together in this brief but curious admonition. Allow me to say it this way, you will never be solidly grounded as an overcomer as long as deep inside you have failed to reach the heart attitude of a sojourner. What you are holding on to that prevents you being someone who is just passing through…. Will inevitably come back to haunt you.
Allow me to use an example of those who were first called to have the distinction of sojourners. I speak of the Israelites coming out of four hundred years of captivity in Egypt. This people, Gods chosen people, cried out to God for four hundred years for a deliverer. God heard their cry and sent them Moses, who God used through many signs, miracles, and wonders to emancipate them. While in the wilderness, they cried out to God for food. God sent them Mana each morning, yet another wonderous miracle at that. When they got tired of this Mana their hearts cried out and said, “when we were in Egypt at least we had meat.” And so I ask you, does this kind of belly aching sound like a people that in truth were sojourner’s, or in truth were their cries the voice of ingratitude. This type of murmuring is what caused them to wonder aimlessly for forty years in the desert, instead of being overcomers and entering the promised land in forty days. Deep inside their heart strings were for what once was and days gone by.
And so I ask you beloved, can you be honest enough to come to grips with this ever so common to man heart condition that lurks deep within. A condition that will always leave you scratching your head as you ask yourself, what happened and why. There is true freedom in the heart that has put a fatal dagger in that part of man that longs for what once was. This kind of freedom is foundational to you truly becoming an overcomer. It is in fact the kind of freedom that allowed Paul the apostle to refer to his trials and tribulation as, “momentary light affliction”. This man Paul arguably was the most astute of the apostles, he is also the man who says of all his accomplishments, I consider all things a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ. He indeed was an overcomer as well as a sojourner.
As only he would have it, God has ordained “beauty from ashes” Isaiah 61:. Brokenness and loss now become the fertile ground in which he brings forth richness and life. Isaiah goes on further to say, “he gives the oil of gladness instead of morning and the garment of praise instead of the spirit of despair”. Jesus himself was the perfect example of both an overcomer as well as a sojourner. He set aside so as to accomplish the will of the God head whom he really was, God Himself. In this manhood he became the forerunner of those who were to become both overcomers and sojourners.
So in closing beloved, humor me as I ask you to think of your lives as a hot air balloon. You were designed by your inventor to soar, (sound familiar?) so there you are securely tethered to mother earth. You’re waiting for the fire to do its job, heat the air inside of the balloons so it will rise. Fire always holds its prominent place, especially in the life of a believer. The journey that lye before you to say the very least is breath taking it’s finally time to soar, the fire has done it’s job as always. There is but one final thing left before you begin this journey. Someone needs to release the tether lines that prevent you from rising. Dear beloved, here is where my little metaphor of being a hot air balloon ends, my point should be obvious. You and only you can release those tether lines that hold you back. These tether lines are exactly what hold you back from soaring into a life that is able to see life from God’s perspective. Never allowing the tether lines of life to lay hold onto what is ours in Christ.
Hopefully this little exercise has helped you to capture the vision of the life of a sojourner and an overcomer. My prayer is that all of us who call on Christ would obtain the high calling said before us as overcomers and sojourner, one who is merely passing through. If so, happy soaring.
Perhaps you can see by now why I called this essay “Sojourners by Trade” these realities don’t just show up out of know where they take work, much work! But by his holy spirit all things are possible.