“These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country.” (Hebrews 11:13-14 KJV)
Many already know that Abraham and his family (Sarah, Isaac, and Jacob) were a part of the group who died in faith. God promised them all the land flowing with milk and honey, but they never received it while living; they only received by faith. Looking to Abraham and others, what can we learn from their testimony? What can we see God doing? While reading the above scripture, the Holy Spirit was highlighting the words ‘strangers’ and ‘pilgrims’. A stranger is one who does not belong to the given locale. A pilgrim is one who is moving toward a given destination. (http://www.definitions.net) After reading this scripture, I received this revelation from the Holy Spirit: “The Lord wants you to set your daily course toward heaven, rejecting earthly cravings that diminish your spiritual vitality.” Yes, Abraham lived a life of faith, and faith is important, but he knew that this earth was not his home and that Heaven was where the promise was.
Abraham and his family did not personally possess the Promised Land. Yet, they lived with an attitude of guaranty that Father God would fulfill His promises. They wholeheartedly accepted the certainty that the Lord would some day give that land to their seed. Meanwhile, they confessed that they were content to live as strangers concerning this world and as pilgrims anticipating the world to come: “and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.” That was powerful! Even though they never saw the promise, they lived as if it happened. Have I lived as though God has already delivered on His promises? Has Lisa M. Purnell-Marshall been living like the great cloud of witnesses?
There are many things that I personally can list that I do or have done, that can make me appear that I’m not a “pilgrim or a stranger to this world”. So my question to God was how do I get there? I was led to 1 Peter 2:11. “Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul.” As I continue to live, just as Abraham, I will now focus my heart on yearning for a true, lasting, eternal homeland. A place where I don’t have to pray for healing; a place where I don’t feel unloved; a place where I will never be separated from the presence of God; the place my Father says is my home.
Thank You so much for being a gracious and loving Father to us. We confess that we have forgotten that You have called us to be strangers to this world. We confess that we have forsaken the path of pilgrimage and went down other paths. Father, give us grace on this day to turn back because we want to make it home to You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!
I EMPOWER you to let the Holy Spirit cause your heart to yearn for that which heaven alone can provide. Press on as a pilgrim in this world and a stranger to its ways, bound for your homeland above.
How do you stay on course in life or do you need us to pray and agree for you to make it home?
Mrs. Lisa M. Purnell-Marshall is happily married to the wonderful and inspiring Antoine L. Marshall. She is the proud mother of two gorgeous girls. Her voice is one of the leading and authentic voices for breast-feeding, especially for the African-American community and Generation Y. She currently works inside of her home and plans to become a professional licensed lactation consultant in 2014. She and her family are members at Spirit of Liberty Church located in Markham, IL. Embracing the love that God has for her, Lisa labors to live an acceptable and pure life through the leading and keeping of the Holy Spirit so that her attitude, words, and actions attract the glory of God. In her free time she loves receiving manis and pedis. Her favorite promises that she find comfort and reassurance in are: Psalm 34:19: “A righteous man may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all” and Luke 6:38: “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”