Sojourner Living, Part 1

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Our family has just moved for the third time in 4 years. The move happened on the weekend. We were hoping to get access earlier in the week but could not get into the new place until Saturday morning, so it has been a really long extended weekend. I’m aching all over, it feels like I’ve been in the gym non-stop for 2 days!

We didn’t have a removal company, instead, I called on two of my brothers and three other friends to help shuttle things in cars and one friend borrowed a huge van for the larger items. It took a lot of effort and determination to clear the old house but we got there in the end.

That was just the beginning, the biggest job will be settling into the new place and getting organised again… that battle has begun but is by no means over. The new place we are in is larger than anywhere we have lived as a family before which is a great blessing that we thank God for.

Reflecting on the times we have moved in recent years and with this move in particular which was set in motion at the same time Sacred Places was published, has brought the subject of Sojourner Living into sharp focus. Sojourner Living is a term I coined in my book Sacred Places. for the closing chapter, just before the further study section. I think if I keep my heart and eyes open at this transitional time there will be lessons to share with you all about the importance and reality of Sojourner Living for all of us.

One lesson from the big move is that living as Sojourners in this world will mean we have work to do, as we move from space to space we need to brace ourselves for displacement, re-placement and all the hard work that brings. If we are not mentally and spiritually prepared for the work and effort needed for the twists and turns we face as pilgrims on life’s journey, we can end up feeling overwhelmed. The same principle applied when we moved on the weekend, moving takes a lot of effort, staying settled is far easier.

Ask yourself, how can you apply this to your life? Is God leading you to move on in an area of your life but you are too afraid of the hard work and uncertainty this displacement will bring? Pray to God about the move he wants you to make today.

We thank God that we are Sojourners here because we have a better place prepared for us, a secure and eternal place in God’s own presence. While we remain in this world, let’s live as Ambassadors for God, working hard with the energy he supplies to finish our daily missions in service to the great commission,  in Jesus name.

This is the first in a series of post on Sojourner Living, through the lens of our house move. The following is an excerpt from the book on Sojourner Living which is good food for thought and will serve as a platform for this new series:

This final section, which brings the book to an end, looks at life, our lives, and how we live them in light of the theology of place.

One of the first things we need to grapple with is the Bible’s description of believers as pilgrims, exiles, sojourners, and strangers in the earth. That seems to drive against the grain of the theology of place; let’s see what the Scripture actually says in Hebrews 11:13–16 (emphasis and expansion of the term exiles added)

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 (pilgrims, sojourners, foreigners) on the earth. For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.

This is not against the theology of place; in fact, it upholds it. This is why this final section in our last chapter on the believer’s response is called “sojourner living.”

You can pick up your own copy of Sacred Places today.

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