They go from strength to strength; each appears before God in Zion.
All of life is a journey, a story and a pilgrimage. We are sojourners and pilgrims. We are pilgrims making progress and we are pilgrims who are pioneer explorers, on our way somewhere.
The life of the believer is not static. If we do not move, we will be moved, backwards. We are always being called to move forward, upward and onward: from strength to strength.
We are always gaining new skills as we go further along in the journey. The skills are things like humility, graciousness and deeper and wider love.
As believers, we are growing up and the fruit of the Spirit that grows in our lives is deeper in flavor and in the exquisiteness of its refreshment. As we are built and strengthened, we are growing up before we grow old.
The further on that we go, from strength to strength, we have better discernment and we are more patient with others. We talk less and listen more.
The further along we go, the better that we are able to love in agape, sacrificial, unselfish Christ-like love. A sign or example of someone who has been on the strength to strength journey with God, is that they handle challenging people with more grace, love and forgiveness.
There is a saying that, “Even the Lone Ranger had Tonto”. Going solo in your whole life is a no no.
Have you ever looked at the V formation of birds, particularly migratory birds, in flight. Birds, designed by God, often practice shared leadership, in flocks. Migratory birds would not be able to make their long journey without shared leadership.
We need the support and shared leadership of others, for our journey. God did not design us to “go it” or be alone. Sin is bad and destructive. But a human condition that is deemed “not good” is being alone. We need a companion, we need a friend; and the best way to find a companion or a friend is to be one to a variety of people and some of these will stick (around). There is a proverb that says to find a friend, be friendly.
We are plural as friends, family, church and community; but we are each, singularly on a journey to God. And God, Elohim, is plural. God is three in one and the God who appears in different ways, but is still the God, God, the only true God.
We are on a journey together, but as individuals. Each one of us has our own relationship with God. Some or much of it is secret and intimate, although we share with others about our relationship. I am ultimately seeking God in an “I Thou” relationship or encounter.
Even though I am one of Jesus’ disciples, in the larger group, he says to me as an individual, “follow me”. If I ask him about someone else and their walk with him, he will usually tell me to love that person, and follow Him. His dealings with others are sometimes instructive, but I am ultimately responsible for myself and what he has called me to do and be. And my quest is to follow him and obey him and become who he is making me to be and do what he has for me to do.
We together are sojourners, on a journey together, with those we live with or have partnered, aligned or been made family with through Christ in the church. Our whole groups depend on our leaders who spearhead our journey together and make choices when there are a number of options on the path. And sometimes there is a disagreement and we reason together and prefer one another while sharing wisdom and passionate desires in what or how we think God is guiding us, and we seek for a consensus.
We all have the ultimate goal of seeing God face to face and hearing God say words to us individually. We all have the goal of resting in God now and forever. The goal of life for believers is to be with God and that is what animates and gives fuel, inspiration and endurance for the whole journey of our life stories.
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