Sojourner means, “one who stays in a place as a stranger or visitor.” The word sojourner elicits our emotions. Perhaps, for you, it brings to mind adventure, exploring, and discovery. Traveling to new places and living there for a while to be immersed in another culture. Or, you may feel just the opposite. This word may stir a sense of instability, danger, and poverty. Either way, this word speaks to each of us in a way that stirs our emotions.
Jesus was a sojourner during His earthly ministry. When a man asked if he could join Jesus’ disciples, Jesus said, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” (Matthew 8:20) He was a stranger to the very people He created! “He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him.” (John 1:10)
There are many places in God’s Word that tell us that as children of God we are strangers in this world. We can go back to Abraham, “For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God.” (Hebrews 11:10) So, we know that it is the will of God for us to be uncomfortable in this world, to have a longing for heaven, to know that our home is in heaven; it cannot be found here.
“Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul.”1 Peter 2:11
There is liberty when we understand that this world is not our home. First, we focus on work that has eternal value. Who would deposit their paycheck someplace where they don’t bank? Secondly, we are free from comparing or coveting houses, cars, or vacations with anyone else. None of those are part of our inheritance and all will be left behind when we get home. And, thirdly, we have camaraderie with fellow sojourners. We are all on the same road, looking forward to the same destination, eager to “throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.” (Hebrews 12:1)
Therefore, fellow sojourners, let’s live with joy and anticipation, as we look forward to “the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God.“
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