How would Jesus describe you as a traveling companion?
In my previous blog post, I described our life with God as a pilgrimage; a long journey on a path with Him in a world where we don’t belong, heading to a home we have never known.
Are you an enjoyable traveling partner?
My first trip to Israel was with a guide by the name of Ray Vander Laan. Ray doesn’t lead your typical tourist trip. He describes his style as, “learning with your feet”.
Which is a fancy way of saying you hike over 100 miles.
Before signing on the dotted line, we were warned to count the cost.
And we did it anyway.
If you’ve ever traveled with a group of people, you know that nothing has the capacity to bring out the beast in us quite like bumping up against different personalities in uncommon, uncomfortable settings.
That trip taught me a few attributes of a good traveler.
#1 Be Prepared
Knowing the physical challenge that lay ahead, I trained my tail off! I was determined not to be the weakest link, so I strapped a weighted pack to my back, laced up new hiking boots, and climbed every hill and staircase I could find.
For 4 straight months.
Most of our group was physically ready but the unprepared were unable to fully enjoy many aspects of the adventure.
How prepared were you for life as a Jesus follower? If you’re like most of us, the answer is “not very”.
Deny yourself? Take up your cross? Lose your life? Hate your father and mother in comparison to your love for Jesus? I had little understanding of these weighty words as a naive, impetuous young woman.
Do you tend to view Jesus’ instructions to count the cost as a one-time commitment made when we first place our faith in Him or a daily practice to be renewed each morning?
What would change in your day-to-day experience if counting the cost was part of your morning routine? A prepared disciple makes a good traveling companion with a greater capacity to enjoy their pilgrimage with Jesus.
#2 Learn to Follow
Each day in Israel, we surrendered to the agenda of our experienced guide without knowing our destination. Our job was to show up at the bus every morning–on time–and trust his leadership as he led us out into new adventures.
Jesus said the words, “Follow Me” 13 times in the New Testament. He never invited anyone to pray a prayer, but to submit to His lordship. He is our friend, absolutely, but He is Lord first and foremost. Learning to follow is not optional.
Imagine for a moment that you and Jesus are in a car together, driving down the highway. It’s just the two of you, going about the daily tasks, enjoying time together.
Now let me ask you a question: where is Jesus in the car? Is He in the drivers seat? The passenger seat?
I confess, y’all; I had Jesus in the back seat!
Who is the leader in your life? Our role is to follow.
But how we follow Him has everything to do with our enjoyment of the journey. We can follow Him out of drudgery and duty, or with a heart of love and delight.
Which motive do you find most common in your life with Him and how does it affect your experience of the journey?
#3 Have a Good Attitude
The most delightful people to travel with display such characteristics as humility, flexibility, endurance, selflessness, as well as the fruit of the Spirit (love joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, self-control).
Which of these traits would Jesus say best describes you as His traveling companion? Which traits are areas of growth for you? Let me know in the comments. I love hearing from you!
If you would like the FREE mini Bible study that accompanies this message, you can download a copy HERE!
And here’s a link to the video of this message: