How to Grow from Spiritual Pilgrimages
- Monday, June 11, 2012
Learn how to enjoy a healthy sexuality. When you visit Chartres Cathedral in Chartres, France, you enter a beautiful sanctuary that engages all of your senses with holiness. Let Chartres inspire you to think of your body as God sees it: as a cathedral in which His Holy Spirit lives. Commit yourself to treating sex as the sacred act it is by respecting God’s design for it and living a sexually pure life (virginity until marriage and fidelity within marriage).
Learn how to discover and fulfill your calling. When you visit The Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, North Carolina, you learn the story of how God called one of the world’s most famous evangelists to step into a great adventure of sharing the faith with people in need. As you reflect on Graham’s remarkable life, keep in mind that God has called you just as strongly and clearly to serve Him, since God calls all believers to expand His kingdom on Earth. Ask God to help you discern your calling (what He made you to do in the world), and to fulfill that calling integrity, faithfulness, and passion.
Learn how to make history. When you visit Lutherstadt-Wittenberg, Germany, you encounter the place where Martin Luther made history by starting the Protestant Reformation of the church. Luther believed in the priesthood of all believers – that anyone who loved and trusted God could serve Him and make history as a result by changing the world for the better. Ask God to show you how He wants you to join Him in his history-making work in the world today. Then go to work with conviction and courage.
Learn how to trust God’s will. When you visit the Ten Boom House in Haarlem, Holland, you’re in the famous hiding place where the Christian Ten Boom family saved the lives of many Jewish people during the Holocaust by hiding them from Nazis who wanted to kill them. Just as the Ten Booms chose to do what was morally right (even when doing so led them to be sent to concentration camps themselves), God wants you to discover and follow His will by constantly evaluating your decisions by the Bible’s moral principles.
Learn how to deal with your doubts. When you visit Dachau Concentration Camp in Dachau, Germany, you enter a place where some of the most terrible human suffering in history happened, bringing many people face to face with their doubts about God. God wants you to face your own doubts, and express them honestly to Him by asking Him the difficult questions that are lingering in your soul. God is big enough to handle your doubts, and when you let those doubts motivate you to seek God more, you’ll discover valuable truths about God in the process.
Adapted from A Traveler’s Guide to the Kingdom: Journeying Through the Christian Life, copyright 2012 by James Emery White. Published by IVP Books, a division of InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, Ill., http://www.ivpress.com/.
James Emery White is the founding and senior pastor of Mecklenburg Community Church in Charlotte, North Carolina. He is also adjunct professor of theology and culture at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, where he previously served as the school's fourth president. Dr. White holds M.Div. and Ph.D. degrees from Southern Seminary, where he was awarded a Garrett Teaching Fellowship in both New Testament and theology. He has also done advanced university study at Vanderbilt University in American religious history, and continuing education at Oxford University in England. White is the author of over a dozen books, including such Gold Medallion nominees as Serious Times and A Search for the Spiritual, Christianity Today Book of the Year award-winner Wrestling with God, as well as The Prayer God Longs For and A Mind for God. For White's blog and further resources visit www.churchandculture.org.
Whitney Hopler is a freelance writer and editor who serves as both a Crosswalk.com contributing writer and the editor of About.com’s site on angels and miracles, at: http://angels.about.com/. Contact Whitney at: firstname.lastname@example.org to send in a true story of an angelic encounter or a miraculous experience like an answered prayer.
Publication date: June 11, 2012
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