One of the greatest dangers in the Christian life is stagnation. It happens when we quit moving. There are lots of reasons why we quit moving and growing. Sometimes it just isn’t easy and we decide to stay where we are. It’s easier to stay than go. The press of other issues in life sometimes cause us to stop right we are spiritually. Obstacles from situations or other people often bring our spiritual progress to a halt.
One of the most dangerous reasons is simply lack of vision. We’ve been growing, we are doing things in the Kingdom, we are seeing God move and there can come that moment of feeling we have arrived. The failure to have the spiritual vision that challenges us to keep moving is deadly.
Psalm 84 is a tool God has used to continually challenge me to keep moving – especially in my prayer life. I have used this powerful psalm to keep myself on a prayer pilgrimage. It is interesting that Psalm 84 speaks of pilgrimage (vs 5) because the whole psalm is really about dwelling in God’s house. How do you dwell somewhere, yet still be on a journey to that place?
I think that apparent contradiction is why it appeals so much to me. You see, that’s where I am spiritually. Through Jesus, I now dwell in God’s house. Indeed, it can be said that you and I are God’s house in which He dwells through His Spirit. That is just solid biblical teaching.
But in living this out, I discover that I am on a journey – a journey of awareness of Christ’s presence in me. And like any journey, I must keep moving if I am to arrive at my destination. Without setting my heart on the pilgrimage of continually being attentive to the truth that Jesus lives within me, I will forget the amazing truth that I not only can, but am even now dwelling in the House of God! It is prayer that keeps me walking in this state of alertness.
“Blessed are those whose strength is in you, whose hearts are set on pilgrimage. As they pass through the Valley of Baka, they make it a place of springs; the autumn rains also cover it with pools. They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion.” (Psalm 84:5-7)