Bunyan’s Way, My Way, Your Way

21 Aug

My church is showing the movie The Pilgrim’s Progress next Friday and I plan not to miss it. The movie is based on the widely acclaimed Christian book written by John Bunyan with the same title written almost five hundred years ago. Bunyan wrote The Pilgrim’s Progress during his time in jail in the 17th century. He was imprisoned because of his faith but he did not let steel bars silence him. His book is an allegory of a man named Christian and his long journey to heaven. It’s a very interesting story and I encourage you to read it (or at least watch the movie).

I think there are many different, but equally valid, ways to view the Christian life. For example, John Bunyan viewed the Christian walk as a life-long journey on the path of righteousness. For him, and probably for many, Chrisitanity was/is all about staying on that path, not getting sidetracked and staying focused on the prize that lies at the end of the road. Others may view Christianity as a constant renewal of the mind every moment of every day with the Word and prayer.

The way you think of Christianity or the metaphor you use probably depends on your personality and your character.

As for me, I can’t help but think of Christianity as a new battle every day. Every morning when we wake up, God lets us live to see another day filled with temptation and sin and every night when we go to sleep, we regain strength for the next day’s battles. There are two reasons why I view Christianity this way.

  1. Lamentations 3:22-23 “The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”
  2. Mark 1:35 “And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.”

His graces are new every morning. Why? Because we need them to get through the day, to stay focused on God, on Christ and on the gospel to not fall in our spiritual battles. Every single morning when we wake up, His mercies are there. Why do you think that Jesus got up early in the morning to pray? Because he needed God’s help and strength to get through his day. Jesus knew he was going to face adversity from the pharisees. He knew people didn’t want him to preach, but that was his daily battle. That was his ministry. That was his calling. How could he not fulfill his calling without preparing himself with God’s mercies every morning by going to the Word and in prayer? How can we fulfill our calling without strengthening ourselves at the beginning of every single day?

Viewing Christianity as a daily battle appeals to me because it helps me remember what I must do as a disciple of Christ Jesus. It’s fine if the whole “daily” idea does not appeal to you. I don’t think there is a right and wrong on this subject, different methods appeal to different people. So whatever your method is, just make sure it works.

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