How will you know that your pilgrimage has changed you?
Read 1 John 4.
In the 1730s, the church in America experienced what is now known as the Great Awakening. Jonathan Edwards, a boring preacher by all accounts, watched as his particular community of believers was transformed. Reflecting on this experience, he wrote several reports to the clergy in England. This was one of the questions he asked and answered:
“What are the distinguishing Scripture evidences of a work of the Spirit of God?”
“When the operation is such as to raise [our] esteem of that Jesus who was born of the Virgin, and was crucified without the gates of Jerusalem; and seems more to confirm and establish [our] minds in the truth of what the gospel declares to us of his being the Son of God, and the Saviour of men; it is a sure sign that it is from the Spirit of God. . . .
“When the spirit that is at work operates against the interests of Satan’s kingdom, which lies in encouraging and establishing sin, and cherishing men’s worldly lusts; this is a sure sign that it is a true, and not a false spirit. . . .
“The spirit that operates in such a manner as to cause in [us] a greater regard to the Holy Scriptures, and establishes [us] more in their truth and divinity is certainly the Spirit of God. . . .
“If by observing the manner of the operation of a spirit that is at work among [us], we see that it operates as a spirit of truth, leading [us] to truth, convincing [us] of those things that are true, we may safely determine that it is a right and true spirit. . . .
“If the spirit that is at work among [us] operates as a spirit of love to God and man, it is a sure sign that it is the Spirit of God.”*
How will you know that God has used your pilgrimage to bless your world with shalom? Write down your thoughts and return to them in a month to see how your thinking has developed. Share your answers with a friend or small group.
* Jonathan Edwards. “The Distinguishing Marks of a Work of the True Spirit” in Jonathan Edwards on Revival. (1741; repr. Carlisle, Penn.: Banner of Truth Trust: 1995), 109–15.