Ephesians 1:15–23 ‘I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.’ (vv18–19a)
A pilgrim remains focused on the objective of their pilgrimage. Born of faith, it begins as a conscious thought that captures the pilgrim’s assumption about God’s intention for their life. Too often we confuse faith with dogma and creeds.
Whilst usefully attempting to quantify God’s reality, they can never produce the substance of faith. Every pilgrim needs the courage to follow their path, believing they’re responding to the Spirit’s inner voice. Setting out as contemplative, I had little idea what it meant. All I had was a defining word combined with a strong sense of calling.
There are signposts marking our path, but words and descriptions can only ever indicate the insubstantial content of faithfulness. Prayer, faith’s language, offers an encounter with God, who alone authenticates its reality (Heb. 11:1–3).
Churchmanship can easily confuse God with feelings. Emerging from worship we declare, ‘I felt the Spirit of God’; yet how could we not, since God is always and everywhere present? Emotions represent another language that attempts to confirm God, but they can never provide a universal demonstration of God’s presence or absence. They are merely our conscious minds seeking to make meaning of our context and hoping they’re our connection with God.
So the pilgrim discovers the fifth principle of faith; the ability to place hope and confidence in the overwhelming generosity of God’s love that can never be proven. A great hindrance in an age that places its hope in empiricism. The pilgrim is always one abandoned to the pursuit of God’s love.
Photo by Gracious Adebayo on Unsplash