We just returned from a trip around the US and were able to catch up with many old friends we had not seen in about twenty years, since graduating from Bible college in 1991. It was interesting to see that those who may have been written off humanly speaking, are often the ones who are at the forefront of the spiritual battle we are all fighting: pastoring churches, leading ministries, working in missions, etc.
Some of the people I thought were once on fire for the Lord, who had everything going for them, natural born leaders, wit, brains...people I could see leading a sweeping revival across America...are not even in the ministry anymore. Erasing every Christian identification from themselves, they work in a worldly field...promoting a cigarette company, selling casinos trinkets, or some other small task that they have settled to complete. They no longer serve the mighty King of kings, and their focus is no longer on working for their old Master until He returns.
The pilgrim way is rough..full of blessings, accomplishable in Christ, free from regrets...but it is still a hard way. There are pilgrims who leave the way, Christians who make shipwreck, and children who go astray and roam far from the will of God. Only God knows the heart. God knew who would follow Him, and who would serve Him all the days of their lives. He takes the weak things of the world and makes them strong building blocks that He works with here on earth to accomplish eternal works in heaven. It was sad to see some people I was so impressed by, who I thought could make great strides for God, wasted by the world into an ineffectual nothing for the Lord..but also encouraging to think that in Him we can do all things. He can take nothing, and mold it into something useable...someone who will allow Him to work through themselves and create a lasting work of God.