But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved. Hebrews 10, verse 39.
Yesterday we talked about disappointing God. Today let’s talk about not ‘shrinking back.’ That was mentioned yesterday as well but I didn’t talk much about it. How about now? What do those words bring to mind for you? I think of someone backing up, backing away from something. I think of someone standing who then sits down when confronted. Jesus asks us to stand up for Him even if all we can do is sit. Stand first in the heart. Here’s a list of ways to do that:
- Professing “I believe in Jesus”
- Doing what Jesus says
Stop me if I’m wrong but I think those may be the only ones that matter. Everything we do in this life should be according to His command. If we believe then do what He says, then everything we do becomes a reflection of what we believe. Welding a straight line? Believe in Jesus and do your best, then thankfully try again when it isn’t straight. Feeding the chickens? Believe in Jesus and feed them, tend to them, be thankful for them. Folding underwear from the dryer? Believe in Jesus and fold them, being thankful He’s provided them (and that they’re clean). I’m betting you’re seeing a trend here.
Believe and be thankful. Believe and do what Jesus says.
Jesus said that the greatest commandment of all the law was to fully love God, and that the second greatest commandment was then for us to love each other that same way. He repeatedly taught His followers to love their enemies and to act thankfully in all they did. Love and thankfulness are, perhaps, the greatest of the fruits of the Spirit. They are the tools with which God privileges us to live in the world, to fight the spiritual battles that come our way.
When we believe and are thankful to Jesus in all ways, large and small, then everything we do becomes an act of worshipping him. You’re welding, you’re feeding animals, you’re folding clothes, you’re doing whatever you’re doing: if you do it with a heart thankful to God to simply be in that moment, you’re worshipping Him. You’re using the moments He gives you to do the work at hand that’s part of simply living on the Third Rock. What’s more, you’re giving Him glory by using that moment for what He has you doing. You’re praising God for the large and small things with which He’s blessed you in this life. You aren’t wasting the life He’s given you; you aren’t shrinking back from living fully.
Some moments aren’t memorable; think the underwear and the chickens and maybe even those welds. Some moments, however, have deeper gravity. Think when a hostile fellow confronts you. Think when your grandmother is dying. Think mentoring your kids, even when they’re in their 20s smoking pot. Think any number of situations where you really need to stand up and say “this I believe.” People can see through false words. Convictions matter; are you walking the walk while talking the talk, or is it simply one or the other? You may or may not be Martin Luther standing in front of the council, but you still get to stand. You still get to believe in Jesus, then do what He commands. You get to not shrink back.
When you believe and do what Jesus says, you get to count yourself as one who’s been saved. THAT pleases God.
For further reading: John 3:16, Matthew 7:12, Matthew 22:37-40, John 15:9-12, 1 Corinthians 13:13
My Lord, I believe in You. Thank You for saving me, for giving me the privilege of standing for You, of trusting You to live life with me.