Don’t Shrink Back

Flower

I feel the struggle and shrink back.

The reality of my sinfulness, even as I seek God, as I hunger for him and for righteousness- my deceitful heart pulls me.  Temptations come at unexpected times, sins rear up I thought I had defeated.

These past months have been filled with battle and discouragement.

I have felt like a hyprocrite, hesitating to post anything because I see the darkness in my own heart, and it has led me to despair.

As I was reading in Hebrews today, God greatly encouraged me.

Hebrews 10:22-25, 32-39

Let us approach with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who has promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

But recall those earlier days when, after you had been enlightened, you endured a hard struggle with sufferings, 33 sometimes being publicly exposed to abuse and persecution, and sometimes being partners with those so treated. 34 For you had compassion for those who were in prison, and you cheerfully accepted the plundering of your possessions, knowing that you yourselves possessed something better and more lasting. 35 Do not, therefore, abandon that confidence of yours; it brings a great reward. 36 For you need endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised.

37 For yet“in a very little while,
    the one who is coming will come and will not delay;
38 but my righteous one will live by faith.
    My soul takes no pleasure in anyone who shrinks back.”

39 But we are not among those who shrink back and so are lost, but among those who have faith and so are saved.

I know whom I have believed.

I am convinced that He is able to keep what he has promised in accordance with His Word.

And I daily choose to follow, to hold on…

despite setbacks and persecution.

despite habitual sin and struggle.

despite criticism and weariness.

The battle with sin rages on in this life.  And each day we battle reminds us that only in Christ do we conquer.

We need Him- yes, as the song says- every hour.

This dependence is our strength.

And our independent minds struggle to wrap around surrender.  The truth that every day we are helpless to handle what comes our way without the sustaining grace of our Savior.

To not seek our own pleasure or our own will, but to yield.

God gives grace- abundant and free- and at the same time calls us to obedience and surrender of our will to His almighty reign.

Are you meeting with others who are also hungry to grow closer to God?

Does your church have a Bible study or group that meets for accountability weekly?

If not, will you pray and ask God if he is calling you into the role of leading a group like this?

Will you commit to spend time daily in his Word and in prayer- asking Him where he is calling you to serve and spur others on to love and good deeds?

We need each other.  More and more we are being pulled by societies rules and worldview- losing our sense of what God calls us to in this life.

What is the most important thing we must learn?

What is the most important thing to teach our children?

To walk with God and serve Him all the days of our life.  To seek His presence and submit our will to His.

How much time do we spend talking about this with our friends, our family?

Do we spend time daily teaching our children?  Do we live this truth, that there is no greater ambition than simply to know God, serve Him, and obey?

Oh LORD, our Savior and God- help us to be men and women who do not shrink back from the truth of your Word.  Strip contentment from us- that we may only find it in you.  Increase our dissatisfaction with the world’s counterfeit values, help us cling to your Word and your Truth above all else.  Stir a fire and hunger in us for you that cannot be quenched.  When we sin, LORD, may we never hesitate to come humbly before you and confess- renewing our desire to humbly seek you and submit to you.

I pray with the Psalmist today- Make me to know your ways, O LORD; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth, and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all day long.

Without you we are lost.  There is nothing in this world that satisfies the hunger of our hearts like you.  You are our true home, our only place of eternal rest.  May our lives bring glory and honor to your name, as we submit to your righteous rule.  In Jesus Name, and through the power of His blood we pray, Amen.

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