So I’ve been studying the book of Hebrews from the Bible and I have realized, again – but on a deeper level, how self-deceptive I am. Seriously. I thought I was over that. But apparently I still trick myself into believing that I am spiritually okay.
Chapter One spells out how Jesus is the exact representation of the Father and is seated at the Father’s right hand, above angels and everything else. In other words, He’s the One who has it under control. Chapter Two begins with this sentence:
“For this reason we must pay close attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it.”
I forget the urgency with which I am intended to live. I forget the level of the impact of the Gospel on my own soul. I get so busy giving away God’s love that I forget to let it fill me, too. I get so caught up in activities of the Christian life that I often miss the meaning. I drift and I need to pay closer attention. Chapter Four tells me how.
Here I find the Hebrew writer talking about a Sabbath rest for God’s people. The Old Testament describes the Sabbath as a sign of the covenant between God and His people, demonstrating a rest from our striving for one day per week as God rested from His on the seventh day. This rest brings us back to center, back to the place where we know that God is the One in charge. The way I strive indicates that, on some level, I believe it is all up to me. My diligence leads me to burn-out. Verse 11 of tells us to “be diligent to enter that rest.”
This is where I drift. I use my diligence to prove my worth, or to keep from disappointing others, or to simply keep my heart away from feeling uncomfortable things. But as verse 12 states:
“For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”
God’s word exposes the real me, my real reasons for what I do, my panic under the striving.
I am so grateful that striving is not the answer. What if I had to accomplish my salvation? What a nightmare! I am thankful that God asks me to simply rest and abide. It is my diligent task to pursue that rest. It’s hard, especially in our goal-oriented, task-driven, outcome-focused culture. I want God to expose my heart and teach me to rest. I want to stop drifting and start abiding.