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  • Writer's pictureDwight Smith

We Are Not Alone

Hebrews 12 begins with the call to “see” all of those who have gone on before us and be encouraged in our walk with God. The call to exercise our faith has been responded to by many who have now inherited the fullness of the promise of eternal life. They leave us an example. 


contemplative man walking in sunset

Now that I have reached the last phase of life, those of my own family who have finished their journey inspire me often. I remember the days upon days when my dad would arise at 5:30 am and spend his time with the Father. I am inspired to remember how he chose to spend his assets on the things that most reflect his commitment to those left outside of the kingdom. I recall his physical suffering in the final days, no complaint, no moaning, but anticipation that his journey was just about complete, and he would see the city that God was building. 


Three things should come from this kind of reflection and inspiration. One “let us also lay aside every weight.” This is possibly the most difficult of the things we face daily. So much of the world and its “things” are not sinful per se. But, when it takes our eyes off of God, His promise, His provision, His desires for the world around us, they become a “sticky” impediment. Think of the time we spend on diversions? Think of the money we spend on “relaxation?” Think of the motivations we spend on our jobs, our investments, and our retirements. No one thing is wrong. 


But, when the weight of them outweighs the thoughts about our eternal home, or how much money we give to others, then these things sap the life of faith. It takes daily time with God in His word, meditating on what the Spirit is saying to us through their lives, to identify the danger, and set disciplines in place to protect our hearts from being deceived.


Second “sin which clings so closely.” Adultery, anger, bitterness, divorce, gossip, etc, are all acts of unrighteousness. They are distortions of the way in which God originally created us, recreates us in Jesus Christ, and designs for us to mature.


Whereas the “weights” sap the life of faith, sin kills the life of faith. We are not perfect. But the life of faith grows on the back of a sensitive and submissive spirit to the word of God as daily ministered to us by the Spirit of God. 


When we sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus our Savior. Recognition of sin, submissiveness to its defilement of the life that God wants to grow in us, produces confession. And, as John says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9


Third, “let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” We are not in a sprint to eternity. For most of us, we are running a marathon to eternity. Each has a course of faith which God has designed and called us. Each fits into His plan for the redemption of some, and the judgment of others. Each represents His wise and sovereign action in places all over the world through the people who belong to Him. They do not belong to themselves. Their lives are not lived for their own enjoyment. They are important demonstrations of faith in action. They are to be numbered in the crowd of witnesses who bear witness to His creation, His sovereignty, and His promise.


Such “endurance” doesn't just come to us. It is not the result of going to church, giving a bit to the church, appreciating worship, reading a Christian book, or going on short term mission trip.Endurance is the result of realizing the depth of faith as God has designed it. Endurance comes from building life on the truth and hope of His design. Endurance has to be nurtured in a daily time with the Father in His word, bending our knees to His desires, allowing the Holy Spirit to conform us to the image of the Son. “….for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” Hebrews 11:6


Endurance comes when we exercise our faith in and on life’s daily challenges.

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