Heb3.12 Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. 13 But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. 14 For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end. 15 As it is said, “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.”
Apostasy at 25 years old comes from apathy at 15. Faith does not suddenly fall off a cliff. People do not just make up their mind to quit believing. They meander off the path of faith and stumble onto the path of self-will. The slippery slope of this path at first is undetectable; you do not even feel yourself descending. This slide of doubt begins in the mind and ends in the heart…brought on by pride of self-sufficiency.
Belief is very common; faith is not. Faith is by practice; we must set our heart to grasp God every moment. We must come to know that God is trustworthy. That He really did make the universe. We must especially understand that it is God’s sovereign choice to set our footsteps; Job16.9 The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps. Regardless of our desires, good is only found in what God has appointed for us. Our disappointment comes from our own will and not from God, but we too often blame God.
When God’s word becomes boring and predictable in our mind; it will become debatable in our heart. We will then dislike the word of God more than we dislike our sin. Our own face will become more familiar than the face of God. We may declare any number of reasons for our decision, but the bottom line is self-will and pride of face.
Psalm10.4 In the pride of his face the wicked does not seek him; all his thoughts are, “There is no God.”
Where faith was once freedom, it is now a burden…to lighten the load we jettison our faith and turn from the face of God. We replace righteousness with goodness and goodness becomes our new standard. Judging ourselves by others, we become instantly good enough. The righteousness that we failed to guard because we found the effort to great is traded for a goodness that will not and cannot be guarded…for good is not good enough.
The call in these verses in Hebrews is not to look for the enemy without, but the enemy within: (Take care, brothers lest there be in any of you)
Guard Your Heart:
- Guard your heart against spiritual apathy (lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart.)
- Guard your heart that you may not become hardened by sin (that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.)
- Guard your heart that you will hold to your original confidence (we hold our original confidence firm to the end)
John Piper, “perseverance of the saints is a community project”.
What does the Bible say about perseverance as a community calling? Exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today…how often, “every day”, and how long “as long as it is called today”.
Do Not Harden Your Heart:
How do we fall into apostasy? “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.” We fall into apostasy by hardening our hearts, and hardening our hearts is rebellion against God.
How can we not start down the slippery slope of apathy? For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end. When we choose to share Christ in our heart every moment, then we will hold our original confidence firm to the end.
Published on Monday, December 8, 2014 @ 4:41 AM CDT