I know it’s been like 6 months since I have posted anything, and for that I am sorry. For the past couple of days my heart has been heavy and I felt like I needed to spell some of this stuff out this morning, so here it goes! Fair warning, this is gonna be a little weird to some folks…
I have a good friend who is not acting like the man of God that I know him to be. To put things directly, he is simply not well right now and is not acting like himself in any sense at all. I feel very privileged to have a big brother who is an amazing man of God, so I talked to him yesterday about what was going on with my buddy. The only reason I reached out to my brother is because I know he has experience with spiritual warfare, and I simply wanted him to start praying for my friend. Well last night I got a call from my brother who said that as soon as he began praying, the Holy Spirit opened him up and told him that we need to go get my friend. Needless to say, that scared the crap out of me, which is a pretty good sign that God’s pushing me that way!
Recently, I have had Hebrews 11 and 12 on my heart a lot after listening to a sermon from Matt Chandler. There are so many parts of this passage that that are applicable to this story.
33who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, obtained promises,(A) stopped the mouths of lions, 34(B) quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness,(C) became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. 35(D) Women received back their dead by resurrection. Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life. 36Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even(E) chains and imprisonment. 37(F) They were stoned, they were sawn in two,[a](G) they were killed with the sword.(H) They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated— 38of whom the world was not worthy—(I) wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.
39And all these,(J) though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised, 40since God had provided something better for us,(K) that apart from us they should not be made perfect.
Jesus, Founder and Perfecter of Our Faith
1Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and(L) sin which clings so closely, and(M) let us run(N) with endurance the race that is(O) set before us, 2looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith,(P) who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising(Q) the shame, and(R) is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
Do Not Grow Weary
3(S) Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or(T) fainthearted. 4In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. 5And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons?
(U) “My son,(V) do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord,
nor be weary when reproved by him.
6For(W) the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
and chastises every son whom he receives.”
7It is for discipline that you have to endure.(X) God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? 8If you are left without discipline,(Y) in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. 9Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to(Z) the Father of spirits(AA) and live? 10For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good,(AB) that we may share his holiness. 11(AC) For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields(AD) the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
12Therefore(AE) lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, 13and(AF) make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint(AG) but rather be healed.
- 11:33-40 – God allowed men and women by faith to receive amazing gifts, but others received death. But both were true to God throughout their entire lives.
- 12:1 – When we do not throw aside our sin, it entangles us and allows Satan to gain a stronghold over us. Also, when we feel that weight or that hindrance, it is God pulling us toward Him. Therefore, when we fight that hindrance, we are fighting God.
- 12:2-4 – Jesus is perfection! He fought sin to the point of death on the cross for the joy that we would be saved. We do not fight sin to the point of bloodshed, we fight until it gets too hard, then we give in.
- 12:5-7 – God disciplines us as a loving father would discipline his children.
- 12:8-10 – Without discipline, we are separating ourselves from God. There is no life with God that is without discipline. This also implies that we will always be tempted by sin, and it will always require discipline to turn from it.
- 12:11 – Discipline is never painless, in fact it is often full of pain. But out of discipline comes growth, which can also feed others.
- 12:12-13 – Discipline leads to healing! To be disciplined by the Lord is to be healed by the Lord, and nothing is out of his reach!