What About the Now?

Today’s text is one of warning. It gives examples of people who have fallen in the past, showing that it has happened before. On this the Seventh Day of Lent, we too are reminded to continue in believing obedience. Heb. 3:12-19:

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.”

16 For who were those who heard and yet rebelled? Was it not all those who left Egypt led by Moses? 17 And with whom was he provoked for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness? 18 And to whom did he swear that they would not enter his rest, but to those who were disobedient? 19 So we see that they were unable to enter because of unbelief.

Perhaps this has never happened in your life, but it has in mine. I occasionally catch myself thinking so much about a possible or even an inevitable change that will make things different in life. It is the sort of thinking that deceives one into thinking that life will really take on a new level of significance when something else finally happens. In that process, of course, the value, meaning, and purpose of the present day and moment is lost. It might even be the case that the need to be faithful and strong in tempting situations is minimized, due to the sense that one is not truly in that important part of life. It’s always, “when this happens, . . ..”

The living of our days in a self-imposed limbo is dangerous in spiritual, psychological, and relational ways. One sees this played out in the incident cited by the biblical writer as he looks back on the Israelites in the trek toward what was yet to come. It was as though life would then be important, but the present was mundane by comparison. And mundane days are rife with temptation, since what they appeal to is the triviality of the moment.

A Christians, our hope is indeed in what Christ will yet accomplish. But because of that hope and because of the nature of what we seek therein, we are encouraged to invest that very hope into the present day and hour. We are to encourage one another toward faithfulness, take responsibility for one another’s obedience, and listen continually for the voice of Christ in each moment.

Today my prayer will start the comments; please feel free to add yours.