“So come on, let’s leave the preschool fingerpainting exercises on Christ and get on with the grand work of art. Grow up in Christ.”
Hebrews 6, The MessageThat’s the message, the Lord placed on my heart overnight and through my morning devotions. Faith, confident hope, in Jesus alone is the inheritance we want. Being a child of God is sweet…and He loves the fingerpaintings. But there is more for us! It is so tempting to settle for less…for good things that ‘fit’ our earthly design. But not a one of the good things (ie love, husbands, children, fulfilling work) are enough to fill the space intended for the Spirit of God. Longings that make our hearts ache are hard–but not bad. Perhaps the hardest thing is watching our loved ones ache. God knows what that is like. He watched the Israelites wander in the desert–and miss the path. The Message translation records God’s heart as this: ‘They’ll never get keep their minds on God; they refuse to walk down my road…They’ll never get where they’re going; never be able to sit down and rest.” It breaks God’s heart when we miss His path and ‘eat’ of things that do not satisfy. And He loves us too much to encourage us to feast on what will not satisfy. I tend to get frustrated when the results I expect do not materialize. Worse is when I watch those I care about try so hard, do the ‘right’ things’ and still ache. I want to fix things. I’m learning to accept though that the fix is Jesus. It is seeking first His Kingdom. It is delighting in Him so that my heart desires come from Him. Then the food on my path will fulfill! Paul, throughout Hebrews, struggles to convey faith to his hearers. The plea from the Lord remains the same: Today, please listen; don’t turn a deaf ear. He says be careful that the lies of sin–the lies of those things that promise fulfillment but fall short of Jesus–do not harden your heart. Let the hurt soften you up to receive Jesus; let the empty pursuits of your loved ones hurt them enough that they receive Jesus. Don’t fill up the manger of your heart with empty foods…keep it always ready for Savior! Growing up in our faith is exciting. More tips are found in the Projects section of this website. Growing strength through Diligence is a great place to start.