Call to fulfill God’s purpose
“It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” and “You need endurance to do the will of God and receive what he has promised.” (v.31 and v.36 )
We all would love to hear God’s audible call. In general, after such a call and committing our life into God’s hands, we would expect to have an easy-go-lucky life, thereafter anticipating magical powers, immediate deliverance and favorable outcomes over all of life’s challenges. The author of Hebrews reminds us that making a commitment to do God’s will requires endurance and fearful dedication. The author of Hebrews was most likely addressing Jewish Christians who were in danger of renouncing their Christian faith and allegiance not due to any persecution from outsiders but due to weariness with the demands of Christian life and a growing indifference to their calling. The author’s audiences appear to be people who were once enlightened but were now throwing away their confidence.
A recently analysis shows that religious affiliation in the United States is at its lowest point since it began to be tracked in the 1930s. Last year, only about 20% of Americans claimed they had no religious preference, more than double the number reported in 1990. While such reports may be exaggerated, some thoughts to ponder on are: Is society giving up? Is our affluence becoming a curse? Are they losing the needed endurance to do God’s will?
In the Old Testament we know of many people who seemingly had no difficulty in recognizing God’s call and responding to it. In most instances, His call was audible. We know of Abraham who was directed by God to begin a journey that is to date ongoing and of great significance to the history of mankind. At that time, Abraham embraced God’s call with sheer faith and not seeing any outcome. He simply obeyed God without knowing where he was going. In the New Testament the call from God is made audible through the voice of Jesus. It is a call through the voice of the Holy Spirit. Answering that call is a fearful thing because it involves a life changing experience for the believer. We know of some that changed their jobs and others that left their homes. In truth, “it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” Nevertheless, what we need to understand is that God’s calling has one common factor. It calls upon a human life to fulfill God’s purpose. No other qualification is required but for having an “endurance to do the will of God and receive what he has promised.” Are we ready to commit to that call?
Prayer: Lord, help us not to be people who draw back from You and perish, but those who will have faith to do Your will and possess the life to fulfill Your purpose., Amen.
Thought for the Day: Remember the call and renew the commitment
Dr. Mathew T. Thomas, MTC, Washington