Am I Lazy In My Faith?
“ And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, 12 that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” Hebrews 6:11-12 NKJV
Chapters four and five in Exodus deal with Moses beginning the process of bringing liberty to the Hebrew people held in slavery by the Egyptians. First, he goes to the elders of the Hebrews and lets them know that God desires to set His people free. Of course, they are behind that good news. Moses next goes to Pharaoh to demand that the Hebrews be allowed to go into the desert and sacrifice to God. Pharaoh is offended by this and increases the demands upon the Hebrews increasing their suffering. The result was that the Hebrew’s come against Moses in anger because his words had brought immediate troubles to their lives. They were ready for freedom, ready to believe God until the first sign of trouble. At the onset of difficulty they gave up on the promise and turned on Moses in anger. In effect, they turned in anger towards God.
We can hear this story today and recognize how foolish they were to give up so easily on a promise from God, but how often are we just like them? We have such access to the Word of God today that we should know and stand on His promises with conviction and assurance. Yet if we pray for something and the circumstances fail to develop immediately, we tend to yield to discouragement and give up on the promises that fully ours. But Hebrews tells us that God expects us to be diligent in our faith. Diligence means we do not give up easily on the promises. Our faith is not cursory or fleeting. Verse 11 says that diligence in our belief will lead to the desired end. Diligence will deliver us to that full assurance of hope. If you need a full assurance of the promises of God in your life, then you need to be diligent in your stance on the Word. If you feel your confidence waning regarding promises in your life, then let that be a sign to you that you need to go back to the Word and remind yourself of His promises. Reading the Word once more will build that hope inside you and lead you to the desired end, but it requires diligence to arrive there. The Hebrews lacked diligence and it cost them dearly as only two of them crossed over into the land of milk and honey that was promised. The remainder all fell short, which is where we will all be stranded without diligence to our stand on the Word.
Verse 12 is an exciting verse for all of us who want to see the promises of God realized in our daily lives. It carries the theme of the previous verse a little deeper! Look at verse 12 again then ask yourself this question, “Who is it that inherits the promises of God?” The answer is those that operate in patience and faith! Patience is what was lacking in the hearts of the enslaved Hebrews. They gave up on their promise to easily. Don’t imitate them; rather imitate those who are diligent in the Word. Patience means you refuse outright to accept the lie of the enemy that says to you, “The Word is not working”. Even when the circumstances look contrary to the Word you remain strong and accept only the words of God, not the present situation. If you have stood on the Word and its promises, and it seems as though those promises are slow in coming to pass, go back to the Word. Read the promises again and be resolved! Stand resolute! Be patient and believe and you will receive the promises. You will have inherited them.
To give up at the first sign of struggle is according to verse 12, “sluggish”. What that word really means is “lazy”. Let’s not be lazy in our faith, it is the diligent that receive the promises!
J Todd Hostetler