The Christian life is one of great privileges and abundant spiritual riches. The blessings which come as a result of the new covenant which Jesus has made possible through His death include a new heart which is soft and sensitive towards God (Jeremiah 31:31-34; Ezekiel 36:26-27; Hebrews 8:10-11).
While this is our inheritance in Christ, the writer to the Hebrews also warns his readers of the danger of their new heart getting hardened later by sin’s deceitfulness. As a result, he exhorts them and gives certain guidelines so they do not reach a place where they develop a sinful, unbelieving heart that ultimately turns away from the living God (Hebrews 3:7-15).
A Daily Walk with God (vs 7)
The author begins by reminding believers of the need to respond positively to God on a daily basis. He emphasises the crucial importance of paying heed to God ‘today’.
Many believers start well but lose focus along the way because of their tendency to either live in the past or in the future. By living in the past, we mean that they are constantly ashamed of a previous failure or addicted to an earlier achievement. Those who live in the future, on the other hand, tend to postpone matters without dealing with them at all. Now while we must learn from the past and look ahead to the future, it is the present that we must be living in.
Just as there are certain physical activities that are necessary to life on a daily basis like brushing our teeth, taking a bath, or eating food, there are certain spiritual disciplines which need to be practiced regularly. These include meeting with God in secret, meditating on His Word, and walking in step with His Spirit.
A Right Response to Tests (vs 8-9)
It was during the time of testing in the wilderness that the Israelites hardened their hearts. A series of hardships caused them to doubt and become bitter against God and His leaders.
In seasons of adversity, the Enemy will try to batter us with thoughts of discouragement. It may seem as though we have been forgotten and forsaken by God. An atmosphere of silence (in the context of our relationship with God) and storms (in the context of our circumstances) can seem to confirm our worst fears.
This is why it is important during such times to continue to trust the Lord and pour out our hearts before Him. While we may not understand everything that is happening in our lives, it is vital to remember that our God is always good and to remain secure in His love. Reflecting on how God has led us and brought us through thus far will give us the strength and confidence to face whatever lies in our path.
A Continual Fellowship with Believers (vs 12-13)
The author calls upon believers to encourage one another daily so they may be protected from spiritual death. There is tremendous safety and strength in fellowship.
One of the greatest privileges we have as Christians is ‘the family of believers’. Spread across time and space, this is the largest, oldest and greatest family in the entire world. Belonging to this body gives us the opportunity as well as resources to be built up in the inner man and to deal with challenges.
We must uphold one another in prayer and whenever possible gather together for mutual edification. This will ensure protection from falling into the Enemy’s snares and enable us to experience steady progress and growth.
The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you!