In Hebrews 12:1-2, Apostle Paul says we should cast aside the world and focus on running this race well because we are surrounded by a “great cloud of witnesses.” Yesterday, when we read chapter 11, we met a lot of those witnesses: from Moses to David.
They’re the ones who were “tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection,” who withstood trials of mocking, scourging, chains and imprisonment. The ones who were stoned, sawed in two, tempted, and slain with the sword. The ones who were destitute, afflicted – of whom the world was not worthy. These people and martyrs are waiting on the rest of us believers to finish our race before they inherit the promise of an eternal kingdom.
When God first opened this to me, it felt like the bottom of my world dropped out. Because for a second, I saw the world we Iive in through a bird’s eye view of those witnesses. Times have changed. Most of us have never experienced that kind of persecution for our faith.
We live in luxury and freedom. We’ve grown comfortable and lukewarm. We compromised and accepted how the world told us to live. Many churches and believers now blend in incredibly well with the world, and we think that’s okay (as if that’s a sign of God’s love and progress into a modern era!). We think that just because we don’t live in fear of persecution like that great cloud of witnesses, we can live more loosely.
There is a spiritual battle for our souls y’all. The enemy sees this and he pounces on this weakness and exploits it. I imagine those witnesses see this and wonder how we could have all of this freedom to grow in Christ without limits or fear of persecution and yet we choose to conform to the world. They could barely gather to pray together in the middle of the night without the threat of prison or death, but we can’t find more than a few minutes (if that!) in our spacious lives to spend on our knees with other believers (or even alone!).
You’re better than that. You are a daughter of the King of Kings. You don’t have to change to be worthy of this world. Be worthy of your holy calling and the crown of eternity!